Examining the Government Shutdown

Anna Johns, Staff Writer

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The government shutdown, reaching a record length in US history, has bombarded news broadcasting and headlines over the past few weeks. But what does a “shutdown” really mean? There doesn’t seem to be mass panic. Most daily activities seem to be continuing, but there is a lot behind the scenes that is taking a hit. And yet many of our US congressmen didn’t seem in a rush to compromise.

The federal government funds a huge amount of programs that affect citizens lives daily; The IRS, which manages taxes, the national parks, the FDA, that regulates food and drugs sold and hundreds more. Even safety checks on planes are done by the federal government. And many of these programs are at a standstill. Worst of all, federal employees don’t receive a single paycheck for their work until the government is up and running again. Statistics are showing that millions of dollars were shaved off of the economy because of the shutdown alone.

So why is all of this happening?

In short, President Donald Trump has forced an ultimatum; unless the Senate and House send him a bill that includes “the border wall” along the Mexican border – an estimated 5 billion dollar project that was one of Trump’s leading campaign promises – he won’t sign it. But, instead of Republicans and Democrats coming together for a solution, they’re fleeing to their polarized party corners, refusing to budge.

And so we’re left as spectators to a temper tantrum between toddler-like adults.

Politicians have struggled with compromise ever since the US was founded, but it is a skill necessary to the government. That’s why it’s taught at an early age: compromise is a skill the average American kid learns in Kindergarten. So why is it so hard for our government officials to implement?

Maybe it’s time we set an example for our politicians.

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