shutdowns have consequences

You know, when we extol the virtues of an all-volunteer fighting force, this isn't what we mean:

But it's not really funny: [Sec. Gates] warned 175 U.S. troops -- on behalf of more than 1 million of their comrades -- that their mid-April paycheck might be only 50 percent of what they're expecting. If the shutdown continues, there would be no end-of-month paycheck. Not surprisingly, the impending shutdown was the subject of the first question Gates got as he spoke with troops at Camp Liberty. He stressed that any pay shortage would only be temporary.

Bet that's what the Taliban tells their guys, too. Can you imagine being a young soldier some 7,000 miles from home, and being told by a top official of the U.S. government that your next paycheck is going to be short?



Gino said...

yes it is.
we need to get the pitchforks and guillotines out. i'm ready for that.

chris said...

The problem with government shutdown is that they always go directly to the nuclear option and we have done nothing to stop them from being able to do it. What goes first? Non-essential office personnel, right? No. It's the teachers, the police, the firemen, the soldiers. They hit you right in the gut by challenging your sense of safety and make it your problem instead of theirs. Sure it's effective, but in an extremely juvenile tactic. Some would call it "well planned." I would prefer to describe it as "cowardly."

Dave said...

Actually, the money that continues to flow after a shut down illustrates the source of our budget problems. Without an annual budget, government employees don't get paid. But entitlement payments are somehow enacted such that even without congressional action, they just continue. And that is, frankly, obscene. And it is also a stark reminder of the political might of free money for old people. And that's the root of the problem.

And unlike the civilian employees, I was told this morning that even if I am not getting paid, I still have to come to work. Oh boy!

Dave said...

I also should have mentioned that I think that things are going to get much worse before they get better. Even though entitlement spending (medicare, medicaid, social security) accounts for over half of all federal spending, no one - not even the GOP - is apparently willing to touch those problems. And if politicans are willing to temporarily stop paying soliders in the field, then they are more than capable and willing to cut just about all government services to the bone before they cut one dollar of free money for old voters. So my sense is that once the banker cuts off the money supply and the government has to really choose, everything -everything - is vulnerable such that the federal government will become a very, very large insurance program with a very large collection of well-armed security guards.