Opinion

Time for a Government Shutdown—Let Them Experience What Lockdowns Are Like for the Rest of Us

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Posted: Dec 24, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Time for a Government Shutdown—Let Them Experience What Lockdowns Are Like for the Rest of Us

Source: AP Photo/Mark Tenally

In late September, Congress passed a bill to keep the government funded at current levels through this Friday. Trump has refused to sign the comprehensive funding bill tied to providing new $600 stimulus checks to qualifying Americans. It’s clear that they don’t have much time to resolve their disagreements and pass a law President Trump will support.

Most likely, they will pass another extension, but Trump has already signaled he would rather use a pocket veto and let the next president handle the issue than sign a bill he can’t support. Such a standoff risks a government shutdown if a solution cannot be passed and signed.

President Trump has had three shutdowns in his term as president, the longest being 35 days between December 2018 and January 2019 over the issue of funding for the border wall. That shutdown forced about 800,000 federal government workers to go on furlough without pay. If an extension is not passed to avoid a shutdown, thousands of government workers considered nonessential would again be furloughed or forced to work without pay until the shutdown ends.

Government leaders love to say how they experience our pain for the lockdowns generated in many Democrat controlled states and cities during the COVID Pandemic restrictions. Many Americans have lost jobs; some have lost their businesses. Government workers can talk as though they understand, but they’ve had no cuts in salary or their retirement plans. They have been insulated from the consequences of their own actions.

Our republic was formed to protect individual citizens from government overreach and control, but now, we see a bloated government with protected bureaucrats calling on extending restrictions on citizens. While citizens suffer, the federal government just increases the federal deficit and prints more money. Government workers lose nothing; they continue to be paid at current levels. The incoming administration has the audacity to talk about increasing taxes on the citizens who have been already paying the price for their restrictive controls they’ve had in place since the Spring.

State and local governments do not have the ability to sustain deficit spending; they need the consent of the governed to raise taxes to support more spending. That is why municipal, county and state governments are in a big hurt; they have depleted revenue due to the economic restrictions they have put in place. They are looking to Washington to bail out their largesse, and President Biden and the Democrats promise to do just that.

What does that mean? Democrats will try to make citizens from the responsible states pay for the overspending of the irresponsible states like New York and California. Biden has promised to unify our country when and if he takes office, but such actions will only further divide America. It will infuriate citizens who have fled Democrat-controlled states for such irresponsible spending. 

A government shutdown may just be the blessing America needs to let government workers know what losing a job and a paycheck means. If they experienced a shutdown for 8 months, they just might finally “feel our pain” up close and personal.

Currently, government workers have no skin in the game. There is no shared sacrifice. When any shutdown furlough ends, they’re usually paid retroactively for what income they lost. What do our citizens get for having their businesses closed and their jobs lost—$600 or maybe $1,200. Citizens will get crumbs and the promise of higher taxes.

President Trump came to Washington to take on the swamp. It put up more of a fight than expected. In fact, if the results of this election stand, the swamp will have won. The Biden administration has no plan to cut back the size of government. No, his plan is to feed the beast and free it to take control of more of your life. 

Could we shut down government for two years until the mid-term elections? Unfortunately, probably not.

Terry Paulson is  PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him to speak before your group at terry@terrypaulson.com.