February 20, 2011
The major objection to making them all just shut the hell up and go away for a while is that the Social Security checks which would otherwise be sent out or directly deposited in recipients' accounts on March 10 (the first distribution date after the March 4 expiration of the "continuing resolution" under which these clowns continue their act) will be interrupted. I concede that is a cause for concern, but c'mon, even these brain-dead politicos can surely find a solution to that. The FICA payments will keep coming in; can't someone, just one clerk, stay behind and make sure the mail goes out?
That wasn't so hard, was it? Okay, so the one real problem with disbanding the federal government has been handled.
The beautiful part, the hopeful angle, to the government shut-down is that it will happen unless Congress does something to prevent it. We know how good they are at that kind of thing. These are the same people running a $3.8 trillion operation on a $2.2 trillion budget. As noted, the "continuing resolution" which permits the government to spend money will expire on March 4, which is only 11 (eleven!) days from now. They have to use a "continuing resolution" to begin with because there is no real budget in place, and hasn't been for a very long time (Obama did not propose one for the previous fiscal year) which is to say, the continuing resolution is itself a sign of the extreme dysfunction in Washington's governance. Emblematic of its lack of realism, of its tendency to procrastinate and to act like little children. The GOP wants Obama to enact its meaningless series of token, mean-spirited, Luddite budget cuts, which are all aimed at favorite conservative voodoo dolls, like the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Education, and scientific research, and solar energy, and the rest of their list of Liberal targets. The Democrats resist all of these token gestures in favor of token gestures of their own.
"That's the wrong $30 billion to cut out of the $1.6 trillion deficit!" is the moving battle cry of the Democrats, our liberal heroes. "If we're going to eviscerate government spending by cutting nearly 2% of the budget, excuse me, deficit, then we need to target carefully the budget cuts we choose, because the American people are counting on us to do our jobs!"
They all agree on only one thing: the Department of Defense must have its money.
See what I mean? Are you coming around? Can't they just all take a hike, like the Democrats in Wisconsin did? The Donkeys in Wisconsin went to Illinois; the asses in Washington, D.C. have all fifty states to choose from. Anywhere other than the District of Columbia, which is where they screw everything up.
Do Tom Coburn and John Boehner realize just how much of an Uncle Remus situation this is? Please oh please, Congress, don't throw us into the brier patch of a government shutdown! What would we do without you?
Obama will veto your spending cuts, because he's a man of principle. He believes that if we're going to save money, we should do so by cutting LIHEAP, the assistance to low income families that allows them to avoid hypothermia during the arctic months of winter in the Northeast and Midwest, particularly in those areas which are not reliably Democratic. The O-Man has argued strenuously for slashing this unconscionable waste of money from its present $5 billion to $2.5 billion. Saving this money will allow us to continue nation building in Kandahar, which is where our interests really lie, not in those row houses in Philadelphia where the gas was turned off a month ago and the interior temperature has that same invigorating, chilly zing! as the air outside. Well, who voted for Hillary in the 2008 primary?
So many heroes, so little time to choose. The question is: which side to support? Where should we be spending all that money that Congress needs to borrow in order to spend almost anything? Should we borrow money and spend it on education, or borrow money and spend it on suppressing the Taliban a while longer, since the first decade of suppression hasn't quite done the trick? These people obviously know what they're doing, and I want to be sure they have the tools to do their jobs. But just to give them time to reflect on their priorities, to make sure they "get this right," as they all like to say - maybe they should take off for a couple of years and think it all through. You know?