The Conversation

A shutdown and debt ceiling thought experiment

The latest performances of Shutdown Theater - which include rough treatment of senior citizens at Yellowstone, described by one shaken victim as "Gestapo tactics" - have the desperate flavor of Democrat statists terrified that the public will conclude this little "slimdown," as Fox News likes to call it, really isn't so bad after all.  That's also one reason Harry Reid keeps dragging those House funding bills off into the shadows so he can strangle them while his loyal friends in the media stand lookout.  We don't want the people getting any funny ideas about funding only the truly "essential" government activities and scrapping the rest, now do we?

With the debt ceiling right around the corner, I find myself wondering how long it would take to pay down the national debt if we kept it in place - forcing Washington to cut enough spending to virtually eliminate the deficit - while also keeping the shutdown in effect.  Since about 17 percent of the titanic federal government is actually effected by the "shutdown," I'm guessing it would take somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 30 years.  

Which - given the complete nervous breakdown suffered by FedGov during this bit of belt-tightening - is a sobering way to appreciate the size of the national debt, isn't it?


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