Dan Popp
How Republicans could win the shutdown
By Dan Popp
January 22, 2018

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. – Thomas Jefferson, 1824

As I write this we're in the midst of another federal government "shutdown" – a propaganda term that could be the poster child for "fake news." If Chuck Schumer is speaking in Congress, and Congress is part of the government, what does "government shutdown" mean?

I personally love government shutdowns because, if extended for a few weeks or months, they would prove to citizens how little government we really need. Americans would see that people aren't "dying in the streets" because unconstitutional programs X, Y, and Z aren't redistributing the loot today. A government shutdown is a game of "chicken," not between Republicans and Democrats, but between politicians and the People. They will blink. There's too much at stake for them, and nothing at stake for most of us. That's why government shutdowns last ten days, not ten months.

This leads to my idea about winning the shutdown. President Trump likes winning. And this idea would be a win/win/win for the Republicans, the People, and the Constitution. There's nothing to it, really. Right now, during the fake shutdown, the "essential" government employees are still clocking in and clocking out at their regular times. So some intrepid lawmaker should stand up and say, "I have just introduced a bill to terminate the employment of all non-essential government workers, effective immediately. This will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, balance the budget and make the government shutdown moot."

The fact that we have "non-essential" government workers is antithetical to representative government. Government is designed to do only necessary things. Our government in particular is limited to just a handful of those necessary things. When government (that is, legalized collective force) is used for non-essential things, then either people are being hurt for no reason, or people are being hurt for needs that could be supplied by the private sector. To say that a different way: Either force is being applied for no benefit to anyone, or force is being applied to achieve benefits that could be obtained without force. That's what "non-essential government" means. It means that harm and wickedness and abuse of power are occurring.

So lopping off the giant cancerous growth of Undersecretaries of Font Maintenance and Deputies of Moss Measurement would be a win for the People.

After you've yanked those parasites from the body politic, the bold public servant could again rise to say, "I have just introduced a bill to compare the jobs of the remaining, so-called 'essential' government workers to the Enumerated Powers in the Constitution." This is the win for the Constitution, which would be the more difficult victory. It's difficult only because we've traded our birthright as free men and women for a bowl of stew, or in this case a SNAP card. The owners of the country have become the servants, and vice versa. It's difficult to throw the bums out when the bums are buying your groceries.

But that's a little off-topic.

The admission that most government workers are "non-essential" is a confession that our government is out of control, unconstitutional, and oppressive in its nature and scope. We should take the oligarchs at their word and apply the simple remedy. Government employees that are both essential and legal can stay on; those doing non-essential or unlawful work must collect their stuff in a box and be escorted from the building.


Some Congressman or Senator might have the stones to do it. Let's get that bill going. Fire all government employees who are not reporting to work during the "government shutdown" because they're not "essential" to even the bloated, contra-constitutional bureaucracy that has become our government.

Of course, just the threat of exposing the sham would be enough to end the shutdown post-haste. And it would neutralize forever the threat of a government shutdown as a political weapon.

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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