(From my show, The Conversation with Tony Katz, on PJTV.com)
The Federal Government is contemplating a shutdown. If a continuing resolution isn’t passed, government will do something it hasn’t done since 1996 – which is send home non-essential workers and prove to the American people the excessive amount of bloat in a government bureaucracy.
Oh…wait…this just in. Looks like the house and the senate have passed an extension. The government will not shut down this week.
Well…that’s good to know. But it really screws up this article now doesn’t it?
So, let’s just pretend that the government is going to shut down. Yeah..that’s it. Pretend. I mean, honestly, what is so bad about a government shutdown?
In an article on cnnmoney.com, by Charles Riley, he states that,
“…a shutdown would also result in the furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal employees, but the government would keep essential services — like air traffic control, and the national security apparatus — in full operating mode. And yes, the mail will still be delivered.”
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed, but the essential services remain. Which should also mean that the non-essential go…right?
While no figures have been given for the amount of people who might be furloughed in this shutdown, if it happens, the numbers from the 1995-1996 shutdown show that 284,000 people were furloughed. In the earlier shutdown in 1995, 800,000 people were furloughed.
According to a USA Today report, in 2009 the average pay of a federal civilian employee was $81,000. ok, with benefits it was $123,000…but the lower number still proves the point.
I did a quick calculation. 284,000 people, at an average salary of $81,000. That’s $23 billion dollars, which is a huge sum of money that we pay every year to people who, in the event of a shutdown, are viewed as non-essential. The jobs are non-essential, the money we pay them, however, is very essential.
As an aside, if you have issues with my numbers, contact me. i’d hate to think i was getting this wrong, that somehow i forgot to carry the two, or figure in for some other insane or interesting mathematical equation.
Also, the number seems huge, but, the Federal government is expected to spend $457 billion on personnel costs in 2011. My number of $23 billion in cuts is only 5%
Yes, there are things that will be stopped in a shutdown. Yes, you wont be able to see the monuments or national museums. And, as some websites were quick to point out, there will be a stoppage on toxic waste clean up. Yet, according to recent Rasmussen polling, 58% of the people surveyed were ok with some kind of shutdown while Democrats and Republicans figured out how to reduce spending.
Reduce spending…seems I’ve (Tea Party) heard that (Tea Party) before (Tea Party).
So, The Conversation Is: What do we really lose in a government shutdown? And can we do without so much government?
Watch The Conversation, with my guests Larry O’ Connor and Christian Hartsock.