Now that the shutdown madness is over, the government can get back to, well, regular business. Not that many people noticed that the government was actually shut down. If it wasn’t for a little extra time during TSA flight screenings I’m not sure that most would even had known the government was closed for business this last time around.

Not to detract from government employees who had to work without getting their paycheck...I couldn’t imagine the uncertainty that caused for those workers and their families. Unfortunately, shutdowns happen. Of course, Congress’s answer to the shutdown was to introduce a bill that would not allow shutdowns to happen, whether or not Congress does its job of passing bills to fund the government. I’m not really a fan of that idea. How about they get to work and do the job they were elected to do, instead of taking four-day weekends.

Government shutdowns are never good in the long term, and just another example of how our elected officials continually kick the can down the road for others to deal with. The economy suffers, backlogs grow and those who end up suffering the most are those who government is supposed to serve.

This last shutdown cost the economy over $11 billion and will probably have rippling effects on GDP and other economic markers. All over a wall, or whatever you want to call it. The funding the White House was seeking? Half that. Less than 1 percent of our federal budget. Yep, that’ll show the president who’s boss.

As for all the media hype of the shutdown blaming President Trump and Republicans, some recent polling says that Speaker Pelosi was more than a little hurt politically by her decision to not negotiate with the president during the shutdown, instead reflexively turning down all offers from the White House. Her final refusal came before the president even announced his offer. 

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found “Pelosi’s approval rate dropped by six points during the 35-day government shutdown, as 47 percent of Americans surveyed rated Pelosi as ‘very negative,’ while only 28 percent rated her favorably. President Trump’s ratings remain relatively unchanged, with 43 percent of Americans approving of his job performance and and 54 percent disapproving. Trump’s rating is down only three points since November, according to the Wall Street Journal. His 43 percent approval rating is the same as it was in December, 10 days before the start of the government shutdown.”

I’m not a huge fan of polling, especially partisan polls that are released for public consumption. Heck, I’m not even a huge fan of media polling. Anyone who has taken a statistics class can tell you that numbers can be massaged, and questions worded in a way to lead people to the answer you are looking for. Sometimes they can be helpful to craft a political message, or for marketing. They are a tool, one that Washington, D.C. lives and dies by.

Although, I did find some interesting numbers in a Republican National Committee poll done late last week in districts that President Trump won but are represented by a Democrat in Congress. These districts are quite diverse geographically. Those polled hailed from Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Maine, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. What was most interesting was, after listening to the facts of what is happening at the border, voters in these districts were more likely to support President Trump’s position on border security.

None of this will actually move Congress to do something.

Neither will news of groups of hundreds of illegal migrants crossing our border in out of the way places, overwhelming border patrol officers and our legal system. Or news of the ever-increasing number of migrants coming in who have serious illnesses left untreated.

And don’t even bring up the fact that many of the Democrats in office right now voted for the Secure Fence Act back in 2006.

Voters don’t matter nearly as much as donors.

And big donors matter even more. The media likes to highlight the Koch brothers’ funding of right wing of politics and politicians. But no one wants to talk about the other billionaires in the club who fund the pro-immigration lobby. Murdoch, Adelson, Zuckerberg, Bloomberg, Gates and Laurene Jobs all have given money to organizations that support increased immigration.

It’s big business in bed with big government to maximize profits and keep wages low. Corporations exist to make a profit.

But government’s job isn’t to protect big business as it helps them line their pockets.

Although these days, it’s hard to argue that government is doing its job in any real fashion to begin with.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at or by calling (209) 862-2222.