View From The Voice: The shutdown damage has been done: America can’t afford another government impasse

- The, Voice

The recent government shutdown was a microcosm of what we can expect from our government over the next two years. At a punishing 35 days long, it was easily the longest shutdown in United States history, and it did nothing to resolve the tension between Trump’s administration and the new Democratic-majority House of Representatives.

Government shutdowns are nothing new. Presidential administrations as far back as the Jimmy Carter years have weathered long shutdowns after opposing parties failed to come to terms over the federal budget. The second-longest single shutdown in history ran for three weeks under President Bill Clinton.

No other shutdown in the past 40 years seems to have had such catastrophic effects on the nation as the one that finally ended last Friday. At the time, roughly 380,000 federal workers were on furlough, neither reporting to work nor getting paid.

Across the country, airports fell into disarray as security screeners who hadn’t been paid were increasingly absent from work. With national park employees stretched thin, vandals and trespassers did serious damage to natural landmarks, most notably in Joshua Tree and Yellowstone.

Potentially the worst part? With the government temporarily reopened for three weeks, a second possible shutdown is looming large in the future.
We at The Voice believe that a second government shutdown must be avoided at all costs. Thousands of Americans quite literally cannot afford to go any longer without job security and paychecks.

Per the Congressional Budget Office, the shutdown cost the United States’ economy $11 billion, roughly double the cost of President Trump’s $5.7 billion request for a wall at the southern border. Because of the impasse, federal employees were forced to cut out grocery store trips and run up significant credit card debt after struggling through five weeks of little or no income.

The Democrat-held House has proven it will not bend to Trump’s threats. Rather than give up their never-ending quest for the construction of a pointless and xenophobically-fueled border wall, how did Trump’s administration respond to the shutdown ills? By suggesting that furloughed federal workers take out loans they can’t repay, hold yard sales to scrape some cash together or do some babysitting to cover the bills.

When people in power are too stubborn to see reason or choose their battles wisely, the rest of the country suffers. Now that we’ve entered the second half of Trump’s disastrous presidency, with the Democrats prepared to check him at every turn, we should all get used to stalemates – and maybe shutdowns – like these.

– The Voice