Shutdown 101

Thursday, April 07, 2011

On the Brian Lehrer Show today at 10:40; audio and a recap will be posted here by 2pm.

As the budget deadline draws near, many citizens and businesses are wondering what will happen if Congress fails to agree on a budget before Friday at midnight. Paul Kane congressional reporter  for The Washington Post, outlines what actually happens if the Federal government shuts down, which workers would get paid, and how it would affect everyone else.


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Comments [6]

George M from Clifton, NJ

The Federal Government may shut down if Congress cannot reach a deal on long-overdue legislation to finance the government through the end of September. What are we talking about? The Democrats are proposing $33 billion in cuts; the Republicans $61 billion.

To put it in its proper perspective, let’s say you earn $43,480 annually. That would mean you spend $76,400 annually. The Democrats would want you to spend $657 less and the Republicans $1,215 less.

These numbers are an interpolation of the 2001 Federal budget: spending $3.82 trillion; Revenue $2.174 trillion; $1.65 trillion deficit; Democrats proposed $33 billion; Republican proposed $61 billion

Apr. 07 2011 11:29 AM
gary from queens

Why Is the Continuing Resolution Issue Time Rather Than Subject Matter?
April 6, 2011 7:34 P.M.
By Andrew C. McCarthy

Since we are now down to the juvenilia of fighting over one-week continuing resolutions (CRs) incorporating budget cuts that are laughably tiny given the red sea of debt we are in, I have a question: Why is time rather than subject matter driving this train?

That is, why do GOP stop-gap proposals anticipate funding all of Leviathan (minus a sliver so small as to be undetectable in a gargantuan, multi-trillion dollar monstrosity of a budget) for X number of days (7 this time) only to ensure that we have the same kabuki dance a week from now?

Is there a reason why the GOP can’t propose a subject matter-driven CR rather than a time-driven CR?

In other words, why can’t they say, “We will provide X amount to be allocated to the following items from now to the end of the fiscal year” — and then specify the items (e.g., debt service, national defense, social security, defense, FBI, etc.) that are essential enough to warrant continued federal spending during a debt crisis? Wouldn’t that show that the GOP is serious about funding a limited government? Wouldn’t it put the onus on the Democrats to justify shutting the government down in order to force spending on functions many Americans don’t believe government should be performing at all?

Concededly, I am no budget wonk, and I may be missing something here. But I’d love to know why our side has to play by their rules. Making time rather than subject matter the driving force of negotiations and public debate allows the Left to play this as the GOP shutting down “the government.” The Dems have no need to defend unconscionable spending on a lot of nonsense. Moreover, this approach buries the issue of the $105 billion that was sneakily allocated to implement Obamacare — the radical program whose unpopularity historically propelled the GOP to a majority in the House.

Why can’t our guys say, “Look, we don’t want to play this week-to-week game. Here’s the list of things we’re willing to fund from now until the end of the fiscal year. We have an open mind about the rest, but it’s on you to make the case that particular items of spending are necessary despite our financial straits.”

And yes, I know the other side would never agree to this — at least not willingly, not until public opinion forced their hand. But isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t we be doing something purposeful to shape public opinion?


Apr. 07 2011 10:54 AM

What about Federal Courts?

Apr. 07 2011 10:51 AM
Robert from NYC

Excellent point, if non-essential why are you there. Hey, they can become essential by going over the Medicare and become fraudulent use inspectors!

Apr. 07 2011 10:49 AM
gary from queens

Respectfully, I have better questions for your guest Brian:

How many cents does the federal gov borrow for every dollar it spends today?

How much is the government spending this year just on the interest on the national debt?

At this rate, how soon will the insolvency be inevitable?

Apr. 07 2011 10:30 AM

What about visas and work permits? I think those are two different departments; the visas are issued by embassies which belong to the State department, while the work authorizations are issued by the USCIS, which is under the DoJ.

Both pay themselves with the fees they collect by the way...

Apr. 07 2011 10:20 AM

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