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AP: No Shutdown In A ‘Gov’t Shutdown’

From, of all places, the Associated Press:

Psst. No shutdown during a ‘government shutdown’

By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Fri 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.

Which, once again, is a direct contradiction of the lies that Mr. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats have been spreading about a possible shutdown.

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

We don’t know what has gotten into the AP on this subject. But we are encouraged by their sudden regard for the truth — at least on this issue.

And it won’t on March 5, 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.

And what’s this?! The AP is even tacitly admitting that it is actually the President who initiates these government shutdowns — with their vetoes of the proposed budget — and not rascally Congressional Republicans, like former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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…

Still, given the low pay federal workers receive, you just know they are living from paycheck to paycheck. (Just kidding.)

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

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…

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

So one in four federal employees will at most get a nice paid vacation. (On top of their other, seemingly endless, paid vacations.)

Just 4 percent of employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development went to work in the 1995 shutdown, as did 11 percent of Department of Education employees

And is there any doubt that the country was better off while these ‘workers’ stayed home?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 25th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “AP: No Shutdown In A ‘Gov’t Shutdown’”

  1. TerryAnne

    I’m going to have to say, “think again”, in regards to the military. Just got word this morning that the AF Reserves is broke and will not be paying us for a while. Though, we’re free to continue working and waiting to get backpaid. Riiiight.

  2. proreason

    “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?”

    the telling question.

    And of the functions still operating, what percentage of those workers are actually auditing their 401K’s and deductions for their gold-plated health care rather than working.

  3. tranquil.night

    I keep hearing that the House is doing great things, but other than essentially symbolic votes, I only see them caving when it’s time to take a stand.

    Now once again, signs in Washington that we’re going squishy.

    “Is this the hill you want to die on?”

    Yes. The time for backbone has never been clearer, with the Fleebaggers on the run.

    A warning to all the bowel-impacted politicians: do not doubt us. The Leftist cabal WILL fall. We will finish the job, and end yours too, if you won’t.

  4. The postal service is self-funding? Yeah. Just like AMTRAK is self-funding.
    So what good is a shutdown if even the people who don’t go to work get paid anyway? How is shutting down the government saving us any money? I say, like Barbara Boxer says, They should go without pay, and not receive back pay after they come back to work. Call it part of the “shared sacrifice” that Oblamer is always talking about.

  5. Right of the People

    If only the executive branch could be shut down. Now THAT would be progess!

  6. JohnMG

    …..”So we’re talking fewer than one in four federal workers staying at home……”

    And I’m sure all of these ‘worthies’ will qualify for 96 weeks of unemployment should the dispute go on that long or the furloughs become permanent. I mean, surely their ‘employer’ wouldn’t challenge their unemployed status on the grounds they had been discharged for just cause.

  7. canary

    The military won’t shut down, but I bet Obama will try and not pay them as Jimmy Carter did aside his puny pay.
    Obama threatened after election that the U.S. Military would not get paid, National Parks would close, if his health care didn’t pass which would replace Social Security for the elderly. Obama said he most likely would have to change the retirement age.


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