usdaA few thoughts on the so-called government shutdown.

First, let’s just call it what it is. Political theater with bad actors!

What we have does not constitute a shutdown. If you go to the airport, TSA agents will still grope you. The IRS will collect taxes from American paychecks during the duration of the shutdown. The NSA will continue spying on Americans. Yemeni’s remain under the threat of droning. Heck, Obamacare even went live on the first day of the shutdown. Well, sort of.

This shutdown sucks.

Instead of a real suspension of government activities, a huge number of which violate the Constitution, we have barricades at national parks and shuttered websites like

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.

As if it costs money or takes manpower for a website to continue floating in cyberspace.flotus

Apparently the furlough took out Michelle Obama’s social media person. Her last tweet declares updates will be limited during the shutdown.

And the greatest tragedy: they turned off the panda-cam at the National Zoo.

Despite all of the breathless reporting and faux panic, it appears so far the most significant impact of the shutdown fell on campers in national parks.

That should tell you something.

Not to diminish the actual inconvenience some will experience. Federal employees will do without pay, although they will likely receive back-pay once things resolve. And some Americans will experience delays in accessing non-essential government services. But in truth, the federal government shouldn’t be doing about 90 percent of what it does. The fact that some express near panic at the prospect of even this limited shutdown reveals how far America has strayed from James Madison’s description of the American system.

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce; with which the last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.

We should barely even notice a federal shutdown because the feds shouldn’t be doing most of what they do. So, even while this whole thing really represents a media-hyped charade, we find in it a valuable lesson. Decentralization makes for a more robust system. If the states were actually fulfilling their intended roles, most of this shutdown stuff wouldn’t even matter.

Just think – you would still have your panda-cam in a truly constitutional government!

One final thought: the same incompetents who brought you the federal government shutdown also came up with Obamacare. Something to think about.

Mike Maharrey

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