The Shutdown!

As most everyone knows we are living through the first (partial) Federal Government Shutdown in almost 20 years.  Despite some of the more hysterical characterizations of what that was going to mean for us, to this point I have not yet had to defend my home from hoards of marauding vikings, and the children in my community are still going to school; which all makes me appreciate that a great deal of government as I experience and depend upon it actually happens at the local and state levels.  Thanks be to God.

Like many of you, I've been very interested in just what a federal shutdown means, and what its effects will be, and how we the people will respond to it.  TIME magazine has several interesting articles that give some differing perspectives on this whole event:
Shtudown Highlights Basic fact: Most of government is 'non-essential'
Founding Fathers liked Shutdowns

Polls are showing that most Americans are not too happy with the way either the President or the Congress is handling this, since both sides have been giving lip-service to the importance of civil discussion and compromise, but then outline everything they are not willing to budge or compromise upon, or what 'the other side' needs to do before any negotiations can even begin.  Not surprisingly, the GOP has particularly earned the ire of the people, since what Republicans are calling "standing on principle" looks (at least according the the news sources I use) a lot like putting ideology ahead of the common good.  Interestingly, one of those polls says 60% of us are so mad we would like to see a 3rd party option.  Maybe 2014 will be the year for a serious centrist party or libertarian break-through?  If we still remember all this by next November. 

On the positive side, a deal among our political leaders is looking more likely all the time.  Some who look for a deal to be announced soon to "restart" the federal government, have applied to our politicians that great quote from Winston Churchill: 
“We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.”

Still the shutdown has led to interruptions in numerous services, that will no doubt affect the poorest among us most significantly.  Though it may not go widely reported, I celebrate that Churches and religious leaders have stepped up in various ways to help people who are feeling the pinch due to closures, furloughs, and service interruptions.

What about you?  Has the shutdown affected your life/family/community in significant ways? 

Of course, the REAL threat (it seems to me) that must be dealt with is not so much the shutdown, but the possibility of a default on the nation's debt followed by extreme inflation (and the devaluing of all my savings).  But they've still got a few days to work all that out.

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