So today marks day 23 of the ongoing government shutdown. Yesterday was the first time furloughed government employees didn't receive a paycheck. Even if the government opened back up tomorrow morning, they still wouldn't see that money in their accounts for another two weeks.
This brings us to asking why this has been out so long. Well, it all started because congress couldn't pass a budget on spending, thus causing a partial shutdown. The big issue was Trump's demands for the border wall.
He demanded a total of $5.7 billion for the construction of the wall at the southern border. This is something the majority of Americans, both republicans and democrats, feel is very unnecessary and would just be a waste of government funds.
Wait, wasn't Mexico supposed to pay for the wall though?
Let's be honest here, folks, I think we all knew that this was gonna end up happening eventually.
Aside from the obvious problem of people not getting paid, let's look at some of the other consequences of the shutdown.
1. The FDA has stopped routine inspections of around 80,000 factories around the country.
Slaughter houses are required by law to have inspectors on site so by default those people have kept working. This doesn't necessarily make food unsafe considering that 99 percent of the facilities wouldn't have been inspected this month anyways, but if the shutdown continues, this is definitely something to think about.
2. TSA and air traffic control have stopped showing up to work since they're not getting paid.
This could potentially make air travel unsafe for very obvious reasons.
3. This is devastating the economy.
The Smithsonian, National Zoo and National Gallery of Art have all closed their doors to the public and will remained closed for the duration of the shutdown. This means less tourism which means less money. Remember the whole thing about air travel being potentially unsafe, yeah, airports are also having to close terminals because of the lack of security. The National Parks have had to suspend road maintenance and trash collection services. They're losing an estimated $400,000 per day in fees at the time this article was written.
People are also being frugal with their money now. They're not just going out and spending. A $3 cup of coffee might not seem like a lot but when you're not getting paid you've gotta make choices. Multiply that $3 by the 800,000 furloughed workers and it adds up to $2.4 million dollars.
These are just a few of the big consequences that are being overlooked by many people right now and it's only going to get worse as time goes on.
On Tuesday the 15th, the federal district courts are going to run out of funding. This will cause them to either suspend or postpone all civil cases. On the 25th, federal workers will miss yet another paycheck. If the shutdown drags on into February, the Census Bureau may run out of funding as they get ready for the 2020 census.
Most government agencies have been funded through the fiscal year, which ends in September. However, Trump has promised to let this go on for months, even years if he doesn't get what he wants.
And it's not that he hasn't been given options. Congress has agreed to spending more on border security (something many Americans including myself agree with) just not $5.7 billion dollars on a wall. The problem is that he won't compromise or agree to anything else.
Personally, I see this as the most monumental temper tantrum in the history of government and politics. It's actually quite embarrassing.
There's an interesting way to think about this though.
Let's use a simple analogy.
You may remember a 2005 episode of Spongebob Squarepants called "Fear of the Krabby Patty." If you don't, that's okay. It'll all make sense in a minute.
In this episode, the antagonist, Plankton, decides to keep his failing restaurant, The Chum Bucket, open for 23 hours as a way to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula from Spongebob after he's completely exhausted.
Mr. Krabs, owner of the Krusty Krab and Plankton's arch nemesis, decides he's going to be better than Plankton and keep the Krusty Krab open for 24 hours straight. He also promises no overtime for his employees.
Does this look familiar?
Here's the analogy.
Trump is our friend Mr. Krabs. Spongebob represents members of Congress attempting to please Trump by working tirelessly day and night. Plankton represents those who think a border wall is a grand idea and support the shutdown completely. You won't find too many of those, but they're out there, I promise. And my personal favorite, Old man Jenkins, represents the remainder of the American people who really have no clue what's happening and why. That could also speak for the population of the remainder of the world.
Trump's fear of not having a border wall is costing America big time. This almost guarantees that he won't be re-elected come 2020. Meanwhile, Americans are having to find other sources of income in order to make ends meet and it looks like until 2020, we're stuck with a greedy crab as our president.