Written by: Dean “Blacc Topp” Swift
Remember the song with the chorus, men lie, women lie, numbers don’t lie? Looking at the numbers from this government shutdown is alarming. As it stands, more than 800,000 federal employees are without an income with no foreseeable end in sight.
Our current President, the man-child, is punishing the citizens of this country because he can’t have his way. Much like a child, he’s throwing a tantrum, except children cry for blocks and snacks and he’s crying for his block – I mean concrete, I mean steel see-through wall (his words not mine!) That’s neither here nor there; the important thing here is the fallout and the ripple effect that it’s going to have on our economy.
The Effects of the Shutdown
Although programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the VA won’t be affected by the shutdown, dozens of others are being impacted heavily. From the FBI to Homeland Security, employees are feeling the pinch. These people are being asked (or made) to work for no wages. In a time when a disproportionate number of Americans are only two paychecks away from poverty, our President thought that it would be a good idea to close the Government. It left more than 800,000 American citizens scrambling trying to decide between paying their power bill and feeding their families. To an overwhelming amount of citizens, the shutdown didn’t really register until tax refunds became the topic. I get it, for many of us tax refunds provide us a sort of cushion. Catch up on a few bills, take a trip, hopefully save some for a rainy day, etc. True indeed. In my mind, the refund took a back seat when I faced the stark reality that 38,000,000 low income families will only get food stamps through January, maybe February depending on the budget in their particular state. Somehow, tax money seemed minute when faced with the knowledge that somewhere soon children could potentially go hungry.
As a society we’ve been desensitized to the plight of others and it’s frightening. I was having a discussion with a coworker about this shutdown and his reply was, “I’m not worried about a shutdown because I’m not a government employee.” I pray that society’s thoughts don’t mirror my friend’s. Our President is leveraging the well-being of his citizens. Only 12% of that 800,000 are still actively employed and drawing wages. This shutdown has caused widespread disruptions that threaten to not only hurt, but tear apart this economy. Neither federal law enforcement nor judicial officials are being paid, which is ironic considering that he’s holding out for his wall. Until the government is reopened, immigration cases and deportation proceedings have grinded to a halt. Go figure. I don’t know about you, but I think we deserve more for our nation than a billionaire brat, man-child who is a master of nothing and the President of reality television. We deserve better than a failed businessman who’s ruining this country with divisiveness and bigotry. Our citizens don’t deserve to go to sleep at night with tears staining their pillows knowing there may come a time when they can’t feed their family.
When I was younger, I remember the United States making an enormous deal all over the news about the then-President, Ronald Reagan encouraging Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down that wall!!” A wall that had been constructed to divide East and West Berlin. What we’re probably not privy to is the fact that, that wall probably cost an arm and a leg too…
My point is that our current President is making his own citizens suffer for a wall that, in all likelihood, will cease in purpose once he’s out of office. How much will we have to pay when our new President decides that hate-mongering and divisiveness are not the direction that he wants to see our country descend further into? We the People need to know.