As a 21 year-old, voting, U.S. Citizen, I had NOOOO idea that our government could actually be ‘shutdown.’ Now I know that our country has made some silly decisions on where to spend money, but I was unaware of how extremely ridiculous the spending was.

For starters, our government was supposed to have this year’s budget drawn up months ago; however the disagreements between Democrats, Republicans, and Obama have left decisions in limbo on where to make the necessary cuts. Instead of buckling down and cutting expenses, the U.S. is spending more money, they don’t have, and spiraling this country into insurmountable debt. Just last month the Federal Government spent nearly $1 Trillion, which is nearly 8 times more than what they are bringing in….$1 Trillion, ON WHAT?...Since there is no overall approved budget, government agencies have been working on interim bills that act like temporary budgets. Our government has been operating on borrowed time and as of Friday when these temporary bills expire…they’re out of time.

During the discussions around budget cuts, the Republicans proposed a $61 billion dollar cut, while Democrats only proposed a $33 billion cut…scary part here; $61 billion is ONLY 1.6% of total projected spending for our federal government…1.6%...While this may seem like a VERY small percentage that’s still a TON of TAX PAYERS money, and the Federal Government haven’t seen a decrease in spending since 1965; meaning the U.S. in only gaining expenses so even cutting 1.6% is difficult. The dispute between Republicans and Democrats is not exactly how much money to cut, but rather where to cut it. There are several ‘policy riders’ that cling to the programs they believe most need funding and will ride out that belief in order to prevent cuts in that area, causing the delay in budget creation. Since the two parties cannot agree on what to cut, and there’s no decision on where to allocate funds, the only thing to do is shutdown the Federal Government. So what does a shutdown look like?

If the government fails to come to an agreement, federal agencies will be forced to restrict operations, and many ‘non-essential’ workers will be furloughed. According to the Office of Management and Budget only those workers who are “engaged in military, law enforcement, or direct provision of health care…those who protect life and property,” will still get paid; however many other federal dollars will be put on hold along with several museums, parks, and other facilities also feeling the repercussions of the shutdown. There has also been talks of a time extension for the budget decisions however Obama is not looking to do so.
What do you think?

Where do you think the government could use some cuts, and what sections of government do you think should NOT be cut? Should the budget decision time be extended for more debate, or are they right for shutting down the government till decisions are made?

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