In the absence of an agreement on the upcoming budget for the United States, the federal government has been temporarily “shut down” and 815,000 of its whopping 2 million employees have been furloughed. This interesting situation gives Americans the chance to realize how little they actually notice when 41% of federal workers literally stay home.
This massive furlough represents — by their own admission — the federal government’s “non-essential” positions. Many agencies saw furloughs well above 50%; quite a few even topping 90%. While the true number of non-essential positions of the federal are arguably much higher, 800,000 is a good start.
It might shock people who have grown dependent on the federal government, but very little of what it does in its current form is authorized in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. The fact is, most of the Federal government should be shut down — permanently. Some of its functions would be assumed by individual states; some of its functions should disappear entirely. Life would go on, and the country would be stronger and more prosperous because of it. It would leave the people with more freedom, and might even lead to something unthinkable — like witnessing U.S. debt go down instead of perpetually up.
It was refreshing to see the notable furloughs of 91% of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 93% of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 96% of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 94% of the Dept. of Education, 91% of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), 98% of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).
Disappointingly, agencies like the NSA, Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, the BATFE, saw little, if any, furloughs. Apparently raiding marijuana clinics, groping travelers, and setting up domestic highway checkpoints are considered an “essential” functions of government that couldn’t bear any trimming.
Find more data on the furlough at the Wall Street Journal.
Hat tip to Zero Hedge for the chart.