Government Shutdown--What it really means DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

You probably know this, but the government is still shut down. Based on the scientific study I conducted, roughly 98.9735% of the population thinks the shut down is ridiculous and that congress ought to Fix It. The remainder are college students who haven’t woken up yet. But I have great faith that once they are vertical they’ll agree too.

The best line I’ve read about the situation is “Has anyone tried unplugging the government, counting to 10, and then plugging it back in?” I almost spit my beverage all over my keyboard. Thanks Paul Kipnes.

I was reading an article that explained that essential government workers are still on the job and getting paid, while non-essential personnel are on furlough. I’m a little confused about how congress is still getting paid. That seems wrong on So Many Levels.

The world can’t watch the pandas (it’s true—all the animals at the National Zoo are being taken care of but the panda-cam is off) but the people who caused the shutdown are still on their news-cam and still getting paid. It’s one of the very few times I wish I was given to political humor.

I found a nice easy to understand chart (and by “easy to understand” I mean the chart is easy to understand, not the logic about the shutdown) explaining who works and who goes home. Just to make your life easy, here is the summary:

  • NASA—pretty much everyone goes home.
  • EPA—pretty much everyone goes home.
  • Commerce—mostly everyone goes home except the National Weather Service meteorologists and you’ll have a hard time convincing me that with their level of errors this is an essential job.
  • Labor—mostly everyone goes home except for the mine inspectors. Seriously?
  • Interior—mostly everyone goes home (see panda-cam crisis above). Fish hatchery employees must continue to work because apparently baby fish are helpless and need swimming lessons.
  • Treasury—mostly everyone goes home except the people actually printing money that the government is so confused about. Maybe they should keep the explainers on staff…
  • Energy—about 2/3 go home including renewable energy researchers. Nuclear submarine engineers stay on the job.
  • Defense—about half go home. Military recruiters go right on recruiting.
  • Health and Human Services—over half go home including food inspectors. However, only a skeletal crew remains at the National Institute of Health to take care of the lab animals.

Pi summed up the entire shutdown situation with, “I don’t get it.” Well summed.


So what does it really mean? I don’t know. The only things I know for sure are that lots of people are being hurt economically (both directly and indirectly) and that late night comedians have a LOT of new material.

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