Finally, Congress has realized that trendy short term subsidies and budget cuts don’t work, unless if it’s across the board.
An ultimatum has been issued; Congress must reach an agreement on 2011 spending for this fiscal year, or our government will shutdown Friday night for lack of funding. A government shutdown would entail all military forces to continue working and fighting overseas, however they would have to forego receiving any pay unless congress approves a spending bill. For the rest of typical America, which includes about 800,000 civilian federal workers would have their paychecks cut or be sent home from work in the wake of a government shutdown.
This isn’t the first time Congress has let America down though. The 2011 government spending bill was supposed to be approved and passed last year, however the once Democrat controlled Congress failed to do so. After midterms rolled around, the newly Republican controlled Congress left most of the political agenda at a standstill, the 2011 Fiscal Budget proposal nor the Health care Bill to aid 9/11 heroes and survivors (of whom still suffer respiratory ailments, cancer and psychological trauma) were debated thoroughly or passed in the chamber.
This ultimately leaves American politics at a standstill. Yet, the global effect of the American government shutting down can be summed up as ‘not good’.
According to Sebastian Mallaby, an economic expert in the Council of Foreign Relations, states that, “Allies around the world look at the United States and say ‘Gee, their political system is so dysfunctional they can’t even keep their government open, so what kind of reliable ally can they be?'” (Amar C. Bakshi Report of CNN)
Bakshi is pretty adequate in his analysis of international relations between the United States and the rest of the global union. American politics play a huge role in the strategic political and economic moves our allies and adversaries may take. So, if our government were to close on Friday at midnight, this may put a large section of our economy at a standstill and may hurt many wallets of everyday Americans. One of the ramifications of passing the proposed spending plan is that the Federal Housing Authority would stop processing loans, which would then affect 30% of the housing market. Since the GOP lead House already approved a bill back in February that, if enacted, would cut federal spending on health care, child care, social services and environmental regulation, the impending economic harm to Americans would only be increased.
Shutting down Washington is also a security concern, the Pentagon has delayed 75 projects within the past few months and the Army and Marine Corps have temporarily stopped civilian hiring. Strategically, United States adversaries would take notice of this and possibly use it to their advantage.
In all seriousness, the fact that the United States government cannot get their stuff together is a huge deal. Trickling down from increased tensions between United States allies with the impending thought that the United States may not only be unreliable, yet a burden to many developed nations due to the increased loans which in turn only sinks us more in debt, to the everyday Joe that is stuck in the middle having to pay higher insurance fees with a smaller weekly paycheck.
For students and children, however, could be hurt significantly by the government shutdown. The Head Start Program, assisting over 157,000 children with nutrition and health care, and the Pell Grant, a federal scholarship helping low-income students looking to go to college, will be significantly severed from federal funding. Along with that, Veterans might not receive military benefit checks, Americans won’t be able to apply for Social Security, the State Department won’t issue new passports, national museums and national parks would close.
What happens in the House of Representatives, stays in the House of Representatives. Maybe Anthony Weiner can save us: