Congress—shutting down the government does NOTHING!

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General Aviation Groups Urge DOT to Reopen Aircraft Registry for Essential Functions

aviation association letterhead

NATA and Other Leading Aviation Associations Emphasize Importance of FAA Aircraft Registry to GA Community

Federal Offices Closure does not save money

Backlog decreases Governmental Efficiency

Unessential Designation demeans workers


“We [the above 6 GA associations] respectfully submit that DOT has authority under the Anti-deficiency Act to staff the U.S. Registry, 
as it is vital to protection of human life and property, and necessary for the U.S. to fulfill its ongoing international legal obligations.”

—is the essential argument of the letter sent to the Secretary of Transportation. Their plea is well-argued.

Government shut down due to the inability of the Congress to enact a budget 4 months into the fiscal year. [The point of this blog is not to delve into partisan politics. Please do not clutter the comment with assessment of what party is responsible.]

Government " Sorry we're closed " As a matter of academic political science, a shutdown is a violation of the fiduciary duty of all involved. The US Constitution,Article 1 section 8 says, in part,

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

[the enumerated powers continue for 17 lines]

Both sides of the aisle are using the budget to try to “ransom” the other over other issues. Congress has abdicated its responsibility to deliberate and is resorting to tactics beyond what democracy entails.


Simple observations, of biases from both ends of views of government, support this contention:

1.One supposes that closing the federal offices saves money. 850,000 employees (2013) and 1.3 million active-duty military will go without paychecks during the shutdown. WRONG

a.With very such previous closure, the Congress has voted to pay all employees, those who worked and those who stayed home, their full salary for the time. There is not a dollar of employee expense saved.b In fact, the idling of these dedicated civil servants INCREASES inefficiency; their work must be done when they return.

b.The work not performed piles up and to catch up some overtime may be authorized.

⇒Fiscal hawks should hate this.

2.For those who have not worked for the federal government, consider the doubled edge sword of shutdown:

a.YOU ARE DECLARED ESSENTIAL- you are obliged to work without a guaranteed that you will be paid!

b.YOU ARE DECLARED UNESSENTIAL—you are on unpaid leave status, but your motivation in working for the commonweal has been that you are doing good for the citizens. Now you are being told that your work is not required. Try telling your family that you must miss some event in the future because you must do unessential work.

⇒ Humanists must abhor this denigration of career civil servants.

3, As the GA letter to Secretary Chao explains, there are likely hundreds of economic activities will be harmed—

a.imports and exports will suffer;

b.important regulatory projects will be delayed;

c.innovations requiring governmental approvals or protection will be delayed

d.processing of grants for education, research, infrastructure development, health care, housing for homeless veterans, green projects… will be delayed.

e and more ????

⇒This should be problematic to both ends of the political spectrum

4. According to Goldman Sachs

a.first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) will slip by 0.2 percentage points for each week the shutdown persists,

b.since 1981, the S&P 500 has seen a median move of just -0.9% on the first day of trading after a government shutdown, according to Goldman data. And on the three occasions those stoppages have lasted for a lengthy period, the equity index hasn’t declined more than 1.5% during the entire shutdown.

⇒ The economy does need a 0.2 % point drop.


The US Senate used to be considered the greatest deliberative body in the world. Not so, now. The House of Representatives is the institution charged with being closest to the people. To countenance this shutdown suggests that these 435 elected officials have lost that touch.

The Congress gets a failing grade. Hopefully, they can figure out how to allow the government to do what Congress has told them in intricate detail what to do, how to do it, when to do it and how much they should spend doing it. Then, the 535 wise persons sitting on the Hill van get to work on their substantial charge.

Suggestion #1—listen to your peers and try to identify points on which you may agree.

Joint Session of Congress



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