The one thing you can say about all the things Obama has chosen to shut down during the current budget battle is that they made someone happy. Whether it’s the National Zoo, national parks, private parks, historic and cultural monuments, children’s cancer research, campgrounds, or fishing outlets, Obama wants to make well and sure you don’t benefit from any of them while he waits for Republicans to buckle over Obamacare.
As the stories emerged about Obama’s goons stringing wire through barricades to ruin 80-year-old vets’ chances to see the World War II Monument and blocking the view from the road to Mount Rushmore, I went from guffawing at the ineffectuality of the shutdown to seething over his maliciousness in targeting the most innocent bystanders via a series of heavy-handed shutdown spectacles that cost more to carry out than to just leave the damn sites open.
While parks, monuments, and campgrounds bring people pleasure, you can’t say the same about the agencies Obama left open, which nominally provide key services but regularly inflict torment on hapless citizens not bothering anyone. When was the last time you heard someone gush over how the Department of Education or the IRS made his life better?
Consider the putative roles of these federal behemoths and the tortures they rain down on us:
Department of the Interior, budget $20 billion. This harmless agency that’s been around since before the Civil War is there to manage and conserve federal land, right? Wrong. Lately its main duties seem to be preventing off-shore drilling, banning oil exploration in Alaska, and keeping retailers and developers from expanding.
Internal Revenue Service, budget $13 billion. No one likes the IRS, but don’t we need them to enforce the federal tax code? Except that they’re best known these days for stalking Tea Party groups, intimidating political opponents, and forcing people to buy health insurance.
Department of Justice, budget $27 billion. Tasked to enforce federal law for cases of national importance, they’re best known in the Obama era for criminalizing whistleblowers, enabling voter intimidation, and shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels.
Department of Commerce, budget $9 billion. Charged with promoting an infrastructure that supports commerce, but better known since FDR for punishing farmers for not growing crops, banning guns in school zones, and forcing people to buy health insurance.
Federal Reserve. Designed for setting monetary policy and interest rates on U.S. bonds; best known for inflating the currency, devaluing the dollar, and buying good economic news for the administration by printing money and causing the stock market to rally.
Social Security Administration, budget $736 billion. Intended for assisting with workers’ retirement and disability benefits; known for confiscating wealth that could be more profitably invested elsewhere, discouraging workers from properly preparing for retirement, and going bankrupt.
Department of Health and Human Services, budget $78 billion. Intended: Ensuring the health and safety of the citizenry. Actual: Holding up crucial drug approvals, making a trusting populace obese with the carb-heavy Food Pyramid, and forcing people to buy health insurance.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, budget $48 billion. Intended: Developing policies on housing and metropolitan living. Actual: Spreading rat-infested projects through minority neighborhoods, banning truthful descriptions in real estate ads as “offensive,” and promoting subprime housing loans to poor Americans.
Department of Energy, budget $31 billion. Intended: Setting the nation’s energy policy. Actual: Preventing nuclear power plants from operating, subsidizing flimflam solar panel companies, and pushing global warming hysteria.
Federal Emergency Management Agency, budget $11 billion. Intended: Providing disaster relief to victims of catastrophic events. Actual: Confiscating guns, misdirecting funds, and dillydallying over bureaucratic regulations while hurricane refugees suffer.
Department of Education, budget $71 billion. Intended: Overseeing and strengthening the public school system. Actual: Mobilizing teachers’ unions to vote for Democratic candidates, indoctrinating students in liberal ideology, and dumbing down America.
Department of Homeland Security, budget $61 billion. Intended: Protecting the nation from terrorist threats. Actual: Strip-searching babies and monks at airports, exposing the populace to scatter radiation, and stockpiling ammunition.
So just how much does it cost to run the National Zoo? $25 million to operate two facilities, about a quarter of which comes from private donations. That’s an annual budget of 0.3 percent of the EPA, the cheapest of the behemoths listed above.
I’ve changed my mind—turn the Panda Cam back on, and turn off the spigot to these wholly unnecessary, actively harmful, misery-spreading “essential” federal agencies.
Previously published in modified form at Red Alert Politics
- Shutdown impact: Veterans regional offices close (kansascity.com)
- Do Catholic Priests in the Military ‘Risk Being Arrested’ if They Minister and Hold Mass During the Gov’t Shutdown? (theblaze.com)
- Government Shutdown Jokes…and the Sick Joke of Obama’s Shutdown Strategy (sago.com)
- House GOP dismisses default warnings as more hype (bostonherald.com)
- Furloughed Workers Call on Congress to ‘Get Their Act Together’ (newageoftruth.wordpress.com)