The Government “Shutdown”


From the WSJ:

Nine days into the partial government shutdown, the operative word is partial. The best estimates are that about 83% of government outlays are still flowing, including to the military, Social Security, Medicare, airport screeners and the Postal Service. As for the rest, one benefit of the shutdown is that it has reminded the country that it can function well without the dozens of federal bodies that exist solely to layer more burdens on the private economy.

Consider the evidence in the Federal Register, which is the record of new government rules that Washington is imposing on the rest of us. Here are the number of pages published on certain recent days in the Register: 498 pages on September 11, 193 on September 17, 369 on September 20, and 401 on September 30. But after the shutdown, the number falls to 12 pages on October 7 and all of six on October 9. And yet our glorious Republic still stands.

The 401 pages on September 30 included such proud bureaucratic work as: a proposed Agricultural Marketing Service rule to increase assessment rates for blueberry promotion, a notice from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about exemptions for commercial vehicle operators with diabetes, and a proposal from the Fish and Wildlife Service to provide threatened status for the bird known as the rufa red knot. Maybe the shutdown is helping the economy.

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