By William Schneider
Many would say that today is a proud day to be living in a country which is finally adopting a universal healthcare program. Are you for it? Against it? Regardless of your stance, I’m sure you are all quite familiar with “that guy” who can hear the words “hospital” and “Obama” two lecture halls over and immediately springs into action, making sure everyone knows his life-changing opinion on the matter. Well congratulations “that guy.” You broke the government.
That’s right everyone. On Tuesday October 1st, for the first time in seventeen years, the United States Government has officially shut down. Thankfully for the people we love, social security checks will still be mailed and hospitals will still be open. Thankfully, for all those who didn’t work as hard as us in high school, we are not about to stop paying for welfare checks. Unfortunately, for government workers, you are officially being grouped into the category of “excepted”, or “non-excepted” is this supposed to say accepted?, (changed from “essential” or “non-essential” in 1995, because according to the Washington Post, “non-essential seemed a bit hurtful”) and things are about to get interesting.
If you are placed into the “non-essential” group, then congratulations! You have an immediate unpaid vacation! If you are lucky enough not to be voted off the island, you get to come back to work without pay. Don’t flip out, your pay is just delayed, and it will hit your bank account as soon as we have a government again. Probably.
If you are like me, then you’re sitting there asking yourself, “What could possibly have caused the government to shut down? Since the last such crisis, we made it through September 11th, the Iraq War and even Hillary Clinton with a government that was still breathing.” Well, gold stars for everyone who said that Healthcare would destroy the United States Government, because it literally did.
The Government’s fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th and before this it is up to Congress to pass spending allocations so that the government can, you know, pay for everything it does. Well, thanks to a Republican House, a Democratic Senate, and a very confusing, very controversial bill that I think I might start calling ‘The Gaza Slip,’ nothing was passed. Shockingly, House Republicans seemed to think the budget should act against Obamacare. Against all odds, Senate Democrats disagreed. Now normally in this kind of situation, we fall back on what we learned in Kindergarten and compromise, but in today’s society it seems more common for politicians to put naked pictures of themselves on the internet than to even think about the C-word (what is the c-word? compromise?). Naturally, there was only one possible solution. Shut down the government.
As I said before, the “essential” people are still working, so don’t run outside to light up that joint in the street. As it stands however, the US government was and is still currently (as of October 3rd) officially shut down. Hopefully they can find some kind of common ground (or something to mutually hate enough) up there on Capitol Hill that we can have a government again… until then: ‘Murica!