In Praise of Government Shutdowns

Maybe I should have called this “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Government Shutdown”?
In Praise of Government Shutdowns
The U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Sept. 25, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Roger L. Simon

Maybe I should have called this “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Government Shutdown”?

Not President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, apparently, because “60 Minutes,” of all places, informs us that his country, Ukraine, would continue to get its munificent infusion of U.S. taxpayer cash in the midst of a shutdown.

It’s not just for military purposes. We’re “paying the salaries of some 57,000 Ukrainian civil servants,” according to ZeroHedge, relying on that same “60 Minutes” research. It tells us that our government has already propped up the Ukrainian economy to the tune of $25 billion in nonmilitary aid.
Military aid is just more than $43 billion so far, according to a likely underestimation by CBS News.

And for what? A virtual stalemate between two corrupt countries.

We're told that Russian President Vladimir Putin must be stopped. Yes, he’s a despot, but we've made him arguably more popular than ever domestically as our president’s virtue-signaling energy policies have enriched his country as never before.

I've been to the region and seen it with my own eyes. Ukraine might be better than Russia, but only marginally. You smell the corruption everywhere. As for Crimea, it seemed Russian to me (admittedly, this was the late '80s, still Soviet times).

I stayed in the Hotel Yalta, where Stalin had met with Roosevelt and Churchill to divide our world, and visited the homes of Anton Chekhov and Sergei Rachmaninoff—not, to my knowledge, Ukrainians.

I was also being told by my assigned interpreter that the Ukrainians had no business in Crimea because they were Nazis. I assumed that the interpreter—obviously KGB—was propagandizing me. And he was.

Nevertheless, rather recently, rumors of continued Nazi involvement in Ukraine seem not to have been all that far-fetched.

Yet with very few questioning it, our money keeps flowing Zelenskyy’s way as if the Cold War had never ended.

Meanwhile, here on the homefront, the U.S. national debt rockets on into the tens of trillions: $33 trillion-plus at this writing. The debt per citizen will reach $100,000 momentarily.

We're in the midst of “stagflation” thanks to some indecipherable policies that have recently been dubbed “Bidenomics.”

Needless to say, we're hearing calls for a government shutdown, mostly from those in the House Freedom Caucus.

To our friends in the mainstream media, shutting down the government is very baaaaad. Our country would implode, and with it, the globe. And the Republicans would, of course, be at fault.

President Joe Biden—the “race card” always at hand—is saying that blacks will suffer most.

All of this is more than utter nonsense. It’s an outright lie.

Nothing much happens during a government shutdown, except that the many useless parts of the government are exposed, and the many bureaucrats of the Deep State are sent home for what amounts to an “all-expenses-paid” vacation when restitution is almost automatically made after the settlement.

Ironically, the last time that we had a shutdown was during the Trump administration, when it was President Donald Trump who caved after 34 days. At issue was the president’s demand for funding for a border wall, which too many in Congress opposed. As I said, could it be more ironic than that?

This time, Freedom Caucus members are demanding that areas of expenditures be isolated, not lumped together for obscurity as they always are, so that Congress and the public would be able to see exactly how much is being spent on what.

What unbelievable chutzpah! Imagine that—trying to get our arms around the mind-boggling debt that soon will make interest payments our entire budget.

Centuries ago, that slaveholding reprobate Thomas Jefferson (away with all statues!)—praised just because he was a brilliant thinker, architect, and author of those corny words about “holding truths to be self-evident”—suggested that the new United States might need a good rebellion every 20 years. We have trouble closing down our government for a few weeks to save our republic.

Sadly, prospects aren't good for the Freedom Caucus, nor are they for the American people, who, if asked in the blind—without party affiliation and so forth—whether it would be a good idea to specify each area of expenditure in the federal budget, would likely vote in the affirmative by a vast majority.

We the People? Fuhgeddaboudit?

But We the People of Ukraine? Well, that’s another matter. A lot of folks over there could use a new car. But make sure it’s electric and American-made.

Teslas are fine, but ixnay on the ones made in China.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, columnist for The Epoch Times. His latest book “American Refugees” will be published by Encounter Jan. 9, 2024 and is available for pre-order now. “Roger Simon is among the many refugees fleeing blue state neoliberalism, and he’s written the best account of our generation’s greatest migration.”—Tucker Carlson.