GLENN: Today, the threat of a government shutdown still looms like Dickens’ “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come;” A dark phantom warning of misery and chaos unless we keep kicking our impending doom down the road.
Frightened by the specter, the Senate passed a funding bill last night, staving off the government shutdown for the next two weeks.
But imagine for a second that we let the government shutdown occur. What would happen the next day?
Widespread despair and pandemonium?
We wake up all snug in our beds like Scrooge on Christmas morning feeling a bit lighter and happier, that’s what happens!
The truth is that the government doesn’t really “shut down” during a government shutdown.
Millions of government workers keep on truckin’.
NSA agents will keep snooping on you. TSA agents will still give pat downs. Traffic controllers will still try to stay alert with Red Bull. The Post office will still deliver your packages. Border patrol officers, federal prison guards, FBI agents, doctors and the nurses at the VA, and most of our military service men and women will all still show up to work.
Social Security and Medicare checks will get mailed and food stamps will be distributed.
There will, of course, be some agencies and institutions that will have to close for a bit.
Like the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The National Organic Program. The United States Antarctic Program. The Smithsonian Institution. The National Museum of Natural History. And the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Just to give you some examples.
But keep in mind that not all employees will be told to go home from these agencies and institutions. Just the non-essential ones.
Which begs the question: Should non-essential employees be employees in the first place?
I’m gonna say probably not.
A government shutdown isn’t scary. What’s truly terrifying is realizing how bloated we have let the government become. If the government shuts down before Christmas, it might just be the best present of all. And then maybe we can finally address the most chilling ghost of them all—The Ghost of Present Debt Ceiling.