What we can learn from the government shutdown

As you all know, the government is experiencing a partial shutdown due to the inability of our elected officials to agree. No, that’s not today’s lesson – we already knew that.

We also know that our government has to borrow 30 cents for every dollar it spends. Some of us wonder how it can continue to do that. We know that if we ran our personal budgets that way, we would eventually end up in bankruptcy court.

And yet, we are constantly told that there is no room in the budget for cuts.

Over the past few days the Congressional impasse has forced some severe belt-tightening. Some of it has been overblown (like barricading the Veterans War Memorial that never had a fence around it) but most of it was necessary. The government, which never had enough money to pay for all it did, now has even less.

So, each government department has been forced to evaluate it’s work force to determine which positions can be furloughed and which are too critical to live without.

For example, the EPA determined that 6.6% of it’s employees are “critical”. The other 93.4% have been sent home temporarily. Similar decisions have been made by most other government agencies.

This had been very informative. One has to wonder why we have been borrowing money to fund these departments in full for all this time when the departments themselves acknowledge that only a small percentage of their employees are actually needed.

The truth is out. The bureaucracy has confirmed what most of us already suspected. It is bloated, filled with many unnecessary positions not actually required to fulfill its mission.

It’s time to trim the ranks. The government itself has shown us where to make the necessary cuts.