Addicts & Government – Shutdown Day Three

First, let me just express my outrage at the Obama administration for sending the National Park Service to barricade the WWII monument in Washington, D.C. Lest you (and you know who you are) cry out about my intolerance of the administration, I’d like to point out that many other monuments and exhibits have been left open – precisely because they are open. No gates, no doors, no fences and have been like that for years.

This administration went out of it’s way to close the WWII memorial and actually put up fencing to keep people out. Wrong crowd to mess with, Barack. Did you really think that the guys who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima and dropped out of the skies in Remagen would be stopped by some fencing? If I lived in the area I’d take a week off and do my bit for civil disobedience at the monument every day.

There is a vindictive and mean streak in this administration that wants to punish the public and turn every thing that happens into the fault of the Republican party. I’m anything but a fan of the Republican party, and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time that’s pretty obvious. The same kind of mendacity that led to threats to slow down air traffic in the wake of the government’s sequester – a device proposed by the administration but still blamed on the House of Representatives -led to the blocking of the Greatest Generation in their visits to the memorial.

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We’ve now gone almost four years without a budget. Let’s see, that dates back to when one party took control of the White House and the Senate. Strange how that worked.

My title for the blog today is descriptive of my frame of mind here. I’ve had several comments (all deleted) about how horrible the shutdown is, and how it hurts us all. It sounds more than a little bit like the soundtrack to an episode of Intervention.

The argument, and it’s a terrible one, is that we’re dependent on the flow of money and services from the government and anything that slows that down, or stops it, will hurt everyone in the nation. I’ll gladly admit that it does hurt some people – people that need a passport, government employees, people applying for new benefits or immigration changes, etc. But when the government classifies 1,100,000 employees as nonessential, I have a bit of a problem with the whole issue.

We, the American people, have become addicted to free stuff. At all levels of government. And when the whining starts about the layoffs and lack of paychecks for government workers I am sympathetic for those that work hard and have lost their check. I am, however, all too aware of how it goes in the private sector – same thing but it’s permanent.

I can’t imagine my employer having 1,100 extra employees for more than about the time it takes to lay them off. Nor can most people that work for private corporations. We, the ones who pay for government, don’t have the luxury of what amounts to perpetual employment.

There are many good and noble employees of the Federal Government. As a matter of opinion, I’d venture to say that most of them are pretty good citizens with their hearts in the right place. But the government continues to grow faster than any other employer. More things all the time. More duplication and waste all the time. And it has to stop somewhere.

The government shutdown is not the ideal way to address the issue of government size and waste. But the cowardice shown by our alleged leaders (on both sides of the aisle) in my lifetime prevents any rational debate of the topic. People bemoan the Tea Party – and yet they are not radicals. They are more like the founders of this country than either of the two major parties. Good government is not synonymous with big government. Good government is a lean device that takes the least treasure and freedom from the hands of the citizens. It is a government that does not intrude into the private affairs of its citizens, and instead works to protect them from crime and war. It is not the device (at the federal level) to regulate schools, oatmeal production, and school loans.

We, like the people in that episode of Intervention, have for so long just handed more money to the addict that we see no other option. The addict becomes more ill every day and we become less well and wealthy. Only when we cut off the addict and quit feeding the habit does everyone get better.

It is time to cut off the addict. Let’s get this poor wretch into a rehab facility and get them clean and sober. It’s all of us who benefit from that step towards recovery.

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