In case you were overwhelmed by the sexual assault reckoning, the president calling other countries “shitholes”, the fake missile alert in Hawaii, or just abandoned the Internet for life of solitude on a secluded ranch rural Wyoming (highly recommend), you might have missed the news that we’re quite possibly facing a government shutdown this week.
The last time this happened was 2013, a blissful year when Obama was president, Twitter was for funny jokes and not horrifying updates, and we were still allowed to not keep up with the news without fear of losing all our rights or dying via nuclear missile. Brb, I’m tearing up thinking about the youthful days of blissful ignorance.
You may not have paid attention last time around because you didn’t have to, but we as a society no longer have that kind of luxury. Unsure what a government shutdown entails? Don’t worry babes, we have you covered.
WTF Is A Government Shutdown?
In its most basic definition, a government shutdown means that all non-essential discretionary programs close down. In your head, non-essential probably means, like, the interns who grab Paul Ryan’s no-doubt extra-hot-extra-foamy-breve-caramel-drizzle-hazelnut-latte every morning, but in reality it’s just about everything.
Why TF Does This Happen?
Government shut downs happens when Congress can’t agree on funding for the next fiscal year, which is supposed to happen around April, or when they fail to pass a “continuing resolution.” So far, our government has been procrastinating this deadline hard, and asked for several extentions. We’ve already punted this deadline twice using continuing resolutions and stopgap measures, and we’re finally at the point where the professor doesn’t believe your lies anymore, and the budget is fucking due Friday.
I know that, right now, the thought of the government just stopping whatever the fuck they’re doing sounds like a dream, but it’s actually a way bigger problem than that. In 2013 when the government shut down because they couldn’t pull together a continuing resolution, it cost the economy $24 billion. I mean, sure, Beyoncé and Jay-Z could have pulled that money together and thrown America a bone, but it was still a pretty significant loss for the rest of us.
WTF Happens When The Government Shuts Down?
A lot of shit. Or, more aptly, a lot of shit doesn’t happen. Sure, we might be granted a reprieve from seeing
the molding yam President Trump on TV every single day, but some other very important things get thrown to the wayside.
· 800,000 people who work in the public sector get sent home for an indefinite period of time with no promise of pay. As if working for the government wasn’t rough enough. Exceptions to this rule include rescue services, law enforcement, immigration services, dam and power line maintenance, and people who overlook nuclear safety. Honestly how embarrassing but also ironic would it be if we just fucking bombed ourselves at this point? The perfect ending to 2017 in my opinion.
· Trash collection stops in DC. I kind of figured the streets of DC were already overrun with garbage and debris, but I guess this would make that official.
· The economy gets wrecked. For reference, see the $24 billion dollar loss noted above.
· National parks, museums, and galleries shut down. Who needs culture when the government is crumbling?
· Oh, and perhaps most importantly, all those senators, representatives, and the racist and possessed pumpkins who hold the office of President still get fucking paid.
Why TF Is This Happening?
Because it’s 2017 and anything shitty that could happen will absolutely happen.
More specifically, our government will possibly shut down January 19th because that’s when the latest continuing resolution expires. All this is coming down to a bipartisan immigration bill to protect the 800,000 DACA recipients who will lose their status soon if Congress doesn’t act.
WTF Democrats Want (Besides A Do-Over Election)?
Some god damn peace and quiet. JK. Republicans need Democratic votes to fund the government, and the Democrats are saying they will withold their votes unless Congress acts on DACA. Since the Dems are in the minority, votes like this are the only way to force through some parts of their agenda, and they’re def not backing down any time soon. I mean, unless they do something totally stupid and ruin their chances in some spectacularly incompetent fashion. But Democrats would neeeeverr do that….
WTF Do Republicans Want?
Mainly, the Republicans just want the government to stay open because they’re in charge of it and it is not a good look to have it shut down. Unfortunately, to keep it open, they need Democratic votes, meaning they have to play ball with the Dems on this whole immigration thing. As far as the bipartisan immigration bill goes, Republicans want more “border security,” which usually means increased fencing, more border security agents, etc…but in Trump era it means the
stupid fucking wall, which would be a yuge mistake.
Does Anyone Want This To Happen?
Of course not, because government shutdowns mean suffering for a lot of people and a complete stall in any kind of political progress.
Oh wait, just kidding, the fucking president is all for it.
Since the start of this government shutdown drama, he’s been telling “confidants” who immediately ran to the Washington Post, that a government shutdown would be “good for him politically.”
This is the same logic you used in high school when things got stressful and work started piling up and you realized that maybe you aren’t as smart as your third grade teacher lead you to believe so you fake sick for two days to try and hide from the overwhelming pressure of it all. Remember how well that worked for you?
So What’s Next?
A lot of drinking praying, I guess?
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