Government shutdown impacts the lower class

Imagine if one social media post predicted yours and your family’s financial future.

Just before the government shutdown, President Trump tweeted, “If the Dems vote no, then there will be a shutdown for a very long time.”

President Trump’s tweet foreshadowed the impending shutdown that leaves over 800,000 Americans without paychecks. Assuming that the government will be up and running once again, only a portion of the government employees who are being affected by the government shutdown will be paid, some of them may not be paid at all.

In 2013, the government experienced a shutdown due to an insufficient amount of funds while trying to pass the Affordable Health Care Act. The Affordable Health Care Act is an equality bill for people who have an overflow of funds and were able to afford their own health care coverage. They were expected to pay for that, and simultaneously, that person would unconsciously be helping someone less fortunate be able to obtain health care services. However, the government shutdown of 2019 began after President Trump wanted to obtain funding for the border wall, which was promised in his 2016 presidential campaign. President Trump hopes that the wall will help reduce crime rate caused by illegal immigrants.

However, Balin Schneider, film major and liberal enthusiast, explained that he doesn’t believe it’s about the wall at all.

“I don’t think it’s about the wall, I think it’s deeper into things. A lot of people on the right think its deeper into racism and the people on the left are just apposing to it because its more or less about fighting with the republicans. It’s more than just the wall,” Schneider said. “It’s a deep rooted issue.”

The government shutdown occurs when the government must pass a budget to ensure that they have enough funding for a specific bill or department. This government shutdown was because congress has to send a budget for the president to approve and Trump denied the budget that was given and asked for more money dedicated to border security.

Trump has been informed that the White House will soon run out of money if he doesn’t reopen the government, however, all the White House employees will be paid after the government shutdown has ended. The two-week shutdown of 2013 proved that families are negatively affected by government shutdowns. Most of these government employees are janitors, security guards and federal low-wage contractors.  

The US Department of Agriculture announced that students who receive free-lunch services, families who receive WIC (women infants and children) and families who receive food stamps (SNAP), will not be able to receive benefits if the government continues to be shut down through the next two months. These benefits are actively being used by single parent students at Washburn University and will continue to be accessible for those who have them until the funds run out in approximately two months, unless otherwise stated by the US Department of Agriculture.

Jackson Woods, president of the Washburn University Democrats stated, “The government shutdown is something that shouldn’t be happening in the first place.” He continued, “It makes it all the more absurd that this shutdown, is that there are Federal employees and contractors, hundreds and thousands of them, that aren’t being paid for food or gas or anything in the middle of winter.”