The shutdown isn’t really a shutdown!

David Sirota, “GOP’s massive fraud: The shutdown isn’t really a shutdown!,” Salon, 06 October 2013

Of course, there is an insidious method to the madness of government shutdowns. In general, the dividing line between what gets shut down and what doesn’t is a similar dividing line between what America’s political culture typically venerates as The State and what that culture lambasts as The Government. Consider what will not be shut down:

So, in sum, major portions of The State — aka the Military-Industrial Complex, the Police State, the revenue-generating apparatus of the IRS and professional politicians in Washington — are somewhat exempted from the effects of the shutdown. Meanwhile, The Government — aka the Safety Net, the Regulators and the Inspectors — gets hit hard.

At a practical level, this institutionalized double standard creates incentives for government shutdowns — at least on the political right. That’s because while conservatives loathe The Government, they love The State.

Remember, Republicans in Congress have historically been stalwart supporters of ever-larger defense budgets, more expansive surveillance, a persistent drug war and basic tax collection services to finance those expensive initiatives. Quite naturally, they also like to get paid, even when everyone else isn’t getting paid. Therefore, the laws that automatically exempt The State from government shutdowns effectively encourage Republican lawmakers to support said shutdowns. They get to close primarily the parts of the public sector they oppose — while protecting the parts of the public sector that they (and their campaign contributors) champion. …

Read the full article here.