National Park Closures defy Common Sense Economics, but Why?

National Park Shutdown

With no National Park Service, someone has to pay for the federal cops and guards to keep Americans away from war monuments. And that someone is you.

In a case of, “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine,” the Fed is apparently asserting power over any national monument and park, whether it owns it or not.

Interestingly, rather than paying the federal cops and guards to merely patrol the parks, they are instead paying them to keep people out – and probably spending more money doing just that than operating the National Part Service (NPS) for the same purpose.

Any American could circle back around with the Fed to inquire about this, but no one is answering his or her phones since no one is working. Good luck reaching your Senator or Representative.

This has a profound psychological impact on American Patriotism, and sends questionable signals about our Federal Government abroad.


Some Curious Fed Closure Strategies

Nationally, Americans have been shocked with the level of aggression by park security after Tuesday’s shutdown.

At Mount Vernon, the privately owned home of George Washington, NPS attempted to shut down the monument even though they don’t own it.

Mount Vernon is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. It receives no federal funding. Regardless, the NPS said “mine” and attempted to shut it down anyway because the parking lot is co-owned by NPS. Apparently the Fed interprets co-ownership as “mine.”

I’ve been personally revolted by our nation’s treatment of its veterans as of late. Making matters worse was its treatment of WWII veterans on Tuesday and Wednesday.

At the WWII monument in DC, veterans in wheelchairs traveled across the country to pay homage to their lost comrades. They were met with fencing and security guards preventing access.

While the Fed has shut down the NPS, they apparently hired security and federal cops to make sure no one goes in. This seems like more of an offset than a shutdown, and it compromises our tourism industry, to boot.


Common Sense Economics

What no one seems to be asking is, how much does this strategy cost?

These cops, guards and fencing cost money. That money comes from a budget of some kind, and that budget is paid for by tax dollars.

Meanwhile, there is also a loss of revenue from tourism that will have an overall impact on the economy and lost tax revenue for states and the federal government. Service providers, mainly small businesses, within the tourism industry will suffer.

The strategy of shutting down the parks while guarding them and chasing people out seems to be more of a punishment than sound policy.

If it were about money, wouldn’t the Fed stand to benefit from at least keeping the parks minimally open?

Rather the Fed could have kept the parts minimally staffed. Some workers could have maintained the minimal safety and function of the parks. Revenue would have kept flowing from willing tourists, and our amazing national resources could be enjoyed.

That is what we did during the last shutdown.

Instead, the Fed shut down the parks it both owns and does not own, and it has employed guards with your tax dollars to keep you out of your land.

This is our government operating in our states with our tax dollars to punish us. Maybe our states should take back their land.


List of National Park Closures

Here is a partial listing, written by Paul Joseph Watson, of parks with guards or blockades keeping Americans out:

– Numerous hiking and biking trails throughout the greater DC region, despite requiring zero immediate maintenance or patrols, have been closed down. Irate citizens are merely flouting the law and using them anyway.

– The NPS has stationed officers along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal that runs 184 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland to make sure nobody uses the bike paths. It would have required less manpower to keep this trail open. The handles on all the well pumps have also been removed.

– The feds also shut down a tiny park in which children play on fake turtles, prompting angry mothers to remove the barriers, only to see them put back up. “The park is extremely small and sort of seems pointless to block off,” reports the Daily Caller.

– Lincoln Park in DC, which is known to be used by several Democratic Senators, was not shut down, but numerous national parks across Montana were closed.

– The most widely reported case occurred at the World War II memorial in DC, where the NPS tried to prevent veterans from seeing the monument by erecting barriers and even threatening vets with arrest. The veterans stormed through the barricades anyway. “People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they’re trying to play a charade,” Senator Rand Paul told Fox News.

Meme photo from

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    Park service: Honor Flight visits are a ‘First Amendment activity’

    WASHINGTON — World War II vets are allowed back in their war memorial now, shutdown or no shutdown.
    A day after hundreds of tourist veterans took over the closed down World War II Memorial in the heart of the Nation’s Capital, the United States Park Police announced that planned Honor Flight visits to the monument are considered “First Amendment activities,” which are allowed regardless of the government’s operating status.

  2. Typical Republican party line. The George Washington Parkway is a federal park. It is the only road that one can get to Mt. Vernon. The NPS policy was to close all parking lots along the parkway since they cannot patrol them during the shutdown. And don’t give me the WWII veterans cry baby stuff. The WWII Memorial is quite visible from the walkway, and they need to understand that the National Parks are closed. Period. Not one is open, so why should they have special treatment. Tell your elected officials to stop the shutdown and pass a clean Continuing Resolution – without removing any funding for the Affordable Care Act — and the parks will magically open. This is a House of Representatives problem pure and simple.

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