Hart: Government shutdown is not a problem

Hart: Government shutdown is not a problem

December 8th, 2017 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

President Donald Trump accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with congressional leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Related Article

Congress averts shutdown, sends Trump stopgap spending bill

Read more

The theatrics surrounding government funding standoffs could be avoided if Washington politicians didn't have the budgeting skills of an Ole Miss frat boy. I am not the least bit concerned about the federal government shutting down over the spending bill to keep it running. A shutdown is not a problem — I worry when the government is open.

Dems are using DACA "Dreamers" funding as a shutdown tactic. They, and the permanent bureaucracy in D.C., obstruct Trump at every turn. I fully expect the four turkeys Trump pardoned at Thanksgiving to have their sentences overturned by a California Court of Appeals.

There have been about 13 government shutdowns. The last one was in 2013, and no one noticed. The "Deep State" is so petulant that the feds took extra steps during that shutdown to post guards at open air national parks to prevent citizens from walking through them. Two things again became apparent then: How little we need most of government, and how spiteful public servants can be when they do not get their funding. They fake falling down and playing hurt like a World Cup soccer player.

During the last sequester, Obama even shut down White House tours. Tourism is the second most common reason people go to D.C.; number one is to beg for a government handout.

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Of course, members of Congress get their full pay during shutdowns — under the Americans with Next-to-No Abilities Act.

Don't raise the debt limit. Let Congress live within its means like the rest of us. Think of it this way: If someone owed you lots of money, would you prefer that he be allowed to raise the credit limit on his credit card or be forced to live on a budget?

We have a $20 trillion debt, up from $10 trillion when Obama took office, and much of it is owed to China. All the while, Congress ping-pongs spending bills back and forth between the House and Senate. Here's what we know about ping-pong: Championships happen every four years and the Chinese always win.

Why in the budget battle have there been no conversations about cutting government? Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have tried to advance that novel idea and are now "enemies of the state" or, better said, enemies of the Deep State. The cruel Nancy Pelosi said that "the government cannot cut any more." Nancy will not rest until Democrats recapture the House or until she captures all 101 Dalmatians.

Why not require every government agency to appear before Congress and define what it does, why it does it, and how much it costs? We then decide if we want to keep it. If whatever service it purports to do can be found in the Yellow Pages, I say shut that agency down. We have 800 military bases in 70 countries. We have 14 intel agencies who don't cooperate with each other or with Congressional subpoenas. Really?

House Speaker Paul Ryan has a tough job. Marshalling Republicans is like gift-wrapping an octopus. Libertarians wanted less war, less government and less debt. The evangelical wing of the party wanted to station U.S. troops at all gay weddings and any public restroom a transvestite might use. But you have to hand it to the Dems; they do what Pelosi and Schumer tell them to. They have not had a meaningful inter-party debate since 1968.

As speaker of the House, Paul Ryan wields a big gavel. I hope the large gavel is him compensating for his "small" government. I feel for the speaker. During Chuck Schumer's whiny diatribes, Ryan looks like a man enduring an old lady's long story at a Walmart returns counter.

If we shut down government, who will pay politicians like Rep. John Conyers' sexual harassment settlements? In fairness to the "icon" John Conyers, he was first elected in 1964 during the Johnson administration.

Threats of government shutdowns will continue. Such standoffs have no easy off-ramps for either side; neither wants to be the first to blink. But Dems have the decided advantage, since Nancy Pelosi has not blinked since the 2013 sequester.

When politicians head over a "fiscal cliff," I pull for gravity and a low tide. It's our fault. About $38 million will be spent just on the Alabama Senate race for a job that pays $174,000 a year. And we expect these folks to balance a budget?

Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com