Thursday, October 3, 2013

Partial Shutdown of the Federal Government

Gallup poll shows that during the 1995-6 shutdown, President Clinton's approval rating fell by 10% points and his favorable rating dropped by 5% points.  In contrast, his GOP nemesis House Speaker Newt Gingrich saw his approval rating fall by only 4% points and his favorable rating actually increased by 6% pointsEconomic history suggests that the unemployment rate remained the same and even declined during and after the previous federal government shutdown.  The GOP should persevere with its current course until the Obama regime offer enough concessions.  Ideally, they should include the postponement, if not the full repeal of Obama's health insurance law, along with substantial cuts in federal spending.

The rampant waste and abuse of funding by federal agencies underline the necessity of government shutdown.  We see:
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork.

In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges.

And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.”
One federal employee leased a $53,000 take-home car with taxpayer money in apparent defiance of federal regulations and regularly billed the government for service at shops such as BMW of Fairfax.

Others charged the government monthly for family members’ cell phones and high-end TV packages and Internet at home — and even at second homes.

Managers freely made out checks to employees without requiring documentation of how it would be spent, giving $1,316 directly to one who said she was reimbursing herself for furniture she bought for a “home office” and using convenience checks to give workers bonuses.

Government employees used federal purchase cards to order items such as a $560 Bose stereo and $1,490 for two high-definition televisions that could not be located.
The partial shutdown is already curbing federal spending.  I am pleased to note that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is already cutting its expenditures.

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