Monday, October 7, 2013

Sticking It to Us Again and Again

Trey Smith

If a government shutdown genuinely shut the entire government down, you might be able to trace a few silver linings from an otherwise bad situation. Military conflicts might end (or at least be temporarily suspended), the destructive drug war might grind to a halt, mass surveillance might be put on hold and congressional legislators might be financially punished for their malicious behavior. But a government shutdown is mostly just a shutdown of good things — stuff like Head Start and food assistance to low-income moms and kids. Indeed, because of the way shutdowns are structured, the only silver lining from a budget stalemate is that you might get to hear a few curse words and see some nudity on television.

Of course, there is an insidious method to the madness of government shutdowns. In general, the dividing line between what gets shut down and what doesn’t is a similar dividing line between what America’s political culture typically venerates as The State and what that culture lambasts as The Government. Consider what will not be shut down:
So, in sum, major portions of The State — aka the Military-Industrial Complex, the Police State, the revenue-generating apparatus of the IRS and professional politicians in Washington — are somewhat exempted from the effects of the shutdown. Meanwhile, The Government — aka the Safety Net, the Regulators and the Inspectorsgets hit hard.

At a practical level, this institutionalized double standard creates incentives for government shutdowns — at least on the political right. That’s because while conservatives loathe The Government, they love The State.
~ from GOP's Massive Fraud: The Shutdown Isn't Really a Shutdown! by David Sirota ~
There's really no need for much comment here. What Sirota basically is pointing out is that the parts of The State that might impact the corporate benefactors keeps humming along DESPITE the so-called shutdown. The parts that don't impact those same corporate behemoths in a substantial way are the ones that get shuttered or massively reduced.

Put another way, those who already slurp up egregious amounts of public dollars will still be paid, while those of us who rely on government services to survive will be punished even more than usual!

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