Image courtesy of The Washington Post.
On October 16, 2013, Congress finally reached a deal to re-open the government and extend the debt ceiling. This deal provides funding for the government through January 15, 2014 and extends the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014.
The political shenanigans lasted for 16 days, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers furloughed. According to Standard & Poor’s, the economy took an estimated $24 billion hit as a result of the shutdown. As reported by Eliana Dockterman for Time.com, small businesses were impacted by “frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. Tourism suffered from closed national parks, and military families had to cope without childcare and other services.” Under the deal, federal workers will receive back pay. However, federal contractors may not be able to recoup their lost wages.
The shutdown was an unnecessary political showdown that disrupted the livelihood of many people. The actions (or inaction) of our political officials proved just how out of touch they are with the people they represent. They will stop at nothing when they have an agenda to push through. They will railroad, lambast, blaspheme, lie, you name it… And in this case, all because they wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
How sad, disgraceful, and upsetting it was to see our representatives acting like spoiled children… Pointing fingers, passing blame, throwing temper tantrums because they couldn’t (or didn’t) get their way. I guess the lessons of working through your differences, owning up to your shortcomings, and standing together to achieve common goals and solutions for the greater the good have been forgotten.
Though the shutdown has ended, one can only imagine how long its after effects will persist. I hope everyone is awake. I hope everyone can see our elected officials truly for who they are. And I hope everyone remembers this when it’s time to vote in 2014 and 2016. If our officials haven’t learned anything and we end up in the same predicament in 2014 and again in subsequent years, then it’s time for us to teach them a lesson. Take our government, our people, and our nation for granted, and watch us vote you out of office.