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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Today, Oct. 1, the sun rose. Birds chirped. I got up and went to the Sportsman to have breakfast. Tammie was there running the cash register and overseeing things. Cindy was cooking. Woody was holding forth. The men’s breakfast group was eating and talking sports. A bus took kids to school.
Today, Oct. 1, there was a partial shutdown of the federal government. Did anyone outside of Washington, D.C., notice or care?
I read in the paper that 800,00 federal workers would be furloughed. Furloughed, not fired. That means they will eventually get all of their back pay, and the net effect on them will be that they got an extra paid vacation. It’s good work, if you can get it.
Eight hundred thousand furloughed workers for only a partial federal government shutdown. These are the non-essential jobs.
If they are “non-essential,” why are the taxpayers paying for them in the first place?
There are 50 states. That comes out to an average of 16,000 furloughed federal workers per state, plus how many ever more thousand who weren’t furloughed. Do you feel like you’re getting benefit from all of those thousands of federal workers? We’re not talking about the military here, just the bureaucrats. Thousands upon thousands of federal bureaucrats per state.
Let’s do a little math. Those 800,000 civil servants are paid an average of $123,049 a year in salary and benefits (2009), more than double what private sector workers earn. As I said, it’s good work if you can get it. The total tab for these hordes of “non-essential” federal workers comes out to $98 billion per year. Averaged out among the states, it’s close to $2 billion for Virginia taxpayers alone. You fund all of this. Do you think you’re getting your money’s worth?
I have an idea. Instead of a partial shutdown, let’s shut down the whole thing. All of it, permanently (except the military). Then we can start over from scratch and rebuild the federal government as we want it, instead of being saddled with this hideous monstrosity that has come about in unplanned and uncontrolled ways over many decades.
In the process of this rebuilding, we would, of course, be guided by the Constitution. We would build a federal government that does only what the Constitution says it is to do. That would be the “enumerated powers” as laid out in Section 8 of Article I, plus the president’s constitutional powers, as defined in Article II, Section 2, and as constrained by the 10th Amendment, which states that the powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states.
Oh happy day.
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