Simplifying The Government Shutdown

So what makes this one so different than all the rest? Absolutely nothing. However, I was reading through various articles and posts that claimed they were explaining what the shutdown actually entails. After going through the first 126,853 of them, I came to the brash conclusion that I personally didn’t like any of them. So that’s where post number 126,854 derives from.

For the most part, the reason President Trump has shutdown nonessential government employees for almost a month’s time is to force Congress to feel pressured into approving a wall along the United States and Mexico border that would cost approximately $5 billion.

Who It Affects

First, it more than likely doesn’t affect you directly in the short term, so chill. This partial government shutdown forces impact on nonessential federal government employees within the following departments:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Justice
  • Homeland Security
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Interior
  • State
  • Transportation and Treasury.

So I’m sure your thought might be, “wait, none of the above departments are currently in operation? That has a huge immediate impact on me!”

No, it doesn’t. Employees who are deemed “essential” still report to work as usual, unfortunately for them, they are forced to work without any form of compensation throughout the shutdown’s duration. It is these specific individuals who have a right to complain about the immediate impact. As forcing employees to work without compensation is not only unfitting, but the American Federation of Government Employees recently declared such actions are “inhumane.”

So to answer what many of you might be thinking, the departments of Justice, Commerce, Homeland Security, etc. are still functional, just to a lesser extent.

The next question I’m sure you’re wondering is the IRS still operational (to distribute tax refunds)? The IRS has shutdown many of its services, but the Trump Administration has persistently assured that tax refunds will still be distributed as usual. Tax payers could see a slight delay in receiving their refunds, but it seems as though the IRS will continue to operate for tax refund distribution.

The Smithsonian museums, National Zoo in DC, as well as some national parks are closed during the shutdown. Some national parks remain open, but to a limited capacity.

So, let’s simplify the primary issues at hand here.

You Pay Employees Or You Don’t Get Employees

Thousands of employees are reporting to work without any form of compensation. This should be a simple consensus of inappropriate course of action. If people work, you pay them; end of story. If the shutdown is insisted, they shouldn’t be forced to work without a paycheck.

That’s the same as if a struggling company needed a new financial advisor to help with finances, but during the hiring process the company says, “well, we’re struggling financially, so we need you to come work for free until you help us fix the finances.”

Same idea here. The government is struggling to operate basic services, but it’s telling employees they need to come help with the problem without being compensated for their work.

The Wall Situation

So this shutdown all began with President Trump insisting on a wall at the southern American border. The agreed upon generic logic is to cut spending in the long term for illegal immigration and border patrol. Fair cause, right?

The Trump Administration has insisted on building a wall exceeding $5 billion American dollars to prevent illegal immigration and undocumented citizens from entering the nation.

The majority Democratic opinion sees it as cruel intentions, as being one of the most powerful nations in the world, we should be willing to assist others in need. Also fair, right?

We should absolutely help those in need, but if we’re going to help people in need, those potential individuals need to respect our nation’s guidelines.

My food for thought, you want United States assistance? We can provide it to you, but you deliberately opposing the lawful process it takes to be granted asylum or US citizenship is sure an interesting way to show appreciation for the nation you want help from.

That’s like if I were invited over to a colleague’s residence who is going to help me with a work project, and they made it clear that they don’t allow shoes on in the house, so I acknowledge the rule, and I plot a sneaky plan to try to be able to put my shoes back on while in the house. Then, when I get caught (as in all likelihood, I would, as is the case with sneaking over the border illegally), I expect nothing but remorse, apologetic, and understanding behavior from the host I was looking for help from.

Meanwhile, one can logically analyze the above situation from a more democratic approach with, should the person who just attempted to go against intact rules by putting their shoes back on really be thrown to the curb and not get the assistance they need?

Both sides have a point. If you’re willing to help someone, they should follow the rules provided, right? However, if one who desperately needs assistance with something, then blatantly contradicts the rules and still seeks the desired help, then what happens?

I used a lighter themed metaphor in the above scenario, but the same simple premise is applicable to the entire government shutdown.

As for when the longest partial government shutdown will officially come to a close? Your guess is as good as mine.

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