If you think that Donald Trump already has the Republican nomination locked up, then you don’t understand what is going on behind the scenes. It has long been my contention that the elite will move heaven and earth in order to keep Trump from ever setting foot in the Oval Office. One way that they could try to do this is by attempting to deny him the nomination at the Republican convention next month. Over the past couple of days, the Washington Post, CNN and a whole host of other mainstream news outlets have been reporting on a new “last-ditch effort” that has been launched by Republican operatives to get the Republican convention Rules Committee to unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they want. As you will see below, they can do this, and if they get enough votes they will do it.
This current effort is different from what we have seen so far during this campaign season, because it is actually being organized by the delegates themselves. The following comes from the Washington Post…
Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer’s party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP presidential nominee.
The moves come amid declining poll numbers for Trump and growing concern among Republicans that he is squandering his chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Several controversies — including his racial attacks on a federal judge, his renewed call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and his support for changing the nation’s gun laws — have raised fears among Republicans that Trump is not really a conservative and is too reckless to run a successful race.
This movement is being spearheaded by a delegate from Colorado named Kendal Unruh. She is actually a key member of the Republican convention Rules Committee, and this is very important for reasons that I will explain below.
For her, it is not about getting some other specific candidate nominated. Rather, the entire goal is simply to stop Donald Trump…
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”
So what will it take for Unruh and her allies to be successful?
As Fox News explained, there are basically two courses of action…
To prevail, Unruh needs a majority of the 112 members of the convention rules committee, which has two delegates from each state and territory. Then, a majority of the full convention’s 2,472 delegates would have to approve.
There’s a Plan B. If Unruh can win over one-fourth support from the rules committee — just 29 delegates — the full convention must vote on her proposal. So far she’s got around 10 supporters though some prefer delaying the rule’s impact until the 2020 convention, she said.
On Thursday night, Unruh was on a conference call that included at least 30 delegates from 15 different states, and the Washington Post says that regional coordinators for this effort have been recruited “in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Washington and other states.”
One individual that took part in this conference call on Thursday night told CNN that calls are pouring in from people all over the country that want to be part of this movement…
“I will tell you, about every two hours people contact me about how to join this effort,” Lonegan said. “This has never been done before, so there’s no textbook on how to do it. So we’re building an organic effort, state by state, to convince members of the Rules Committee to sign onto a rule that unbinds the delegates to vote their moral conscience.”
So could the Republican convention Rules Committee actually do this?
Could they actually unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they wished?
Well, yes they actually could do this. As Time Magazine has explained, the Republican convention Rules Committee essentially has the power to make up any rules that they want…
It has the power to review and amend all of the rules of the Republican Party, pending ratification by the full convention. If it wanted to, it could insert a rule that says only candidates with blue hair could be the party’s nominee. It’s that powerful. In a contested scenario, the Rules Committee would be ground zero for fights over who and how candidates are nominated on the floor, as well as how the convention itself is conducted.
And thanks to political wrangling by the Cruz campaign, we do know that the rules committee is dominated by delegates that are loyal to Cruz…
The convention rules committee is made up of one man and one woman from each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Dominated by party insiders and loyalists to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—who aggressively worked state conventions to secure slots on the committee—it remains to be seen what the committee’s appetite would be for such a dramatic break from the existing rules.
If I was Donald Trump, I would be taking this very, very seriously.
But at this point he seems to be brushing it off …
“I have tremendous support and get the biggest crowds by far and any such move would not only be totally illegal but also a rebuke of the millions of people who feel so strongly about what I am saying,” Trump said in a statement. “People that I defeated soundly in the primaries will do anything to get a second shot — but there is no mechanism for it to happen.”
Right at this moment we still have about a month left before the convention.
So that gives those involved in the anti-Trump movement quite a bit of time to rally their forces.
The rule change that would unbind all of the delegates and free them up to “vote their consciences” has already been drafted. Here is the text of the proposed rule change…
Preserving Delegates’ Ability to Vote Their Individual Conscience
The secretary of the national convention shall receive and faithfully announce and record each delegate’s vote in accordance with these rules. If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot for the selection of the Republican nominee for President of the United States, without the risk of challenge, sanction, or retribution by the Republican National Committee. Allowable personal reasons shall include the public disclosure of one or more grievous acts of personal conduct by a nominee candidate, including but not limited to, criminally actionable acts, acts of moral turpitude or extreme prejudice, and/or notorious public statements of support for positions that clearly oppose or contradict the policies embodied in the Republican Party’s platform as established at the national convention.
In my new book, I warn about the great political shaking that is coming to this nation, and if this rule change is even attempted at the Republican convention it would create seismic shifts in the U.S. political landscape.
Of course there is still one huge question that I have not even addressed in this article yet.
If Trump has the nomination taken away from him, who would the Republican nominee be?
Some are convinced that it would be Paul Ryan, but I believe that it would be somebody else.
Mitt Romney has certainly not hidden his disdain for Donald Trump, and right now he is quietly waiting in the wings. If the anti-Trump forces get their way, I believe that he would be the man that ultimately walks away with the prize.
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Do you know what an “extremist” is? In the wake of the horrible terror attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, Barack Obama is speaking very boldly about the need to win the war against “extremists”, and he has announced plans to host a major global summit on “extremism” next month. And on the surface that sounds great. But precisely how are we supposed to determine whether someone is an “extremist” or not? What criteria should we use? As you will see below, your definition of an “extremist” may be far, far different from the definition that Barack Obama is using. When you do a Google search, you will find that an “extremist” is defined as “a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.” According to Wikipedia, “extremism” is “an ideology (particularly in politics or religion), considered to be far outside the mainstream attitudes of a society or to violate common moral standards. Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and economic.” Please notice that neither of those definitions uses the word violence. In this day and age, you can be considered an “extremist” simply based on what you believe, and as you will see later in this article there are now tens of millions of Americans that are considered to be “extremists” and “potential terrorists” according to official U.S. government documents.
When you use the word “extremist”, you may have in your mind a picture of ISIS fighters or the terrorists from the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
But for elitists such as Barack Obama, the word “extremist” has a much broader meaning. In recent years, it has become a code word for those that do not have an “enlightened” view of the world. If your views on politics, religion or social issues are extremely different from the liberal, progressive views of “the mainstream” (as defined by the mainstream media and by “mainstream” politicians such as Barack Obama), then they consider you to be an extremist.
Early in the presidency of George W. Bush, we were told that Islamic terrorists were the enemy. And so most of the country got behind the idea of the War on Terrorism. But over the years that has morphed into a War on Extremism. In fact, the Obama administration has gone so far as to remove almost all references to Islam from government terror training materials…
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole confirmed on Wednesday that the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive.
“I recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security,” Cole told a panel at the George Washington University law school.
Now, much of the focus in law enforcement training materials is on “domestic extremists”. We are being told that “domestic extremism” is just as great a threat to our national security as terror groups overseas are.
But exactly who are these “domestic extremists”?
Well, the truth is that you may be one of them.
I want to share with you a list that I have shared in a couple of previous articles. It is a list of 72 types of Americans that are considered to be “extremists” or “potential terrorists” in official U.S. government documents. This list will really give you a good idea of what Barack Obama means when he uses the word “extremist”. Each of these 72 items is linked, so if you would like to go see the original source document for yourself, just click on the link. As you can see, this list potentially includes most of the country…
1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”
2. Those that advocate for states’ rights
3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”
4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”
5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”
6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”
7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”
8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”
9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of the environment and/or animals”
13. “The Patriot Movement”
14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”
15. Members of the Family Research Council
16. Members of the American Family Association
17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”
18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol
19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform
20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition
21. Members of the Christian Action Network
22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”
23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”
24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21
25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps
26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”
27. The militia movement
28. The sovereign citizen movement
29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”
30. Anyone that “complains about bias”
31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”
32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”
33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”
34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”
35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”
36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”
37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”
38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”
39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”
40. “Militia or unorganized militia”
41. “General right-wing extremist”
42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.
43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”
44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
45. Those that are “anti-global”
46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”
47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”
48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”
49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”
50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”
51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”
53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”
54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”
55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”
56. Anyone that is “anti-Catholic”
57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”
58. “Rightwing extremists”
59. “Returning veterans”
60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”
61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”
62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”
63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”
64. “Anti-abortion activists”
65. Those that are against illegal immigration
66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner
67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations
68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”
69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr
70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)
71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies
72. Evangelical Christians
Do you fit into any of those categories?
Personally, I fit into a couple dozen of them.
That is why alarm bells should go off whenever Barack Obama speaks of the need to crack down on “extremism”.
If Barack Obama wants to denounce Islamic terror, he should do so. But because of his extreme political correctness, he goes out of his way to avoid any connection between Islam and terror. Instead, he speaks of the need to recognize “Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings” and he insists that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
Meanwhile, our liberties and freedoms are being eroded a little bit more with each passing day. In the name of fighting “terrorism” or “extremism”, our government is constructing a Big Brother police state control grid all around us. I like the way that Ron Paul described what is happening to us just the other day…
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
The trap was set. At the beginning of a cycle that systematically undermines liberty with delusions of easy prosperity, the change may actually seem to be beneficial to a few. But to me that’s like excusing embezzlement as a road to leisure and wealth — eventually payment and punishment always come due. One cannot escape the fact that a society’s wealth cannot be sustained or increased without work and productive effort. Yes, some criminal elements can benefit for a while, but reality always sets in.
Reality is now setting in for America and for that matter for most of the world. The piper will get his due even if “the children” have to suffer. The deception of promising “success” has lasted for quite a while. It was accomplished by ever-increasing taxes, deficits, borrowing, and printing press money. In the meantime the policing powers of the federal government were systematically and significantly expanded. No one cared much, as there seemed to be enough “gravy” for the rich, the poor, the politicians, and the bureaucrats.
The country that our forefathers founded is dying.
Now, individuals and organizations that attempt to restore the values that our founders once believed in so strongly are regarded as dangerous “extremists” that need to be watched carefully.
Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize what is happening to this nation. As long as they are fed a constant diet of mindless entertainment, most Americans are perfectly content to let “the experts” do their thinking for them.
We are steamrolling toward oblivion, and most of the country is dead asleep.
So is there any hope for us? Feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
A house divided against itself will surely fall. America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse. In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. We are angry, we are frustrated and we love to fight with one another, but none of this strife and discord is getting us anywhere. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation. One average of recent polls found that only 26 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the right direction and 63.8 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are. That is where the division is. As a nation, we no longer have a shared set of values or principles that provides a foundation for our decisions. Everyone just kind of does whatever is right in their own eyes, and the result is chaos. At a minimum, the U.S. Constitution was supposed to bond all of us together, but it has become clear that very few of our lawless politicians have any respect for that document at this point. And the American people must not have too much respect left for the Constitution either, because they keep sending the very same politicians back to Washington over and over again. Unless a miracle happens, everyone is going to keep pulling in different directions, and that is going to continue ripping our country to shreds.
The issues that divide us are countless. The following are just a few examples…
-U.S. Military Intervention In Foreign Countries
-Shipping Our Jobs Overseas
-Cost Of Living/Inflation
-The Gap Between The Wealthy And The Poor
-The Size And Role Of Government
-Global Warming/Climate Change
-The Emerging Big Brother Police State
-The War On Drugs
-The War On Terror
-U.S. Relationship With Israel
-The Role Of Faith In Society
I could go on and on with this list, but I think that you get the point.
If you pick just about any issue on that list, there are large numbers of Americans that want to take us one way and large numbers of Americans that want to take us exactly in the opposite direction. In many instances, both sides consider their opponents to be the epitome of evil.
Sadly, the fights that take place among those that are supposed to be on the same side are often even more disturbing. Some of the most bitter fighting that I have ever witnessed has been between people that should be working together. In fact, it often seems like a lot of people would rather fight others in their own “movement” than do something constructive.
And actually the establishment loves when we fight with one another. The more divided that we are, the easier we are to control.
I am often asked if I think that there is any hope for a political solution in this country.
I wish that I could be more optimistic when I answer, but as divided as this country is right now I see absolutely no hope for a political solution on the national level any time soon.
Even though Darth Vader has a higher favorability rating than any 2016 White House contenders, it is inevitable that one of them (with the full backing of the elite) will be our next president. And even though a few incumbents will be knocked out of Congress in 2014 and 2016, history has shown us that incumbents typically have a victory rate of more than 80 percent in election after election.
We keep sending the same jokers back to D.C. again and again and yet we continue to keep expecting different results.
Are we insane or what?
In a previous article, I noted a whole bunch of other polls and surveys that show how dissatisfied the American people have become with our government…
#1 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”. That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.
#2 66 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the size and power of federal government”.
#3 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”
#4 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.
#5 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.
#6 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”. Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.
#7 53 percent of Americans believe that the Obama administration is “not competent in running the government”.
#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.
#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.
#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.
Clearly the American people are sick and tired of politics as usual.
But even if we voted out every single member of Congress, who would we replace them with?
That is where not having a shared set of values and principles comes into play.
Even if we could start from scratch, the new politicians that the American people would send to Congress would not suddenly look like the founding fathers.
That is because we no longer believe in the same values and principles that they did.
Instead, an entirely new Congress would probably end up looking very much like the old Congress did.
I wish that national unity was just as easy as saying something like this: “Come on guys – let’s all just get together and agree to do what is right for the country.”
That sounds really good, but what is right for the country?
In America today, there is very little agreement about what is right and wrong anymore.
And politically, it is hard enough to get a handful of people to agree on much of anything these days, much less the millions upon millions of people that would be required to form a viable political movement.
So no, I don’t believe that there will be a political solution on the national level any time soon. The government that we have already reflects what is in the hearts of the American people.
Until we start seeing hearts change on a widespread basis, we are not going to see any significant change in Washington.
The American people are increasingly waking up to the fact that nothing ever seems to change in Washington D.C. no matter which political party is in power. In fact, as you will see later on in this article, an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither party “represents the American people”. Over the past several decades, we have sent a Bush, a Clinton, another Bush and an Obama to the White House, but the policies coming out of Washington have remained pretty much the same the entire time. The mainstream media would have us believe that the Republicans and the Democrats are constantly fighting like cats and dogs, but the truth is that the Republicans want to take us to the same place that the Democrats want to take us – just a little more slowly perhaps. And behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats have a good time with one another and they are ultimately controlled by the same set of oligarchs. The Americans people are really starting to recognize what a sham our system has become, and the numbers show that they are quite fed up with it.
I truly wish that things were different. When I was much younger, I was actively involved in politics and I enthusiastically campaigned for certain candidates. But then when they got to Washington D.C., they never did most of the things that they promised to do during their campaigns.
I was quite bewildered by this. At the time, I concluded that we just needed to send even more “good politicians” to D.C. and then things would finally turn around.
But things never did turn around. No matter which party had the upper hand, the same garbage continued to spew forth from Washington.
Ultimately, like millions of other Americans, I have come to see that there is not really much of a difference between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on one side, and John Boehner, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Jeb Bush on the other side.
Sure, if you listen to their campaign speeches you might be tempted to think that they were polar opposites, but when you watch what they actually do there is not that much that really separates them.
Fortunately, large numbers of Americans are starting to see through this disgusting charade. Most of our politicians are con men that tell us what we want to hear during their campaigns, and then after they are elected they forget all about us. Dissatisfaction with these politicians has risen to unprecedented levels in recent years, and that could be a good thing. The following are 12 numbers which prove that Americans are sick and tired of politics as usual…
#1 A national Rasmussen Reports survey has found that an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither major political party “represents the American people”.
#2 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, only 29 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction.
#3 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Americans disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing by a 52.2 to 43.7 percent margin.
#4 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Americans disapprove of the job that Congress is doing by a 77.6 percent to 14.2 percent margin.
#5 52 percent of Americans “do not think the economy is fair to those willing to work hard”.
#6 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”. That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.
#7 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.
#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.
#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.
#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.
#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”. Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.
#12 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014″.
Of course at the heart of much of this dissatisfaction is the continuing problems in our economy. For example, check out the Gallup daily employment tracking survey that you can find right here. As you can see, the payroll to population number (those Americans working 30 hours a week or more) has been flatlining in the low forties for more than four years now. The truth is that there never has been an employment recovery in this nation since the last recession. For much more on all this, please see my previous article entitled “This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…”
The last wave of the economic crisis really devastated the middle class, and as a result record numbers of Americans have become dependent on the government. As I mentioned in one recent article, ten years ago the number of women working outnumbered the number of women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.
No wonder so many Americans are so angry. Things are not nearly as good as they used to be.
Unfortunately, even though so many people are angry and frustrated, there is very little consensus on the solutions to our problems.
Many Americans even want to throw out the principles that this country was founded upon entirely. For example, one recent survey discovered that 59 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution is “outdated”.
That is a very chilling number. We live at a time when Americans are becoming increasingly ignorant about who we are, where we came from and how we get here.
And a lot of our fellow citizens do not even know how our system of government works. One survey actually found that only 25 percent of all Americans knew how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans knew how many U.S. senators there are (100).
In the final analysis, it is hard to be optimistic about a political solution to any of our major problems in the near future. Most of our politicians are deeply corrupt, the American people are incredibly angry and are deeply divided, and the vast majority of campaigns for federal office are won by the candidate that raises the most money.
But perhaps there is something that I am missing. So what do you think? Do you believe that there is hope that we can get Washington D.C. turned around in the near future? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
It may not happen this month, or even this year, but food stamp riots are coming to America. In fact, we got a small preview of the coming food stamp riots this past weekend when a “temporary system failure” caused food stamp cards to stop working in 17 U.S. states. Within hours, there were “mini-riots” at Wal-Marts and other retailers that rely heavily on food stamp users. So what would happen if food stamp benefits were cut off or reduced for an extended period of time? As you will see below, if Congress had not pushed through a “deal”, the USDA would have started cutting off food stamp benefits on November 1st. Considering the fact that 47 million Americans are on food stamps and more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government, that could have sparked massive rioting. So the good news is that the coming food stamp riots will probably not happen in November. The bad news is that the “deal” in Congress only delays the political fighting until after Christmas. In just a few months we will be dealing with a potential “government shutdown” and a debt ceiling deadline once again.
Most Americans have no idea what almost just happened. According to Reuters, the state of North Carolina had already cut off some welfare benefits for the month of November…
North Carolina has become the first state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents in the wake of the partial federal government shutdown, ordering a halt to processing November applications until a deal is reached to end the federal standstill.
More than 20,000 people – most of them children – receive monthly benefits aimed at helping them buy food and other basic supplies through North Carolina’s welfare program, called Work First, which is fully funded by the federal government. Recipients must reapply each month.
And as Mac Slavo recently detailed, the USDA was already planning to cut off food stamp assistance to millions of Americans on November 1st…
We say next month because the USDA, which oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), has just issued an order to SNAP agency directors calling for their respective States to implement an emergency contingency program because of government funding issues. In a letter obtained by the Crossroads Urban Center food pantry, the USDA is directing state agencies to, “delay their November issuance files and delay transmission to State Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”
What this means is that should Congress fail to increase the debt ceiling this week, come November there will literally be millions of people in the United States who will have exactly zero dollars transferred to their EBT cards.
What will happen to the nearly 50 million people who depend on these benefits to survive?
In fact, there have been quite a few news reports that have confirmed this…
In Utah, Fox News 13 in Salt Lake City reported that a local provider recently received a letter from the USDA sticking to the November 1 cut-off date.
“This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry,” Bill Tibbits, Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center, told Fox News 13.
“What this means [is] if there’s not a deal, if Congress doesn’t reach a deal to get federal government back up and running, in Utah about 100,000 families won’t get food stamp benefit,” added Tibbits.
The USDA letter says in part, “in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice.”
So what would have happened if tens of millions of Americans suddenly had their food stamp benefits cut off without warning?
Well, what happened last weekend can give us a few clues. Just check out what happened at one Wal-Mart in Mississippi…
Customers staged a disturbance then walked out of a Mississippi Walmart store with groceries that hadn’t been paid for Saturday night after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.
People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a temporary system failure.
Shortly after the mini-riot, managers decided to temporarily close the store, citing customer safety.
Due to this technical glitch, many parents were left wondering how they were going to feed their families. If this is the kind of anger that is unleashed over a single failed trip to the grocery store, what would we see if this kind of thing went on for an extended period of time?
At some Wal-Mart stores down in Louisiana, EBT cards were not showing any limits on Saturday night, and within two hours many store shelves in the grocery section were completely cleared of merchandise…
Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.
The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen.
Sadly, this was only a very small preview of the massive food stamp riots that are eventually coming to America. I like how Mike Adams explained what we are likely to see in the future…
Why does any of this matter? Because this is exactly the same way these people will behave when the federal government goes into default and nearly 50 million EBT cards stop working nationwide.
Fifty million. Consider that for a moment. Most of those 50 million people live in high-density cities. Many are proud owners of Obama phones, Obama food stamps, Obama unemployment checks and Obama subsidized housing. They have absolutely no clue that the government upon which they wholly depend to put food on the table is teetering on the verge of permanent collapse. (Seriously, they cannot conceive of the idea of government “running out of money” because they do not understand where money comes from.) Because of this distorted belief, they do not prepare for any future events other than more Obama handouts. Their entire “preparedness” plan is to vote for Democrats, because that’s who they know will give them the most handouts. And they will always win the popular vote, too, because any politician promising to restore responsible fiscal spending to the government by cutting programs will be viciously accused of being “mean” or involved in “hating poor people.” So the government handouts will only ratchet higher and higher, ensnaring more and more people, until the entire system is unsustainable and collapses under its own weight.
When that system of dependence fails, those who depend on it will panic in mere hours. As proof of this, consider the fact that this mass looting of Wal-Mart stores happened in less than three hours after the Saturday EBT card glitch struck. Police had to be called in to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control, and it was offline for only part of one day.
Now imagine what will happen when EBT cards go offline for 24, 48 or even 72 hours. And imagine it happening in every U.S. city simultaneously.
Of course not all Americans would go wild when food stamp benefits are cut off.
Other Americans express their desperation in other ways. According to Bloomberg, an increasing number of people are starting to sell hair, breast milk and their own eggs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet…
Hair, breast milk and eggs are doubling as automated teller machines for some cash-strapped Americans such as April Hare.
Out of work for more than two years and facing eviction from her home, Hare recalled Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century novel and took to her computer.
“I was just trying to find ways to make money, and I remembered Jo from ‘Little Women,’ and she sold her hair,” the 35-year-old from Atlanta said. “I’ve always had lots of hair, but this is the first time I’ve actually had the idea to sell it because I’m in a really tight jam right now.”
The mother of two posted pictures of her 18-inch auburn mane on www.buyandsellhair.com, asking at least $1,000 and receiving responses within hours. Hare, who also considered selling her breast milk, joins others exploring unconventional ways to make ends meet as the four-year-old economic expansion struggles to invigorate the labor market and stimulate incomes.
We have moved into a time when things are becoming increasingly unstable and when people are becoming increasingly desperate.
In an attempt to keep order, the authorities will become increasingly forceful in the years ahead. At this point, many law enforcement officers already believe that there is very little that they cannot do to exert their “authority” over the rest of us. Just check out video of a drunk off-duty police officer “arresting” a woman that refused to go out on a date with him right here. Sadly, this type of behavior is becoming way too common these days.
And it looks like major financial institutions are getting ready for the chaos that is eventually coming as well. In fact, according to an article by Paul Joseph Watson, Chase Bank is now placing a limit on cash withdrawals and is banning business customers from sending wire transfers out of the country…
Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending international wire transfers from November 17 onwards, prompting speculation that the bank is preparing for a looming financial crisis in the United States by imposing capital controls.
Numerous business customers with Chase BusinessSelect Checking and Chase BusinessClassic accounts have received letters over the past week informing them that cash activity (both deposits and withdrawals) will be limited to a $50,000 total per statement cycle from November 17 onwards.
Fortunately, the chaos that would have been unleashed if Congress had not made a deal has now been delayed for a few months.
But by kicking the can down the road, our politicians continue to make our long-term problems even worse. Either we are going to have tremendous pain now, or we are going to have even worse pain later. Peter Schiff explained the choice that we are facing this way…
If Republicans were to inexplicably prevail, and the federal government were to cut spending so that its expenditures matched its tax revenues (a truly radical idea) the country’s financial mess would be laid bare. The government would have to weigh the relative costs and benefits of making interest payments on Treasury debt (primarily to foreign creditors) or to trim entitlements promised to U.S. citizens. But those are choices we will have to make sooner or later anyway. In fact we should have dealt with these issues years ago. But generations of mechanistic debt ceiling increases have allowed us to perpetually kick the can down the road. What could possibly be gained by doing it again, particularly if it is done with no commitment to change course?
The Democrats’ argument that America needs to pay its bills is just hollow rhetoric. Paying off one’s Visa bill with a new and bigger MasterCard bill can’t be considered a legitimate payment of debt. At best it is a transfer. But in the government’s case, it doesn’t even qualify as that. Treasury debt is primarily bought by the Fed, foreign central banks, and major financial institutions. None of that will change with a debt ceiling increase. We will just go to the same people for greater quantities. So it’s like paying off your Visa card with a bigger Visa card.
We are living on borrowed time that has been purchased by stealing money from future generations.
We are literally destroying the future in order to make the present more palatable.
But whether it is this year, or next year or the year after that, at some point we are going to experience the pain that results from decades of incredibly foolish decisions.
I hope that you are getting ready.
Barack Obama is warning that if he does not get everything that he wants that he will force the U.S. government into a devastating debt default which will cripple the entire global economy. In essence, Obama has become so power mad that he is actually willing to take the entire planet hostage in order to achieve his goals. A lot of people are blaming the government shutdown on the Republicans, but they have already voted to fund the entire government except for Obamacare. The U.S. Constitution requires that all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and the House did their duty by passing a spending bill. If the Senate or the President do not like the bill that the House has passed, then negotiations need to take place. That is how our system works. And the weak-kneed Republicans have already indicated that they are willing to give up virtually all of their prior demands. In fact, if Obama offered all of them 20 dollar gift certificates to Denny’s to end this crisis they would probably jump at that deal. But that is not good enough for Obama. He has made it clear that he will settle for nothing less than the complete and unconditional surrender of the Republican Party.
Why is Obama doing this? Why is Obama willing to bring the country to the brink of financial disaster?
It isn’t hard to figure out. Just check out what one senior Obama administration official said last week…
“We are winning…. It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result,” a senior Obama Administration official told the Wall Street Journal last week.
This is all about a political victory and crushing the Republicans. Obama doesn’t really care how long this crisis lasts because he believes that he is getting the end result that he wants.
According to Obama, the Republican Party is just supposed to roll over and give him the exact spending bill that he wants and also give him another trillion dollar increase in the debt limit.
If the Republicans do not give him that, he is willing to plunge us into financial oblivion.
The funny thing is that most Americans do not want the debt limit increased. According to one new poll, 58 percent of all Americans do not even want the debt ceiling to be increased by a single penny.
And recent polls show that Americans are against Obamacare by an average margin of about 10 percent.
But the pathetic Republican Party is actually willing to hand Obama a trillion dollar debt ceiling increase and fully fund Obamacare if Obama will at least give them something.
Unfortunately, Obama won’t even give them the time of day.
So don’t blame the Republicans for what is happening. The Republicans have already compromised themselves to the point of utter disgrace. If Obama had been willing to even compromise a couple of inches this entire crisis would already be over.
And nobody should be claiming that the Republicans won’t vote to end this shutdown. They have already voted to end it. The following is from a recent article by Thomas Sowell…
There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.
This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.
As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.
Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.
Once again, the Republicans have already indicated that they are willing to fund Obamacare. They just want Obama to throw them a bone.
And Obama will not do it.
So either the Republicans are going to cave in completely (a very real possibility) or we are going to pass the “debt ceiling deadline”.
What happens then?
Well, we would have more of a “real government shutdown” than the fake shutdown that we are having right now.
Once the federal government cannot borrow any more money, it will only be able to spend what it actually has on hand. That means that a lot more government functions will have to shut down.
Money will still be coming in to the government, but it won’t be enough to fund everything. According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal government will still have enough money to pay interest on the debt, make Social Security payments, make Medicare payments, make Medicaid payments, provide food stamp benefits and pay the military if they cut almost everything else out.
The other day, I suggested that the federal government could potentially start defaulting on interest payments on the debt as early as November. But that would only happen if the federal government manages their money foolishly.
If the federal government managed their money smartly and saved cash for the interest payments as they came due, they would not have to miss any.
But when was the last time the federal government ever did anything “smartly”?
For the sake of argument, however, let’s assume that the federal government can manage money wisely and can save up enough cash ahead of time for large interest payments as they come due.
If that could somehow be managed, then according to Paul Mampilly the government would never need to actually default…
The U.S. Treasury always has money coming into its accounts. So its always got some amount of cash that it can use to pay interest on bonds. That’s especially true right now because the government is partially shutdown and there’s no cash going out from its accounts.
In fact, when you look at it the U.S. Treasury should simply have no trouble making interest payments on bonds that it has issued.
And there’s no restriction on the U.S. Treasury prioritizing interest payments. Why?
The obligation to pay interest is set by the 1917 Second Liberty Bond Act and laws that commanded the Treasury to pay interest on the debt. You can look this up in section 3123 of Title 31 of the U.S. Code and section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and in Supreme Court precedent (Perry v. United States). It’s all there in black and white.
So the only possible way the U.S. defaults on its debt is if Barack Obama, President of the United States, instructs his Treasury secretary Jack Lew to default on the debt.
And according to the Washington Post, Moody’s has just issued a memo that also indicates that the federal government should be able to make all interest payments even if the debt limit is not increased…
In a memo being circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Service offers “answers to frequently asked questions” about the government shutdown, now in its second week, and the federal debt limit. President Obama has said that, unless Congress acts to raise the $16.7 trillion limit by next Thursday, the nation will be at risk of default.
Not so, Moody’s says in the memo dated Oct. 7.
“We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” the memo says. “The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury’s extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default.”
Of course the federal government would have to stop throwing money around like a drunk gambler at a casino in Las Vegas in order for this to work.
On the very first day of the government shutdown, the feds gave $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Apparently Elmo is considered to be “essential personnel” by the Obama administration.
And according to CNS News, the U.S. Army has committed more than $47,000 to buy a mechanical bull during this “shutdown”…
The government shutdown may be keeping furloughed federal workers at home, but on Monday the U.S. Army contracted to buy a mechanical bull.
The $47,174 contract was awarded on Oct. 7 to Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. of State College, Penn.
So needless to say, there is some serious doubt about whether the federal government would be able to manage their money effectively in the event that the debt ceiling deadline passes.
And if the U.S. did start defaulting on debt payments, it would be absolutely disastrous for the global economy as I discussed in a previous article…
“A U.S. debt default would cause stocks to crash, would cause bonds to crash, would cause interest rates to soar wildly out of control, would cause a massive credit crunch, and would cause a derivatives panic that would be absolutely unprecedented. And that would just be for starters.”
Other nations that we depend upon to lend us money would stop lending to us and would start dumping U.S. debt instead.
Could you imagine what would happen if China started dumping a large portion of the 1.3 trillion dollars in U.S. debt that they are holding?
It would be a total nightmare. The collapse of Lehman Brothers would pale in comparison.
And already some banks are stuffing their ATM machines with extra cash just in case the general public starts to panic.
But none of this has to happen.
If Obama decides to negotiate with the Republicans, this crisis will likely end very rapidly.
If not, and we pass the “debt ceiling deadline”, the federal government will still have enough money to make interest payments on the debt as long as they manage their money correctly.
Unfortunately, Obama seems far more interested in playing political games than he is in solving our problems.
In fact, Park Service rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown. Obama has apparently decided to punish the American people in order to get leverage on the Republicans. Just check out the following example from a new Weekly Standard article…
There’s a cute little historic site just outside of the capital in McLean, Virginia, called the Claude Moore Colonial Farm. They do historical reenactments, and once upon a time the National Park Service helped run the place. But in 1980, the NPS cut the farm out of its budget. A group of private citizens set up an endowment to take care of the farm’s expenses. Ever since, the site has operated independently through a combination of private donations and volunteer workers.
The Park Service told Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down.
The farm’s administrators appealed this directive—they explained that the Park Service doesn’t actually do anything for the historic site. The folks at the NPS were unmoved. And so, last week, the National Park Service found the scratch to send officers to the park to forcibly remove both volunteer workers and visitors.
Think about that for a minute. The Park Service, which is supposed to serve the public by administering parks, is now in the business of forcing parks they don’t administer to close. As Homer Simpson famously asked, did we lose a war?
The hypocrisy that Obama has demonstrated during this “government shutdown” has been astounding.
He has barricaded open air war memorials to keep military veterans from visiting them, but he temporarily reopened the National Mall so that a huge pro-immigration rally that would benefit him politically could be held.
He has continued to fund al-Qaeda rebels in Syria that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, but he has been withholding death benefits from families of fallen U.S. soldiers.
The conduct of the Obama administration during this shutdown has been so egregious that is hard to put into words. Obama has chosen to purposely harm the American people in order to score political points.
But this is how our politicians view us these days. As Monty Pelerin recently explained, most of our politicians have absolutely no problem with exploiting us for their own purposes…
The concept of political service has been replaced by that of masked exploitation. The public is no longer viewed as clients or constituents to be served. Instead they have become political prey. Politicians see the public as a collection of wallets and votes, fair game to be hunted as the means to expand power and wealth. Constituents are now the Soylent Green of the political food chain.
The political class assumes the public exists to serve them, not the other way around. Public participation beyond the lightening of wallets or the provision of votes is unwelcome. It is considered “interference” that must be deterred by the ruling class.
The political class is now a huge, voracious parasite. Like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors, its needs have grown to the point where it threatens anything productive. Its needs now exceed the willingness for continued sacrifice on the part of the productive. The parasite threatens the very existence of the host.
The political Ponzi scheme of tax, borrow and spend has reached its limit. Either it will die when citizens turn on it or it will kill the productive, ensuring its own destruction.
It perishes in the end. Whether it takes civilization with it is the bigger question.
Is there anyone out there that still does not believe that our system is broken?
Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and power mad Obama will decide to toss the Republicans a few crumbs and this crisis will be resolved.
Because if this crisis is not resolved soon, it could have consequences that are far beyond what any of us could possibly imagine.
Why would the president of the United States try to purposely hurt the American people? Well, in 2013 this is done in order to score political points and force the opposition in to doing what you want them to do. A few days ago, an angry Park Service ranger publicly admitted that he and his fellow rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown. That Park Service ranger would never have received such an order unless it came from the very top. Apparently the Obama administration plans to cause as much pain as possible until Obama gets everything that he is demanding. In many cases, it is actually going to cost far more money to put up barricades and use guards to keep Americans from visiting open air memorials, driving on roads, and fishing in bodies of water than it would to put up a “closed” sign and simply go home. As you will see from the examples posted below, the Obama administration is being extremely spiteful and vindictive. And the level of hypocrisy that we are now witnessing is hard to fathom. For instance, the National Mall has been totally closed to the public, but the Obama administration is specifically reopening it for a massive pro-immigration rally that will benefit the Democrats politically. The abuse of power that is taking place is absolutely staggering, and the American people need to demand that those that are abusing it be held accountable when all of this is over.
The following are just a few examples of how Obama is using this shutdown to make life as difficult for people as possible…
#1 The Obama administration is doing all it can to keep Americans from even getting a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, but Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential” and are still preparing his meals.
#2 Small businesses cannot get loans, but the exclusive gyms that are only for members of Congress have been deemed “essential” and remain open.
#3 The National Mall has been closed to the public, but it will be opened for a huge pro-immigration rally being held by Obama supporters.
#4 Last chance cancer treatments for children with cancer have been suspended, but the IRS continues to collect taxes from us.
#5 The NIH has stopped therapy dogs from visiting sick children, but Obama and Congress are still getting paid.
#6 The USDA website has been shut down, but Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website is still operating.
#7 A runner has been fined $100 for jogging through Valley Forge National Historical Park, but the military golf course that Obama uses regularly is still open.
#8 The Obama administration has shut down the Grand Canyon, but the new two billion dollar NSA spy center is still spying on all of us.
#9 The federal government has forced an elderly couple out of their home on Lake Mead during this shutdown, but the operations of the Federal Reserve have not been affected at all.
#10 In South Carolina, the Obama administration is actually using Park Service rangers to keep people away from a privately-owned hotel.
#11 In Tennessee, the feds have totally shut down the Foothills Parkway, a major thoroughfare that runs through Blount County. At this point the feds are not even letting people visit the graves of their dead relatives.
#12 The Obama administration has actually removed all of the well pumps along a 184 mile trail that goes from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh just so that anyone that decides to use the trail will not be able to get any water to drink.
#13 The Obama administration is actually attempting to close 1,100 square miles of ocean off of the coast of Florida. It is going to take a tremendous amount of time, money and energy to keep fishing boats out of that area.
#14 According to one news report, “Gestapo tactics” were used against one tour group made up mostly of senior citizens at Yellowstone National Park…
Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.
Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
#15 Of course one of the most disturbing abuses of power is how the Obama administration is using barricades and guards to keep military veterans away from open air memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial that are normally open to the public 24 hours a day.
It is beyond disgusting for Barack Obama to take these memorials hostage for political gain.
And a lot of military veterans have decided that they are not going to take this slap in the face. In fact, one group is organizing a “Million Veteran March on the Memorials” this weekend. You can find their Facebook page right here. According to their page, a mass protest is being planned for 9 AM this Sunday morning…
“Join fellow Veterans at the war memorials in Washington DC on Sunday October 13th at 9 AM and at memorials across these United States.”
And veterans will not be the only ones in D.C. this weekend. An organization known as “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” will also be there. You can find their Facebook page right here. The truckers are planning a three day strike and protest which will stretch from Friday to Sunday…
“The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a national protest in support of our nation’s truckers on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers! Truckers will lead the path to saving our country if every American rides with them!”
Many truckers are even planning to take their trucks right into the heart of Washington D.C. itself.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.
Personally, I have never seen anything like what we are witnessing right now. The president of the United States is actually trying to purposely hurt the American people in order to put pressure on Congress. He isn’t even being subtle about it.
Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, you have got to be absolutely disgusted by what Obama is doing. He is showing an astounding lack of respect for the American people.
It is one thing to play hardball with Congress. That is acceptable. It is quite another thing to spitefully abuse the American people in order to get what you want.
What Obama has done goes way over the line. If the American people are not outraged by this, what will it take to wake them up?
All of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke. You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running. 63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”. Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual. It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point. In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening. The following are 36 facts which prove that almost everything is still running during this government shutdown…
#1 According to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, 85 percent of all government activities are actually being funded during this “government shutdown”.
#2 Approximately 1,350,000 “essential” federal employees will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.
#3 Overall, 63 percent of the federal workforce will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.
#4 The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver our mail.
#5 U.S. military personnel will remain on duty and will continue to get paid.
#6 Social Security recipients will continue to get their benefits.
#7 Medicare recipients will continue to get their benefits.
#8 Medicaid recipients will continue to get their benefits.
#9 Food stamp recipients will continue to get their benefits.
#10 Those on unemployment will continue to get their benefits.
#11 Federal retirees will continue to get their pensions.
#12 The federal school lunch program has enough money to go through at least the end of this month.
#13 Public schools all over the country will continue to stay open.
#14 Almost all federal law enforcement officials will continue working.
#15 The Federal Reserve will remain “completely functional“.
#16 The Supreme Court will continue to operate normally and federal courts have enough money to keep going for at least two weeks.
#17 TSA employees will continue to molest travelers at our airports.
#18 Air traffic controllers will continue to monitor traffic at our airports.
#19 Hopelessly outmanned border patrol agents will continue to try to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
#20 Visas and passports will continue to be issued by the State Department.
#21 The Veterans Administration will continue to offer substandard medical services, and it will be able to continue processing benefit payments at least for now.
#22 The Obama administration apparently has plenty of money to spend on closing open-air memorials that are usually open to the public 24 hours a day.
#23 The Department of Defense announced the awarding of 94 new contracts worth a combined total of more than 5 billion dollars on September 30th – the day right before the “government shutdown”.
#24 The “government shutdown” has not prevented the new two billion dollar NSA spy center from opening up.
#25 Federal prisons will continue to operate normally.
#26 Amtrak trains will continue to run.
#27 The Patent and Trademark Office will be open.
#28 The Consumer Product Safety Commission will continue to issue product recalls if the products “create an immediate threat to the safety of human life“.
#29 The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track weather patterns.
#30 If the federal government needs to respond to a natural disaster, this “shutdown” will not affect that.
#31 NASA will continue to support the Mars Rover and the two American astronauts up on the International Space Station.
#32 All city employees of the D.C. government have been deemed “essential” and will continue to go to work.
#33 Even though the Obamacare exchanges are not working properly, people will still be able to access them.
#34 The IRS will continue to collect taxes, but it will be suspending punitive audits of conservative organizations.
#35 Barack Obama will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.
#36 The U.S. Congress will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.
Of course not everything is operating normally during this government shutdown. Government parks are closed. The EPA and the Department of Energy have almost totally closed up shop. But overall, most Americans are not going to notice much of a difference.
And perhaps now is a good time for the American people to evaluate whether or not they actually need a gigantic federal government that wastes enormous mountains of our money.
For example, our federal government recently spent $98,670 to construct a single outhouse in Alaska.
That is more than a lot of Americans pay for their entire houses.
For many more examples like this, please see my previous article entitled “The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money“.
It is about time that Washington D.C. started experiencing some of the “belt-tightening” that the rest of the country has been going through. For far too long, the fatcats in D.C. have been living in an alternate reality where they have been able to live the high life at our expense. A recent blog post by Daniel Greenfield discussed how this shutdown is going to affect the alternate reality that the Obamas have been living in…
The government shutdown has forced Obama to make do with only a quarter of his 1,701 person staff. That would leave 436 “vital” employees. The 90 people who look after his living quarters would be slashed to 15 to “provide minimum maintenance and support”.
Buckingham Palace, which is twelve times the size of the White House and has its own clockmaker, only has an 800 person staff. King Harald V of Norway and his court make do with 152 staffers. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gets by with 203.
On Twitter, Michelle Obama announced that she is unable to Tweet on her own without the aid of all of her sixteen assistants; many of whom take home six figure salaries. There are more directors, associate directors and deputy associate directors on Michelle Obama’s staff than there were in George Washington’s entire administration.
Presidents have fought wars and made peace, explored and annexed vast territories and built a nation out of a handful of colonies with fewer senior staffers than are needed to handle Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.
Oh the humanity! Will Michelle Obama ever tweet again? And how will the White House continue to function without at least one projectionist on duty at the White House 24 hours a day?
No wonder Barack Obama is so upset about this shutdown.
In the end, this shutdown could turn out to be very good for America. We have a government that is wildly out of control and that desperately needs to be reigned in.
During the Obama administration, federal debt held by the public has risen by 90 percent, and overall federal government spending has risen by a whopping 317 percent since 1990.
So is it really a bad thing that the federal government has been forced to cut back for a little while?
Our politicians can whine and cry all they want. They won’t be getting any sympathy from me.