Most of our “government” is redistribution of income set on autopilot. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid all keep steaming along. What has been “shut down” is minuscule. Really it’s only a good start.
This leaves us with $3.2 trillion of non defense spending. $2.5 trillion of this in mandatory spending, which goes for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and other transfers, and $.2 trillion goes for net interest on the national debt. (Presumably, the Obama Treasury is not sufficiently crazy to forego servicing our national debt out of the ample funds at its disposal — $3 trillion in projected revenues).
After payment of defense, entitlements, and net interest, we have a grand total of $.6 trillion ($624 billion to be more exact) of discretionary spending that could be subject to a government shutdown. At most, we can shut down 20 percent of the federal government. This hardly deserves the moniker of “government shutdown.”