Oh, Congress and the Executive, you and your sweet, sweet talk...! Hey, maybe it will, though usually the fools whine at one one another awhile and then the budget-stoppers blink, no matter how high-handed the White House or intransigent the House.
C'mon, what happens, really? They close the cafeteriae in the Capitol? (Probably not.) The United States Postal Service already tries to pay its own way and (by gummint standards) usually comes close enough that they'll shamble on for several months without kiting checks.* Congress already arranged to keep soldiers, sailors, airmen (airpersons?) and coasties paid. Air-traffic controllers might start to lose out on overtime, national parks might have to make payroll directly from gate receipts and if you think Power & Light companies are gonna pull the plug on the National Weather Service, you'd better take another look at how much they rely on weather forecasts to preallocate manpower.
Nope. I'll tell you what happens: the same thing that happened where you work, back in 2008, '09 or '10: layoffs. Cutbacks. Inspiring speeches about "Doing More With Less." Smaller enterprises will go to the wall. --And oh, how they all will complain, because unlike those of us outside Federal employment, their pay and benefits have kept on chugging unstoppably upward, slow but steady, as the private economy twisted and wriggled like a run-over snake on a hot August-afternoon highway.
Besides, eventually both sides will, weasel-like, find some way to slink to compromise after a few weeks or months of blessed savings. Maybe a nice slowdown could even help the deficit!
Meanwhile, in the strange and twisted world of Congress, some Democrats are claiming the only reason for any opposition to the President's budget is 'cos GOP politicians just plain hate Mr. Obama (and they imply that loathing is due to the hue of his complexion). So, how's that race card holdin' up? It's looking a bit tattered from here. Y'know, POTUS could be a blue-eyed blonde with a model's physique and it wouldn't make his (or her) proposed budget -- or the onrushing healthcare mess -- any nicer. It's pretty damned difficult to make a compelling claim that "The Man" is holding the President of the United States down and, conversely, slowing up Presidents is part of Congress's job, no matter what their respective creeds, ancestry or parties may happen to be.
* And they could probably fake it well past crossing over into the red: Postal Money Orders are well-trusted, just like the Post Office being able to print their own money. Besides, that's what the Fed does already. Eventually the chicken -- or stylized Federal eagle -- comes home to roost but it's a fine ride while it lasts, right?
4 weeks ago