Quote of the Week
“…none of this is fair to you…”
— President Obama
Be happy, dear public servant reader, that you work for a Canadian government. The U.S. government shutdown has affected 800,000 public service employees and is having an impact on services to millions of Americans.
How government agencies are responding to the closure runs the gamut. The Department of Defence (of course) is still running, but if the shutdown lasts until October 7, military personnel could start to lose pay. Another critical service, the Treasury, expects seven percent of its workforce to come to the office – so some tax duties will continue.
A random check tells us that all sites run by the American Battle Monuments Commission will be closed. The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is not doing any business.
All this means that public servants are not at work – and not getting paid.
President Obama sent all public servants, including those in the military, a letter in which he noted that the political climate has “treated you like a punching bag.” At least someone seems to care.
The beauty of the government shutdown, and its son, sequestration, is that you can cut government without actually going through any due or public process. The Business Insider notes that the shutdown will close organizations Tea Partiers hate such as the EPA and food stamps. The process will, though, will keep ones they love, such as the military, up and running for a while at least.
It is also worth noting that the shutdown could go on because many services that citizens really care about are still going to be operating: Air travel will be largely unaffected, the post office will stay open, and high risk foods will still be examined by the FDA.
So it seems that this is a victory, perhaps only for the short term, for the government haters. Senator Angus King (an Independent) characterized them this way on MNSBC: “There’s a pernicious inner logic to what these characters are doing. They hate government. They don’t want government to work. They don’t believe government can or should work, and so to them, crashing the economy and crashing the government is a kind of weird success, and it’s very hard to reach agreement with people who don’t reach a kind of basic appreciation of the institution. This is dangerous. We’ve never been here before.”
Be happy you work in Canada.