Sam Burnham, Curator
As the longest partial shutdown of the Federal Government in history continues there’s a lot of y’all about the economic impact as well as the reduced services available to the American people.
I heard earlier that the impact on the Washington area alone is now over $2 billion and increasing by well over $1 million a day. This is the result of a shutdown of approximately 25% of the Federal Government. That means about 75% is still going like normal. And there is still this level of disruption.
There’s a lot of talk in the media about furloughed workers, economic impacts, and ways to end the shutdown and prevent future closures.
One thing I’ve yet to hear is any meaningful attention being given to the fact that the Federal Government is just way too big, that we’re spending way too much money on it, and that we’ll never get out of $21 trillion of debt with such a behemoth gobbling borrowed money as hard as it can go.
Here is but one example:
During the shutdown, no new craft beers can be introduced. That’s because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is not open to process any new applications for such. I’d never even heard of that agency before last week. The TTB has over 500 employees and is a bureau of the Treasury. They’re responsible for collecting taxes on alcohol and tobacco, including imports. Over 500 people responsible for products I can produce without leaving my back yard. Why does the government even need to be involved? This group isn’t even monitoring safety or quality, that falls under the FDA.
This is called overreach. It’s called tyranny.
With that, I ask the question the media isn’t asking. Which furloughed agencies should be permanently shuttered? Which parts of the government are redundant, unconstitutional, inefficient, better handled on the state or local level, or just ill-advised? Which parts can we live without? Which parts should we live without?
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire