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Alright, well the main point of this website is to inform (and maybe even rally) people up about upcoming elections and how certain news events pertain to future races. For the most part, the posts on this website have been geared towards that specific goal.
However, since I’m still in college and see so many people talking about certain news events on Facebook & Twitter with only a rudimentary idea of what is going on (Usually “WELFARE”); I like to take some time to explain what is going on. Usually its a mixture of facts and editorial so people understand what the hell is going on.
Well, in light of a government shutdown that has taken place for the past twelve hours, I thought I’d log back into WordPress and tell the people what exactly is going on to the best of my understanding.
What Does A Government Shutdown Mean?
Well, its basically what it sounds like. As of 12:00 midnight, the federal government has shut down. Now, its not a full-bloated shutdown (aka we still have a President and yes, we still have laws so you don’t have a get out of jail free card) but really here’s what happens.
The federal government gives out funds to keep neat things operating such as national parks (see: Statue of Liberty for an example), museums, federal agencies, etc. As the government shuts down, well….those people as of right now are off from work for the foreseeable future. How many you ask? Think around 800,000 government workers right now, some of whose livelihoods depend on their jobs (like all of us!) can not go into work and there’s no guarantee that they will be paid for the time they missed.
How Long Will It Last?
Who really knows? In 1995 and 1996, the government shut down for five and twenty one days, respectively. This will last about as long as until a “Continuing Resolution” or Appropriations bill get passed.
That could take anywhere from an hour from now until….well, whenever the Republican-backed House feels like it.
What’s the reason for the shutdown?
Well, there’s a few thoughts about that but mainly as you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now starting to begin in earnest. You might know that as “OBAMACARE” or “that health care bill people keep talking about”. The funding of the ACA is being attacked by Republicans who believe it should be repealed, defunded or slowly eliminated before really taking place.
What’s that got to do with anything?
Nothing precisely. However, its being used as a hostage by Republicans in exchange for a bill to be passed. The Republicans dominate the House as of now, and the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. As of now, there is plenty of gridlock (obviously) and the Republicans are trying to score a political win by defunding the health care bill they didn’t pass while blaming President Obama for the shutdown.
Right now, outside groups dominate political fundraising. The big CEOs/hedge fund managers/etc. that pump in their own millions for certain causes are in charge. Really the Republican Party, in an attempt to drum up interest and cash for future electoral cycles, is playing to those groups.
The real beneficiary might very well be Ted Cruz, the Senator from Texas, who is often seen as a contender for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. He is a very conservative firebrand that is trying to derail a bill that was signed into law (in 2010) before he was elected to the Senate (2012).
But as the shutdown continues, the real winners could likely be the Democratic Party. Remember the Republicans effectively SHUTDOWN parts of the federal government to rail against a bill that was signed into law, approved by the Supreme Court as constitutional and mostly approved by voters in 2012 who reelected plenty of Democrats who were instrumental in its passage (including the President).
Federal workers whose only crime was getting a job to feed themselves, their families and paying their bills. As always, the “little people” are used as pawns for the big fish and that’s something that should infuriate you as it could very well be you one day.