Sunday, September 29, 2013

Impact of Government Shutdown - As Little as 16% Affected

The actual impact of a government shutdown is much less than anyone might think.  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks continue to get cut and the active duty military continues to perform their duties.  Furthermore, a significant portion of the defense civilian establishment in the form of the working capital funded activities continue operations.  Here is a breakdown of the budget.

Sorry for the extra large size, but its necessary to make my point.  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid continue under a shutdown, totaling 41% of the budget.  The House has funded Defense separately, so we are up to 60% of the federal budget.  Interest on the debt has no direct, immediate impact, and accounts for 6%.  Finally, USA Today reports that:
Federal agencies have prepared plans to continue programs they deem critical to maintaining public safety and protecting property despite the shutdown. Employees who perform those critical functions will continue to work and get paid.
I believe that accounts for the 18% other mandatory programs, but have not been able to confirm.  However, essential functions account for a full 59% of non-defense workers.  Too bad that the NSA gang probably keeps coming to work.  All in all, I see about 78% of the federal budget having no impact during a shut down, and maybe even 84% if you don't care about interest on the debt.

In short, almost nothing that the American public actually cares about will be impacted by a #governmentshutdown.  The White House will make a big show of shutting White House down tours, but will be hard pressed to make the case.  The Democrats will of course be aided by a complicit media in puffing up a story about the impacts, but Republicans need to just hold the line and wait for no one to notice.

Boehner has done a reasonable job by sending over a clean continuing resolution that funds defense and bundling the rest of the budget with an ACA delay.

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