Democrat leaders have been working overtime to foster fear among Americans by exaggerating the potential repercussions of a shutdown of the federal government. Why? Fearmongering is a great diversionary tactic for Democrats who do not want to be held accountable for out-of-control government spending and who have no intention of getting serious about budget cuts.
They myth of a reign of chaos induced by a government shutdown is just that—a myth. Harkening back to the shutdown of 1995, it seems as if every would-be pundit with a tale of woe has been paraded on the liberal media circuit.
In reality, the country is in great shape to handle a shutdown because for about a decade, the government has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on Continuity of Ops (COOP). Continuity of operations is the way the federal government prepares and plans for how it would operation during a time of national disaster, during a time when critical systems fail, or when unexpected changes in leadership occur, or when unexpectedly there is a need to change the location of the government. COOP is the government’s plan for identifying which personnel are considered essential and what tasks are considered operationally mandatory for the smooth and effective operation of our government.
I know, from my experience leading one of the federal agencies responsible for developing these plans that each federal agency already has in place a series of well-documented, frequently exercised, standard operating procedures that answer most of the questions currently causing the hand-wringing around Washington, DC.
These standard operating procedures exist for all three branches of government to ensure an enduring constitutional government. Annually, the government undergoes a minimum of two weeks of rigorous exercises to identify potential gaps in capabilities. Each year the government rigorously identifies problem areas and solutions that are cost effective and sustainable. Each year the federal government prepares after-action reports that form the basis of future areas for improvement and expansion.
These joint exercises are usually in support of national security, but the operational principles and the decision matrices are the same. Complex logistical scenarios are exercised. Complex joint contingency plans are developed, documented and put into play for all key stakeholders.
Above all, these exercises ensure that government responds calmly and responsibly and does not succumb to the fearmongering and hysteria that Dems are trying to whip up among Americans.
Democrats in congress and members of the Executive Branch who claim that the nation will be in trouble if a shutdown were to occur are being disingenuous or are perhaps intending to deliberately sabotage years of careful planning and billions of dollars and thousands of hours of professionals efforts to ensure that nothing bad happens to our great nation, its leaders or our constitutional government.
So what will happen if the government shuts down? All federal agencies have key personnel plans now in place that did not exist back in 1995. So, social security checks and government welfare subsidies get paid (most are EFT anyway). Benefits to veterans and the military and other government workers continue to be paid. The country will continue to be protected; policemen, firemen and hospitals will continue to serve their communities with distinction. What a shutdown will do is stop non-essential functions. So, for example, many of Obama’s czars and their horde would no longer be funded. Of course, there are many Americans who would not see this as a negative.
In fact, given the extraordinary amount of time lost in multitudinous government meetings that often serve no purpose other than to plan the next meeting, our government might even experience a surge of unexpected productivity.
Perhaps proof that the country could function just fine with a smaller, more productive government is what Dems fear the most. In fact, it could be that the greatest risk is simply that some in government might work to ensure that several, high-visibility programs that could be continued under a government shutdown are not—just to prove a point.
But, it would be both a crime and a disgrace if certain military or other essential efforts are put in jeopardy as a way to heighten the sense of panic and doom. Let’s hope that all legislators roll up their sleeves, sharpen their budget-cutting pencils and realize, as President Obama often reminded conservatives over the last two years that “elections have consequences”. Voters this past November have spoken: they want government to cut the federal budget and they want it to happen now. GOP legislators who are determined to return our country to a culture of fiscal discipline have nothing to fear but fearmongering itself.