Politicians are trying to politicize shutdown
By Lyman Youngberg
Monday, October 07, 2013 5:00 PM
OROVADA - Recently in the paper there have been articles about the dire consequences of the government shutdown.
One lament is the closure of 4,000 recreation facilities, i.e., visitor centers, campgrounds, boat ramps, etc., plus the closure of offices and facilities like the California National Trails Center in Elko administered by the BLM. The BLM has furloughed (that means not working but still getting paid) 897 employees out of approximately 927 in the state. The U.S. Forest Service (part of USDA) has furloughed all but essential services personnel, whatever that means.
Perhaps the only personnel and essential services needed are what we have at the present time?
The closure of the aforementioned facilities is not only unnecessary but ridiculous. For example, what campgrounds on the Santa Rosas, which never have a gate man or a required fee, need closure? What "services" provided have been terminated?
Another example is Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge under the administration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which has prohibited all public access, hunting, camping, fishing, etc., until funding is restored. Sounds like blackmail to me.
The closure of monuments at the WWII veterans memorial in Washington, D.C., is nothing more than an insult to our veterans and has nothing to do with a temporary shutdown of funding to the National Park Service, but rather an arrogant bureaucratic statement of control.
According to recent information (2007), the federal government, comprised of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches, has respectfully 11, five and 16 agencies. The Executive Branch has 16 departments with 275 agencies, which, in turn, have another 114 offices with a combined federal work force (in 2007) in excess of 1,176,000 employees. This does not include contract workers estimated at around 800,000.
Then there are the so-called independent agencies and government corporations with 68 agencies and five sub-offices. Add to this 69 federal inspectors general.
Last but not least, there are 75 boards and commissions covering everything from (alphabetically) No. 1 Administrative Committee of the Federal Register to No. 75 The White House Commission on the National Monument of Remembrance.
If all this isn't enough, there are the quasi-official agencies, six in number, which include No. 1 Legal Service Corp., No. 2 Smithsonian Institution , No. 3 JF Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, No. 4 State Justice Institute, No. 5 U.S. Institute of Peace and No. 6 The American Institute in Taiwan.
Mind boggling? Don't forget to add the Private Regulatory Corp., The self- regulatory boards and the government enterprises which include (Farmer Mac) the Federal Agriculture Mortgage Corp., (Freddie Mac) the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and (Fannie Mae) the Federal National Mortgage Association plus the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp.
Might it not occur to one that the federal government is out of control, bloated to the point of imploding and is unsustainable, overreaching and an insult to our constitution and the American people.
The so-called government shutdown (which is not a complete shutdown as essential services such as the military, postal service, Medicare, Social Security, etc., are operating) has been the result of the stubborn refusal by the president and the majority in the Senate to negotiate with the House, which has offered numerous bills funding every segment of the government with the exception of Obamacare, which is a financial and personal disaster costing billions to the taxpayer. It is 2,700 pages of government legalese and double-talk that no one, not even the authors, fully understands.
So let not the media pundits, the power hungry career politicians and others politicize this for their own selfish gain. There are two entities, the House and the Senate, both usually antagonistic to each other by design. This forces negotiation between the two so the American people get the best of two worlds.
Do we have a democratic republic or a monarch/dictatorship? You be the judge.
Lyman Youngberg resides in Orovada.