The TRUTH about Government Shut Downs

Government shutdowns happen under every President and are caused by both parties. Scare tactics are used by one side to try and gin up support for their agenda over the other. Until recently shut downs have largely gone unnoticed by the public. Why? Because, in truth, a shut down affects only DICRETIONARY spending. All functions that the federal government is obligated, by the Constitution, to carry out must be paid for. Social Security, Medicare, defense and other “mandatory” spending do not figure into the yearly spats over budgetary figures, and in order to change that a law (or several) must be amended by Congress.

The “continuing resolutions” this country has had these past 6 years, along with the fights about them, the scare tactics thrown out there, have all been over DISCRETIONARY spending limits. I see a light flickering there, right behind your eyes. You’ve got it. They have been about money the Government WANTS to spend but does not have to in order to function. The bill 1.1 Trillion dollars passed last night in the House was about 1/3rd of the budget for 2015. The other 2/3rds was already funded by LAW, but once again you had your scare mongers from the media out there talking about a “Government Shut Down” if it didn’t get passed. You know the scare tactics used, “Social security payments will be curtailed”, “Soldier’s pay and benefits will be curtailed”, don’t believe them! As I said earlier, these are within the “mandatory” part of the budget and will be paid no matter what.

Do national monuments, commissaries and the like have to be closed because of budget shortfalls? NO! In my 22 years of active service not once did the commissary on base close because of a budgetary dispute, and there were many. Did my pay ever come late? Once, under Jimmy Carter, when they switched from the last day of the month to the first day of the month for military paydays. (A budgetary trick used to say they saved money at the end of a fiscal year.) National parks and monuments close at the whim of the President only, as did the commissaries during the last shutdown. They say that they have to close because the Park Rangers can not be there to police them, but more truthfully they ARE not there to collect the fees they charge to use something already paid for by your taxes.

So what is so scary about a temporary shut down of maybe 1/3rd of the bloated Federal Government? I say NOT A DAMNED THING.

Don “MadVeteran” Day


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