This past week the United States government was in the midst of a shutdown. The government was closed. Everybody in the media was talking about how catastrophic this is, that lawmakers cannot agree on a budget and also cannot agree on a “continuing resolution” that keeps the government open in the absence of a budget. The Congress kicked the can three weeks down the road.
Personally, I’m in favor of a government shutdown. When I heard it was coming, I packed a “go bag,” including some packages of Raman noodles and several changes of socks. After all, Warren Corruptional is a government facility and it operates largely on federal bloc grants that come from the federal government. And if the federal government shuts down, that means the corrections officers have no pay checks– and there’s nothing stopping me from hopping the fence and heading for home.
But, not so fast. Sadly, a government shutdown is not a government shutdown. When lawmakers cannot agree on keeping the government open, the only things that “shut down” are the “non-essential” government functions. That is, when government closes, the senate and the house still get paychecks. That means the people most responsible for the government shutdown, those most-incapable of performing their jobs, continue to get paid for their non-performance. The military also continues to get paid. So does the post office. And schools. In fact, I’ve been looking around and it appears that everything in government was still functioning. I think that this government shutdown resulted in the temporary closing of the Statue of Bigotry, two libraries, and a campground at a national park.
Everything else was still functioning.
My fuckin’ “go bag” is still sitting there on my locker-box collecting dust. Well, short of a couple packages of Raman noodles. Dinner last night sucked.
So, a few observations about this “government shutdown.” First, the only thing that got shut down was the “non-essential” functions of government that the government itself recognizes as being non-essential. So, what do I know– but aren’t those the things that even from a hierarch position the government shouldn’t be doing anyway? And when those non-essential functions were restored, doesn’t that mean that the government is now spending tax money to run government functions that even the government recognizes the taxpayers don’t need? So aren’t we better off with a government shutdown than we are with government at full steam?
Second observation: If we’re better off with a government shutdown, then instead of trying to avoid the next government shutdown and keep the government running, shouldn’t we instead be working to expand the shutdown? I can’t recall a single time that the courts ever did anything I thought was beneficial; I think we should expand the government shutdown to include the courts. I suspect that most Americans would agree that we should put a stop-payment on checks to all of the members of congress– permanently. And I can’t imagine a reason to give the orange bastard in the White House a single dime.
We could close all the schools that are failing. Bring home the military from everyone else’s yards all over the planet. And since we now have Skype and instant messaging and cell phones, we have little use for all those highways. We can have face-to-face communication without being there, which means we can let most of the roads go.
So, what’s left?
Last observation: Given the paralysis of government to accomplish the simplest things, are these really the folks we want in charge of our world? It occurred to me that we could trade out members of congress with just about anybody else and we’d improve things. Imagine for instance if we traded out lawmakers for professional wrestlers. Wouldn’t that be more fun? At least with pro wrestlers, we’d have some entertainment. We might end up with the same end result, stalmate and stagnation, but the process would draw crowds of thousands and make millions on pay-per-view that could pay down the debt… the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader smacking the opposition with fold-out chairs…
So, shouldn’t we strive for a permanent and complete shutdown of government?
I can’t think of anything more exciting.
This is Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Corruptional in Lebanon, Ohio. If you’re listening, you ARE the resistance…
* * *