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Lawyers, Guns
and Money
Picture of chellim1
posted
The shutdown proves how redundant a lot of the government is...

For all of the breathless commentary from Beltway media, the reality is that the federal government can’t even shut itself down properly:

The DC media complex is not happy with the partial shutdown of the federal government. The government shutdown drags into the New Year, they tell us! It could go on for the rest of January, they cry! ‘Promise?,’ is the only thought that readily comes to my mind. It’s actually been quite peaceful with Congress gone and the bureaucracy on furlough.

But to be completely frank, while a complete shutdown of the federal government has some impish attraction both in reality and as a thought experiment, that’s not what’s happening. Still, if the shutdown extended into say February or March or beyond, how quickly would state and local government pick up the slack? What about private enterprise and community-based organizations? They’re certainly capable of doing so, but it would take some effort.

Though one wonders who would listen in on our phone conversations if the surveillance state were suddenly made redundant? But Christmas was last week, so that’s probably too much to ask.

Yet for all of the breathless commentary from Beltway media, the reality is that the federal government can’t even shut itself down properly. Only about 25 percent of the federal government is affected. The military is fully funded and on duty, as are Social Security and Medicare. The US Postal Services continues delivering unwanted flyers and coupons, the TSA is fully funded and patting people down, and the Veterans Administration is still providing substandard care to our veterans.

On a more personal level, I have noted with satisfaction that when I turn on the faucet, water still comes out. When I drive to the store, the street lights are still on. In fact, I passed a police officer on the way to get a coffee this morning, so our neighborhood remains safe. So what am I missing? Not much it turns out. And neither is almost anyone else.

Maybe what we learned from the shutdown is that for all of the talk, all of the money, all of the skyrocketing debt, the federal government is mostly non-essential. The State Department? Mostly unnecessary and designed for another era. If the president wants to talk to the leader of Burkina Faso, he can send him an email. Instead of the diplomacy in service of American interests, State has become mostly a colonial office for our post Cold War policy of moral imperialism. And State is one of the original cabinet level departments which we actually need in some much more limited capacity. It gets worse from there. The myriad departments and agencies, variously referred to as ‘the bureaucracy’, ‘the administrative state’, or more malevolently ‘the deep state’, represent much of the swamp that President Trump promised to drain. In that regard, the partial shut-down can be seen as consistent with his larger platform. But he should make it permanent. Here are some concrete ideas for the president to win the politics of the shutdown and do some good for the country at the same time:

1. Propose the permanent shuttering of non-essential cabinet level departments. Closing the Department of Energy would save $32.5 billion, Department of Commerce, $61.8 billion, and the Department of Education, $59.9 billion. These are not new or radical ideas for Republicans. Reagan tried to close the Department of Education in 1981. And the current Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, proposed closing his own Department when running for president. Are they really non-essential? In a word, yes. But let me put it in perspective with a few questions: The Department of Education was created in 1979. Does anyone believe that American education has improved since then? Does anyone think American commerce would cease if the department were closed?

2. Offer early retirement to non-essential federal employees who have been furloughed. This is common practice in the private sector. It would help make the federal government more efficient, thus reducing a drag on the economy, and would allow those people to pursue more productive employment while giving them the financial security to make the transition.

3. Encourage Congress to reassert its constitutional power as the primary lawmaking body of the federal government. Congress long ago ceded this authority to the deep state which is unelected, unaccountable, and makes far more law than Congress. For example, in 2016, Congress passed 214 bills which became law while the deep state made 3,853 ‘rules’ with the force of law.

4. Return power to state and local government. Over the past few generations, Washington has turned state governments into little more than administrators of federal programs. This action eviscerated our system of federalism and deprived the people not only of one of the most effective checks on federal power but also of the benefits of robust, responsive state and local government. The shutdown is an opportunity to begin righting that wrong.

Would it be too much to hope for that the regularity of government furloughs and concomitant delays in paychecks would spur private benevolent institutions to fill any gap that may emerge in care for the poor? Certainly churches and other charitable organizations would be eager to feed the hungry but they have been crowded out by federal programs that reduce life to a demeaning and dehumanizing financial transaction while removing the ennobling aspects of charity. In fact, they refuse to call it charity, making such things ‘entitlements’ which are funded by involuntary takings. Much better and more humane would be a system that encouraged voluntary giving, real human interaction, and robust communities rather than anonymous transfers of funds.

The stated reason for the shutdown is funding for the border wall, but there are so many more opportunities in play for Trump and the America First agenda that it would be shame to, as Progressives like to say, let a crisis go to waste. Both parties have a tacit agreement to run trillion dollar deficits until a financial crisis forces a reckoning, but these simple steps would actually put the ship of state on a course of fiscal probity, republican accountability, and civic engagement unseen in a century.

https://spectator.us/shutdown-redundant-government/


"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 15667 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds like a good idea. How can we put in to law what you suggest?


Officers lives matter!
 
Posts: 3252 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: February 12, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lawyers, Guns
and Money
Picture of chellim1
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quote:
Originally posted by ArLEOret:
Sounds like a good idea. How can we put in to law what you suggest?

It's a good question. Easier said than done, right? How do you shut down the Department of Education, for example?
It would have to be done by Congress. We should elect congressmen who want to cut into the deep state. There are some. But for the most part we keep electing Dems and RINOs who enjoy the perks of Congress and see no reason to limit government.


"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 15667 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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But what are we all gonna do without the Federals telling us everything?
 
Posts: 1547 | Location: Possum Kingdom, TX | Registered: April 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack of All Trades,
Master of Nothing
Picture of 2000Z-71
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Ordinarily, I'd agree but the current shutdown is having an affect on me and I'm not happy. My mother passed on Friday. Office of Personnel Management is closed for the shutdown so no access to her death benefits until after the shutdown is over.




My daughter can deflate your daughter's soccer ball.
 
Posts: 10531 | Location: Anchorage, AK | Registered: September 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
The shutdown proves how redundant a lot of the government is


And IF you forget there is a COUNTDOWN Clock On every news channel. Frown
If I see the clock I'm clickin' away to another channel. Mad
 
Posts: 16361 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
delicately calloused
Picture of darthfuster
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I think the bureaucracies fear the public will learn how little we need them and how free we are without them.



I'm sorry, I'm thinking about the cats again...
 
Posts: 24594 | Location: Highland, Ut. | Registered: May 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
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quote:
Originally posted by chellim1:
... non-essential federal employees ...

This is the one that cracks me up.

If they are "nonessential", why in the hell are we employing them to begin with?


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 15838 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Political Cynic
Picture of nhtagmember
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we could probably eliminate 75% of the government and have a far better country, more efficient government and less waste, fraud and corruption

but we'd have an awful lot of unemployed democrats, socialists and leftists with no particular skill set other than leeching



Participating in a gun buy back program because you think criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbor has too many kids

"I'm only myself when I have a guitar in my hands." - George Harrison


 
Posts: 47746 | Location: Arizona | Registered: January 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
too mean to quit!
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by nhtagmember:
we could probably eliminate 75% of the government and have a far better country, more efficient government and less waste, fraud and corruption

but we'd have an awful lot of unemployed democrats, socialists and leftists with no particular skill set other than leeching


And, of course, bar them from collecting gubbermint bennies. I would say they should be required to get a real job, but they have no skills, education, talents to offer.

I seem to recall a report from some time ago that indicated that there were some 17 gubbermint agencies that had the exact same job assignment, and all they did was meet and discuss what they would be doing if they were not in those meetings.


Elk

There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "
-Thomas Jefferson

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville

FBHO!!!



The Idaho Elk Hunter
 
Posts: 24199 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by nhtagmember:
we could probably eliminate 75% of the government and have a far better country, more efficient government and less waste, fraud and corruption

but we'd have an awful lot of unemployed democrats, socialists and leftists with no particular skill set other than leeching

True, but would you rather have those sad sacks leeching or in some position of greater or less bureaucratic power?
 
Posts: 3743 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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quote:
Originally posted by chellim1:
Closing the Department of Energy would save $32.5 billion


I don't consider the DOE to be useless and in need of being totally abolished, although their size and role could stand to be rolled back (as with just about any federal agency).

Seems like every country with nuclear weapons and/or nuclear power has a governmental nuclear safety/security agency, which is a good thing.

The DOE designs and produces all of our nuclear weapons and plants, and is responsible for the safety and security of the country's nuclear material, nuclear transports, and nuclear facilities. Their SWAT/ERT teams are some of the best in the country (likely because they have extra time for training). They're also involved in international operations, investigations, and intelligence/counter-intelligence, in order to prevent nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands.

I think we can agree that a hijacked nuclear transport, a nuclear terrorist attack, or a failure at a nuclear plant would be a bad thing, and preventing those is something worthy of government involvement...
 
Posts: 22024 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ozarkwoods
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Making federal government smaller is an awesome idea, it won’t happen unless we elect enough representatives and senators with the same ideals. Enough=a number large enough to control both houses with enough to override the Flakes, McConnels, Ryan’s, McCains, Romney’s....and the list goes on. How could they vote to give their position less control of the country. We won’t see it in our life times unless it is forced upon them as in a financial crises where it brings our country down.


ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
 
Posts: 3489 | Location: Home is wherever the tires are touching, Tulsa OK for the Fall | Registered: October 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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quote:
Originally posted by 2000Z-71:
Ordinarily, I'd agree but the current shutdown is having an affect on me and I'm not happy. My mother passed on Friday. Office of Personnel Management is closed for the shutdown so no access to her death benefits until after the shutdown is over.


I'm sorry to hear of your loss.
This situation must be as frustrating as it gets.
 
Posts: 6027 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
but we'd have an awful lot of unemployed democrats, socialists and leftists with no particular skill set other than leeching


Like the Judge says in Caddyshack, “the world needs ditch diggers too”.
 
Posts: 1547 | Location: Possum Kingdom, TX | Registered: April 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 2BobTanner
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---------------------
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." — Mark Twain
 
Posts: 1615 | Location: Falls of the Ohio River, Kain-tuk-e | Registered: January 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't believe everything you think.

NRA Benefactor/Patriot Member
 
Posts: 1449 | Location: Virginia, USA | Registered: December 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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I think a lot of the MSM's freakout about the government shutdown and how terrible it is shows they are afraid that average American will catch on that a whole lot of Big Government, aka The God of The Left, is really not that important or needed.


 
Posts: 24417 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
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Non-essential employees are those that are not necessary for emergency services. I’m still going in for the duration and hopefully getting paid for my time when it’s all over.




"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." George S. Patton
 
Posts: 9678 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Political Cynic
Picture of nhtagmember
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as much as there is some short term pain, I think the longer the shutdown continues the better it is for us

Department of Energy - yeah its an easy target except for the Nuclear Regulatory part

Department of Agriculture - get rid of it tomorrow

Department of Education - get rid of it yesterday

there are a boatload of others - mostly obscure or redundant that should be axed right away



Participating in a gun buy back program because you think criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbor has too many kids

"I'm only myself when I have a guitar in my hands." - George Harrison


 
Posts: 47746 | Location: Arizona | Registered: January 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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