Government to People: Shut Happens

All that government shut down talk had me confused. I was under the impression that in order to shut down, you had to be open for business in the first place. Did they skip a chapter or two in Washington?

It’s just the green eyed monster in me talking, because the truth is I envy lawmakers. They get to partake of such exotic pursuits as Tuesday brunch,  month long Caribbean vacations, mafia defense lawyers, private schools in Disneyland, POM Wonderful fountains and Williams-Sonoma frequent buyer cards.

When a Senator declares he will accept a temporary freeze in pay because the interests of his constituents are that important, it means he will step up his speaking engagements to make up the difference. This will be done- you guessed it- at the expense of his constituents. And when a Congressman preaches about family values, the translation is simple: He’s banging interns.

As it turns out, when our government closes up shop it behaves in much the same way as when it’s open for business. And here I thought the NFL had that Houdini trick under copyright.

Over the past several days there was a lot of debate as to what “essential services” means. Well, here’s my take on how a shutdown would’ve looked.

Escort services would have continued to operate thanks in large part to federal grants. Those due to receive their first Social Security checks may have experienced a delay, as if that never happened before. Medicare recipients would have been wise to book their hospital stays on Expedia pronto, since no interruptions were expected- until the death squads showed up. The postal service would have continued going about its job of losing your Playboy subscriptions. Homeland Security personnel with their own parking space at Krispy Kreme would have continued working. Airport security employees would not have been expected to work while still getting paid-as per usual.

Capitol Hill staffers would have been trimmed. Lawmakers would have had to decide which staffers were essential the same way they always have- horizontally. The National Parks were set to shut down, which would have been a huge environmental gain since more than a billion tons of non-biodegradable fast food products are dumped there each day.

Taxes? You wouldn’t have gotten out of filing that easily. The government would have continued collecting more than half of your annual income. How else are they expected to pay for trips to unknown planets, prisons, dubious military engagements and public school demolitions?

Let’s be real.


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