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Sorry, Paul Krugman, the Government Shutdown Is No Great Libertarian Experiment

Trump's shutdown is a temporary, political fight that won't save any money or reduce the size of government.

Jorge Nunez/EFE/NewscomJorge Nunez/EFE/NewscomIn The New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman declares that the current government shutdown can be understood as "a big, beautiful libertarian experiment." Government programs have been forced to pause, federal workers aren't being paid, the swamp of Washington is relatively quiet. Isn't this exactly what libertarians want?

Even Krugman understands that it isn't. As he acknowledges in the column, the sudden nature of a shutdown like this means private sector companies that might take over some of the federal government's current activities "don't exist now and can't be conjured up in a matter of weeks. So even true libertarians wouldn't necessarily celebrate a sudden government shutdown." To be clear: A temporary, unplanned shutdown of an undetermined length that probably won't save money is not what most libertarians have in mind when they talk about limited government.

For one thing, shutdowns like this one are shortlived and limited in scope: During the shutdown, much of the government—including automatic spending on the major entitlement programs that make up the bulk of government spending and the biggest drivers of long-term debt—remains open. And although it is at least theoretically possible that the impasse lasts for months, it increasingly looks as if President Donald Trump will declare a state of emergency, continue fighting for a border wall in the courts, and move on to ending the shutdown. So whether it lasts another two days or another two months, the rest of the government will eventually reopen. When it does, no significant long-term progress toward reducing the size of government will have been made.

Federal workers affected by the shutdown are almost certain to eventually receive backpay. That's what happened during previous shutdowns, and given that the Senate has already approved a backpay resolution for after the current shutdown ends, that's what is likely to happen this time as well.

At the same time, the federal government will, by law, owe interest on contract payments and other fiscal obligations it didn't meet during the shutdown. Which means that ultimately, the shutdown won't save taxpayers money. If anything, it might actually cost more than if the government had stayed open.

There's also public opinion to consider: Government shutdowns tend to be unpopular, and, if anything, drive support for expanding government.

Consider what happened in October 2013, when Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) led a push to shut down the government over Obamacare.

The shutdown started the same day that the health law's insurance exchanges opened for business. The federal exchange system, however, crashed on launch and was barely operable for months. But initially, the shutdown drew more attention, and Obamacare, despite its obvious technical problems, actually grew more popular.

It's not too hard to imagine that keeping the government open would have led to even more intense scrutiny and criticism of the exchange failures, and stronger out-of-the-gate public disapproval. Instead, the shutdown served as a distraction. Forcing a shutdown was meant to serve as an impediment to Obamacare, but it probably made no difference, and might have been an own goal.

Which illustrates the biggest problem with shutdowns: As a tool for promoting limited government, they are nearly always tactically ineffective.

That's why I largely agree with Jeff Miron, the director of economic studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, when he writes at Vox that "shutdowns distract from the serious conversations that need to be had about fiscal reform and the size of government."

That's particularly true of this shutdown, which is happening mostly because President Trump is demanding roughly $5 billion for a border wall (sorry, "steel barrier"). The border wall is a pointless boondoggle, premised on lies, that Trump wants mainly to fulfill an insipid campaign promise. The showdown over the wall is a partisan food fight, not a way of drawing attention to the problems with a government that is too expensive and too powerful.

Yes, some libertarians might appreciate shutdowns as form of political theater, but if your goal is to actually reduce the size of government, mere theatrics won't get you very far. As Miron writes, "libertarians will only succeed in reducing the size of government when they convince non-libertarians that smaller government is better. A government shutdown does little to nothing to change minds." If anything, the opposite is true. A shutdown comes across as chaotic, and creates the opportunity for someone like Krugman to declare that this haphazard, partial government closure is a demonstration of an ideal libertarian government.

The government should be smaller on a permanent basis, ideally with public buy-in and plenty of time for everyone to prepare. A shutdown that hijacks the federal government's broken budget process so the president can make a futile attempt to fulfill a foolish and wasteful campaign promise is little more than a cheap political stunt, not a substantive libertarian victory.

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  • Dillinger||

    >>>Isn't this exactly what libertarians want?

    I am singularly enjoying it. Air smells fresher.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Sad to say, though, the parts of Government Almighty that are authorized to shoot you, are NOT being shut down!

    Some of my dearest friends have been shot to death for blowing on cheap plastic flutes, w/o the blessings of The Collective Hive, mind you! So my self-chosen pubic duties call on me yet again...

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

  • MoreFreedom||

    I'm more optimistic than Suderman. Democrats are choosing to shut down government over an expense that amounts to less than 0.1% of the yearly budget. Given promises from GOP politicians (i.e., the lying RINOs) that they intend to shrink government, and that the Democrats will shut down government for so little, takes away the excuse RINOs use to not use a shutdown to significantly cut government spending.

    I hope this shutdown lasts months, and some politicians start saying we should not pay federal workers for work not done. It's not fair to taxpayers.

  • DajjaI||

    Shutdowns are a libertarian victory. I am libertarian and I am thrilled. First of all because they show we don't need the government. We won't get crime and terrorist attacks as the statists always threaten. No one will die from food poisoning. Sure prison guards won't get paid, but at least this will make people think twice before going into that profession. Secondly, if the border wall is dumped, then that would be a huge libertarian victory for small government. I think it's great that the dems have to act like libertarians here. It must irk them to no end, which is why Krugman has to satirize the situation. It's all good. Stay strong my people - and rejoice!

  • 0x1000||

    I just got an email today from a major trail map provider with tips on how to care for the parks. The gist was, "without the government everything will be the same, but we need to be decent people."

    There was an implication (at least to me) that all the government really adds to the National parks is the possibility for people to be self-absorbed scumbags. If that actually resonates with anyone, that's a positive message.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    In other words, to pay money so progtards can go the parks, and be themselves.

  • ||

    Tragedy of the commons.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano late-night drunk-posting.

  • BigT||

    That's sober Hihn.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's gonna put my name on his Enemies List again.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's pretends he doesn't have an Enemies List.

  • Echospinner||

    insha'allah

    Or is it Im yertzeh hashem

    Same thing right Dajjal?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The essential workers that do show up are unenthusiastic about doing their jobs, because they are not getting paid. A few days ago someone spray painted, "Hackensack, NJ Gay Pride," followed by a Star of David on the mausoleum in Harlem that contains General Grant's Tomb, and the federal security guard just stared blankly as the guy waved to him, said, "Hi," and calmly walked away.

  • SQRLSY One||

    General Grant's Tomb, you say?

    Who in the blue blazes is buried in General Grant's Tomb, for Yahweh's sake?

  • Fancylad||

    Julia Grant (no, really).

  • SQRLSY One||

    OK, man, winner-winner, chicken dinner!!!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant's_Tomb

  • SQRLSY One||

  • SQRLSY One||

    Stuff and stuff is stuffy, and stuff; I give up! Out-take from the Wiki-God of All Knowledge...

    Grant's Tomb, formally known as General Grant National Memorial, is the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902). Completed in 1897, the tomb is located in Riverside Park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City, across Riverside Drive from Riverside Church. It was placed under the management of the National Park Service in 1958.

  • Ray McKigney||

    When I die, I want to be buried in a giant mausoleum in the 'hood.

  • IceTrey||

    I want to be cremated and used to grow weed.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I want to be put on public transportation and see how many years it takes for someone to notice I'm dead.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They say that Grant rises from his tomb after dusk to slake his unholy thirst on the gangbangers.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is irony in this. Grant signed the Comstock Laws. These 1873 usurpations used the postal monopoly to ban ALL birth control and censor all information regarding same--with gold bullion fines heavy enough to crush your foot and 10-year terms on a chain gang. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice used it to ban and burn books its members deemed too candid. Vestiges of these laws still coerced women in 1932, and into the 1960s with prison terms for advising married couples about birth control. Then came the LP plank the Court transcribed into Roe v Wade...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Do you just come here to randomly gibber? I would love to,see a ban on abortion just to piss you off. Baby murder aficionado that you are.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you want to see a Dumbfuck Hihnsano's empty skull EXPLODE, ask him how the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms are in conflict.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihnfection

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Even more inconvenient facts:

    Homicide rates per 100,000 (NCHS)
    0 North Dakota
    0 Wyoming
    0 Maine
    0 Vermont
    0 New Hampshire

    And all of these have gun ownership rates above the US average.

    So fuck off.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still assmad that he can't get his gun ban.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still doesn't know how the right to bear arms and the right to life conflict.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's pretends he didn't call for a gun ban.

  • Mock-star||

    "If you want to see a Dumbfuck Hihnsano's empty skull EXPLODE, ask him how the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms are in conflict."

    C'mon man. Thats just cheating.

  • IceTrey||

    Grant isn't known for how great his presidency was.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I have no sympathy for suffering democrats that normally live very well on the backs of,the rest of us.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "The border wall is a pointless boondoggle, premised on lies, that Trump wants mainly to fulfill an insipid campaign promise."

    Goddam I wish the Reason writers would stop this bullshit. The wall is being SOLD by way of lies, or extreme exaggerations, whichever you prefer, but since our political elite are incapable of having coherent, reasonable conversations (or they think we're incapable of understanding them), EVERY political idea is sold with lies or extreme exaggerations. "If Kavanaugh is confirmed people will LITERALLY DIE". "You can keep your doctor". "Obamacare is socialized medicine". It's what they do.

    A lot of people cross our southern border illegally, and a wall will make it more difficult to do so and will probably decrease the amount of people that can cross. That's the simple premise. Whether you're for it or against it, that's the premise. And once everybody admits the premise, it becomes a cost/benefit argument.

    So stop the bullshit. And, oh, fuck Krugman. Liberty is an anathema to assholes like Krugman.

  • Mongo||

    Suderman is a NeverTrumper GOPer.

  • BigT||

    Yeah. He ruins the Reason podcasts fairly regularly.

  • Ray McKigney||

    Yeah, well, the guys who write the checks said thanks for your advice, but they'd prefer to continue with the Trump-bashing and cheap labor.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That about covers it.

  • Fancylad||

    I wish the Reason writers would stop this bullshit.

    It's Sudermen, he ain't never gonna stop the bullshit, and you can't make him if you tried.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano knows all about being fucking stupid.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano links to his idiocy again, still assmad that I made him my bitch on gun control.

  • Jim Logajan||

    "Whether you're for it or against it, that's the premise. And once everybody admits the premise, it becomes a cost/benefit argument."

    Fair enough. Since a 100% effective border barrier would allegedly reduce the influx of illegal aliens by only about a third (the other two thirds allegedly due to overstaying their visas) the barrier attacks the smaller of the two major sub-categories of illegals, which is contrary to any scheme that would attempt an attack the problem based on efficient prioritization. That is, tracking and deporting the visa over-stays may generally be more cost-effective. I believe one colloquial term for such inverted prioritization is "boondoggle". Of course if the barrier is less than 100% effective, then at some effectiveness rate it might also be tagged "pointless".

  • DenverJ||

    Of course, one needs to look at the difference between people who were granted visas for education and employment vs the illiterate peasants traipsing across the border. Ie, college kids who overstay are not the same as welfare cases waiting to happen.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So........ you say the border wall works against the intended interlopers? Awesome.

    We can multitask for the VISA abusers. Hunt them down and round them up.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano sockpuppets like the useless retard that he is.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    @ Jim - I'm not sure I have a strong position. I've lived in Texas for so long and seen so much angst about this stuff that I'm mildly skeptical that it'll work as effectively as proponents suggest it will. The economic self-interest that drives most of the illegals is strong enough to induce them to be terribly persistent. So I'm inclined to think the wall is probably not money well spent, but it's only a mild inclination.

    I just wish our fucking political leadership could act like serious adults for once in our lifetime. They seem to prefer to imitate monkeys flinging shit at each other, unfortunately.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having another bold-text shitfit.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano throwing another bitchfit.

    Shriek some more for me, bitch.

  • pro bonobo||

    People overstaying their visas ipso facto are known. They entered the country though the front door and had a passport of which, I'll suspect, a complete image is stored by La Migra, and have passed the minor scrutiny of any visitor on their way to see the sights or conduct some business.

    I'm going to make a wild guess that not many heavily tattooed MS-13 gangbangers have been let in on tourist visas after disembarking at O'Hare.

  • pro bonobo||

    People overstaying their visas ipso facto are known. They entered the country though the front door and had a passport of which, I'll suspect, a complete image is stored by La Migra, and have passed the minor scrutiny of any visitor on their way to see the sights or conduct some business.

    I'm going to make a wild guess that not many heavily tattooed MS-13 gangbangers have been let in on tourist visas after disembarking at O'Hare.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Given recent mutilations of our platform, the LP's objections are now as good a selling point for a wall as the Queens Puerto Rican's--as far as hardcore Trumpistas are concerned. She at least is entertaining. The LP, however, is again reduced to shame as it was in 1990.

  • CE||

    They've got freeway interchanges in Dallas that cost more than the wall.

  • Chipper Jones||

    More than 5 billion maybe. But with the way the Feds spend money the 5 billion Trump wants for the wall will probably get us about 30 miles.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Paulie Krugnuts is an avowed enemy of freedom, and also literally fucking retarded.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Get help, dude.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's IQ = Zero

  • Trigger Warning||

    What? No, I meant it. You need help. I can point you toward resources if needed. Not even trolling.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Huh. Krugman said something in bad faith? Weird.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Amazing how easy it is lose hard-earned credibility. Even leftists don't take him seriously.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And I went back and reread the article and it was Paul Krugman. Not some other Krugman. Crazy to think that he would argue in bad faith.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes, it really is easy to throw away hard-earned credibility.

  • CE||

    The same Paul Krugman who thinks a 4 trillion dollar federal budget is out of hand because of too much austerity?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Photo caption:
    "So I lifted his scrotum, and there it was, the missing babysitting coupon, stuck to his perineum. And I was able to slosh the coupon through the babysitting sluices, revitalizing the economic juices."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nobelworthy hot take, if you ask me.

  • Tony||

    So achieving a real libertarian society would require a sort of democratic and institutional scaffolding to make sure the system all comes down in an orderly fashion without pissing too many people off. Step 1: convince the oldies to give up their Medicare. A small task, but a good signifier of how easy or difficult this will be. Go!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "So you'll have to pay for your medical treatment out of pocket again, BUT because you'll now have a larger range of doctors, you can price-shop for the most affordable. You'll even be able to guilt-trip your kids into paying for the expenses up front!"

  • Tony||

    And unicorns will fart rainbows.

    I can make up some nonsense utopia with absolutely no evidence supporting it too.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, when I did t see you around here for awhile, I thought you might have seen the light and drank that Drano.

    Oh well.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    'Didn't'

  • Sevo||

    Tony|1.11.19 @ 5:24PM|#
    "I can make up some nonsense utopia with absolutely no evidence supporting it too."

    Sure you can, shitbag You often do; claiming that your theft of my skills won't hurt anything.
    Maybe you ought to, well, READ something before you claim what you see here is nonsense. But as a fucking lefty shitbag, that's entire too much like work; mommy didn't do it for you, did she?
    BTW, I found your photo:

    So Morales was 'inaugurated' yesterday, ushering in more grief for Venezuelans, some of which they so richly deserve, but not all.
    I get a bunch of links as a result, and it's interesting to find the definitive image of the evil in which that country is awash. Well, here's a good one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-0Zy7yqAUw
    34:20
    Nope, not a Stalin figure or a one of the hired torturers; it's that millennial asshole with the spray can. He and his ilk are firm believers that they are 'owed' something by those who work to produce those things. He is willing to use guns to take it away from them or support the government to do it for him.
    HE is the evil which makes such hell-holes like Venezuela and Cuba possible.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "YOU GUYS CANT COME UP WITH ANY ARGUMENTS!"
    "Here's an argument"
    "YOU GUYS CANT COME UP WITH ANY ARGUMENTS THAT WILL GIVE PEOPLE FREE SHIT!"

    Tony's hicklib stupidity rears its head again. Must be all the semen he swallowed from his cousins.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's pretends that a tax cut is borrowing.

  • DesigNate||

    No no no. The cost of medical care is in no way affected by the government helping to limit the supply of medical professionals or forcing everyone into a type of insurance that covers everything under the sun.

    Also, is it any surprise that Tony is such a piece of shit human that he assumes the rest of the country would behave as horribly as he would if the government wasn't telling him not to?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's wants the government to keep their hands off his Medicare.

  • ||

    Also, is it any surprise that Tony is such a piece of shit human that he assumes the rest of the country would behave as horribly as he would if the government wasn't telling him not to?

    In hist defense, I'd say it's a mixture of the government preventing him from acting like a shitbag and preventing private citizens from correcting him appropriately when he acts like a shitbag.

  • CE||

    except old people vote.
    and live in FLorida, a swing state.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano has nothing, either.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's been losing his whole life.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano stroke-posts his bitchy crying.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That's like saying "so, achieving a better user experience would require all these old codgers to give up their flip phones and get a smart phone."

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Hi Krugscum!!

    You just can't resist showing up in a piece that talks about you by name, can you?

  • JFree||

    Easier than you think.

    If govt pays for medical, govt must deliver it too. 20% of hospitals are govt-owned (mostly municipal, state university, and VA). Deem those 'in-network' where Medicare pays everything - they are fully open to Medicare/aid patients - govt runs everything - and Medicare pays nothing for private sector care. Recipients are of course free to go anywhere else but they pay for it. Some hospitals may sell themselves to govt. But basically that system and whatever it becomes remains an entirely political thang (capacity, doctor hiring/training, management boards, rationing, etc) Comparable to NHS/UK model (or Kaiser - or technically even Mayo but I'm 100% certain none of it will really be Mayo caliber) really - and kind of comparable to how schools used to be run before district consolidation. No debt may be issued for anything beyond local facilities (which could like muni bonds or schools in the old days be secured by local prop taxes) - all operating costs must be paid for with current taxes.

    2. A multi-year medical savings system akin to Singapore for younger. That would have three elements (in Sing they are called Medisave, Medishield, Medifund) and insurance companies or local hospital/provider networks would offer plans to public. With legislation to create interstate compact for reinsurance, pooling, case mgmt, and tertiary referral to those providers.

  • BigT||

    VA, no thanks. Med savings accounts, ok. But drop the intense government micromanaging.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano talking to himself in the mirror.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano links to his own idiocy.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano links to his lying loser shitposts again.

  • Brian||

    It's like you didn't even read your own premise.

    You convince elderly to gradually transition off of taxed pay-as-you-go-but-only-medicine to opt-in health investment accounts your children can inherit if you decide, with a fallback to Medicaid for the poor elderly.

    At the point, the only next question is: why do you want to only be able to spend this on medicine?

  • IceTrey||

    They'll want to give it up when they see how much better a free market in healthcare is.

  • IceTrey||

    A lot.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano flunked success at life.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano links to his own idiocy.
    (snarf)

  • Procyon Rotor||

    You also flunked NAP.

    This from the self-proclaimed libertarian who thinks that a majority vote for aggressive force justifies the use of aggressive force. Because obviously, telling a majority group that they aren't allowed to enact their preference for aggression is itself a form of aggression against them.

  • IceTrey||

    BTW step 1 is prohibit the government from initiating force.

  • IceTrey||

    Libertarianism is the idea that the government must be prohibited from initiating force.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano brags about his non-existent libertarian bonafides.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano fucks up his own shitposts. (LOL)

  • Mock-star||

    What does Scalia's Heller decision say about the NAP? I mean since you just pretty much make up what it states, Im sure that thats in there too.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano REFUSES to stop shitting pants.
    (Chortle)

  • MarkLastname||

    Difficulty inherent in convincing bank robbers to voluntarily give up their loot is hardly a solid argument in defense of legal bank robbery.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Paul Krugman might misunderstand some aspects of libertarian thought. But remember he correctly predicted Drumpf's election would cause a global recession with no end in sight. Like most NYTimes writers, he's absolutely worth reading.

  • Fancylad||

    Like most NYTimes writers, he's absolutely worth reading.
    Two thumbs up

  • Earth Skeptic||

    And do the opposite.

  • flashgordon||

    Strange article by Reason. Some significant portion of government is shut down and everyone is going about their daily lives, getting fed, getting to work, enjoying their lives. In fact from a public perception standpoint it helps that most people think that most of government is shut down, even though that's not the case. I don't know what Reason is reading but I haven't read any story about how the shutdown is causing a major hardship. That is a libertarian moment. All of us reading this page should step out of their bubble for a moment. Probably 50% of the people in this country believe that the government is why the grocery stores stay filled and the lights stay on. They are now seeing very explicitly that life goes on fine without the government and that it's really the local grocery store or power company that services them.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Government Almighty provides the very oxygen we breathe, and the gravity which holds us down to the Earth.

    Or at least, so I have been told...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Federal employees are starting to feel the pinch. I have no sympathy for them. They never share in the pain that their progressive democrat voting causes. So they deserve some suffering.

  • pro bonobo||

    NPR this morning had a tear-jerker of a story, a woman working for the BLM in AZ whose finances are so stretched she's resorted to GoFundMe so she could give her son lunch money and pay her mortgage.

    At this time her paycheck has been delayed what, a day or two? And no one is expecting any federal employee to lose a penny whether they were "essential" or not?

  • Hank Phillips||

    True dat! The Kleptocracy can't be manacled long enough to suit me. Pity the prohibitionists and First Responder ™ dog-shooters are still loose though.

  • CE||

    Can't they just put the SS checks and the Medicare reimbursements on AI autopilot and shut down the rest forever?

  • ||

    So... yes!

  • BigT||

    "I don't know what Reason is reading but I haven't read any story about how the shutdown is causing a major hardship. That is a libertarian moment."

    What?? You missed that traffic jam in a Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heaghts??

  • TLBD||

    Walls don't work!

    Has to be the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard.

    I'm not sure why so many people insist on showing their ass with that tripe.

  • Tony||

    There's a reason people stopped building castles (we invented stuff that could breach walls). And even when they did build castles, walls didn't work that great. And now it's a thousand years later and wall technology has not improved all that much.

  • DenverJ||

    You see a lot of guatemalans dragging trebuchets around, Tony?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Guatemalans can dig tunnels under the walls, they can over-stay their visas, they can go by boat or by air, they can bribe the border guards, they can be good-looking models or porn stars and fuck the POTUS or the POTUS-to-be, and on and on...

    To fight back against this, we need to up our game!

    Anyone recall the Iran-Iraq wars of the 1980s? Lots of it was fought in low-laying salt-water marshes. Very tough terrain for Iraqi military vehicles... And it is expensive to bring in bunches of rocks or logs to raise up the mud to make roads. But there were BUTTLOADS of Iranian corpses just laying around for free! So the Iraqis just limed 'em up (for rot-proofing), and lined 'em up and laid 'em down to make roads! Lime 'em up, line 'em up, lay 'em down!

    So we can soon expect Der TrumpfenFuhrer to steal a page from the Iran-Iraq war! The Mexicans won't pay for His Walls?!? Make raids on Mexican peasant villages, round up conscript wall-building labor, and build the wall out of the limed-up corpses of illegal sub-humans!!! (Or at least the top-rim of the wall, for max psychological intimidation). For every American soldier killed in the effort, there will be reprisal shootings of 200 more illegal un-Americans!

    Don't say no one warned you of what is coming! Trump wants to "win" at any costs!

  • BigT||

    OBL has competition!!

  • DenverJ||

    Also, you don't know what you're talking about. Taking a well defended castle/city/keep took a lot of time and men. And if you don't think we have better materials than whatever rock is laying around, well, again, you don't know what you're talking about.

  • DesigNate||

    Small, defensible walls work just fine.

    Large walls with giant swaths undefended don't work as well. See: Hadrian's Wall and Great Wall of China.

    (Not that I necessarily want them to build the damn thing.)

  • DenverJ||

    And the drones, sensors, etc., are to summon defenders to the point of incursion, so that the entire length doesn't need the same manpower to defend as those earlier walls.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "wall technology has not improved all that much."

    Yes Tony, it has. You stupid bitch. Maybe if you spent less time to fuck young boys, you might learn something. The wall systems proposed and are high tech. Not some tenth century caricature like you imagine in your dull little pea brain.

    Now go drink your Drano.

  • IceTrey||

    Good fences make good neighbors.

  • TLBD||

    "...dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard."

    Tony: "Hold my beer."

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah, some wit wrote a column the other day calling walls medieval, and how many archers, etc, were going to be needed. Now every progtard on the internet is talking about how walls are obsolete. They also wore hats in medieval times, I suppose hats no longer keep your head warm or the sun out of your eyes, because, you know, they used hats in medieval Europe.

  • DenverJ||

    Radar is obsolete. It's WWII technology, easily circumvented by radar detectors. Therefore, we shouldn't even try to enforce the speed limit (the apparent position of every city in the denver- metro area).

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It's not hard to enforce the speed limit when traffic and the population's aversion to building and fixing roads keeps everyone moving at a nice, safe 25 miles per hour.

  • CE||

    because tunnels? and boats? and ladders? and helicopters?

  • Brandybuck||

    There's no government shutdown if I'm still paying taxes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would you overpay in taxes?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano the biggest idiot of all.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano self-identifies.

  • Malvolio||

    Much as I am enjoying the shut-down, even I know it is not actually reducing the size of government even temporarily. Two examples that I have noticed:

    1. the ATF is not reviewing new beer labels. You'd think that would be an improvement — except they are still requiring new beer labels be reviewed, they just are not performing the reviews. Presumably, if you just go ahead and endanger the Republic by selling beer with an unapproved label, as soon as they are funded again, they'll go all Waco on your ass.
    2. TSA is working without pay. If they give up, you'd think you could just do their job for them — you know, fondle your own crotch and then steal your own iPad — but no, they'll just shut down airports.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I have actionable intel that hot models and actresses are trying to bring contraband on airlines. I volunteer to give them all thorough searches to ensure the safety of our airline flights.

    I even have my own probe!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No one ever asked for Dumbfuck Hihnsano's probe, which is why he'll die alone in a pool of his own shit.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano admits he's a virus, links to proof.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    1. the ATF is not reviewing new beer labels. You'd think that would be an improvement — except they are still requiring new beer labels be reviewed, they just are not performing the reviews. Presumably, if you just go ahead and endanger the Republic by selling beer with an unapproved label, as soon as they are funded again, they'll go all Waco on your ass.

    This was what I was going to comment on. Government shutdowns don't suspend permission culture, they just suspend the granting of permission. The bureaucracy makes itself indispensable by erecting barriers to everyday activities through which only it can grant passage. It's no different in principle than the mobster demanding protection money, or the highwayman collecting tolls on a road that isn't his.

  • What's that smell?||

    Paul Krugman has the mental equivalency of a dried dog turd.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano self-diagnoses.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump's shutdown is a temporary, political fight that won't save any money or reduce the size of government.

    It's "Trump's shutdown" even if Congress can override any veto by voting 2/3 in both Houses of Congress?

    A government shutdown WILL save tens of billions of dollars. Thousands of federal employees are quitting. That means they are only owed back pay for time worked. No overtime pay for those that didnt work during the shutdown and their open positions will save taxpayers tens of billions.

    Operating costs for government vehicles, buildings, and other misc costs associated with millions of federal employees actually working will not be there. After 30 days of shutdown, the savings for taxpayers will likely be a lot higher. 30 days is 1/12 of a fiscal year worth of savings and the federal government spends billions per hour.

    Poor Suderman. This has been a tough 2 years for him since Trump has been kicking ass and not falling for Lefty threats.

  • Ray McKigney||

    When the President is an R, it's "President X's shutdown."

    When the President is a D, it's "the Speaker Y's shutdown."

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano has been losing his whole life.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Hihn. He needed another sock handle.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano throws his bitchfit, still assmad that he's a lying loser.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano links to his own idiocy. (snarf)

  • Hank Phillips||

    If Peter wants readers to believe that shutting down much of the looter kleptocracy is not saving us a penny, more accounting and less arm-waving would be in order.

  • DenverJ||

    Pete's not writing for anybody who doesn't already agree with him.

  • PG23COLO||

    Why is it that 99% of Reason's Hit and Run Blogs posted are articles about politics?

    What happened to your logo: Free Minds and Free Markets?

    The politicians want to control everyone and everything - as a rough generalization.

    Real life is, in large part, what happens when and where the politicians and their enforcers are not involved.

    Can't you find some non-political topics to write about?

  • Nardz||

    Try Zero Hedge.
    Much less progressive than Reason, but not conservative. I'd say the perspective is generally anarcho-capitalist.
    A lot of their stuff is batshit crazy (but they gather a ton of content), the commentors are a bit... coarse (and quite often anti-semitic), and they predict the economic apocalypse... multiple times, literally. every. single. day.
    But they have a wide variety of articles from a wide variety of sources on a multitude of topics. Some interesting stuff there.
    But... maybe stay away from the comments at first

  • Echospinner||

    I do not go much for conspiracy theories but I think Zero Hedge is Russian agitprop disguised by some reasonable financial analysis.

  • Nardz||

    Lol

  • Echospinner||

    I made one person laugh today. I have done at least one good thing ;)

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Why did you make a total freaking fool of yourself? IN PUBLIC?

    For the same reason Dumbfuck Hihnsano does it every day.

  • newshutz||

    I find nothing foolish in the OP.

    Of course there is nothing but foolishness in a response by the hihnsane.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano copypasting his lunacy since Reason memory-holed his other sockpuppets.

  • Duelles||

    Please don't reference Krugman, ever. He is simply a non performer and full of shit!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    And Dumbfuck Hihnsano.

  • Sevo||

    Here's all you need to know about Krugman:

    "New York Times opinion writer and economist Paul Krugman predicted early Wednesday morning that the stock market will "never" recover from Donald Trump's presidential victory, only to be proven spectacularly wrong in less than a day. Instead of collapsing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high shortly before the closing bell."
    https://dailycaller.com/2016/11/09/paul-
    krugman-says-markets-will-never-
    recover-from-trump-dow-hits-record-high/

    The man has the cred of Paul Ehrlich and Michael Mann and all three of them continue to get ink for reasons unknown to those of us who prefer evidence.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's worried there won't be enough Medicare-funded pills to stave off his growing dementia.

  • BigT||

    Hihn's memory is so shot he forgot 2016!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still raging that I own him like Kunta Kinte.

  • IceTrey||

    libertarians will only succeed in reducing the size of government when they convince non-libertarians that the government initiating force is immoral and should be prohibited.

    FIFY.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    NEVER confuse the addled mentality of a Dumbfuck Hihnsano with reality or intelligence.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano the sorriest thug of all.

  • Mock-star||

    Hihn: Ive been a Libertarian since the dawn of time, and even though I am highly antisocial, I managed to get elected as a libertarian.

    Also Hihn: 91% of the population rejects libertarians.

    Also Hihn, once more: *Never considers that these might be related, never wonders why everyone seems to hate him. Surely not because of his personality.*

  • IceTrey||

    Ad hominem. You lose.

  • IceTrey||

    Ad hominem.

  • ||

    Oh look. Krugman is a disingenuous misleading windbag.

    Why I never!

    Didn't he say the economy was going to collapse once Trump took over?

  • aajax||

    Joe Setyon seems ok with the experiment. https://bit.ly/2VLCqsZ

  • CE||

    The shutdown would be a great libertarian victory if they would just ditch the back pay and permanently lay off every single government worker that was found to be inessential.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If Dumbfuck Hihsano posted something intelligent, it would be the first time.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    To a simpering, impotent Dumbfuck Hihnsano, "intelligence" means shrieking like a bitch a comparing himself to a Holocaust victim.

    Libertarians and independents are not so stupid. That's why Dumbfuck Hihnsano isn't one.

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's IQ = Zero.

  • Nardz||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano outs himself as a Nazi, believes Holocaust is a lie

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano cowardly evading his worthless existence, will die alone and unloved.

  • IceTrey||

    I think Trump is trying to make them quit.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano responding to his own sockpuppets again.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dunbfuck Hihnsano loses at life. Again.
    Got owned like Kunta Kinte. Again.
    (chortle)

  • BigT||

    You are largely correct Jr. People respond to emotional and self-interest pleas. Libertarianism is not rich with those. We appeal to the cerebrum, not the brain stem. Human nature is not our friend.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    "People want 90% of what government provides"

    So? People want bigger dicks and slimmer thighs and hair that curls/straightens itself and to eat and drink like they see on TV (and have the bodies they see on TV) and EVERYTHING FOR FREE.

    Fuck them and anyone who claims they can meet these delusional demands.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano = lying soreass loser.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano admits he has a tiny dick, wants a big one like the government who pays for his in-home nursing care.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Trigger much?

  • IceTrey||

    I talk about liberty and how it can be achieved simply by prohibiting the government from initiating force.

  • IceTrey||

    Government is the means by which we place the retaliatory use of force under objective law. - Ayn Rand

  • jester||

    I thought Somalia was the Great Libertarian Experiment. [Guess I've been away too long]

  • Man from Earth||

    Does Klugman ever get anything right.
    Just look at the outlandish predictions he made about Trump winning the election.
    The exact opposite happened.
    The NYT has become little more than a propaganda rag.
    Real journalism in America only seems to exist on alternative media.

  • IceTrey||

    There's no such thing as the popular vote. Only electors vote for the POTUS the rest of us vote for electors.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano understands the Electoral College as well as he does gun control.

  • IceTrey||

    No it doesn't.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Look, Krugman is, first, a fucking statist. Second, he is an entrenched academic (but then I repeat myself). Anything he sees in opposition is the enemy, so especially libertarians.

  • IceTrey||

    Ad hominem.

  • IceTrey||

    "I've PROVEN you a moral hypocrite ... on top of liar and ignorant ... and a childish windbag."

    Ad hominem.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    MORE PROOF! Dumbfuck Hihnsano's a pants shitting drama queen. (for any who still NEED proof)

    This whole comment section.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    (stretch) Dumbfuck Hihnsano likes linking to his own idiocy, will put me on his Enemies List for the third time.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's idiocy = government data

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    How to ENRAGE Dumbfuck Hihnsano--point out what a useless whiny pussy he is.

  • wearingit||

    Could be a victory for anarchists, certainly not libertarians if you have any sense of seeing past the bridge of your nose.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano makes argument to amp up border security at ECPs.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano can't handle the reality that he's going to die old and alone, and forever wrong on gun control.

  • vek||

    Fuck you buddy! I'm fine with the shutdown. If nothing else we can use it as a "Yeah, remember that government shutdown? The one that you completely didn't notice shit all had happened, because every one of those departments is useless? And you say there's nothing to trim... Pshhh."

    And having shutdowns over important issues is fine by me. I'm in favor of the wall, for whatever little practical value it may have... But I'd LOVE to see a shutdown go on as long as it took, until a BALANCED BUDGET was passed. THAT would be a proper use of a shutdown.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Get back to me when the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments stop.

  • ||

    As the platitude goes, capitalism is better than socialism - but crony capitalism is worse.

    Similarly, a small, effective government is better than a big one - but one in disarray, whether big or small, is worse than both.

    Besides, no sane person would expect any cuts resulting from the chaos we see today to be based on anything resembling efficiency or economic rationalism...

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