Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shut It Down

What is a government shutdown and what does it mean for us? This question has been circulating around the media lately as the United States appears to be headed towards a shutdown of the government tomorrow. Even after reading news articles about it, I'm still not sure what it means for the country, but I'm sure it will hurt us even more than we're hurting now.

Basically, a lot of government agencies that are deemed "non-essential" will be mothballed for the shutdown, such as the Parks Service, visa and passport application services, and veteran's services. And I even read that employees who work from home or try to come in to work will actually face fines and could even face prison time - outrageous.

But the most ridiculous thing I've read, from this article by the BBC is that even with the government shutdown, when it's over those affected will receive back pay for services and work they never did, and specifically were told NOT to do! As the article says, tourism suffers, and people are paid for not doing any work. So I ask: how is it that we're saving money with a government shutdown!?

"That helps contribute to the irony: shutting down the government is expensive."

A group of democrats are pushing for no pay during the government shutdown (if it comes to that), which I believe is the right thing to do. Not surprisingly, the bill is not gaining approval and will most likely not be taken into effect. Great job, America!

“Our bill is simple: If we cannot do our work and keep the government functioning, we should not receive a paycheck,” the Senate Democrats wrote to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “If we cannot compromise and meet each other halfway, then we should not be paid.”
(The Washington Pot)

In my opinion, government workers (senators, representative, judges, the president, etc.) should have significantly lower pay than they are benefited with having now. If you are getting into these positions of power and enacting laws, you should be getting into these position because you want to bring change and improvement for our society and make a difference. You shouldn't be getting into government for the reason of having a cushy job with high pay and benefits and then cause more arguments and stalemates that actually destroy our nation (as many seem to do).


  1. I read an article on I think Gawker last night that had quotes from government employees who wrote in with their take on the shutdown. To me, it sounded like they have to work for free (emphasis on HAVE to, or else they will be terminated), and then will be paid back later. I would link to the article but the Gawker website doesn't load here at work!

  2. Hmm I'll try to find it. I think that is true, but I think also some higher ups (like senators maybe) get back pay even though Congress won't meet. Goes to show that the average American still isn't completely sure what this all means :S