One of the main talking points on the right is that the shutdown is ‘not a big deal’. 800,000 furloughed government employees is apparently inconsequential. Don’t worry about it. Fox has been calling it a “Slimdown” instead of a shutdown. Various paid shills for the right have been rushing to get in front of every camera and microphone to tell us everything is under control. As if 800,000 government employees not working or getting paid is not an economic disaster. Yanking that amount of money out of the economy for a couple of weeks or even a month has a ripple effect on the businesses that depended on that money. Never mind all of the businesses that have the government itself as a customer. But don’t worry! It’s not a problem. Really!
To reinforce this bald faced lie, there has been an extensive list of excuses about why a shutdown won’t hurt anyone. One of the more annoying excuses is that all of those furloughed government employees will get paid anyway. After all, that’s what Congress did in the 90s after the last time the GOP threw a temper tantrum. Why would this time be any different? All of those 800,000 government employees are just taking a little vacation!
800,000 furloughed government employees? More like 800,000 moochers!
But will Congress vote to pay those furloughed workers? Yeah, right. As soon as I heard this from several conservatives online, I smelled a prefabricated talking point. I also smelled a lot of bullshit. The Tea Party GOP? Pay people for not working? The very notion was laughable. Republicans won’t come right out and say it, of course. If there’s one thing Republicans are more devoted to than their government hating “principles,” it’s making sure not to tell anyone what the outcomes of those principles are.
For example, here are several Republicans trying not to talk about it:
“I think it’s way too early to even consider that, but again we’re $7 trillion more in the hole now than we were [in 1995-1996],” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). “It makes it that much more difficult.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also raised the issue of the national debt, signaling what might prevent many Republicans from getting on board.
“I think there would be less chance of that now considering the great big budget deficit we have now,” Grassley said. “We’re in a much worse situation.”
So how would he vote if a measure were brought to floor to back pay federal employees?
“I would not make a judgment at this point,” Grassley responded.
Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) also said it was too early for them to make a determination, while Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he “probably” would support the move.
I find myself completely unable to imagine the Flying Monkey Caucus in the House approving of this. These are the people that are literally cheering the shutdown they caused in the first place. Pity for the furloughed workers? Are you serious? The Tea Party HATES government employees. Hell, if they thought they could get away with not paying the government employees that are being forced to work without pay, they would. They’d do it faster than Michele Bachmann running from a pair of lesbians.
An interesting trend is that the people discussing how all those government employees will get paid seem extremely uninterested in stating whether they think they should be paid. As usual, conservatives will say one thing now and another thing later. “Don’t worry about furloughed government employees because they’ll all be paid once the shutdown
we wanted Obama caused is over!” they say. And when later comes and the Tea Party screams bloody murder at the very idea? Well, all those telling us not to worry now were never for it the first place.
Right wing hypocrisy at its finest.