WASHINGTON, D.C.—On October 1 the U.S. government shut down. Kind of. Congress failed to pass a spending bill for the fiscal year, which means non-essential government workers are getting an unpaid, unplanned vacation. Unless you’re a member of Congress or the President, in which case you are still being paid while ensuring nobody else is being paid because of a work stoppage. Mooseclean’s sent reporters out to hear how the average American is affected.
M: How will this spending shut-down affect your day-to-day life?
Robert “Red” Scully, 32: Will the McDonald’s still be open?
Red Scully: Will the gas station at the corner keep pumping gas?
M: Um, yes.
Red Scully: Can I still get a gun permit?
M: Actually, no. That’s one service that will be hampered by this work stoppage.
Red Scully: They call this America?! Damn government all up in my business! How can I expect to be called a free man when I can’t bear arms?
M: What does the government shut-down mean to you?
Marilyn Waters, 44: We cannot let the Republicans flush Obamacare down the toilet by tying it to this spending bill! Americans need healthcare, no matter what their income or status. This Tea Party nonsense is maddening! It makes me want to live abroad until the right-wingers return to their senses.
M: Do you realize that passport offices have effectively been closed by this filibuster?
Marilyn Waters: What? As a U.S. citizen, I have the right to travel abroad! This is un-American!
M: How will you deal with 800,000 government workers being sent home?
Carl Oban, 56: Well, I’m a mail carrier. And people need to get their magazines and letters and such, so my job is deemed an essential service. And my son? He’s in the Army – another essential service. The President’s not gonna let our great nation go unprotected. And we gotta keep the pressure up overseas, too. So they can squabble all they want because I can take care of my family just fine.
M: Are you scared because the government has shut down?
Ben Ager, 15: My mom says this fight is important because of my asthma medicine. But my dad says the government spends too much of his money on other people. When I’m 18, I’m moving to Canada. You guys would just have a beer and talk this stuff out, right? Instead of shutting down the government?
M: Actually, that’s called prorogation. And it does happen in Canada.