There's a lot of talk about a potential government shutdown if the budget impasse continues between Republicans and Democrats.
But here's the little secret. The government doesn't shut down. Not most of it, anyway.
Social Security checks would go out, and the troops would remain at post. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the border patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open.
Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by his predecessors. And that's not counting 600,000 Postal Service employees or 1.6 million uniformed military personnel exempt from a shutdown.