*Updated 01-09-2019 to include the President’s Oval Office address at the end of the article.
The hysteria surrounding the border wall shutdown by the epitomes of hypocrisy in our establishment media is deafening. Stop it. We get it. You hate President Trump and everything he stands for, even if it’s something Progressives have supported in the past, such as reducing illegal immigration. For examples of professional Progressive politicians’ Cirque du Soleil-style flipflops, please view the videos below provided by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR.org).
Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama
Bill and Hillary Clinton
Were these stalwarts of the Progressive movement initially sincere in their comments regarding immigration reform, or were they simply pandering to what they perceived as the prevailing public opinion? If they were sincere, as it seems they were, what changed?
But I digress…
Let’s get back to the more salient point concerning the notable hysteria surrounding the border wall shutdown showdown. The news and talk show pundits act as if the latest shutdown is the end of civilization as we know it. I’ll circle back to “latest” in a bit…
Is it unfortunate that furloughed government workers will go without a paycheck during this shutdown? Of course. Are furloughed government employees entitled to unemployment benefits while on furlough? Yes. In the past, have they received back-pay for their furloughed time? Also, yes. “In fact, the Senate has already approved legislation that would guarantee impacted employees are paid retroactively” (Heather Graff – WJLA ABC 7, Washington, DC – 12-27-2018).
The segment within Federal Government employ that will feel the income impact of a shutdown is contract labor. Government contractors probably will not receive back-pay, and if they are unable to find other contract labor in the interim, they may go without. Unfortunately, that is the nature of contract labor in any field.
Contrary to past hysteria, like Senator Feinstein’s “people are going to die” government shutdown warning in January of 2018, the world will not end and there will not be mass casualties as a result of this shutdown, which leads my “latest” comment and the history of government shutdowns.
Jennifer Earl (with credit to Kaitlyn Schallhorn) of Fox News provides an excellent summary of past government shutdowns, from President Ford in 1976 to our present debacle. Here’s a summary:
- President Gerald Ford: 1 shutdown, totaling 10 days.
- President Jimmy Carter: 5 shutdowns, totaling 56 days.
- President Ronald Reagan: 8 shutdowns, totaling 14 days.
- President George H.W. Bush: 1 shutdown, totaling 3 days.
- President Bill Clinton: 2 shutdowns, totaling 26 days.
- President Barack Obama: 1 shutdown, totaling 16 days.
- President Trump: 3 shutdowns*, totaling 16 days (and counting).
*President Trump’s February 9, 2018 shutdown only lasted nine hours.
To be clear, the summary above does not tell the whole story. Some shutdowns were partial while others were complete. For a better understanding, please visit the link to Fox News.
For now, let’s all take a beat and at least be honest about the real prospects of what may or may not happen as the shutdown showdown continues. We need border security, and the world will not end as Congress negotiates with the President for an interim solution. In fact, some people may realize we can function just fine with less government. Shh, don’t tell anyone. The idea of smaller government may be contagious.