Government shutdown hitting the people


Anyone who has been watching the news this year knows that America is currently in a state of crisis. The government was partially shut down about a month ago on Dec. 22, when Congress could not come to an agreement on funding regarding Trump’s infamous campaign promise to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Alongside Trump, Republicans are fighting to have approximately $5.7 billion allocated to this project, a request which Democrats are vehemently refusing to permit.

Though there have been several government shutdowns throughout the history of this nation, this one is currently the longest, and the consequences of that are becoming quickly apparent for citizens and organizations across the country.

According to CNN, the shutdown means that around 800,000 government workers, which is about 25 percent of the federal workforce, are still working hours at their jobs without receiving paychecks. Some workers have simply been sent home altogether for unpaid leave.

The shutdown may not pose an immediately disastrous effect on the economy, but its implications are still undeniably significant, and the strain that it is putting on families is both undeniable and unacceptable.

Even though these deprived government workers are supposed to get back pay when the government reopens, that doesn’t help them pay their mortgages, rent or other bills that are piling up now.

This is affecting citizens on a personal level. People are having to pawn their possessions to keep up with their bills, borrow money from relatives just to get by and some students are even being pulled from college because their families, which already live paycheck to paycheck, are not going to be able to supply the necessary funds for their tuition.

The impacts of the shutdown even extend beyond this. The workers that aren’t getting paid aren’t investing money back into the economy. People and businesses are unable to receive government loans or necessary permits.

Federally operated places usually open to the public, like museums, are being closed. Airlines are losing business and TSA agents can’t afford to go into work without being paid, decreasing the necessary security that we have in place for air travel. Federal courts are running out of funding. The list goes on.

The fact that Democrats and Republicans are so polarized in this debate means that there is currently no end in sight. This is certainly not good for the growth of the United States’ economy. Though the impact of this shutdown likely won’t cause a full-blown economic recession, it is still negatively influencing workers, businesses and America at large.

Trump’s attempt to build a border wall is not only putting our government on pause, it’s directly hurting the American citizens which he has been sworn in to protect. The issue of building a border wall should under no circumstances be put before the welfare of Americans, which is why it is essential that Republicans and Democrats work quickly to sort out their differences and re-open the government.

To build the wall or not to build the wall is a question needing careful and deliberate pondering, but this cannot be done at the cost of the people. The essential role of the government, that which comes before all other duties, should be to ensure that Americans are taken care of.

Instead of focusing on ways to avoid migrants crossing the border, Trump and his government need to take a hard look at the domestic impact that their insistence for funding is having and consider whether the pros actually outweigh the cons.