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Government Shutdown: Two Weeks and Counting Down to Default
As our government remains shutdown the nation moves closer to a possible default. Today marks the 14th day that the government has shut its doors on federal agencies and employees as the Senate still can’t come together and make a budget. The Democrats and Republicans are still warring over their spending while the ordinary person is suffering because of the political and fiscal-budget impasse.
Harry Reid, democratic majority leader from Nevada, and Mitch McConnell, republican minority leader from Kentucky had a telephone conference on Sunday, but did not agree on a single plan or budget to help free the nation from the problems at hand, namely the shutdown and the lack of a feasible budget.
The two party leaders did not agree to “raise the nation’s borrowing authority above the $16.7 trillion debt limit or to reopen the government,” according to Boston.com. Although both parties are aware that the country will not be able to pay its bills in a few days, there is still division, disagreement and discord.
While the world watches, companies fear the worst and a majority of people fear that they won’t be able to eat or provide for their families if this nonsense continues, senate leaders play their childish games and avoid a peaceful and fast resolution that would bring together the polarized representatives.
One Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin claims, “Investors are growing increasingly skittish,” regarding the looming default. As the bond markets are closed for Columbus Day, the equity markets see a bearish decline as the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 lost around 1%. Bloomberg analysts however say that this really wasn’t too bad, although the look ahead is what worries most investors and citizens alike.
350,000 or more federal employees have been negatively impacted as the furlough sends home people who would prefer to be earning a wage. From the various government agencies that are closed, it is important to note that very important main operations are halted. The IRS is not able to process tax refunds, and the continuation of the operation of federal courts is in question. National parks and national monuments are closed, and people have even protested at the National WWII Memorial “unsuccessfully demanding the defunding of Obama’s 3-year old health care law in exchange for keeping the government open.”
Senator Chuck Schumer commented that ultimately spending cuts are what are needed in the new budget and the mix of what those spending cuts are comprised of, are what differentiates the parties at this point.
Image Credit: CNN