The stories continue to pour in of government officials – particularly for some reason Parks Department employees including Rangers – taking care to make life miserable for citizens as a matter of policy. Precisely where this policy originated is not known, but considerable money was spent on the operation. The World War II, Viet Nam War, and Korean War monuments on the Mall are not attended and are open for anyone to stroll through, and they are meaningful to the veterans of those wars. The nearest barricades would be in some Park Department storage place a good way from the Mall. Had the government shut down simply removed the park people from the site, it would have cost nothing to ask the American Legion, WFW, and other such outfits to provide monitors; but it was very costly to bring out the barricades and post park police around those monuments to keep the veterans away from them. Yet that was done.
The same with the access off-ramp to the privately owned parking lot at the privately owned and operated Mount Vernon: it costs nothing to operate and no one parks on government property; but at considerable expense barricades were put up to block the off ramp, and federal employees were sent to enforce the shutdown of the turnoff. Same story for the off highway viewpoints for Mount Rushmore; at considerable expense they were closed. And tourists on a tour bus that stopped to look were forbidden to “recreate” by taking photographs of Old Faithful; it took people on duty to do that. This wasn’t saving money, this was intended to be hard on people, presumably so they would blame the Republicans for shutting down the government.
Something to keep in mind when folks yell about how much the shut-down cost.