Shut Down For What?: America’s Government Shutdown


Olivier Douliery

Courtesy of MCTCampus

In early October, our government showed the whole nation that they could not come together to prevent a government shutdown. It’s simply said in that one sentence, but this major problem is way more complicated than that. Congress has one key duty in the Constitution and that duty is to pass spending bills that fund the government.

In today’s America, that is not a simple task due to the Senate and Congress not being able to come together and solve the problem. Instead of working together to solve our country’s problems, it seems to the public as our country is going parallel to each other and would rather play the blame game. In my opinion, it is a combination of all parties’ inabilities to work together. A leader that won’t lead, a Republican party that won’t negotiate, and a Democrat party that won’t initiate.

Despite warnings by Obama and economists that failure to act on this shutdown could have lead to a government defaulting on its debt, spook Wall Street, spur higher interest rates and have other negative effects on the U.S. and global economy. However late on October 16, our government came to an agreement on this situation which is a great thing because we are still trying to recover from a default very similar what happened in 2011 when our stock market crashed.

Federal government shutdown

Had Congress not approved a debt limit increase, the government would have lost its authority to borrow more money to pay all of its bills. Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits could have stopped. The markets could have gone into a tailspin. However, the shutdown is a different issue and not as big of a risk to the economy as the debt ceiling.

 Despite that, people were starting to feel the shutdown’s impact, especially small businesses. With all of the things that were happening, it put some people close to Indian River High School in a very bad place. Especially, due to the fact that Indian River is located nearby Fort Drum. “It worries me where my family’s income will come from.” says a locate government employee that wish to stay anonymous.

It might have been the longest 16 days ever for Congress, but they were able to get things back on track for at least a little while. I personally don’t favor how our government went about doing things on this matter but I guess this is just a small part of being an American and I love being an American.