North Texas Daily

Shut down for what?!

Shut down for what?!

Austin Banzon

Shut down for what?!
January 24
21:27 2018

Anarchy ensued this weekend after the announcement of the government’s shutting down.

As federal employees were all told to go home to their children, military personnel were dismissed and departed from their posts with little more than the clothes in which they arrived.

Post offices country-wide wrote — in marker — “Closed until further notice” and taped it to the front door, hoping desperately that they would arrive home before the commencement of The Purge.

Even Mitch McConnell, in alarm, took to retreating into his shell, knowing well that anarchy stood menacingly over the American people.

But none of that happened, now did it?

Then why were we, the American people, bombarded with endless updates and headlines about the government shutdown? Surely, it must mean something.

To that I respond: yes and no.

The short-lived government shut down of January 2018 was yet another reminder of the asinine political polarization, and naivety of our elected political elite.

But, before diving into the ridiculous nature of this government shutdown, I think it is of sound mind to define a “government shutdown.”

In the United States, the government “shuts down” any time that Congress is unable to approve a federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Such a halt in progress demands that “nonessential” functions of the federal government must be defunded.

This does not mean that post office employees must go home, or that other bureaucrats have to find work elsewhere. It is more likely that they will be docked pay for the time being, and will be paid retroactively once the children in Congress come to an agreement.

“Essential” functions, in contrast, continue to move forward such as the military, border security and — in this year’s case— national parks.

So, what happened this time? There were a multitude of issues on the table. Democrats sought a pathway to citizenship for the DREAMers, and Republicans sought funding for the border wall. The two parties were unable to come to an agreement before the deadline, thus the government shutdown.

I return to my earlier response: yes and no. Yes, the reality of the situation is that the government “shut down” for three days. I say no, however, because the nature of the government shut down is — to say it nicely — hog wash.

This shutdown is indicative of a problem with our elected officials.

Both parties have decided, like children, that if they can’t have it their way, then they will simply quit, in hopes that one side will cave to its demands. The worst of it is that neither party truly opposes a compromise. Their refusal to do so is based solely on gross hatred for opposing ideology.

Here is how it plays out:

The media will blow this shutdown out of proportion, as they already have accomplished.

In the midst of my writing this article, both houses have voted heavily in favor of a continuing resolution, or continued funding, through Feb. 8. Two possibilities lie hereafter.

One is that nothing exciting will result from all of this nonsense. Republicans will trade a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, in return for border security funding from the Democrats, thus proving that this shutdown was an unnecessary inconvenience.

The other possibility is that we will again face anarchy in February if Congress, once again, is unable to put down its childish ways and come to an agreement.

The bottom line is this: government shutdowns mean virtually nothing. They are inconveniences birthed from Congress’ refusal to lay down childish ways and work together for the American people.

Interest lies in pointing fingers above good policy. Like two kids fighting, the game halts when one demands his way or no way. And to what result? Nothing interesting if history has anything to say about it.

Do you remember the shutdown of 2013 or why it happened? I certainly don’t.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

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