THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

a poor idea with poor consequences

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THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Cole Morse, Staff Writer

     On December 21, 2018, President Donald Trump initiated what would become the longest government shutdown in American history. The partial shutdown was a result of a deadlock between Congress and President Trump as a result of Congress’ rejection of Trump’s adamant request for a funding bill to cover $5.7 billion dollars of the infamous wall’s construction. The construction of the wall, which he so desperately desires, most likely because he simply doesn’t want to appear as though he has been intimidated into silence, has now become less probable than ever before. Currently, Trump states that the wall could be a “slat fence.” The definition of the “wall” appears to be forever changing and is an increasingly unstable and illogical representation of Trump’s presidency and ideals.

     There have been 18 previous shutdowns in America. Out of the 18 shutdowns, and a total of 126 days of halted government work, each averages around 7 days per shutdown. Trump’s shutdown of 2018 and 2019 lasted for 35 days. Within two weeks, the cessation began to affect the economy. According to The Council of Economic Advisers, each week lowered economic growth by 0.13 percent. Many agencies and a staggering nine out of fifteen federal departments were closed. This forced over 420,000 federal employees to continue working without pay. Employees working without pay included members of the FBI, DEA, and Department of Homeland Security. Due to the unpaid hours, many workers simply did not arrive to work. All of the said “closed” agencies help to ensure the safety of Americans, the very people Trump is supposedly striving so courageously to protect. Agencies, which have been completely closed, those that don’t require workers to come in at all, including NASA, the State Department, and the IRS. From the closed agencies, 380,000 people were out of work altogether. In total, around 800,000 federal workers went unpaid for 35 days, an action which resulted in many accumulating unforeseen debt and hardships. Vox News stated that approximately 4 million contractors may be affected. Consequences of the affected contractors include being unable to attain loans, the inability to publicize companies, and a lack of money for the federal courts. The shutdown also caused the FDA to cease routine inspections of American food-processing facilities, therefore potentially putting thousands of lives at risk since 31 percent of typically FDA-surveyed food is considered “high risk.” Some TSA workers simply didn’t work, another result of the shutdown, which put many people at unnecessary risk. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the economy lost $11 billion dollars during the shutdown. Vox News reported that Trump informed certain Democratic leaders that, if need be, he would continue the shutdown for years until the wall was funded or an agreement was met. According to CNN, Trump originally stated that most of the federal workers actually supported the shutdown. Shortly afterward, he tweeted “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”

     “What federal employees are you talking to,” a member of the American Federation of Government Employees and worker of the Texas Bureau of Prisons said. “None of us want to be working and not getting paid…my dreams and hopes for something in life are being fractured and highly possibly shattered.”

     Certain workers will be paid for their labor during the shutdown; however, contracted employees will be forced to recover without any aid. Late payment is better than none but for many the damage has already been done. According to The New York Times, in the recent State of Union, Trump listed a multitude of extremely misleading or completely false claims. Trump stated “the U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office,” and yet the American economy is currently slowing. Trump also stated “we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” even though Latvia, Poland, China, India, and even Greece are currently demonstrating almost twice the economic growth as America. Although the shutdown may have ended, Trump’s destructive reign is far from over.

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