As Democrats and Republicans squabble over federal funding and a partial shutdown of the federal government looms, many in the press are mindlessly parroting the Democratic Party's talking points about the shutdown. But what's the reality? Following are three false claims regarding the looming shutdown, and why they are lies. False claim #1: Republicans are shutting down the government. “So far, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to move forward.... The House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the tea party that they've threatened a government shutdown or worse unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act." — President Barack Obama, press conference, September 27 Why it's a lie: CONTINUE . . . ‘Government Shut Down’ Won’t Actually Shut Down Government It turns out that the ominous “government shut down” isn’t so apocalyptic after all since it won’t actually shut down government because the vast majority of federal services and activity will continue as normal. In addition, the same thing has happened – without dire consequences – no less than 17 times over the past three decades. The dispute over Obamacare means it is “99.9%” certain that the US government will “shut down” on October 1st because lawmakers have failed to pass legislation that will authorize the government to spend money to fund its operations from the beginning of the new fiscal year. However, as the Washington Post highlights, the same “shut down” has occurred 17 times since 1977. Most of the previous shut downs lasted from a few hours to a few days. The longest ran for 21 days from December ’96 to January ’97 during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Obama supporters and Democrats have attempted to portray a potential government shut down as something approaching a doomsday scenario, most notably Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who hyped the prospect of it “as dangerous as the breakup of the Union before the Civil War.” In reality, key functions of the government will continue to operate as before even in the event of a “shut down”. CONTINUE . . .