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Thanks to the inability of Congress to do the job they’ve been elected to do, we again face the threat of a government shut-down. By midnight of Friday, April 8, we could see:

  • the closing of national parks and museums
  • delay of Social Security claims and card issuance
  • interruption of law enforcement case processing, recruitment, testing, and hiring
  • suspension of bankruptcy and child-support services
  • disruption of federal environmental programs
  • closing of passports and visas offices
  • no health and welfare or veterans’ support services

Rest assured, though, fellow Americans; essential services such as police, fire fighting, armed forces, utilities, and corrections, will continue. Oh, and don’t worry, the US Postal Service will continue to deliver your junk mail and what few social security checks still pass through that system. Supposedly federal courts and the VA will still be open and air traffic controllers and the TSA will ensure your safety in the skies. While thousands of federal workers will be forced into furlough situations, Congress and the President will continue to accrue compensation. According to About.com, the last shutdown cost taxpayers $800 million, including $400 million in wages to federal workers who did not report to work.

What is and is not considered essential seems ludicrous to me. In my humble opinion, if we are in such dire consequences that our government must shut down, the whole dang thing should come to a screeching halt. We could call it a National Fast. It might do us all good to struggle along on our own for a few days or a week. How long could we last without our the unseen services that our tax dollars provide? What would life be like with no federal infrastructure?

I suspect it would be a shocking lesson to discover just how much we all rely upon the beneficence of our good ol’ Uncle. Lives would be lost, folks! Imagine a world in which any program that has ever used federal funds for survival would cease:

  • no federally supported medical services__ especially emergency room services
  • no federally supported fire, emergency, or hazardous waste services
  • no food and drug inspection
  • no border patrol
  • no National Guard or Coast Guard
  • no armed forces
  • no federal prison management, guards, or staff
  • no interstate management of power grids
  • no federal regulation of the banking industry
  • no interstate law enforcement, traffic control, or road maintenance (think snow removal and bridge safety)
  • no national weather service or disaster preparedness
  • no interstate transportation management
  • no restrictions on weapons
  • no welfare, social security, or medicare checks
  • no federal employees – no federal salaries to bump up the economy

The list goes on__and on. Geez, we’d save a pile a dough, wouldn’t we?