David Hines
Bully for shutdown
By David Hines
November 1, 2013

The government is shutting down, and in its absence there's so much to do – taxes to not pay; raw milk to drink; unregulated lemonade stand to open; pot to grow.... My cup runneth over.

Members of Congress, mostly Democrats, have been expressing great surprise and disgust over their opponents' bullying. Why are they surprised? And if it is such a disgusting shock, why have they not resigned from office? Bullying is what government does. Government says, "Give me your lunch money or I will hit you." "Do as I say or I will hit you." This is by definition the power of government. It is coercion, pure and simple. This is not news; George Washington recognized the fact a couple centuries ago, and St. Augustine long before.

President Obama says, "I will not negotiate." The Constitution gives to the House of Representatives the power of the purse. Mr. Obama doesn't like it, so he bullies. Here's a graphic example: Pelosi waving the Big Hammer at protesters against Obamacare as she walked to the Capitol to pass the ACA. The usual gavel wasn't intimidating enough; she needed to supersize it for the occasion. Bullying was to be more blatant than usual.

Despite patrolling halls all over the world, the bully hasn't been able to grab enough lunch money. He needs to borrow in order to pay his henchmen, harming his reputation as bully. The nation is embarrassed about being broke. I'm sure I could see it if there were a collective face capable of blushing. Who's embarrassed? Having railed against the profligate spending that got them to this point, I feel more vindicated than embarrassed. Embarrassment is for those who thought deficit spending could go on forever.

What's this I hear about nonessential personnel and services? They were formerly deemed so essential that the taxpayer needed to be billed for them at virtual or actual gunpoint. Were the politicians lying then, or are they lying now? If they are nonessential, why have we been paying for them all this time?

Government employees are furloughed, though not all of them. Those required to keep people away from government grass are deemed necessary. The ones off work are wondering how to pay the bills. Welcome to the club; many mundanes (ordinary citizens) have been pondering that for quite some time. Mundanes who are working haven't been earning nearly as much in pay and benefits as government workers doing similar jobs. If the latter haven't been able to save any of it for a rainy day, they now have a better grasp of what's happening outside of Mordor on the Potomac. When they return to their nonessential jobs, shall they have more empathy for the rest of us – maybe enough to take a pay cut? I think it highly unlikely. They shall side with the union bully for raises at our expense.

Our financial stability has been threatened for a long time. Now it's coming to a head – every few months. There is no intention to address the root causes, only efforts to paper over the problems for the moment. Neither side has any real intention of having government live within its means. This ensures that I can continue avoiding taxes, drinking raw milk, operating an unlicensed lemonade stand, growing a pot garden....

What's that you say? There is money enough to continue harassing citizens, Syrians, Iranians, guitar makers, and organic farmers, but none to let people walk in government-owned woods? That makes no sense. Is government shutting down or isn't it?

© David Hines


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David Hines

Born in a mill town, David Hines has seen work as a furniture mover, computer programmer/analyst, and professional musician... (more)


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