How do you know the federal government has gotten too big? How about if you try to “shut it down” and it actually just gets bigger? Amazingly, that is what’s happening. Consider the World War II memorial here in Washington. Now those of you who have been here know that it is an open plaza. It’s a big plaza with a fountain. That’s it. Now, occasionally you might find a park ranger wandering around to answer questions (I met one at the Vietnam Memorial the other day). So, with the government shut down, one could expect that when you go to the World War II memorial you would not find a ranger there and would have to look at the fountain by yourself. It would be tough, but you could do it.
That, however, is not what has happened. Instead of the normal one park ranger, now that the government is “shut down” you will find up to seven rangers. They’re all busy working overtime to put up fences so people will know that the memorial is closed. As I mentioned, it’s a big open space, so that takes a lot of fences. You need a loader for that. That means more workers. Now, some veterans show up and are pretty upset that they can’t go see their state name etched in the wall and decide they’re going around the barriers. That means that more fences are needed and armed guards. Now, instead of the normal one ranger you’ve got to have at least seven to stand guard over the memorial so that people won’t walk into plaza since it’s “shut down.”
Needless to say that’s just one example. In the end, shutting down the government will have just made it get even bigger and cost more. Oh, and if that doesn’t depress you, consider that while a big field in the middle of Washington is “closed” to “save money,” you can probably bet that somewhere there’s a guy making a million dollars a year to test a new paperclip who has been deemed “too big to fail” who is still getting a paycheck. We’re toast.