A peculiar shutdown

Because of the federal government “shutdown”, the federal government is spending extra money to close facilities that cost the government nothing to operate. The instance that is getting a lot of attention is the World War 2 memorial, an unstaffed, open-air monument that is open 24/7, except when the Obama administration barricades it to make a point.

An even better example is the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, in McLean, Virginia. The Farm has been operated by entirely by volunteers for 30 years since its budget was zeroed in 1980:

Visitors unaware of how the farm is run are apt to conclude that the government shutdown, now two days old, is directly responsible for the farm’s closing. But Eberly sent a note Wednesday morning to the park’s email list. In the email, Eberly says, “For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Farm down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm.”

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm, Eberly says, has thrived even as the federal government has treated it with “benign neglect” for decades. That benign neglect would serve it better than the barricades now surrounding it. . .

[Eberly adds:] “You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.”

In fact, the Park Service is actually renting the barricades it is using to close the Farm. A strange “shutdown” indeed.

UPDATE: More of this crap:

It is obvious that the Park Service intends to block access to these trailheads, even though it literally costs them nothing to leave them open and by closing them they actually increase the possibility of serious problems for drivers on the road and hikers still in the park. In fact, it is costing them money they don’t have trying to block access.

To block access is thus a deliberate, senseless, and mean-spirited act that demonstrates quite clearly the political goals of the Obama administration during this shutdown.

Indeed. Glenn Reynolds adds, “I’m surprised they didn’t put a bag over the Washington Monument.”

Clearly the Obama administration is supremely confident that the public will hold Republicans responsible for everything, no matter what. If they had any worry about blowback at all, they wouldn’t dare indulge in such mean-spirited behavior.

UPDATE: Still more:

The campgrounds are self-sufficient and receive no federal funding. No government employees staff or manage the parks. The management companies pay the National Park Service out of the funds they generate from operating the thousands of campgrounds. . .

Notice that last part. The parks not only do not cost the taxpayers any money, they pay funds into the Treasury out of the fees park users pay. Shutting them down will cost the taxpayers money.

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