The Government Was Shutdown? I Couldn’t Even Tell!

The media wouldn’t shut up about the government shutdown. Apparently it was shutdown all weekend. While this news was treated apocalyptically by many partisans wanting to blame the other party for the shutdown, people who weren’t wasting their weekend with politics and didn’t watch the news would have had a hard time knowing that the government was shutdown. Why is that? Because a government shutdown doesn’t actually mean the government is shutdown. It means a few services that will inconvenience the plebeians are shutdown while the “essential services” remain operational:

Mulvaney said the closures would inflict less pain on citizens who use government services than the last time Congress failed to pass a spending bill in time. The 2013 shutdown closed down many government functions for 16 days until House Republicans relented on their demands that a spending bill include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Mandatory spending like Social Security and disaster relief will continue, as they have in past shutdowns. Military troops, police and other essential workers would also continue, but their pay could be held up if the shutdown lasts more than a week. Even federal workers told not to report to work would likely be paid eventually — Congress has historically voted to pay them retroactively.

Federal workers who didn’t show up to work get retroactively paid? Talk about a sweet gig. A shutdown for government employees is effectively a paid vacation. This is also why I just roll my eyes when some statist tries to make me feel guilty for cheering government shutdowns by pointing out that federal employees aren’t getting paid. Not that I care that parasites get paid but I do like to point out that those employees will end up being retroactively paid so their pain will be, at most, temporary.

Unfortunately, as a libertarian anarchist, government shutdowns are mostly disappointing to me. They’re sold as government ceasing to function, which fills me with happy thoughts. But then the government continues to function and I’m left disappointed.