Shut down the Shutdown

Natan Solomon, Staff Writer

“Should I take my laptop out of the case?” “I don’t care, I’m not getting paid”, said the TSA agent. A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass sufficient appropriation bills or when the president refuses to sign into law such bills. Currently, America is enduring its eighth government shutdown and it is acting as a detriment in many ways. From lackluster food inspection to extremely lenient TSA procedures, our daily life is being affected in more ways than one.

Let’s rewind, how did this shutdown begin? The current president of the United States is insistent on getting a form of border control between our land and Mexico’s. His solution was a wall, but the only problem is that it would hypothetically cost $70 Billion and $150 Million weekly to maintain. The immediate solution: say Mexico will pay for it. This solution was a viable one until Mexico refused to pay the exorbitant amount of money. The financing of the wall was put aside until the national budget needed to be decided and agreed on by two parties: The President and Congress. One side says the wall is essential, that America needs to have more secure borders. The other side ridicules it for being unneeded and calls it a ludicrous idea. Due to the fact that neither side is budging, the budget can’t be finalized, giving way to a government shutdown.

Coming back to the present day, this argument over a wall is having real implications on everyday life. For instance, people with federal jobs that aren’t considered “absolutely necessary” aren’t paid. This is becoming an evident problem as the list of jobs that aren’t “absolutely necessary” is a long one. The list includes but is not limited to: 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers, 90% of homeland security (the department that works tirelessly to keep the country secure and safe) workers, and 54,000 border security officers. This shutdown, which is currently the longest in American history, is not only negatively affecting the public safety, but is sending the economy on a downward spiral.

Although going through airport security is one of the more dreaded parts of a flight or vacation, it is an unsung hero as terror attacks, sex trafficking, and drug smuggling are prevented daily. However, this government shutdown has halted the paycheck of TSA workers, causing a lack of work ethic that is essential in that field. Even if you aren’t worried about safety, the lack of workers has forced some airports to a handful of lines rather than a lobby of countless entries. Translation: prepare to show up 5-6 hours in advance of a flight if you have vacation planned!

To reiterate, this government shutdown is causing a divide in a place that is meant to be united. The political stalemate that is merely a game of chess for politicians is actually people’s lives and the longer it goes on, the more exponentially harmful the effects become. Despite the agendas that people are trying to accomplish, the government needs to shut down this shutdown!