The Government Shut Down

By Anthony Garcia

On Tuesday October 1st at midnight the United States government officially shut down. This means that all “unnecessary” services stopped functioning, state parks and monuments closed, the IRS and NASA also temporarily shutdown, while hundreds of thousands of other federal workers were not going to work or being paid. Relax, the United States didn’t fall into anarchy or anything like the movie “The Purge;” police, teachers, local firemen, hospital workers, DMV workers, and mailmen continued to work but they received their paychecks late.

You may be asking yourself how this government shutdown actually happened and why. To clear up any confusion, the threat to shut down the government started when the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was passed and planned to begin on October 1st. The Republican party wanted to kill the bill when it was proposed but the bill passed and was signed in to law. After the law was passed legitimately, the Republican Party still wanted to stop Obamacare so they refused to negotiate on the federal budget, which was due on September 30th. By midnight of October 1st the government shut down because they had not yet negotiated a budget. In other words, representatives did not work together to do what was necessary for the country, so until they do the government cut back on services in order to save money.

Because of the government shut down, the Republican party experienced a great drop in support, according to recent polls. The Democrats blamed the Republicans and the Republicans blamed the Democrats, and while all of this was going on the United States slowly crept into an economic meltdown. If workers are not paid, those workers do not contribute to the economy by buying products such as cars, houses, or phones, and as a result the United States’ economy was hurt.

Furthermore, on October 17th, Congress had to raise the debt ceiling, which could have created an even worse problem. If the debt ceiling was not raised then the country would fail at paying back what is owed and exceeding the amount that should be borrowed. A default would be similar to an individual exceeding their credit card’s limit and having to declare bankruptcy.

On October 16th, the House voted on the previously proposed budget, reopened the government and slightly raised the debt ceiling. The entire situation is bittersweet. Knowing that our representatives would allow the country to fall in to turmoil by shutting down the government for party politics and that the threat of default was at our country’s doorstep is offsetting. But it was reassuring to know that our representatives will eventually do what’s right when dealing with such a serious issue like the world economy.

So what does that mean to us?

We as students constantly learn and experience new things, and instead of sulking over how the government fails us, we can influence the government by informing ourselves and registering to vote when we turn eighteen. For now we can send emails to representatives and express our frustration over events like these. We can influence the government, because, after all, we are the people that grant the government its power and the representatives are supposed to represent us and our opinions.


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