Conservatives and liberals know the United States of America is being governed in a way that would be unrecognizable to its Founding Fathers. The difference is that liberals just don’t give a damn.
The Constitution’s framework, for those whose remembrance of it has been clouded by decades of a government whose resemblance to it is but a murky memory at this point, is based on “powers delegated…to the federal government [that] are few and defined” (James Madison). We are well beyond that. And it might be because we are so sensitive.
Limited to me (am I crazy?) means the non-essential parts are stripped out. When my suitcase is limited so I don’t have to pay to have it checked, the non-essentials are left out, things I don’t really need, and well, probably won’t miss.
The Washington Post yesterday, though, in its Wonkblog explaining how the government shutdown works, explained that “essential” parts of the government will stay open. Apparently the wording to delineate “essential” and “non-essential” government workers “was tweaked in 1995 because ‘non-essential’ seemed a bit hurtful.” “The preferred term,” declares the Post sensibly, “nowadays is ‘excepted’ and ‘non-excepted.’”
Money people make purchases with when they have cash to spare to buy things not considered essential (“luxury items”) is called “disposable income.” I guess our government is just living in the lap of luxury– paying non-essential people to perform non-essential tasks. Disposable income? Why not? We can afford it, right?
The truth hurts, guys. Guess what, “hundreds of thousands of workers,” you’re not necessary. Nor did the Founders want you. Don’t go away mad; just go away.
But, being the soft-hearted girl that I am, since non-essential is “a bit hurtful,” I propose we refer to the shutdown employees not as “non-essential,” but as “disposable workers” or as “luxury people.”
Whatever you call them, they weren’t in the Founders’ vision.
Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events.