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AP Flashback: No Shutdown In A Gov’t Shutdown

From the 2011 archives of the Associated Press:

Psst. No shutdown during a ‘government shutdown’

By Andrew Taylor | Feb 25, 2011

WASHINGTON – Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open.

In fact, ‘furloughed workers’ have been paid after every government shutdown, of which there have been many (see below). So, in reality, all these furloughed workers just got was a paid vacation.

That’s the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn’t shut down.

And it won’t on March 5 [2011], even if the combatants on Capitol Hill can’t resolve enough differences to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government while they hash out legislation to cover the last seven months of the budget year.

Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And that’s not counting 600,000 Postal Service employees or 1.6 million uniformed military personnel exempt from a shutdown.

So we’re talking fewer than one in four federal workers staying at home. Many federal workers get paid on March 4, so it would take a two-week shutdown for them to see a delay in their paychecks…

The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans’ health care and many other essential government programs would run as usual. The Social Security Administration would not only send out benefits but would continue to take applications. The Postal Service, which is self-funded, would keep delivering the mail. Federal courts would remain open

Which raises the question, if the federal government can still continue to function without one quarter of its workforce, why don’t we get rid of that one fourth?

[F]rom a practical perspective, shutdowns usually aren’t that big a deal. They happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During President Reagan’s two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically of just one or two days apiece. Deals got cut. Everybody moved on…

Which is to say, nobody even noticed all the shutdowns in the past. But that was before 1995, and before the news media and the rest of the Democrat Party suddenly realized they could use the bogus fear of a government shutdown to stop the Republicans from trying to cut government spending ever again.

To be sure, furloughs can be a major hardship for federal workers. Even those in essential jobs — and required to work — could see their paychecks delayed if a stalemate dragged on. Lawmakers, however, typically provide back pay, even for employees who weren’t required to work

The unions demand they get their back pay. So one in four federal employees will at the worst get a nice paid vacation. (On top of their other, seemingly endless, paid vacations.) Boo hoo.

But bear in mind that the news media has been telling us for three years that Republicans are trying to fearmonger everyone about Obama-Care. Meanwhile, they have had no problem fearmongering about possible government shutdowns, ever since 1995.

You see, fearmongering over Obama-Care, which even top Democrats admit is a train wreck, is pure evil. But fearmongering over a government shutdown, that even if it happened (and it won’t) will amount to next to nothing, is responsible journalism.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, September 26th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “AP Flashback: No Shutdown In A Gov’t Shutdown”

  1. Referring to ‘government’ … I wonder how many modern-educated folks in our contemporary “Oh, we’re so advanced” world have ever realized ..

    Government .. is a semantic illusion.

  2. Petronius

    If the government shuts down, will Chelsea Manning be freed from Leavenworth?

    Like Big Sis freed all of the illegal aliens during the Great Sequester?

    Let’s all join hands and chant:

    Free Chelsea!
    Free Chelsea!
    Free Chelsea!
    Yeah!


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