The government shut down? Most people didn’t even notice.
It must be true, though, because shutdown mania has consumed ABCCBSNBCCNNNYTIMESWAPO. The generally- imperceptible shutdown involves congressional Democrats’ determination to deny President Donald Trump funding for his winning campaign pledge to build walls on porous, easily-transgressed sections of America’s southern border.
Ironically, Democrats now oppose funding border walls which, in 2006, most congressional Democrats voted to build. Then – like now – the public wanted officeholders to improve American border security. Because walls do not inconvenience legal immigrants, this latest shutdown puts Democrats in the unenviable position of defending illegal immigration.
Congressional Democrats have capitulated to anti-Trump resistance fervor, believing, no matter how implausibly, that closure won’t implicate them. Already facing the existential threats of American prosperity and a so-far successful Trump administration, Democrats foolishly chose the impulses of their inflamed base over common sense.
Americans who know shutdowns aren’t really shutdowns have become mostly indifferent to the Democrats’ shutdown theater. Essential government functions always continue uninterrupted – this time most were already funded – so the stakes are rather trivial.
But, context is everything.
In 2015, Democrats threatened to shut down government if Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortionist, wasn’t appropriated $500 million in taxpayer money. One assumes, then, that Democratic priorities demand government shutdowns over funding non-government organizations with shady histories rather than attending to legitimate government responsibilities like national sovereignty, border security and public safety.
We know the shutdown is a “crisis,” only because the #Resistance at ABCCBSNBCCNNNYTIMESWAPO declared one only minutes after most of the government resumed operations following the five-day Christmas hiatus.
A crisis? For whom? The most recent somewhat-noticeable shutdown, lasting 16 days, occurred in October, 2013. Democrats and their collective media megaphone blamed Republicans. But, only thirteen months later, 2014 elections “saw sweeping gains by the Republican Party in the Senate, House, and in numerous gubernatorial, state, and local races. The Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since 2006, and increased their majority in the House.” Republican influence in Washington and state capitals hadn’t been as great since 1928.
In reality, there are no practical reasons why government should shut down, even partially. For years, Senate Republicans have been trying to enact a law stipulating how the government would operate in case of budget disagreements. A 2013 floor vote on an amendment for an “automatic continuing resolution” specifying that, if an appropriations bill wasn’t signed into law, affected programs would run at existing spending levels for 120 days, after which spending would be cut by 1 percent, followed by another 1 percent cut every 90 days until new funding was approved.
A near party-line vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed, defeated the amendment. Even tiny spending cuts are anathema to elected Democrats who consider redistributing taxpayer money to be guarantors of their sinecures.
But, don’t panic. If, like most Americans, you haven’t noticed one and want the truth about shutdowns, check your paystubs. If federal taxes are withheld, the government is open.