October 1, 2013

The 24%

Using CNN's handy government shutdown chart, I added up the numbers of government employees that are estimated to be sent home until there is some resolution on Capitol Hill.

Among the various government agencies, 3,428,654 workers would normally be clocking in this morning.  And, drum roll please...a whopping 821,504 will be taking the day off.  How is a ~24% reduction in force a shutdown?  And this list appears to be only a sampling of government agencies, not to mention the fact that nothing surrounding the lives of politicians is affected.

Most of us have clear memories of this situation from past shut downs.  I waited rather anxiously for a passport to be processed, slowed by the 28 days the government was closed in 1995-96.  I still got it, and not much longer than standard processing in those days, but it was clear to me then, as it is now, that the government determines 'essential' and 'non-essential' based on how it may sway their constituency, not on actual importance of the job. 

Much ado about nothing, I think.  If you want to see real action, close the East Course at Andrews.

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