In remarks last night on the failed budget talks with Sens. Harry Reid and John Boehner, President Obama used this anecdote to illustrate the plight of Americans if the federal government "shuts down" by furloughing about 20 percent of federal workers (otherwise known in the past as a paid vacation):
"There was a interview that was done tonight on one of the nightly news networks -- a man from Kentucky named J.T. Henderson. He said he’s counting on his tax rebate because his family has been scraping by, and he might not get it if the government shuts down. So J.T. said if he could speak directly to all of us in Washington he’d tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday Americans.
"I could not have said it better myself. A shutdown could have real effects on everyday Americans. That means that small business owners who are counting on that loan to open their business, to make payroll, to expand, suddenly they can't do it. It means folks who are potentially processing a mortgage, they may not be able to get it. It means that hundreds of thousands of workers across the country suddenly are without a paycheck. Their families are counting on them being able to go to work and do a good job."
Sounds like we are entirely too dependent on the federal government. Imagine how dependent J.T.'s grandchildren will be when it comes time to pay the credit card bill that is covering 40 percent of all federal spending today.
The editorialists at Investor's Business Daily today outline the difference between the adults who are planning for the future and the petulant children who want it all and want it now and will throw a tantrum if they don't get it.
"We say if Democrats won't take their adult responsibilities seriously," the editorial states, "let it shut down. And if it does, Americans should blame the tantrum-throwing children in Congress — the same ones who ludicrously call the GOP's proposed $40 billion in 2011 budget cuts (a mere 1.1% of spending) 'devastating.'"
Here is the Cato Institute take on a potential shutdown: