Congress can't do anything right. If they're going to shut down the government, then, by golly, shut the whole thing down. Don't piddle around with little barriers around the World War II Memorial and locking the Smithsonian museums. Let's really shut it down.
If the government is out of business or, as the House Administration Committee put it, suffering a "lapse in appropriations," then stop piddling around and really shut it down. For starters:
• Shut down Amtrak and put puncture barriers on every federally funded highway while you're at it.
• Send air traffic controllers home on furlough and shut down every airport in the country.
• Freeze all government grants, no matter how admirable.
• Stop Social Security checks. That's government, too, you know.
• Halt Medicare and Medicaid payments; if patients want treatment, they'll have to beg the doctors.
• Close all military bases, bring all ships in to port and tie them up at the dock, and put every military aircraft in hangars to await orders.
• End inspections at meat processing plants, which would soon shut down every supermarket and grocery store in the country.
• Renege on all federal education grants and loans; let the institutions of higher learning, both for-profit and nonprofit, figure a way to stay afloat.
• Turn off signals from every weather satellite in the sky. See how well the TV weatherman can forecast now.
• Turn off all GPS satellites in orbit. No navigation systems in your car, no locator on your phone, no way to find your way around. See if you can find an old map somewhere.
• Tell farmers across the country they're on their own — no price supports, no land set-asides, no agricultural agents, no crop insurance, no disaster aid. See how long the food lasts.
• Shut down FEMA and see what happens the next time a hurricane, tornado or earthquake hits.
• Stop enforcing regulations involving credit cards, mortgages, safe working conditions, and pay. Tell the people, "You're on your own, folks!"
• Close the Food and Drug Administration and see if people are willing to eat uninspected food or take untested drugs.
If the Republicans in the House of Representatives are willing to shut down the government because they oppose a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the president and approved by the Supreme Court, then, by golly, they should shut the whole thing down. Many of the Tea Party upstarts are simply opposed to government in all its forms and worship the private sector. So if government is so bad, put it out of its misery and see how that works out.
And one last thing: They should halt pay to all members of Congress and all employees of Congress, and they should turn off the electricity to the Capitol and congressional office buildings. Let them negotiate in the dark until they see the light of day.