Los Angeles – Unless something changes, at midnight Eastern Time, the United States Government will shut down for the first time in seventeen years. The senate has refused the bill to fund the government because a measure within the bill to delay the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for a year, and also repeal a tax on medical devices.
However, the shutdown battle is really something quite small. In about seventeen days, another battle will take place within our congress, a battle of much greater significance. The battle to raise the amount of money our nation can borrow. If, at midnight tonight, nothing has been passed by the congress and signed by the president, although what will happen is being called a shutdown, America will still operate. National Parks will close down, you can no longer saunter down nature trails, which will of course be a grave trial, the police force will still be there. The inspectors will still be there inspecting food, the mail will still come, the Federal Reserve will still run.
But on the seventeenth, if nothing has been passed, we will not be able to borrow money to pay interest on money we have already borrowed. Then there may be a default, a massive global financial cataclysm, the bond market could collapse, and our credit rating be downgraded. Even if a budget had been passed, if there is no money be brought in besides tax revenues, which will not cover the costs, then we will truly be headed toward a massive endgame indeed.
What is being heralded as a government shutdown is nowhere near it. The military will still be there, the coast guard will still patrol, and Homeland security will not relax its vigilance on our safety. Even the benefits will continue to pour out. We will not go without our bread and circuses. In the time of the founding fathers, what is being cut did not exist.
Much of the difficulty is because of things that are there that should not be. There does not need to be multiple agencies being certain that the government uses less gasoline, there does not need to be dozens of programs for the same problem. To pay for all of this we must borrow, and a man who borrows becomes servant to the man who lends to him.
Percales, the great Greek general is said to have often repeated to himself “Remember Percales, you command free men.” Perhaps the ladies and gentlemen of the government would do well to remember that. They represent Americans, and we are freemen. We will not be another man’s slave, not in taxes, not in debt, not in life, for they would rather die then lost their liberty.
Andrew C. Abbott