By Matt Rooney
‘Twas the night before Christmas, Save Jerseyans, and all through the land, not a bureaucrat was stirring… not a single woman or man! Or Xer. This is D.C. after all where only party ID is strictly binary!
And yet somehow I doubt a single Christmas Eve celebration will be ruined or made even a tad bit less merry as the federal shutdown enters its third day (with no end in sight) for lack of federal activity and spending.
The stocking will be hung.
They presents will be wrapped.
Grandma’s fruit cake and Uncle Joe’s punch will be served.
That’s because every federal shutdown — this is the 20th, going back to the 70s — is a demonstration of how little of what the federal government does “for us” would be missed if the shutdown lasted forever.
We’re rapidly approaching the breaking point as 2018 ends and 2019 is on deck. The U.S. federal budget for FY 2019 is $4.407 trillion, roughly 20% of the GDP of the world’s most powerful economy. Amazingly, the federal debt is close to $22 trillion.
The federal government, its skyrocketing legacy costs, and its sheer size and scope are simply too big. Our liberal friends usually like to point out how shutting down the government costs money AND hurts the economy, but they’re actually looking through the wrong end of the keyhole: there shouldn’t be so many families, businesses, and industries dependent on the federal government (read: John and Jane Taxpayer). That argument is akin to an alcoholic going through withdrawal blaming the bartender who cut him off for the resulting hangover! Ridiculous and illogical AND insulting to everyone’s intelligence.
What’s more, most of the federal workers who are genuinely ‘essential’ are still hard-at-work today, and they will receive their pay when the shutdown ends (there’s rarely much of an interruption, if any, given that many department like the DOD are funded for months in the future). Air Traffic Control professionals (and airport security) are still keeping America’s holiday travelers moving. Prison guards are on duty at our federal prisons this morning. The FBI/DEA/Coast Guard/U.S. Military/Customs Enforcement officials, etc., are all on the job.
FYI parents: NORAD’s Santa Tracker is on-line.
Yes, if full federal funding isn’t restored soon, your family trip to that national park or federally-funded museum might need to be postponed. Would you prefer that your children are saddled with a future of crippling taxation to pay for an increasingly untenable federal debt load? Reflect before answering.
In a perfect world? These shutdowns should be an opportunity for Americans to revisit our spending priorities and think long and hard about why on earth we should be paying for so much government that isn’t “essential” by anyone’s definition, including the government’s own classifications! But a perfect world this is not; Americans aren’t thinking about it because, among other problems with the current political climate, the party of ‘limited government’ (the GOP) too rarely acts like it cares about limited government down in Washington.
Instead of viewing these ordeals as an opportunity to ADVANCE conservative fiscal positions, the Republicans on Capitol Hill accepts the Left’s premise and point fingers.
Think about it: we’re fighting over a wall. EVERYONE (except the most fringe Leftists) believes security is something the federal government should prioritize. We can’t agree on much else, granted! But right now? The Southern entrance to our nation lacks a back door. We can’t afford a door because our those aforementioned priorities are so out-of-whack. Would you prioritize buying and installing a door at your own home this Christmas if you didn’t have one already?
So yes, Save Jerseyans, all I want for Christmas is more government shutdowns which last far longer than a few news cycles. I want the federal government to trim its sails, cut the fat, and stop being a burden on We the People. I also want a limited government party that’s willing to fight for the future of this great country.
Christmas will dawn on the United States tomorrow with or without a federal CR.
America’s Christmas future will look a whole helluva lot less bright, however, unless we get our national house in order and do it fast.