For the third time in a couple years, the administration, mainstream media writers, and various Republican members of Congress all pretend there is some sort of budget story in the works.

Government Shutdown Hype

Lisa Rein at the Washington Post kicks off the government shutdown hype with After past shutdowns, Congress gave federal workers back pay. This time? Don’t count on it.

A government shutdown next week would jeopardize the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers who could be told to stay home. More than 2 million other employees who are deemed essential by the government — including the active military — would be entitled to their salaries but might not get paid on time.

While there is no law requiring that nonessential employees be compensated if they are ordered off the job, Congress has in the past voted to reimburse their losses once shutdowns ended.

But this go-round could be different. The bitterly divided Congress includes many lawmakers who are unsympathetic to the plight of federal workers and could be loath to help them recoup their money.

“It’s a very different time and a very different Congress,” said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers. “I’m concerned when employees who were here remember that last time employees were paid and think it will happen again, because it’s not a given at all.”

More Hype

Erza Klein adds to the Washington Post hype with There’s much less time to avoid a government shutdown than you think

In theory, the deadline for avoiding a government shutdown is 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30. That gives Congress seven days to figure something out. But those seven days are, at this point, pretty much spoken for.

Still More Hype

Paul Kane, also writing for the Washington Post says Sen. Ted Cruz happy to be outlier in shutdown showdown

Ted Cruz began a frantic effort Monday to bend the Senate to his will by employing tactics that have earned him mostly enemies in his less than nine months in the chamber.

A master of fiery conservative oratory, the freshman senator is trying to block funding for President Obama’s health-care law with a strategy that, if successful, will almost certainly lead to a partial government shutdown next week. The Texan has become the face of an effort variously described as the “dumbest idea,” leading Republicans to a “box canyon” and ending with their political “suicide note.”

And those descriptions were from Cruz’s fellow Senate Republicans. On Monday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (Tex.) joined the list of longtime GOP senators objecting to Cruz’s strategy, which is intended to shut down the government until and unless Democrats agree to abolish funding for Obama’s health-care law.

This has left Cruz in a relatively familiar place, almost alone in advocating a tough strategy that is winning him the adoration of conservative activists but isolation and quiet disdain among his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

The Key Sentence

Did you catch the key sentence in the above article?

Here it is: “Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (Tex.) joined the list of longtime GOP senators objecting to Cruz’s strategy, which is intended to shut down the government until and unless Democrats agree to abolish funding for Obama’s health-care law.

Another Wolf Call?

In simple terms, Republican leaders have no intent on doing anything but making noise (and complete fools out of themselves).

How many times can Republicans cry “wolf” on a government shutdown and have the call be believed?

Of course mainstream media, especially the Washington Post is ready to go along with the hype, effectively creating a story where there is none.

I Hope I Am Wrong!

I actually hope I am wrong. I hope government shuts down and stays shut down until there are significant, verifiable cuts in the budget (not game-playing cuts in future budgets that won’t be honored).

My comment may sound harsh, but it isn’t.

  • The quicker we stop funding insane military actions the better.
  • The quicker the US stops being the world’s policeman the better.
  • The quicker the US balances its budget the better.
  • The quicker we get rid of government employees, the better. 

My comment holds nothing against Federal employees trying to do their job. It’s not their fault.

But do we really need a BLS? Do we really need a Department of Energy? HUD? FHA? etc., etc. I suggest we don’t. There are countless government agencies that deserve no funding at all.

And to further reduce government expenditures, it’s high time we scrap Davis-Bacon and all prevailing wage laws.

There is so much government waste, it’s hard to know where to start.

Where to Start, When to Start

Where to start is debatable; When to start isn’t.

The time to start is now (years ago actually), but given that Republican leaders have already thrown in the towel on forcing the issue, the odds of a government shutdown are very small. The odds that a short government shutdown would really accomplish anything are precisely zero.

History suggests that somewhere along the line, Republicans will totally and completely wimp out (because they always do). But as I said, I hope I am wrong.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock