DISCLOSURE: Repair_Man_Jack is a psuedonym for a person who works as a Civil Servant for the United States Federal Government.
“A lot of people with budgetary responsibility are planning for a shutdown instead of for next year’s budget,” said Diane Breckenridge, who works in the office of the secretary of Health and Human Services. “It doesn’t add to the productivity of the government.”
(HT: Washington Post)
I partially agree with Diane Breckenridge. This totally doesn’t add to the productivity of the government. The US Government is running a deficit equal to 11% of the GDP. Congress currently wrangles over whether to cut $33Bn or 61Bn off of a budget projected to run almost $1.5Tr in deficits. Former Budget Director David Walker describes this as “Like Arguing About the Bar Tab on the Titanic.”
Where Diane Breckenridge falls short is that she gives way too much credit to the current executive branch of the US Government. Nothing in the current Administration’s plans involves productive government. They want larger government; more powerful government. If the government actually does anything for the people, that’s a swell positive externality. The current administration welcomes the chance to stage this government shutdown to protect what it believes to be a positive status quo.
This proposed government shutdown is not about the productivity of government, which does not matter much to the CEO that runs it. The proposed government shutdown is about intimidation, power and the threatening legislators in the other political party. It’s about making a lot of marginal workers and benefit recipients become too frightened for their own welfare to think about the long term commonweal of the American nation.
This proposed government shutdown is a form of political terrorism. It’s like The Candyman telling junkies he can starve them any time he feels pissed off. If this can be blamed on the Tea Party, they are done. A solipsistic nation will turn on them in anger. Deficits are bad, but nobody cuts off My Government Check!
This proposed government shutdown is a preemptive strike against Congressman Paul Ryan. He has proposed a budget that will cut Trillions of dollars in Federal spending over the next decade. It will involve reform and reduction in every one of the major entitlement programs. It will cut defense. It will eviscerate much of the spoils system involved in discretionary spending and tax loopholes. In other words, Paul Ryan puts up, so Obama wants him forced to shut up.
The current system of government entitlements was primarily designed by powerful Democratic Presidents who favored a large, activist government. Reforming these shibboleths goes against Democratic Party Catechism as well as policy. No Democratic President would ever let this become law. No incumbent president with a legacy deficit of $5 trillion in four years wants to veto a significant budget reduction act without putting forth an alternative.
This proposed government shutdown will prevent entitlement reform from ever being a serious piece of conversation. People will be too worried about the lack of government money to support any serious systemic reform. President Obama will violently stomp out any serious overtures towards spending restraint or reduced governmental power and influence. Let people who fear Big Brother last a month in the asphalt jungle without him there to protect them.
So this government shutdown is a pernicious and venomous display of power to protect a threatened and unworkable system of government spoilsmanship. It’s the best method of preserving the Oligarchical Collectivism that Barack Obama feeds off of as a base of power. George Orwell describes President Obama’s governing theory below.
“In each variant of Socialism that appeared from about 1900 onwards the aim of establishing liberty and equality was more and more openly abandoned. The new movements which appeared in the middle years of the century . . . had the conscious aim of perpetuating unfreedom and inequality”; because the true goal was to end history upon becoming the perpetual High ruling class — composed not of aristocrats or plutocrats, but of “bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organisers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists and professional politicians” originally from “the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class”.
The people who are engineering this proposed government shutdown have garnered more power and influence than they have had at almost any point in American History. They are not willing to give it up. This proposed government shutdown is no different than the belligerent and threatening behavior from the public sector unions in Wisconsin. No Oligarchical Collectivist will tolerate the reestablishment of an empowered electorate. They would rather the entire government get shut down.