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Keep It Closed! ^ | January 24, 2018 | John Stossel

Posted on 01/24/2018 6:47:29 AM PST by Kaslin

The government is open again. That's too bad.

One day, one of these shutdowns should be permanent. We would still have far more government than the Founding Fathers envisioned.

That's because even during so-called shutdowns, a third of federal employees -- nearly a million people -- remain on the job, declared "essential" government workers. Military pay continues, too, although political commentators, eager to make a shutdown sound scarier, repeatedly claimed that military families were being cut off.

Here's a list of functions that kept going during the "shutdown":

--Law enforcement.

--Border Patrol.

--The TSA.

--Air traffic controllers.

--The CDC.


--Power grid maintenance.

--Social Security checks.

--Medicare checks.


--Food stamps.

--Veterans hospitals.

--The U.S. Post Office.

--U.S. Treasury debt auctions.

--Federal courts.

--The EPA.

Do we need more government than that? Do we even need that much?

If you love the FDA, the Agriculture Department or government websites, you might be frustrated, but the private sector (Underwriters Laboratories? Consumer Reports?) would do drug testing faster; much of what the Agriculture Department does is harmful; and private websites update information faster than government websites.

And don't forget there are still 50 state governments, plus thousands of local governments. We're buried in governments.

Fortunately, since most of life goes on in the private, voluntary sector, Americans didn't show much sign of freaking out last weekend, despite the hysteria spewed by politicians and the press.

Monday's New York Times front page carried the headline "Shutdown Crisis Deepens." Crisis? What crisis? Most Americans didn't even notice.

The federal government was shut down for 16 days under Barack Obama, 26 days under Bill Clinton, three days under George H.W. Bush. Almost no one remembers.

We don't need government to live.

Because the 1995 shutdown was blamed on Republicans, the press searched for people who were killed or injured by lack of government. They couldn't find any.

The best they did was finding a few people who were inconvenienced or annoyed. TV news crews reported on people who needed passports on short notice but couldn't get them because passport offices, though still open, were slow.

This is not a crisis. The next shutdown, which may come in three weeks, won't be a crisis either.

The real solution to most of our problems is to let the private sector do more. Instead of reopening government programs, use a shutdown as a time to privatize them.

Sell some monuments to private groups so we don't need federal workers to maintain them.

This shutdown, national parks stayed open. Good. During an Obama administration shutdown, politicians were so eager to convey "crisis" that they put barricades in front of parks. Absurd. It cost more to block access than allow it.

Instead of politicians blaming the shutdown on the "other party," this is an opportunity -- a chance to ask how much government we really want.

I'll bet at least half those "essential" government workers are no such thing -- let the market sort out whether they're useful.

Privatize airports so they run more efficiently and compete to see how much security screening the public really wants, instead of leaving us in the hands of the TSA.

Privatize Amtrak and the post office, too. Let private companies build and maintain toll roads.

Even though America is $20 trillion in debt, people still expect our government to be all things to all people.

In the private sector, companies shed workers and unpopular products all the time. It lets them reinvent themselves and stay useful to customers.

In slow times, AT&T cut 40,000 workers. Sears cut 50,000. IBM cut 60,000. That was tough in the short term for those laid-off workers, but most eventually found more productive work. The layoffs made the companies more efficient -- and sustainable. Consumers liked their products and prices more than when the company was bloated and inefficient.

Government shutting down -- partially -- is not a disaster.

The real disaster is paying $4 trillion a year to keep it running and getting such poor service in return.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 115th; governmentshutdown; schumershutdown; stossel
John Stossel forgot the military and that the troops would not have been paid had the shutdown been continued.
1 posted on 01/24/2018 6:47:29 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

He did forget them but his meme hits home that nobody really got damaged during the 2013 shutdown (or the 1995 one) and after the fizzle of last week’s “shutdown” nobody is really afraid of another one if Schumer decides to double down in a few weeks. It’s a toothless threat and all he has left in his pitiful arsenal...

2 posted on 01/24/2018 6:55:26 AM PST by trebb (I stopped picking on the mentally ill hypocrites who pose as conservatives......;-))
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To: Kaslin

Security clearance investigations would be suspended as well.

3 posted on 01/24/2018 6:56:14 AM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: Kaslin
In slow times, AT&T cut 40,000 workers.

I was one of them, back in late 2004 (it took a while for the Dot Com bubble burst to ripple through a gargantuan company like AT&T). In a few weeks after being laid off (what AT&T called, in truly Orwellian fashion, “Voluntary Forced Retirement”), I had another job, which less than a year later, was paying me 65% more than AT&T had been. So, the layoff was good for AT&T, and it was good for me. Yay capitalism!

4 posted on 01/24/2018 7:00:37 AM PST by Sicon ("All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - G. Orwell)
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To: Kaslin

The government shuts down every weekday at 4 pm.................

5 posted on 01/24/2018 7:13:19 AM PST by Red Badger (Wanna surprise? Google your own name. Wanna have fun? Google your friends names......)
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To: Kaslin

The government never closed. It cannot close. Certain well-chosen sectors were were paused, enabling the media to over-hype the effect in order to instill fear and anxiety in the public.

The government is a great big feeding teat connected to the iron fist of taxation. It gives, and it takes away.

6 posted on 01/24/2018 7:40:55 AM PST by I want the USA back (Doing more of what fails is the definition of liberalism and insanity.)
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To: Kaslin
Sell some monuments to private groups so we don't need federal workers to maintain them.

We actually have a Pennsylvania Park Service historical battlefield in our county. They wanted to shut it down because the budget showed a deficit and their weren't the votes to increase taxes.

The local hisorical society and a volunteer group stepped in to take over operations. They hired one paid person (with a grant) to be volunteer coordinator. The four Pennsylvania State Park Rangers who were doing the work before plus some contractors were no longer needed.

Who remembers when public libraries were largely staffed by volunteers with a mere handful of paid positions?

7 posted on 01/24/2018 7:42:45 AM PST by Vigilanteman (ObaMao: Fake America, Fake Messiah, Fake Black man. How many fakes can you fit into one Zer0?)
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To: Kaslin

I agree. There are large swaths of FedGov that I would like to see shut down permanently. Most of HHS is at the top of that list, and most of EPA, and 100% of Labor, and 100% of Education, and 100% of BATFE, and . . . I could go on for much longer.

I’d even eliminate a significant chunk of the military. Ask the service chiefs to choose which (roughly) 20% of each branch they want to give up - much more than that for the USAF, far less for the USMC.

8 posted on 01/24/2018 10:20:09 AM PST by Pollster1 ("Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed")
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