Federal Government Shutdowns

I’ve written a few times (the latest here) about the results of Federal government shutdowns. Progressive-Democratic Party politicians always and everywhere are in full-throated panic-mongering about the disaster that is a shutdown. Far too many Republican Party politicians timidly accept the Leftist Party’s claims and seek to do anything, even on bended knee, to avoid a shutdown.

I have a challenge for them, and for all you out there in reader land.

Here are two graphs, the first from Macrotrends showing our GDP growth rate from year to year from 1961 through 2022, and the second from stastica showing GDP levels over the more focused period of 1990-2022.

Furloughs and Redundancy

If the government is partially shut down by Progressive-Democratic Party Congressional politician obstructionism, millions of federal employees could face furloughs, some federal offices may close or work shortened hours.

Those furloughs and closures would give us some interesting data on the usefulness/criticality of those furloughees and offices. Here’s what Slate found regarding these items during the Obama “shutdown” some 10 years ago:

Notice a couple of things here regarding Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden’s threat to stop paying our military members and Party politicians’ threats regarding the VA (right click on the graph and select Open Image in New Tab to get a bigger image). One is the Veterans Affairs level of furloughing: all of 4%. That’s not importantly different from the ordinary absentee rate due to illness, vacation, and so on.


It’s terrific, or so claims our Progressive-Democratic Party President, Joe Biden. Here are some examples of how well it’s working.

  • He [Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics] estimates that the typical American household would need to use 42 weeks of income to buy a new car, as of August, up from 33 weeks three years ago.
  • New 30-year fixed-rate mortgages today carry rates around 7%, up from 3% two years ago.
  • The typical credit card carried a 20.7% interest rate in May, up from 14.6% in February 2022….


It’s not just for railroads, or auto unions. It seems to have come to the Writers Guild of America. The WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers appear to have reached a tentative agreement, wanting only fleshing out the details and then a WGA rank and file vote.

The tentative agreement appears to include these items:

  • a minimum number of writers per television show
  • guaranteed employment for those writers from conception to postproduction

Student Debt and Savings

The lede’s lead sentence leads into it.

Everybody knows that US households’ savings soared after the pandemic struck, as the combined effects of checks from the government and fewer opportunities to spend swelled wallets.

Increasing household savings is, in almost all cases, good since we Americans don’t keep a big enough cash cushion against unexpected exigencies, anyway. There was, though, one key area, one Critical Item, that did—and does—represent quite a large opportunity legitimately to spend: paying down the student debt held by one or more members of a household.

Lying or Hostage-Taking Threat?

Our Progressive-Democratic Party President, Joe Biden, is at it again. On the possibility of a Federal government partial shutdown due to a lack of a budget—which Biden distorted as being a complete shutdown—he had this threat regarding our military:

Let’s be clear. If the government shuts down, that means members of Congress and members of the US military are going to have to continue to work and not get paid….

This, of course, is false, or should be. There is plenty of revenue coming in to the Federal government under existing tax law to continue paying the Federal debt, Medicare and Social Security outlays, DoD expenses and military salaries, and on and on.

Some Basic Arithmetic

Washington State has spent $143 million to get homeless folks out of camps from state property near roads and housed.

About 1,300 people were swept from roadside camps as of July 31, with roughly 430 of those rejecting help getting into temporary or permanent shelter. That means it took $165,000 per person to clear the camps and house 870 people.
The department says 126 people have successfully exited the program into permanent housing….

Washington has 25,200 homeless folks (that makes Washington’s homeless population the fourth largest in the nation, for those of you keeping track at home). Those exited from the program represent less than 10% of those 1,300 swept. The State’s Progressive-Democratic Party Governor, Jay Inslee, says he needs more money:

Greedy UAW

The United Automobile Workers Union, per its president Shawn Fain, is threatening to strike the three automakers GM, Ford, and Stellantis (nee Chrysler) simultaneously after midnight Thursday (as I write Thursday midday). The union is demanding

  • 36% pay raises over the next four years
  • raises to correspond to the cost of living
  • an end to tiered-wages for factory jobs
  • a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay
  • pension increases

Some of those would seem legitimate, or at least open to discussion, and typical union wants that most employers could find some sort of agreement on. The pay raise demand is egregious, and the demand to be paid for hours not worked is simply greedy, glorified featherbedding.

But, But—Bidenomics is Working

That’s the claim of President Joe Biden (D) as he insists our eyes are lying, and we should believe him, instead. These two lede paragraphs say otherwise:

Surging inflation gobbled up household income gains last year, making 2022 the third straight year in which Americans saw their living standards eroded by rising prices and pandemic disruptions.
Americans’ inflation-adjusted median household income fell to $74,580 in 2022, declining 2.3% from the 2021 estimate of $76,330, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. The amount has dropped 4.7% since its peak in 2019.

The Judge Got It Wrong

Matthew Whitaker, former Acting US Attorney General, disagrees with a Puerto Rico bankruptcy judge’s ruling regarding the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s bankruptcy and the subsequent handling of the utility’s creditors. He wrote in his Fox Business op-ed that

[US District Judge Laura Taylor] Swain…concluded that special revenue bondholders do not hold a secured claim on current and future net revenues. As The Wall Street Journal explained in March, “A federal judge curbed Puerto Rico bondholders’ rights to the electric revenue generated by its public power utility.”
Furthermore, the ruling stated that the original legal obligation of the borrowers is not the face value of the debt, but rather what the borrower (in this case “PREPA”) can feasibly repay.