Government shutdown could happen again


Charles Connor and Lauren Textor

Weeks of headlines were made for every major news source when President Donald Trump announced that the federal government would be shutting down due to Congress’s decision not to grant the requested five billion dollar funding for a wall along the United States-Mexico border.

However, the cost of the longest shutdown in U.S. history, which lasted from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, was high for the 800,000 government employees that went 35 days without pay and for the rest of the nation that had to function without access to certain government agencies.

“The lost productivity of a prolonged shutdown affects so many different parts of our economy and society,” social studies teacher Chris Brindle said. “Not only are some people out of work, but there are government loan programs for farmers and other business owners that are not available for processing during that time. This has cost some people to lose their business or have to find other more expensive financial resources to continue with their business.”

Hundreds of IRS and federal employees have been calling in sick since being called back into work, jeopardizing both public and private money and interests.

“A government shutdown puts the lives of many people at risk due to hundreds of thousands of employees being temporarily out of work,” junior Trent Smith said. “For instance, the CDC did not mandate food screenings, which could in turn put the lives of many more people in danger due to illness.”

However, some believe that the  temporary closure of agencies was worth the cost.

“Trump is only trying to make America a better and safer place by protecting the border,” senior Jackson Welker said.

Welker said that he believes Trump is being unfairly portrayed for initiating a shutdown when past presidents have acted similarly to accomplish their goals. He acknowledged that Americans employed by the federal government are living paycheck to paycheck, but said that backpay is a fair solution and he would support another shutdown if it helped to push border wall funding.

“Yes, it [the shutdown] put Americans at risk, but it was a small risk,” Welker said. “Trump has people everywhere obviously, because he is the president. He had to take all of those into consideration when doing the shut down, and everything turned out perfectly fine in the end.”

Even though the federal government is back up and running, the reinstatement of operations is likely only temporary.

“Both sides [Republicans and Democrats] are in my view idiotic,” Smith said. “Both seek nothing but their own personal interests and don’t speak for the people.”