Apprehensiveness for economy grows with indefinite government shutdown

Apprehensiveness for economy grows with indefinite government shutdown

I am almost positive that I am dreaming right now, or maybe I’m playing a really bad video game. I think I might be reading a book, or watching a very stereotypical movie. It is a possibility I am being punked. Unless one of the previous theories are true, then the United States government has a lot of ’splainin’ to do.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, The government of this wonderful nation partially shut down its federal funding due to something so childish, it makes me want to claw my own eyes out. There are many different speculations floating around campus, so I will do my best to clear things up.

Government needs money to function, and when Congress cannot seem to agree on how to properly fund the government, there is no money going into it. Without this, any federally funded business, association, website, park and anything in between, closes down.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that any government employee is out of a job until funding is back to normal. Regulations in regard to government shutdown split federal workers into two groups: essential and nonessential. National security, public safety and laws under permanent law fall under “essential;” whereas, national parks, retired veterans and pretty much everything else actually shut down.

To bring this a little closer to home – because many students here seem to think it doesn’t affect them – Oklahoma relies a lot on federal support. Not only that, but without federal funding, many businesses will suffer monetary losses, resulting in layoffs and raising of prices. There are quite a few students and teachers who enjoy having a job and being able to buy things. If this goes on too long, those luxuries may not be here for much longer.

We also have a military base not too far away from home at Fort Sill. Many federally employed, retired U.S. military soldiers depend on this for a regular paycheck, as well as a monthly check to pay for their past service. Both of these programs are nonessential.

Science Department head Teresa Vachon’s husband is one such employee who was turned away from Fort Sill without pay.

“[My husband] had to report to work, and was told if congress did not reach an agreement, he would be furloughed,” Vachon said.

And true to their word, when congress failed to establish a budget, Vachon’s husband was furloughed.

“As of today, we are okay; we can survive for about three months,” Vachon said. “We will cut back on expenses and watch what we spend.”

The fact that anyone would have to watch spending and cut expenses due to something so simple genuinely appalls me. It’s as if the Democratic party and Republican party are two kindergarteners struggling to agree on which pieces of Mr. Potato Head belong to which child, so Mr. Potato Head is suffering without part of his body.

Thankfully I am not the only person in this school who feels this way. Some teachers, including Vachon and government teacher John Strickland, share the opinion that the two parties just need to sit down and each give a little bit.

“There is always such a thing as a compromise,” Strickland said. “Both parties have to set aside their differences and do what’s best for the people.”