The Recent Government Shutdown: A Waste of Time

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The Government shutdown, due to President Trump’s belligerence and stubbornness, has had detrimental effects on government-owned organizations and employees. Trump is refusing to make any compromise or negotiation if it doesn’t include the federal funding of a border wall. Of course most Democrats are, without hesitation, denying him this.

Trump won’t back down from his claim of needing a steel border wall. It must be reiterated, however… “steel”…how will that be of any more protection from unarmed immigrants than a less expensive concrete wall that was part of the original plan? Additionally, why is a border wall even needed much less at this time in history when there are much bigger issues at hand? “Trump now says he wants a ‘steel barrier,’ rather than the concrete wall he has repeatedly called for. “I think we’re probably talking about steel because I really feel the other side feels better about it,” Trump explained to reporters Friday.” according to: Government shutdown becomes the third-longest ever. Here’s where things stand.

Trump has rejected any attempt at reason, because he is stuck on the wall and he continues to exaggerate how imperative it is. In response to the question: should Congress comply with Trump’s demand for a wall,  Ms. Richason (Senior Team Lead and Activities Director at George Washington High school) commented that it would be a “contradiction, as in this country…our ancestors were immigrants themselves and no one put up a wall for them not to be here for the opportunity for freedom…” A wall is only hypocrisy relating to the philosophy of our nation: liberty and justice for all.

The ongoing government shutdown of 2018-19 has become the second longest in the history of the US government and each part of the government is essential to its efficient function. If one cog in the government machine is removed, it’s hard to keep it moving. Despite keeping the most essential parts, those nails and rivets are irreplaceable in the scheme of things. The national parks that have closed this past month should not be abandoned to the extent that they are. Per the article, How Is the Partial Government Shutdown Affecting National Parks? by Emily Douce and John Garder Jan 7, 2019, “Many national park sites are experiencing problems with human waste in open areas, along roads and at overflowing toilets, a serious concern for human health as well as wildlife health.” The poor animals in these parks and the environments that they live in are rapidly becoming uninhabitable due to the government shutdown.

It’s such an easy fix, yet we continue to ignore their plight. Along with the environment the, “NPCA estimates that the Park Service is losing $400,000 per day from entrance fee revenue. This revenue loss disproportionately harms some of the largest and most popular parks in the park system, such as the Grand Canyon, Shenandoah, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Zion, because these parks keep 80 percent of their entrance fees on site and depend on this revenue for their operating budgets.” It is a travesty to allow our beautiful parks to suffer. Without the needed funding, they will deteriorate and become a memory.

Additionally, the government shutdown impacts various employees that are being furloughed or refused pay. In total, around 420,000 workers will not receive pay during the government shutdown-this means they will not be compensated for working. Additionally, there will also be around 380,000 employees that will be furloughed (sent home without pay). Ms. Richason, is affected by these shutdowns too, as her husband is a government employee. Mr. Richason is required to put down all work and is refused pay during the shutdown. He received his last paycheck but is not guaranteed the next ones, unless the government opens up again. Ms. Richason said, “If it holds out for the next month or so, we might find ourselves…reaching out to people for support…” For the numerous families in similar situations to the Richason family, or the more dire cases, the government shutdown is hurting them tremendously. Is a wall really worth the financial stability of hundreds of families?

As Trump ignores all of the effects of the shutdown on almost everything-ranging from parks to the economy and immigrants, things are getting out of hand. This is not merely an accusation-it is a fact that the government shutdown has gone on too long, needlessly. Significantly, seven people have died in national parks due to the shutdown and a couple may have been due to the shutdown directly. If Trump were to let go of his stubborn and selfish motives of building an unnecessary wall, perhaps those people would still be alive, the environment would have a chance, and thousands of workers would have stable finances.

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