Countdown to Government Shutdown: T-minus 4 Days and Counting…
If lawmakers in Washington can't settle their budget differences by Friday, the U.S. Government will be shut down. Today, House Speaker John Boehner is visiting the White House to discuss the budget with President Obama in an attempt to avoid it. Yesterday, Boehner warned fellow Republicans to prepare for the worst.
Some are predicting gloom and doom if the Government does shut its doors on Friday. To hear some tell it; if this were to happen we'd have people starving to death, millions of senior citizens would be having their lights cut off or being evicted due to not getting their Social Security checks and there would be pandemonium in the streets. As ESPN Commentator Lee Corso would say; "not so fast my friend".
This isn't the first time this has happened. The Federal Government has shut down sixteen times since Carter was President. The reality is that only about 60% of the Federal Government would stop functioning. Essential services would still be available. Social Security checks would still be mailed, the mail will still be running to deliver those checks and guards would still be guarding the drug dealers and tax evaders serving time in federal prisons like our own unit in Libery Eylau (whew!).
Translation: life will go on for the vast majority of Americans.
Now, I wouldn't go planning a trip to Hot Springs National Park during a Government shutdown, because there won't be anybody there (although, there are still a lot of other fun things to do in the Spa City). And there's no doubt that closing parks like that one will slow down tourism in some communities and force some small businesses to cut back temporarily. But the truth is, the Government itself isn't completely "shutting down" and all this talk about how bad things will be if it does is just fear mongering.
I say let it shut down. The fact that only around 40% of the Feds resources are actually considered "essential" (and it's debatable as to whether many of those services are actually needed or not) should tip most people off that many of the Governments self appointed roles in 2011 America are unneeded. Washington needs to get its fiscal house in order and now is as good a time as any.
Whether you agree with my position on this or not, I do encourage everyone to get involved and reach out to their elected officials and let their voices be heard. Washington seems to do what they want these days, but that's because WE THE PEOPLE sit silently and let them do it. Get on the phone, email, write. Be heard!