Shut Down The Shutdown!

Robert Tyler argues that, even despite the attractions of limited government, enough is now enough

Crack open the champagne and rejoice! The US Government is in its second week of Shutdown, with no sign of opening again soon. At least, that’s what I would be saying if it wasn’t causing so much damage in real terms… and if I actually had a bottle of champagne.

The Shutdown is thought to be costing the United States $30 million a day on top of usual deficit spending. This is despite the fact that “all non-essential government services” have been shut down along with the government. But when you look at what “non-essential government services” are – you start to question why the government was ever in charge of them in the first place.

Parks. War Monuments. Natural Beauty sights. Parking Lots. Museums… The list goes on and on. And most of the things on that list could very easily be privatised. Is it really impossible to go for a walk in the park without the government? Can’t the Museum system survive as a trust or a charity in private hands?

But whilst those have been shut down, Air Force One is still in operation, Congressmen are still being paid, and the NSA is still spying on US citizens and other countries’ citizens as well. You know… “Essential services”.

Obama's letter to Federal Employees
Obama’s letter to Federal Employees

The last year of US politics has started to show the flaws in the political system. The fact that both lobbying, and the desperation of getting re-elected, have led to excessive spending and the build-up of a literal mountain of debt, just to “please” the voters, has also shown the de-facto two party system has become so partisan they’re even willing to shut down the government at the taxpayers’ expense.

What’s more is that the Shutdown is because they couldn’t agree on a federal budget. So, in effect, Congress is spending the taxpayers’ money on shutting down the government because they couldn’t agree how to spend money they don’t have on things the government doesn’t need.

And instead of fixing the problems by cutting the budget and creating a climate that business can grow in and prosper. they’ve decided to play the blame game. Obama and Harry Reid blame the Republicans. McCain blames the libertarian wing of the GOP and the rest of the GOP blame the Democrats.

What’s more, instead of saving money and forcing Congress to go back to the drawing board, and fix the budget, the Shutdown has caused bigger rifts to appear. And with a second fiscal cliff and possibility of a US default looming, I’m going to say something I wouldn’t normally say… Speaker Boehner, President Obama… Please bring the government back before you destroy the global economy.

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