IBD points out the obvious: One thing a government shutdown does is prove that millions of them can, and should, stay home every day.
Big Government: When the government shuts down, the president will do without three-fourths of his White House staff — 1,265 taxpayer-salaried federal workers. That's a fraction of the government's total waste.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who didn't show up to vote on the budget last week, recently claimed, "the cupboard is bare. There's no more cuts to make" in a government that spends almost $4 trillion each year.
But it's funny how when the massive state apparatus is starved of its cash flow, lots of things magically appear in that bare cupboard.
A Sept. 26 letter from the assistant to the president for management and administration to the director of the Office of Management and Budget (couldn't those jobs be merged?) comically outlines the shutdown plan.
"Approximately 436 employees will be designated as excepted or exempt to perform excepted functions," the manager of the White House budget tells the manager of the executive branch budget. "The remaining 1,265 will be placed in furlough status once they have concluded activities necessary to shut down their offices."
Activities like what? Turning off the lights?
The Executive Office of the President "has carefully reviewed its personnel needs ... to ensure that the mission ... is carried out without significant interruption."
But the letter says during the shutdown it'll take 12 taxpayer-paid employees "to support the vice president in the discharge of his constitutional duties." Call them the dirty dozen, since they take care of what Vice President John Nance Garner called "a bucket of warm spit."
What do these 12 absolutely essential non-Secret Service vice-presidential staff do, guarantee that Joe Biden doesn't make a gaffe during the shutdown?
He also gets one staffer for the vice president's residence. Can't "average Joe," who as a senator famously rode the commuter train with the riffraff from Delaware to Washington every day, make his own meals for a few days? Or put up with Dr. Jill's cooking?
Why are 61 U.S. Trade Representative employees required during the shutdown "for developing, coordinating, and advising the president on U.S. trade policy"?
And how many of the more than 20 members of the first lady's staff, at least four of whom are paid six figures by the taxpayers, will be deemed non-essential?
The White House is just a microcosm of the out-of-control growth in federal government personnel. Shameless federal worker unions already plan to sue to get paid for days they stay home during the shutdown.
One thing a government shutdown does is prove that millions of them can, and should, stay home every day.