A sick democracy

As the ongoing government shutdown enters its fourth week, we analyze how it has affected us.

Gabe Jenceleski, Student Writer

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On Thursday, January 17th, the standstill in Washington has reached a critical point as after three failed attempts to kick-start the federal framework, the shutdown continues. Entering its 27th consecutive day, the 2018-2019 government shutdown has crippled federally-maintained departments and organizations which have been forced to have their doors shuttered for the duration of the event. It all stems from the president’s decisive plan to garner over 5 billion in federal funding to support the creation of his much-discussed and much anticipated border wall, a project that may have more adverse effects than benefits in the long run. Here however, the close-to-home products of the shutdown might not be as apparent as you’d think. The backlash and overall effects of the government’s latest standoff among congress and the president have more adverse effects than originally assumed.

December 22nd, Saturday in Washington. After a full-house pass to deny the president funding for his planned border wall program, the executive branch of the government declared a full federal shutdown to force their plan through the house and senate floors via brute political force. Showdowns have happened in the past in the United States, but have never been as lengthy, or as unforeseeable in terms of if they would end. Effectively, a government shutdown will close all federally controlled and operated divisions and locations, like national parks, tourist destinations, emergency services, prison staffing, and IRS accounting positions. Areas of travel are also stifled, with airport staff and security not receiving pay during a shutdown, but still being required to work without a wage.

This cycle of denial then protest have happened before, but never for this long. At nearly 30 days, a full month of federal employees not being payed could be devastating to lower income families and people, and with over 800,000 government workers nationwide, this much time without financial income could cause a massive rupture in national economy.

The economic status of the U.S. over the past decade has been a questionable one, as the values of goods and services rise, wages don’t. Coupled with the new stresses of money not being spent in the modern economy, and a depression or recession seems imminent if nothing happens. And that may very well happen, nothing. The president has been more than clear to his base and to his political opponents that he has no intentions of backing down from his request for over 5 billion U.S. dollars to kick-start the border wall project, and if his objective stubbornness continues, the backlash he could face in the aftermath of a historic federal failure would be unforgettable.

It’s undeniable that a crucial moment in not only the Trump presidency, but in United States history is unfolding, but it has been unclear what the future will bring to this incredible conflict.