John Ransom

Funny man Jon Stewart says it’s a catastroph@!, while showing a clip of largely old, white congressional Republicans. Paid-faker Stephen Colbert calls it a “pin prick” in imitation of Sarah Palin. He then reckons the pin prick in relation to the economy, which he shows as fragile as a balloon.

Cheap laughs that would be funny, if of course, they were … funny.

But they are not meant as humor.

“When a humorist ventures upon the grave concerns of life,” said Mark Twain, “he must do his job better than another man or he works harm to his cause.”

Notice: Twain said “man” not Democrat.

These days Colbert and Stewart are the leading policy wonks, intellectuals and idea guys for the Democrats. Their pronouncements are more like what passes for policy white papers coming from liberals.

Both Colbert and Stewart came closer to presenting an actual federal budget than the Obama White House has, simply because they ran advertising spots at paid commercial breaks.

But outside of the DC-to-New-York-to-Boston-to-L.A. corridor, the government shutdown is little more than a yawn fest, with government workers taking a paid vacation.

As my colleague Peter Boyles pointed out the other day on the radio, in every other shutdown, federal workers have been paid for the time that was missed.

So, in essence, the shutdown amounts to nothing much more than the postponement of the spending that the feds were going to do right now.

With kind of a poetic logic, this makes sense to me.

After all, it was just last year, during the exact same quarter, that Obama accelerated government spending to boost jobs, the economy and his own reelection campaign.

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance, host of Ransom Notes Radio and you can catch more of the best money advice and monetary commentary by him daily 10am PT, 1pm ET at or on Comcast Cable