The partial government shutdown’s impact and the teachable moment – Part 1
As you know, each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1
Feel free to shoot away with your questions and I’ll do my best to keep up. Today’s question comes from Ignacio and was so thoughtful and comprehensive that I've turned it into a three-part series:
I enjoy your show but lately your commentary regarding the government shutdown is proving how out of touch and hypocritical you are. To say:
1. You would fire an employee for calling in sick during a shutdown.
2. These workers know what they signed up for.
3. Their pay and benefits compared to the private sector.
1. If your station had a shutdown you would continue to work but REALISTICALLY could not continue to work as you need to feed your family. Your wife would be the first one to have to find work with pay temporarily. (If a) BUSINESS OWNER terminated someone for not coming to work during my company shut down the lawsuit would be immense.
2. These workers in their contracts or hiring papers DO NOT SIGN or is there anything in writing that these circumstances occur and are required to work without pay. As a WAR VETERAN, it’s not even stated in that contract. What you will find is the department of defense is only required to give you one hour of sleep.
3. You sound very ignorant even comparing their pay and benefits to the private sector. My pay while with the government and the military was peanuts, especially going to the other side of the world to dinghy in many missions and a war to end up being an exposed to test vaccines prior to conflicts impairing your health and shaving 20 years off your life. I’m sure you get paid better, way better than an active duty radio/tv MOS member.
How about promoting the fact that all these politicians REGARDLESS OF PARTY are getting paid while THE PEOPLE who work for the government ARE NOT.
Bottom Line: First, I understand the frustration. I’ve had countless numbers of similar complaints roll in with far less thoughtfulness. Thank you for your service and considered response. I know emotions are running high. Before addressing the specifics of your note, I want to explain where I’m coming from with my approach to address the news of the day during the partial shutdown.
I believe in the premise that the federal government should be limited and work for the people it’s tasked with serving. The only mandated function of our federal government is the defense of the country and basic infrastructure within it. Third, those who sign up for essential service federal jobs have done so by choice and should be prepared to serve during times of adversity. Finally, US history, government, civics education is woefully lacking and misunderstood in this country.
What would be hypocritical of me, would be to abandon these principals and my belief in limited government. There’s no doubt that the easy path is to go along with the standard story on “how impacted the federal government employee is” as almost all other news media is doing. Over 80% of the world’s population isn’t free as we understand freedom. That’s because most governments retain absolute power over their people and decide what rights their citizens will have.
The United States is uniquely different. We’re born free as Americans and the government’s role is to simply provide structure so that while we enjoy our freedom, we don’t infringe on the freedom and rights of others in the process. To in any way assert that it's a mandate as Americans to provide for the non-essential federal government is false and based on a false premise.
Through 1865 we had five federal government agencies and no federal income tax. They were:
- Department of War
- Department of State
- Department of Navy
- Department of Treasury
- Office of the Attorney General
That’s right. For the first 76 years of our history, we only had those five departments. Since 1865 we’ve added 425 federal government agencies with the proliferation of them starting after the federal income tax was adopted in 1913 and exploding during the New Deal in the 1930s. In doing so, we’ve implemented massive federal income taxes and managed to accumulate over $21.5 trillion in debt in the process.
It’s a model that’s bloated and unsustainable if we want to maintain our freedom over the long run. With every piece of expansion of our federal government, a bit more of our liberty is chipped away. But rather than viewing it that way, Americans are conditioned to feel as though the agencies and the people that work in them are victims that desperately need the resumption of status quo government as quickly as possible.
Real leadership is doing what’s difficult but is in the best interest of our country. The truth is that were I in a position to do so, I’d dramatically reduce the size of our federal government by eliminating hundreds of federal government agencies. You might not agree with me, but I couldn’t be further from being a hypocrite on this issue. Those who suggest they support freedom and liberty yet argue for the resumption of status quo federal government are the hypocrites.
Photo by: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images