Out of Money? The Shutdowns of the Federal Government
Going into the second week of our partial shutdown of the federal government, it is difficult to even feel or understand the affects on our lives or businesses. Only those with direct involvement to the federal government, typically through employment, or a family member who may be laid off at this time, are feeling the adverse effects. For some of us, including me, we may be in the middle of pending transactions or loan applications that are now put on hold as a result of the shutdowns.
A number of think-tanks out there have predicted the loss, in terms of money, resulting from prolonged shutdowns. It is anybody’s guess. The self-proclaimed role of our government, “to serve and to protect”, is carried out by the employment of nearly half our population, who work in offices, enforcements, and regulatory processes “to serve and to protect” the rest of us. During this shutdown period, all of these workers have been promised to get a paycheck. So it is difficult to understand how we may be saving any money by shutting down.
While congress battles out a variety of issues with regard to getting the government going again, the $16.7 trillion dollar debt looms as the largest obstacle to agreements with our legislators. This debt, which was at $1 trillion in the year 2000, is now almost 17 times higher, and no end to the spending in sight. Some in congress are attempting to rein in the runaway spending by refusing to continue spending. Others feel that running government is the most important thing to do, and have little concern for the amount of debt being acquired.
In our own household budgets, when debt continues to increase, the only viable answer seems to be CUT THE SPENDING. It is hard to understand how the United States can maintain a deficit of nearly $1 trillion dollars each year, which continues to add to our burgeoning debt load. Much of the federal budget goes to entitlement funding….. pensions, social security, medicare, welfare, and disability payments. We have now become a nation that holds out our hands for the next paycheck from the government, rather that being a nation of producing citizens who work and think and conduct business to create wealth upon which we can build capital and create wages. This shift of behavior over the past couple of generations is causing a burden to this country like one that has never been seen in the past, throughout all ages. It will be interesting to see how our leaders can maintain such lucrative lifestyles for those who produce nothing, and still keep enough workers energized to produce anything at all.