Regarding This and Other “Government Shutdowns”

The “shutdown” and the blame game: this is not a “Trump shutdown”, nor a “Schumer shutdown”. It is a bipartisan debacle for show and ego. The same is true for each of these multiple episodes since I started public service as a Federal student employee in Dec. 1985. Been there, done that, seen ‘em all.

Stand outside the partisan mud slinging. Reject memes and ignore posts that assume only one side is at fault, amidst the actual refusal of both sides to compromise and reach a deal. They’re all lies.

As someone who voted for neither of the egomaniacal, corrupt criminals who headed the major-party presidential tickets, I can offer a perspective of independent thought, free from the ideological shackles of the D and R loyalist lemmings parroting their party lines on this.

As such, I clearly see how each side is guilty of failure to compromise here, in order to save face and pander to their bases. This is nothing new, and a common denominator to all of these “shutdowns” under presidents of both parties, going back decades.

It’s disgraceful, this time and every time. Federal employees with bills to pay are the pawns. Fortunately I have many months of savings for just such a contingency and will hunker down and wait it out. However, others (especially new and young talent, or those otherwise with low reserves, whether their fault or not) do not. Same goes for contractors who are simply laid off during all this.

Speaking as a member of the NWSEO, I can attest that the young talent and contractors are the ones my life-saving storm-alerting agency will sacrifice to other jobs and professions if this drags on much longer. It’s local businesses in areas with lots of federal employees (especially outside DC) who likewise suffer. Shameful. Whatever sides you take, remember this.

Speaking for me, yes, in a Libertarian sense I favor smaller, leaner, tightly focused federal government in keeping with the literal words of the Constitution, which can be done smartly and humanely over time. This episode is neither smart nor focused nor humane. It’s just moronic.

I’m not interested in entertaining sick-out ideas or other such foolishness. I forecast severe storms in my unnamed agency out of a passion for what I do—serve the tax-paying public, and more specifically, serving the Lord by serving the public. Even if “because reasons”, sick-outs nonetheless are selfish in that they burden the rest of the shift crew with filling in behind you, also on IOU basis. How is that “empathetic” to your unpaid fill-ins?

Devotion to duty doesn’t pay the bills, that’s true. I know that. Neither does leaving your better-prepared and/or more-devoted co-workers with shift slack to fill, and potentially worse storm-warning service to the public. That’s dishonest for one (you’re not sick), and for two, wholly antithetical to the ideal of service above self. If you are a fellow employee thinking that way, stop it. I want no part of that poison. And I won’t blame future managers for taking notes on who is doing it, and hiring/promoting accordingly. Employers rightly want people who are dependable and trustworthy, even in hard times.

I also am not the least interested in any whining about how the “other side” of yours is to blame on this issue, so don’t bother. I have no scruples about wielding the delete button in comments too, and fully expect to, given the proclivities of many I know to

  1. Reflexively blame others, or
  2. Lazily and mindlessly cry “whatboutism” to every opinion not blaming entirely the other side.

The brutally honest truth, like it or not, is that idiots on both sides are to blame. This was preventable. And now a lot of innocent Federal employees aren’t getting paid as bills mount.

On my Facebook feed, I posted about this and had to remove several comments (after making such a rule that I would) for being unproductively hyperpartisan. I predicted it, I warned the readers it would happen, yet some could not resist spouting their one-sided party lines. See, that is such a big part of the problem, in the electorate as well as inside the beltway: failure to think outside that party-line herd mentality!

To illustrate my point that this problem of “shutdowns” crosses party lines, and has for decades, since the ridiculously shortsighted section of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that enabled these debacles. I have documented 21 of them since they began (Ford Administration). I tabulated the party of the President (P), majority Senate (S) and majority House (H). Presented here is the tabulation of shutdowns by PSH composition:

RRD: 8
DDD: 5
RDD: 3
DRR: 2
RRR: 2
DDR: 1

Now you shall witness the tabulation of “shutdowns” another way, by each party of P, then S, then H:

RP: 13
DP: 8

RS: 12
DS: 9

RH: 5
DH: 16

Of course, you can have your own opinions, but not your own facts. The facts are what they are. Factually, it is obvious, and absolutely indisputable, that shutdowns are a bipartisan problem. If you still think otherwise after seeing the above tabulations, you are immune to facts and reason, and I urge you to read other material elsewhere.

What to do about it is a matter of opinion. Mine is to force these petulant little mental children to behave, since they refuse to do so on their own, by means of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. That has two beautiful benefits. It ends these shutdowns forevermore and draws down our crisis-level (and exploding under both parties’ latest President) national debt.


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