Saturday, 20 January 2018

Does the Shutdown Really Matter?

Here's the thing, if you went to an average group of one-hundred working-class folks and asked them if they are overly concerned about the government shutting down....the majority (probably toward 70-percent) will say no. 

A decade ago, I think it would have been closer to one-third, but in the past ten years....an attitude has developed and folks actually ponder upon this.

For example....is there any service that you are seriously worried about losing for a week or month?

The TSA and air control folks?  They are still working.

The FBI?  They are still working.

Federal prisons?  All operating.

National Parks?  If you charge an entry fee....you are open (unlike the last episode).

Walk around....ask your buddies.  The vast majority are unaffected. 

The last seven shutdowns?  Go and test folks....most have no memory. 

  1.  2013: 16 days
  2.  1996/1997: two actual shutdowns toward the end of 96 and beginning of 97.....total of 27 days. 
  3.  1990: an entire weekend.
  4.  1986: basically one single day.
  5.  1984: basically one single day.
  6.  1981: basically one single day.
  7.  1980: basically one single day.
 
The thing is....the news media has often wandered into this (particularly in 2013) and really hyped up folks about the issues.  Well....folks sat down and talked about the issues, for weeks and months after that one shutdown.  For most, they tend to blame both parties as dysfunctional and regard it all as opera-like in nature. 

I tend to think that once you get past two weeks.....political folks tend to worry about the theme and message getting lost, and that the public starts to think you can survive without hundreds of thousands of federal employees. 

My belief is that come early February, if the shutdown is still in effect....there'll be some meeting of both party leaders, and a fake resolution will occur to get them out of this mess.  In the past, this all worked fine, and the President would rubber-stamp it.  But now?  With Trump?  Could they work up a fake resolution and just pretend to maneuver out of this mess?  I have my doubts. 

And if we made it for thirty days without fixing the problem?  Oh, that would freak out most Senators.