(NaturalNews) Government shutdown? What government shutdown? That's the question more and more Americans are beginning to ask, as more people discover that, at best, what is occurring is a partial shutdown of some non-essential services.
In fact, according to reports, fully 83 percent of the government is still operating as if nothing has happened in D.C. Per the Washington Examiner:
Everyone knows the phrase "government shutdown" doesn't mean the entire U.S. government is shut down. So in a partial government shutdown, like the one underway at the moment, how much of the government is actually shut down, and how much is not? One way to measure that is in how much money the government spends.
A government shutdown - sort of
For instance, a GOP lawmaker mentioned to the newspaper's chief political correspondent, Byron York, that military pay legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the start of the shutdown is "actually a huge percentage" of the federal government's discretionary spending in any given year. And that funding is still flowing.
So, York says, taking that money along with all the entitlement spending that is completely unaltered by the shutdown, plus all of the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, you find that only about 17 percent of the government is technically not operating.
A Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee gave this estimate: "Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion."
In all, then, the government "shutdown," in terms of actual federal funds expended, comes to about 17 percent - which may explain why the effects of the shutdown, beyond some of the most visible issues and problems like at monuments and memorials on the Washington Mall, have not achieved the anticipated intensity, and why the reaction is quite different than the last time the federal government shutdown (21 days during the Clinton administration, an era in which the Internet was in its infancy and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were nonexistent).
Both parties taking hits politically
That said, noted York, "Seventeen percent of federal expenditures is still a huge amount of money, and the shutdown is affecting many people."
But millions more people dependent upon federal money are still getting it, either as a benefit or as a salary, or in some other form.
He writes, "Viewed that way, it's no wonder both Republicans and Democrats appear to believe they can last the shutdown out, at least for a couple of weeks until they try to resolve the debt limit crisis due to arrive October 17."
That said, public opinion polling shows both parties taking hits politically because of the shutdown. According to the latest CNN/ORC International survey, Republicans get more blame than Democrats or President Obama, but not by much.
Sixty-three percent of respondents are blaming the GOP, "but the Democrats are not getting off scot-free. Fifty-seven percent of Americans are also angry at the way the Democrats are dealing with the shutdown. And a 53% majority say they are also angry at President Obama," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It looks like there is more than enough blame to go around and both parties are being hurt by the shutdown."
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