Beet-Red Colorado Springs Faces Big Shutdown Impact (Again)

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Tom Roeder reports, a familiar story as the possibility of a shutdown of the federal government grows–Colorado’s biggest conservative stronghold reminded once again how much their livelihoods depend on government cheese:

Hurried shutdown planning meetings began at military bases across the Pikes Peak region Wednesday as leaders prepared for federal budget gridlock that would come if a deal isn’t approved by Friday.

The biggest impact of a federal shutdown would hit at the five bases, where as many as 6,000 civilian employees face furloughs, troops could see pay delays and amenities like military grocery stores and daycare centers could shutter until a budget accord is reached…

During the last shutdown on Oct. 1 2013, more than 6,000 civilian Defense Department workers were off the job in Colorado Springs, veterans disability claims piled up and federal parks closed.

The suffering of 2013 may have been at its worst at the Air Force Academy, where a civilian employee in charge of ordering toilet paper for dormitories was furloughed, creating a temporary crisis for cadets.

As was the case in 2013, public opinion polls show clearly that majority Republicans will take the blame for any disruption caused by shutting down the government due to failure to pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep the proverbial lights on through mid-February. If anything the situation is worse for Republicans today than in 2013, since they can’t lay the blame at the feet of a hostile administration.

In a town where fully half of the pay earned by residents is connected to to the government via defense or many other public sector facilities located along the Ronald Reagan Highway, we have to believe there’s at least a chance in these moments for a recognition–that maybe “the government” isn’t the externalized evil conservatives like to portray it as. In very real terms in El Paso County, the government is an integral part of the economy.

That’s why, while talk radio conservatives gleefully say “shut it down,” in Colorado Springs they’re having emergency meetings.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Let ‘em wipe cake . . . 


    (ps. I get the beet-color meme, but the overwhelming majority of beets grown in Colorado, ain’t red* . . . 

    . . . *today’s fun fact courtesy of your local sugar cooperative.)

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Military spending is only 15% of the budget. That's not the problem and you know it. The problem is explosive growth of entitlements.

    • ajb says:

      If entitlements are the problem, then Republicans should cut them. They control all 3 branches of government, so they don't need the approval of Democrats, as the tax bill amply demonstrated. What's the hold up?

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I noticed you avoided the thread about your candidate Cynthia going the petition route while your nemesis, Tancredo, is going caucus/assembly route.

      Where exactly is she going to get the $$$ to pay signature gatherers? 

      My prediction: she changes her mind again and runs for AG causing Broccoli to suffer a nasty bout of acid reflux syndrome.


    • unnamed says:

      Why can't YOUR party get it done?  They passed a tax bill people hate.  Certainly, they should be able to pass your wet dream of gutting the safety net. Why, with your unified trifecta does your party have a harder time passing anything than most people do of passing a gallstone?

    • spaceman65 says:

      Bullshit, Moddy.  

  3. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    We spend more on themilitarty than the next ten nations combined.  Yes, that is a problem.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    I find it totally ironic that El Paso county is the center of hysterical anti-government sentiment in Colorado and also the county with the highest percentage of government employees.  I guess they know personally how incompetent they are or think it is always the other government employee who is a lazy slacker.  Let them eat National Inquirer's.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I don't find it the least bit ironic. Hypocrisy is their middle name. Look at their Christian values and the p—- grabber ranting about shit-hole countries. And now Stormy Daniels has struck.

  5. slavdudeslavdude says:

    Since when is the social safety net, which every working person in America *EARNS*, an entitlement?  Moddy, do you own stock in Purina or something?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      As a senior, I want to register my preference for Alpo.

    • ParkHill says:

      Umm… Entitlements are benefits that you are entitled to, because you paid into them. I pay my Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes, therefore I am entitled to receive them. Entitlements are a long-term social contract relating to pensions and health insurance.

      Paul Krugman points out that the federal government is mostly an army and an insurance company. At the local level, government is mostly police, education, roads and services (lights, sewer, etc).

      Libertarian wack-a-doodles might want to privatize everything (mercenaries and toll-roads?), but everybody else wants some balance of government services, regulated monopolies and private businesses. In my book, some things are best supplied by the government (insurance, military, retirement, education, and other things) while others are best supplied by business.

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