Monday, September 30, 2013

About A U.S. "Government Shutdown"

It now increasingly looks as if there will be a "government shutdown" in the U.S., something that could last a while since Republicans, who control the House of representatives, insists that Obamacare should be repealed or delayed while the Democratic Senate and President says that there is no way they'll ever agree to that. Since the two positions are mutually exclusive, there's no deal that can be made without either side essentially surrendering.

Actually, though, most of the government won't be shut down. So-called "mandatory spending", including for example Social Security, Medicare, and yes most Obamacare spending, isn't affected. Nor are so-called essential functions like the military.

Still, a lot of functions will be closed. So what will the effect of a shutdown be? The last time there was a shutdown, in 1995, Jay Leno had this analysis during an appearance in Las Vegas:

Imagine what will happen when the federal government shuts down. Illegal immigrants could start pouring into our cities, drug use could sky rocket. In L.A. they'll think they can get away with murder [This was shortly after O.J. Simpson was acquited]. So what's different? No different really.
Then he corrected himself by saying one thing would change:

Congress is being laid off too, and this effects the local economy here in Vegas too. Five brothels just went out of business, just like that.


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