Government Shutdown Countdown: Are Your Boots Safe?

We are teetering on the edge of a MAGA shutdown that threatens devastating consequences for communities nationwide. Meanwhile, the adorable little Republicans are once again locked into a cult-driven, rage-filled mission of political maneuvering and bloodlust. It’s sheer madness.

“I don’t think there’s enough time to work out a deal,” said former Congressman Ron Barber via KOLD TV. The looming deadline for government funding, now set for September 30, 2023, is like a slap upside the head we never saw coming…except we did. Yes, we did. If you’re irritated while thinking, “Criminy! Not another government shutdown,” well, join the club. Because guess what? It’s looking more and more like it’s gonna happen.

Families in Financial Limbo

Now, about the consequences of government shutdowns. They aren’t just your run-of-the-mill inconvenience. Shutdowns mess with our country’s financial standing, especially our credit and ability to borrow, confirms Moody’s Investors Service. You see, government shutdowns have this nifty little talent of disrupting financial markets and government services. In southern Arizona—home to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca—many of us are wondering how a shutdown will affect our military readiness and our border patrol.

But who really gets the short end of the stick? Well, mostly it would be our hardworking government employees, both military and civilian, who suddenly find themselves on an unpaid vacation. Around 2 million non-military federal employees and 2 million military personnel could experience payment delays, according to data published by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Certain federal employees could find themselves unable to meet their mortgage obligations or may even be forced to go without enough food. Imagine being the sole breadwinner in your family and having your paycheck vanish into thin air. Hey, conservatives! Stop urging me to pull myself up by my bootstraps when you’re the ones who keep taking my boots.

It’s not a pretty picture. Don’t even get me started on the domino effect where we all suffer to varying degrees, well, (ahem) all except the richest of us. Yeah, a shutdown probably has minimal lifestyle impact on the well-to-do, who might, at most, postpone the acquisition of another slick yacht or spacious mansion to add to their collection. And the well-connected? They’ll just get invited to spend a weekend or two at a fancy retreat, all expenses paid by a wealthy benefactor…er…dear friend. And I’m not mentioning any names, but you know who I mean.

Politics Over People

Getting anything through the House these days is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded…well, at least for those of us older than a fifth grader, anyway. Sure, the Speaker’s job is hanging by a thread because—heaven forbid—he should ever work across the aisle, no matter how productive. Predictably, the GOP would rather play a partisan game of chicken while the country watches in disbelief.

But here’s the kicker: politicians always seem to think it’s perfectly fine to use all of us “little people” as bargaining chips to achieve their political goals. They don’t give a rat’s tuchus they were elected to represent us, not play high-stakes poker with our livelihoods. Yeah, why should a MAGAt ever consider the needs of real, ordinary people—actual constituents—when a delusional politician can just throw a tantrum and shut down the government?

Let’s not forget our country’s grand ol’ tradition of political revenge. The GOP fringe are more interested in settling imagined scores than in actually delivering on any pro-business, pro-family rhetoric. Negotiating in good faith? Nah, it’s all about winning so they’d rather bulldoze and blackmail their way through a discussion. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is left playing cleanup crew after every MAGA Republican who insisted on behaving like a bratty adolescent. Then out come the memes and gas pump stickers shaming the White House as though Biden did all this, rather than the lockstep GOP.

How does this hit in other countries? I wouldn’t be surprised if they were laughing at us, shaking their heads, and pretty much nodding in agreement that the entitled leaders of the U.S of A. are fiscally irresponsible and certifiably insane. Yeah, let’s not mention how a supposedly free citizenry can repeatedly tolerate such nonsense. “What the hell is the matter with these people?,” I can imagine them asking.

Rising Voices, Real Change

So, what can we, average citizens, do about the political crapola served up on a silver platter by the worst of us? Here’s a set of impactful actions you can take:

1. Stay Informed: Keep a vigilant eye on reliable, balanced news outlets that deliver the latest updates on the funding deadline. Knowledge arms you with the power to hold your representatives accountable in these tumultuous times.

2. Contact Your Representatives: Don’t hold back—let your elected officials know that you’ve had your fill of these political antics. Remind them it’s high time to prioritize the American people over party politics, and emphasize that we deserve better.

3. Champion Bipartisanship: It’s a tall order, given our nation’s vast ideological divides, but encourage your representatives to bridge the gap and seek common ground. Remind them that compromise isn’t a taboo; it’s the very essence of a well-functioning democracy.

4. Vote Wisely: Don’t get tunnel vision with a single issue. When the moment comes to cast your ballot, remember all the painful lessons of recent history. Consider whether your representatives are genuinely advancing your broader interests or, like some senators or congressional reps, are engaged in political theatrics or self-serving endeavors that massage their flaccid egos. It’s time to make your vote count for the greater good.

As much as we all like to rubberneck at this traffic wreck of a Congress, modern political drama has long ceased being entertaining dinner discourse. A government shutdown is a disruption that affects real people and real lives. Our elected officials, particularly on the far-right, need to wake up and put the needs of our nation’s people first.