PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Shut down big government

By on October 8, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – I can’t vouch for the political or practical efficacy of the Republican legislative strategy of the last few weeks that has resulted in a partial government shutdown, but I sympathize with the motivation. If Republicans in the House believe that Obamacare is going to do irreparable damage to our economy, then they are right to take drastic action. Going along to get along won’t cut it as we face this watershed moment in our history: a massive government invasion of the healthcare system.

I’m all for a shut down if only because federal government spending and debt is totally out of control. The last couple of weeks have been quite instructive. It’s frightening the extent to which the treasury has become the personal piggybank for ever expanding millions of federal workers and millions more on the dole, and the leverage they have to inflict pain on the tax-paying public if we dare cut off the money spigot.

The blockading of our national parks and monuments is proof that the insidious problem with big government is that the public interest becomes subordinated to the survival and growth of the bureaucracy. We may have thought the National Park Service was benignly caretaking these public spaces for our benefit, but it’s clear now that they have claimed ownership over these lands and are willing to lock us out unless we appease their demands for money.

Locally, it started with the ridiculous sequester-inspired closure of Schwabacher’s Landing, and now they’ve locked us out of the whole national park system. What’s next? Will we be instructed not to leave our homes until we have turned over our bank accounts to the proper authorities? The EPA is charged with stewarding the quality of our air; perhaps we should plan to refrain from breathing until the ample salaries and pensions are restored to that agency as well?

The trend is ominous. Once the federal bureaucracy is expanded even further by the full implementation of Obamacare we will only be more vulnerable to this kind of extortion by the big government mafia.

About Judd Grossman


  1. Robert

    October 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

    You are so ill informed it hurts. I can almost taste your hubris. Just admit it your rich and you have been doing great while the rest of us suffer. Don’t try and justify your motivations with allusions to the greater good. You do us all a disservice. Judd you are a shill.

  2. Robert

    October 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

    “What’s next? Will we be instructed not to leave our homes until we have turned over our bank accounts to the proper authorities?”
    Turn over our bank accounts… really? That kind of fear mongering doesn’t belong in any purportedly journalistic publication, no matter how little or crappy (yes I’m saying your newspaper is terrible. Your reporting is half-assed, rarely fact checked, and full of opinion presented as fact. You are part of the problem.

  3. fear and loathing

    October 9, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Robert thank god you don’t write for a paper because you don’t understand opinion. I don’t think Judd was actually serious when he wondered if we had to turn over or bank accounts, it was just used to make a point. And a good one, at that. Way to go JH Weekly. Love your paper because you actually say things and stir the pot, don’t listen to Robert. .

  4. Robert

    October 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What point, was he trying to make? Useless hyperbole.

  5. BB

    October 9, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I’m in fully agreement with Robert here — this sad paper has some awful reporting and even worse commentary (as demostrated by Judd). And it’s getting worse every year. By “fear and loathing’s” logic, merely stirring the pot gives your publication merit so therefore the National Enquirer must be one of the best publications out there.

    This absurd commentary here is encapsulated when Judd mentions that NPS is holding our national parks hostage because we “cut off the money spigot.” Do you expect our NPS neighbors to work for free. By his logic, the WIC program is another money grubbing organization that’s using hungry families as bait to just get their funding back. And the CDC and FDA are not merely made of government employees looking out for the public good, but their are scientists suckling off of the government teet.

    Please Judd, your article is not a smart defense of a more limited government (something I very much agree with) but more pot stirring and fear mongering.

  6. Peter

    October 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Could’nt agree more with every derogatory thing that was said regarding this flight into ignorance. Suggest that you use your medicare and social security to pay for improving your obvious senile condition.

  7. Mike

    October 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Notice how the people who hate the paper continue to read it?

    Liberals will always be blind to their own failures, partisanship, dislike of alternative points of views, and inability to grasp complex issues like the full extent of the impact of ObamaCare or it failings.

  8. Mike

    October 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    From today’s N&G:

    “Barrasso whipped the federal agency in his testimony.

    “In my home state of Wyoming, bike paths and scenic viewing areas have been closed,” he said. “I have a picture here taken in Grand Teton National Park, where overlook viewing areas have been barricaded — even those with no garbage cans, no restrooms — [that] require no staffing. No money has been saved by doing this.”

    U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, was in step with Barrasso.

    “What cost is it to the government to leave parking spaces unbarricaded?” Lummis asked the News&Guide in a telephone interview Tuesday. “It would cost them nothing to leave it open.”


    We all understand that republicans are responsible for the shutdown but they aren’t responsible for ObamaCare and, unlike Obama, they are trying to open the National Parks. Republicans have their battle lines but keeping the public out of the national parks isn’t one of them. That’s the Obama administration (& Mary Scott Gibson) working to make the public suffer so as to keep pressure on republicans.

  9. Bob

    October 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I support Judd’s point of view. The government spending of other people’s hard earned money(taxes) is out of control. The shutdown became necessary and legal tool in the fight to slow it down. It is an effective part of our political process when use wisely. It is hard to have an openminded debate with people who call themselves ambassadors of tolerance yet do not respect any opinion other than their own.

  10. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Government shutdown isn’t necessary at all. All we have here are a bunch of whiny rich people. And to talk of respecting people’s opinions… how about the opinion of the electorate. Obama ran on Obamacare and was elected, Obamacare passed in cogress (the elected voice of the people), Obamacare was upheld by the Supreme Court, Obama ran again on Obamacare and was re-elected. The people want it, and the GOP is pissed that they can’t keep extracting money from the poor to line their pockets.
    We have the greatest wealth disparity since the great depression. Is that not indicative of anything to you? That came from 8 years of GOP leadership. Clinton left office with a budget surplus. The Crash was in 2008, the same year Obama got elected. Do you actually think he could cause the kind of systemic problems we are facing in a few months… or maybe was it those illegal wars, and the unconscionable portion of our GDP that is spent on healthcare. Obamacare is fixing one of those things. Prices are going down for most people except in Wyoming where our congress people have done their best to make our working poor hurt. We will have one of the highest cost for healthcare because we have refused as much of this “contentious” (it is contentious it was mandated by the people) law as we could.

  11. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 2:56 am

    First off hate is a strong word, and I really don’t think that anyone who wasn’t fired by the paper actually hates it. That is a lot of poorly invested emotion. Frustrated, yeah I’m frustrated. Want to know why I keep reading the paper… because I don’t mind having my ideas challenged. My ideas stand up on their own merit and are supported by facts (statistics gathered by non-partisan bodies ex: the CBO). I don’t need to live in a bubble of confirmation bias to maintain my convictions. Also I keep reading because this paper used to have decent arts coverage and I keep hoping that will show back up.

  12. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Why don’t republicans reopen the government, then all these political shenanigans would stop and we could get on with things. Have some perspective, the national parks effect us in Jackson but you know what, the rest of the country has their federal employees on furlough. Employees that wouldn’t be effected at all by that political stunt of a bill. These people were furloughed when rent was due. Some govt employees sadly live paycheck to paycheck, and if you that that matters less than roadside parking you are truly out of touch.

  13. jreiland

    October 10, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Many One Percenters’ are afraid the government is going to take over their bank accounts.
    For most,it’s difficult to worry about a socialist incursion when the private health care system can already catastrophically effect our bank accounts.

  14. Facts Please

    October 10, 2013 at 6:19 am

    “”Obama ran on Obamacare and was elected, Obamacare passed in Congress (the elected voice of the people),””

    Obama wasn’t elected because of Obamacare. Polling show that he won because Romeny sucked – and that’s was pretty much the only reason. Rmnney didn’t press the issue because HE invented RomeyCare. Most American still dislike ObamaCAre or don’t understand it. The people favor health care reform and an end to the shutdown, however.

  15. Facts Please

    October 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

    “Why don’t republicans reopen the government”


    Why doesn’t Obama reopen the National Parks?


    The idea that nine should suffer the ill effects of a bloated government and excessive spending is a common one. The Greeks are feel the same way.

  16. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Not voting for something and shutting down the government are totally different. Brinkmanship is never a good policy, and I don’t agree with it. I would argue actually pushing things over the edge is worse.

  17. Welling

    October 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Not raising the debt ceiling is FAR more serious than a temporary govt shutdown.

  18. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    There was no chance of the debt ceiling not being raised, he voted that way because he could. Politics… you keep saying it. The ceiling was raised and the government didn’t shut down. There is a think called a protest vote. A protest shutting down of the government on the other hand is much worse than someone casting a hypocritical vote.

  19. Robert

    October 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t disagree that Romney sucked, but there were alternatives to Romney. That is a cop out. If he sucked so badly then why didn’t they run someone else or why didn’t more people vote 3rd party. Healthcare was a large part of Obama’s platform and I have health insurance, that I didn’t have previously, because of Obamacare. I didn’t vote for Obama, he sucks too. I’m just saying this followed the standard legal path of a bill and became a law. Laws can be repealed in the same manner. Having tantrums and shutting down the government doesn’t do anything productive and just hurts the common person. Furthermore you don’t ever address my larger points you just try and pick at the words.

  20. Hope

    October 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    All true – politics. However, most Americans aren’t seriously affected by the shutdown and most don’t care. They get annoyed when others, like old vets, get denied access to a war memorial but it’s usually political annoyance and not any serious personal inconvenience.

    The folks on the govt dole – businesses & individuals – get annoyed. It’s even better when those who complain about govt spending complain about the govt not spending money that eventually gets redirected to them or indirectly helps them. Happy to have them pissed off.

    Places like Jackson live off the fed’s dime. They should learn to adapt now because the handouts will run out in the future.

  21. Pinedale Dude

    October 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Funny that from 2000-2008, massive deficits caused by unfunded wars, tax cuts and Medicare Part D didn’t seem to concern Congressional Republicans. I never heard Fox News or the Wall Street Journal mention a debt crisis during the W years. In fact, the Bush Administration thought a government budget surplus was a bad idea, and sent refund checks to taxpayers. And what about the patron saint of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan? Didn’t he triple the debt while in office?

    I’m not saying that long-term debt issues shouldn’t be addressed, but the individual mandate was pushed by the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990’s and implemented by a Republican governor in Massachusetts. Now it is an existential threat to liberty and freedom? We can debate on the pros/cons of the Affordable Care Act, but to call it a radical and insidious big government intrusion is utter nonsense.

    One last note. The Dems have already agreed to fund the government at Republican-imposed sequester levels! This shutdown was months in the making and completely avoidable.

  22. Jim

    October 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Pinedale Dude, you forgot to mention that what is now the ACA was championed by Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich as an alternative to Clinton’s single payer in the 80s. The ACA is a conservative, republican plan which promotes personal responsibility and the free market. Its only flaw is that President Obama supported it.

  23. Jim

    October 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    To Judd and the PlanetJH staff: since I’m losing about $225/day from this shutdown in wages, can I just bill you for them, since you seem to be one of the enablers of the looney right? Maybe you can’t afford it because your pathetically thin rag seems to be losing so many readers and advertisers. In which case, join the club. That you cheer when I get furloughed, all in the name of denying me healthcare, is infuriating. Good riddance. I’ll never read your rag again, or listen to your music. Good bye.

  24. Tom

    October 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Waaaaa. Why isn’t Schwabacher’s Landing open? I don’t want to pay for it, but I still want it open.

    Judd, you’re all for the government shutdown because “federal spending is out of control”, but then you complain when federal spending is cut. Tell me, when a local leader of the Tea Party illegally burned trash in his backyard last September and almost burned the town of Jackson down, did you donate any private funds to help put out the fire? No. I bet you didn’t. You relied on the government to save your ass.

    It’s all so easy to blame the government for everything, until you need it. You’re just as much of a hypocrite as all the rest. You want the government to provide you for what you specifically want, but everything else is “wasteful government spending”. You like to use Schwabacher’s Landing, so that’s vital, but it’s OK to destroy the local economy with a government shutdown because you don’t have any pre-existing conditions and thus you don’t need healthcare reform.

    Are your parents on Medicare? Hypocrite.

  25. Marty

    October 13, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Judd is correct! Government no longer exists to serve us, but to serve itself. It’s tyranny over our public lands and parks is evidence of what is possible – think healthcare. Federal spending is unsustainable at current levels. Time to turn federal land back to the states – it CAN be done. Those who depend on the feds better get a Plan B.

  26. Tom

    October 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Marty, The State of Wyoming is poisoning its water supply as fast as it can for money. The only reason your water hasn’t been poisoned yet is because the Federal Government is protecting the water you drink. I assume that your parents have opted out of Medicare, and are enjoying the fruits of unregulated free market elderly health insurance? Hypocrite.

  27. Robert

    October 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

  28. Kevin

    October 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I think this just re-enforces what most people think about Judd, that his thought process is as bad as his singing and publishing. I stopped listening to his signing after about 1 minute to save myself.

  29. Davey

    October 16, 2013 at 9:24 am

    “It’s frightening the extent to which the treasury has become the personal piggybank for ever expanding millions of federal workers and millions more on the dole,..”

    As a musician, Judd has been benefitting for a number of years from being a Wyoming Arts Council Roster Artist. Here’s what that means (quoting from the Wyoming Arts Council website):

    “The roster gives a WAC “stamp of approval” to accomplished Wyoming artists and serves as a resource for communities seeking talented artists for festivals, performances, workshops and programs. Roster Artists must be used for all Artists Across Wyoming grants, and they can also be used for all other WAC grant categories.”

    How is the Roster supported? Again from the WAC website:

    “Wyoming Arts Council roster and grants are supported by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature”

    For those who may not know, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a federal grant making agency, supporting the arts across the country. NEA funds are Congressionally appropriated monies and 40% of the agency’s $$ goes automatically to the nation’s state arts agencies, such as the Wyoming Arts Council.

    Judd is, therefore, a beneficiary of federal tax dollars himself, $$ that helps support and further his musical career.

    Wyoming’s own Senator Mike Enzi is co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus, a position he has held since 2005. The Caucus was established to “…bring focus to the arts and humanities and the positive impact they have on daily lives. They formed the caucus to highlight the work of the federal cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.”

    Those agencies are run by serious, committed federal workers Judd is so comfortable tearing down…

  30. alex

    October 18, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I am done with your shitty newspaper- deleting it from my bookmarks. You are an idiot, Judd.

  31. Liz

    October 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    According to an estimate from Standard & Poor’s, the shutdown took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.

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