It looks as though the Republican House is going out with a whimper rather than a roar, fiddling away its final hours without managing to fund the border wall President Trump promised and punting the issue to the incoming Democratic majority, which certainly is going to do less than nothing about curtailing illegal immigration.
This at least means there’s unlikely to be a government shutdown, and the White House says that Trump may turn to other avenues for funding and building the wall. There are more details at the link, although I question the story’s assertion that “the wall may energize Trump’s core supporters and enrapture red states. But the wall is utterly toxic in swing districts and suburbia.”
That implies that residents of swing states and suburbs have swallowed the far-left’s “No more borders, no more America” chants hook, line and sinker. But there’s a big difference between questioning the necessity to build a physical wall and laying out a giant welcome mat. In fact, support for building the wall is on the rise, no doubt fueled by images of the migrant caravan trashing Tijuana, trying to rush the border, and demanding payments to go home. A new Rasmussen Reports national survey found that 46% of likely U.S. voters now want a wall built on the Mexican border, up from 43% in September and 37% in July of 2017. And while 48% still oppose the wall, that’s dropped from 56% in July 2017.
So it seems unlikely that there will be a government shutdown, but just in case, it’s worth explaining, as I have during previous “shutdowns,” just how misleading that term is.
The government does not “shut down.” Only certain offices do. It might be inconvenient if you have personal business pending with the government, such as an FHA loan – or if that business involves the IRS, you might welcome a shutdown – but most services relied on by most Americans remain unaffected. For instance, Social Security checks continue to go out, Medicare payments continue to be processed, and the mail continues to be delivered. FBI agents can continue to investigate crimes while their bosses continue to scheme to undo the results of elections. And don’t worry, fliers: the TSA will continue to grope you at the airport.
Of course, in some cases, the government will try to make the shutdown as painful to the public as possible, to put pressure on politicians to end it. My favorite example came in 2013, when the Obama Administration put up metal barricades to keep visitors from walking through the open-air World War II Memorial in DC, as if letting people walk on a concrete sidewalk required a heavy expenditure of federal money. It actually cost more to put the barriers out than it would have to just let people walk through. Some brave veterans finally got fed up with that nonsense and pushed the barriers aside. If the Germans couldn’t keep them off the beaches of Normandy, no flimsy metal barricades were going to keep them out of the World War II Memorial plaza. Some, including even disabled veterans, picked up the metal barricades and dumped them outside the White House gate.
This link has more on what does and doesn’t shut down. Even if a “shutdown” is averted, it would be wise to read it because another thing you can always count on is that whenever there’s even a possibility of a “government shutdown,” Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will continue to try to panic you with the notion that the world is coming to an end. Read this and rest easy.
As long as we’re on this subject, here’s another thing that should be required reading for every American: a new report from the GAO shows why it's virtually impossible for the government to shut down or for Congress to cut spending. It's because 86% of federal spending is now on autopilot and doesn't even require authorization by Congress every year. Congress found it too inconvenient to do their job of overseeing how all that tax money is spent, so they just farmed it out to unaccountable bureaucrats.