You Make a Difference! Our mission and operations are funded entirely by Patriots like you! Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign now.

September 28, 2023

The Second Longest ‘Play’

The government shutdown is less entertaining and costs far more to watch than a ticket to Christie’s whodunnit.

Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is the longest running show, of any kind, in the world. It opened Nov. 25, 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London and is still running. The second longest “play” appears to be the one we are seeing with increased frequency in Washington. Call it the government shutdown. It’s less entertaining and costs far more to watch than a ticket to Christie’s whodunnit.

If a shutdown occurs on October 1, both parties will share the blame this time. Democrats usually force the issue, but now a few House Republicans are refusing (so far) to agree to appropriations bills unless they get their way on spending cuts. While their goal is noble, it is a fool’s errand because the votes aren’t there in the Senate and the president retains his veto power.

What aggravates is the refusal by members of both parties to address the whopping $33 trillion debt and the effect it will soon have on the economy and the country’s future fiscal health. Social Security and Medicare have long been the main drivers of debt, along with other unfunded mandates, but politicians don’t want to reform these programs for fear it will hurt them in their prospects for re-election.

There are other less contentious ways of beginning reductions in spending. The conservative Heritage Foundation has come up with seven examples of outrageous earmarks in just the Senate spending package. While miniscule, it’s a start.

Heritage Policy Analyst David Ditch lists them:

1) New York Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand want to spend $1 million to the “WE ACT for Environmental Justice. The program would link intersectionality to grievances based on race.

2) $35 million for balloons in Michigan.

3) $300,000 for the NAACP’s Baltimore headquarters.

4) Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring an earmark to give $4 million to the tiny city of Pelican, Alaska, for a sewer. Only 98 people live in Pelican. The cost equates to $40,816 per person.

5) Pennsylvania Democratic Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman back a $1 million gift to the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia. The House Appropriations Committee rejected this earmark, but it’s back in the Senate version.

6) Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) have earmarked $20.5 million for the tiny Presque Isle International Airport. The amount is larger than what is given to most major hubs.

7) New Hampshire Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen wants $2.5 million for a recreational project in the small town of Franklin to create "in-river features for Olympic-style competition” for sports such as kayaking and slalom.

As David Ditch notes: “While stopping one or all these absurd boondoggles would not make much of a dent in the national debt, it would mark a rare victory for common sense and fiscal sanity.”

Common sense and sanity are not the first words that come to mind when dealing with congressional spending. They can’t help themselves because they aren’t spending their money. They’re spending our money and borrowing the rest. It’s a form of vote buying.

The federal government takes in record amounts of revenue, so income isn’t the problem. Unrestrained spending is the problem. One can choose not to see a repeat performance of a stage play, but this seemingly perpetual scenario will only “close” when voters turn out the profligate spenders. That is unlikely to happen until more of us stop relying on government as a first resource, instead of a last resort.

Writing as Poor Richard, Benjamin Franklin said: “The second vice is lying; the first is running in debt.” If only more members of Congress would heed his warning. If a shutdown happens it will be a plague on both parties and on both congressional chambers, as well as the country.

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.