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Nine Myths About the Shutdown

nat park closed govt shutdown
By: Michael Dorstewitz – – December 23, 2018

Opinions vary over how serious a prolonged government shutdown would be. The confusion and misinformation over the shutdown has been rampant.

Here are nine myths that have been promoted over the years regarding the possible coming shutdown.

Myth 1: It is a Shutdown: If the deadline is missed, the lights of government are not going to be turned off. In fact, most of its functions of will continue as though nothing had happened, because 75 percent of government has been fully budgeted into the coming year — including the Defense Department.
Accordingly, it is not a true government shutdown — it is a partial shutdown.
Myth 2: Public Safety Would Be Impacted: The U.S. Coast Guard was not included in the DOD budget – it is primarily funded through the Department of Homeland Security, which was not among those agencies budgeted.
Nonetheless, its essential functions and activities, such as search and rescue and drug interdiction, will continue as always.
Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Barry Lane tells Newsmax the service “continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns.”
Non-essential functions like testing and licensing of merchant mariners, however, will come to a temporarily halt.
The same rule applies to all other agencies and departments.
Myth 3: The Public Will be Strongly Impacted: Self-funded government functions such as the U.S. Post Office, will continue as usual. Social Security checks to retirees and disabled workers will go out on time, as though nothing had happened.
Veterans will continue to receive befits and federal retirees will continue receiving checks.
Non-essential functions, such as passport applications and renewals will come to a halt. Similarly, foreigners wishing to come to the United States will find they will not be able to obtain tourist and student visas.
Myth 4: Monuments Will Be Closed: National parks, being another non-essential federal function, are normally closed in a shutdown. However, national monuments, such as Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial Wall, and the World War II Monument are normally left open.
That was not so in 2013. The Obama administration ordered these attractions barricaded, because, as a Park Ranger said, “we’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” according to The Washington Examiner.
Based upon past experience that would not happen this time. If there is a shutdown, the current administration will, in all likelihood, make it as painless as possible. None of those attractions were closed during the brief January shutdown this year.
Myth 5: The Smithsonian Will Be Closed: Just like the memorials, Obama kept the Smithsonian buttoned up. And just like the memorials, all indications are Trump intends to keep the Smithsonian humming.
That was what happened in the January shutdown, and there is no reason to believe he will disappoint visitors to the nation’s capitol this time.
Myth 6: The Shutdown Only Affects the Federal Government: States would actually feel the impact of a partial federal government shutdown, too, according to Rep. Bob Godfrey, deputy speaker pro tempore of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
“States rely on the return of our constituents’ federal tax dollars to pay for the vital programs that protect our people,” said Godfrey, according to the Council on State Governments. “Just like families and businesses, financial certainty is crucial for states looking to keep stable our own fiscal planning for the coming year. As we learned in Connecticut this year, budget crises have a severe and lasting impact on our constituents. It causes unnecessary and avoidable hardship for the vulnerable, especially kids, seniors, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, and people living paycheck to paycheck.”
Myth 7: Troops Deployed Overseas Would Be Denied Recreational Activities: In the 2013 shutdown, the Obama administration closed the American Forces Network, which broadcasts sports and entertainment venues to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsman deployed overseas.
During the January shutdown the Trump administration kept the games coming and the troops entertained. There is no reason to believe it would not do the same this time out.
Myth 8: Shutdowns Save Money: Not so, according to Dan Blair, writing for The Washington Post.
“Shutdowns can actually cost the taxpayer, because even though furloughed workers are not working, the government traditionally pays them retroactively,” Blair said. “The Office of Management and Budget estimated the cost of the shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 at $1.4 billion.”
Myth 9: Visitors Will Be Shut out of Mount Vernon: The Obama administration barricaded entry into George Washington’s estate at the start of the 2013 shutdown, long a favored tourist destination.
That will not happen this time. It turned out Mount Vernon is neither owned nor administered by the National Park Service. It is privately owned and the administration was red-faced with embarrassment that time.
That mistake is not likely to be repeated.

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Source: 9 Myths Busted Amid Federal Government Shutdown |

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