Why do people who hate Trump want the U.S. government shutdown to end?

My Facebook feed is packed with demands that the government be reopened from people who previously compared Donald Trump unfavorably with Adolf Hitler.

Why do they want a government run by NeuHitler to be reopened? If a government is committing evil acts, wouldn’t it be better to minimize the number of acts that the government can commit, e.g., by sending some employees home for a paid vacation? If they weren’t catching up on Netflix series, some of these folks might be making repairs, for example, to the existing 580-mile U.S.-Mexico border fence, recently declared “immoral” by the Democrats.

(The folks who are home on Xbox or sipping drinks on a Caribbean beach are actually “unpaid” in New York Times parlance, because the paychecks will arrive a few weeks after the time off; how many private sector workers would be willing to tolerate the horrors of a paid month off work in exchange for waiting a few extra weeks for the cash?).

[Vaguely similar issue: my friends in Berkeley said they believed that the U.S. government was committing crimes comparable to what Germans and Japanese did during World War II. (Most heinous: separating children at the border from migrant parents, something that happens every few minutes in the nearby California family court without attracting their attention) Yet despite having ample resources and the prospect of a good job for the husband in France or Switzerland (the wife does not work), they had no plans to renounce their citizenship and stop paying taxes to fund this as-bad-as-the-Nazis evil enterprise.]

Finally, I learned from a patent litigator (one of the perks of being an expert witness is talking to these smart folks!) that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is going full steam ahead. They have money left over from the previous fiscal year so they’re good through February and, should those funds run out, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board will declare that the folks who accept filings are “essential”.

Ergo, we live in a country where we can still fight about patents, but we can’t visit the Smithsonian exhibits that celebrate our patent system

15 thoughts on “Why do people who hate Trump want the U.S. government shutdown to end?

  1. Once again, you could use Facebook to direct these questions to people who hold the views described instead of asking strangers to speculate. More significantly, this an odd way to bring up for discussion the whole of the shutdown.

    The Border Patrol is almost certainly considered essential. So their work of separating families probably continues. There are also quite a few news stories about federal employees having trouble paying their bills. This is a reflection of the very low savings rate of the typical American household. So a Caribbean vacation is out of the question for a number of reasons. Some federal employees are compelled to work without pay while those not working have no idea when they’ll have to return to work.

    Finally, the answer to your question may be in your last sentence. Perhaps your Facebook friends would like to visit the Smithsonian or don’t want to see overflowing trash cans if they go to a national park.

  2. I don’t think government employees having a paid vacation is so bad… my taxes paying for it is. Since both sides have decided that they will provide back-pay the whole thing is stupid.

    Regarding litigation proceeding… the boss (wife) has encountered automated email responses from government lawyers stating that they will get back to her when funding is restored. So it seems not all litigation is continuing and some expert witnesses are now affected!

  3. Furloughed workers are not getting back pay ( yet ). Contractors will definitely not. Shutting down all gov. services without planning or transitioning workers is not the same as, for example, eliminating the expensive and ineffective TSA or border patrol.

  4. Cash flow is an issue for some of the lower rank government employees that live essentially paycheck to paycheck. If you have expenses (e.g. rent) that you can’t meet now, then backpay “once shutdown ends” isn’t the end of your troubles. “Unpaid” isn’t completely illegitimate in that context. (I’m not sure most journalists are that nuanced, however, and are seizing on “unpaid” because it sounds more dramatic.)

  5. If any government workers in the silicon valley area can’t stand the hell of a paid month without having to spend 3 hours a day commuting, perhaps they could trade jobs with a lion internet commenter.

  6. Yes, these Trump-hater complaints are bizarre. As you note, they complaint about kids being separated from their parents, but it happens to Americans every day. In family court and in juvenile dependency (CPS) court.

    • Not the same thing, at all. Forcible physical separation to lock children in cages versus a legal process to establish guardianship rights?

  7. It is an interesting point you make about why the left purports such concern about the shuttering of the government. I see two reasons, first, the core of leftist philosophy is the belief that government is omnipotent and beneficent (like God in earlier eras) but if the government is shut down and nothing really changes that gives the lie to that idea. Second, the hope that among the voting public the shutdown will reflect badly on the Republicans (a la the Gingrich shutdown in I think it was 1995) and that they will be voted out of office in 2020.

    • Apparently, most of the population is part of “the left”:

      about 7 in 10 in the NPR/Ipsos Poll also say the government shutdown is going to hurt the country, that it will hurt the economy and that Congress should pass a bill to reopen the government now while budget talks continue. Just 3 in 10 believe the government should remain closed until there is funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


    • ” the core of leftist philosophy is the belief that government is omnipotent and beneficent” – is this the definition of a strawman argument?

      “the hope that among the voting public the shutdown will reflect badly on the Republicans” – how does refusing to do the job you were elected for *not* reflect poorly on Republicans?

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