The More Things Stay the Same

Byron York:

In a conversation Thursday, a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government’s discretionary spending in any given year. And that is still flowing. So if you took that money, and added it to all the entitlement spending that is unaffected by a shutdown, plus all the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, and added it all together, how much of the federal government’s total spending is still underway even though the government is technically shut down?

I asked a Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee for an estimate. This was the answer: “Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue.


For this we have to set up barricades around monuments and evict elderly private homeowners off of unaffected public lands. “Shutdown theater,” indeed.

Back in March, when the battle was over ending the Sequester, I called the Administration’s antics “government by temper tantrum.” Here’s what I said then:

The government wants something. It wants to spend $3,803,000,000,000. It’s been told that it may only spend $3,759,000,000,000. (Please notice that nine zeroes are left unmolested.)

And so now the government is going to throw a tantrum. It will hide its aircraft carrier, stop food-safety inspections, close the White House to tourists who flew in from hundreds or thousands of miles away. In other words, shrieking “GIVE ME WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT IT!”

We should tell it No. We should remind it that the Department of Education, which doesn’t educate a single child, has a budget almost twice the size of this year’s sequester. We should remind it that most Americans took a 2% pay cut starting last January, and that’s part of the 8% whack our incomes have suffered since 2008. We’ve had to make do with less, we should say, now it’s your turn.

But the Whiner-in-Chief won’t listen. It’s his sacred duty to drive the gravy train — right off the cliff.


Other than the particulars — aged veterans have replaced tied-down aircraft carriers — the tantrum remains the same.


Daddy’s job is to say No.

My three-year-old knows better already. Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom still thinks he can get his way, if he acts like a big enough s***.

Don’t let him get away with it.

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