Originally Posted by General Tsao
OK I'm saying "No the government won't shut down."
But, my reply was going to be a question - what does it mean if the government shuts down? What really happens in that event? Stuff stops getting funded? Troops have to come back?
That's a good question. I was working as a contractor support employee for the Government during the 1995 Government shutdown. A lot of my fellow workers were put on temporary furlough for the duration of the shutdown. A lot of the Government folks were told to go home too, but they were "laid off" with full pay, so it was basically a vacation for them. I was told to stay right where I was and keep working, so the "shutdown" didn't amount to much as far as I was concerned.
I suspect this is more about political theatre (and political posturing) than it is about dealing with the budget and deficits. The politicians are playing their usual games - attempting to maneuver for political advantage and trying to get a leg up for the next election. That's why any "shutdown" will be short lived. (Do any of you really believe our elected leaders - even the die-hard Tea Partiers - will go more than a month without pay just to score a debating point?)
I suspect real budget cutting (and fiscal discipline) will come about as the result of a crisis in the financial markets - especially the bond markets - and not as a result of political compromise. Our elected leaders are not going to dispense economic pain unless and until they are (reluctantly) forced to act.