Government Shutdown. That's the topic du jour in the Newsiverse. But is a government shutdown as terrifying as these talking heads are leading us to believe? Maybe it is a very bad thing if you are one of the people about to be furloughed, then again, maybe not.
There are some 800,000 government employees who are considered 'non essential' and they are all being told of their status today, just in case a last-minute deal is not struck.
Who qualifies as essential and gets to stay on the job?
Our troops, air traffic controllers and postal workers are considered to be 'essential' and their work will continue.
The non-essential workers will be asked to turn in their government IDs, blackberries and stay home until the funding is approved. They also won't be getting paid, at least not during the shut down. However, the minute the government is back on the job, the 'non-essentials' will return to work and also receive retroactive pay.
Yes, you read that right. In a perfect example of the screaming inefficiency of our government, the people sent home and told not to work, will be getting paid for not working. So, who is really getting hurt by the shutdown? NOBODY! The non-essentials will be given paid days off, and we the taxpayers will foot the bill.
Seriously. Fox News' Neil Cavuto and John Stossel explain it all for us (the retroactive back pay is about 3:40 into the clip);
Back to the shutdown. Is it really as dangerous and deadly as we are hearing?
It must be. The President is so concerned, that he left DC to spend time on the campaign trail in Philadelphia and New York City. (There's an election in 20 months you know.) Oh sure, before he left town Obama asked the leaders in Congress to 'act like adults' and get a budget approved. One wonders why he did not make that demand back in 2009 when a budget for this year should have been passed.
In spite of all the fear alarms ringing over a possible shutdown and the attendant blame-storming filling the cable news outlets, there is a little something called reality staring us in the face. Any shutdown will likely not last very long. On February 24th, a full six weeks ago, we learned from a frequent MSNBC guest, Charlie Cook, just how (not so) terrible this shutdown might be:
"Most Americans would never even know it if there was a two or six, or one day shutdown."
If most Americans would not notice the short shutdown, who would feel it the most? The dreaded 'non-essential' worker? Oh wait, I forgot, they get paid for every day they don't work.