The average low-information voter, who depends on getting his news from the FNM, is trembling in his shoes right now because the life-ending government shutdown he has heard so much about has finally arrived. How in the world can the United States possibly survive such a calamity?
But let’s get serious: Every reasonably well-informed individual with an IQ above 32 realizes that a government shutdown is not only not a bad thing, it’s actually a positive. Let’s face it, the only way to stop government spending and borrowing is to close shop. And, amazingly, when that happens (as it has 18 times in the past), the anti-Armageddon truth is that the average person is totally unaffected!
While the amount varies from month to month, the government brings in, on average, about $200 billion a month from (mostly unwilling) taxpayers and pays out, on average, about $20 billion in monthly interest charges. That’s a tenfold coverage.
Second, Social Security and Medicare are easily covered by government revenues each month, at least right now.
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Third, there’s plenty of money available to meet our current military obligations (though we need a good debate about how much military we really need to properly defend our country).
Fourth, everything that’s left (about 30 percent of scheduled expenditures) can be prioritized, with the only question being who should make the decisions as to what goes at the top of the list and what goes at the bottom.
Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner once insisted that the notion of prioritizing payments is futile because the debt limit must be increased regardless of which spending path is adopted. He boldly…