Review & Outlook: The Shutdown in Print - WSJ.com
Jay Jamison stashed this in News
Nine days into the partial government shutdown, the operative word is partial. The best estimates are that about 83% of government outlays are still flowing, including to the military, Social Security, Medicare, airport screeners and the Postal Service. As for the rest, one benefit of the shutdown is that it has reminded the country that it can function well without the dozens of federal bodies that exist solely to layer more burdens on the private economy.
Consider the evidence in the Federal Register, which is the record of new government rules that Washington is imposing on the rest of us. Here are the number of pages published on certain recent days in the Register: 498 pages on September 11, 193 on September 17, 369 on September 20, and 401 on September 30. But after the shutdown, the number falls to 12 pages on October 7 and all of six on October 9. And yet our glorious Republic still stands.
Wall Street Journal is starting to resemble Fox News.
Is the Wall Street Journal advocating we blow through the debt ceiling too, to show that's not a big deal either?
I think the larger point is that the "government shutdown" has curtailed less than 20% of the federal bureaucracy. All this hue and cry about a shutdown, and for the vast majority of Americans, there's been zero impact. I'm still getting my mail, paying my taxes, and stripping as I go through airport security. This reminds me of all the hand-wringing about the sequester--we were told by our President that we'd start really feeling the impacts over time. I've felt nothing, and I've never had a conversation with anyone who's complained about the sequester hurting them. It leads me to suspect that our government bureaucracies have gotten so bloated and overgrown that despite their good intentions, it's time to pare them back. This is all the more trenchant when many Americans are facing a tax burden on Americans is crossing 50%--meaning we're literally working more for the man than for ourselves.
My understanding is that a lot of sources of revenues have stopped -- the parts of government that issue licenses and permits, perform food inspections, collect tariffs, take in money to let people into parks and zoos, heck pretty much the entire IRS is currently furloughed, too -- and if we aren't getting a license or going to a park, we wouldn't notice this.
The part where the VA will be unable to send out checks to 5 million veterans on November 1 hits more people close to home.
But your point makes me wonder why the heck drug enforcement is still getting money. I would not call that any more of an essential government service than collecting revenues or paying veterans.
This infographic helped me a lot in understanding what got cut and what's still being fully funded:
Also note that many agencies are currently in "hang on" mode, and real pain starts to kick in next week: