The theme for Tuesdays is current events. Not much to say about that! I’ll find stories online or in the newspaper, and report them to you along with my own opinions and reactions. So let’s report something!
If you don’t already know that the U.S. government was shut down on October 1st, I’m rather impressed, because if you’re reading this, you obviously have internet access, and if you have internet access, I don’t know how you haven’t seen the jokes. SNL even made a digital short about the shutdown with the help of Miley Cyrus. I thought it was pretty funny, but as this is a family-friendly blog, I won’t post it here. But whether you know or not, I’ll give a short overview of what the shutdown actually is, because until a few days ago, I didn’t even know! Thank goodness I have a husband who is way more interested in politics than I am!
Basically, the Republicans of the House of Representatives really don’t want the Affordable Care Act (known by most Americans as “Obamacare”) go into effect. The Act already passed back in 2010, but it doesn’t go into effect until January of 2014. Since October 1st of this year, anyone can sign up for it. However, ever since the Act passed, the Republicans, who have controlled the House for years, have tried time and again (specifically 42 times) to repeal it. But their attempts never got passed the Senate, which has controlled by Democrats ever since Obama first became president. So this year, when the time came to pass a new federal budget, the House Republicans took the opportunity to get rid of the Affordable Care Act by adding an amendment to the budget bill that defunded Obamacare. The Senate would have none of this. So then the government was stuck. Without a budget, the government had to shut down. But without a government, we can’t have government-funded services like state parks, NASA, war memorials, the FDA or the CDC. Thousands of people have had their paychecks frozen because the government is at a stand-still, money-wise.
But here’s the best part: Also on October 1st, the House Republicans voted to change one little rule so that only one person could end the shut-down, and it definitely wasn’t someone who would want to do so. You can watch a video here. The intention here is to use the budget as they leverage they’d need to get Obamacare thrown out the window. But the Senate won’t let that happen, so we’re stuck. If this continues for another 3 days, the government will default on its loans to the rest of the world, and then NOTHING that is normally government-funded will be getting any money. The U.S. credit score will plummet and other countries will be more hesitant to loan to us at a low interest rate. I just asked my husband, “How will this affect us?” and he said, “Who won’t it affect? Because it will have repercussions on the entire global economy.”
In all likelihood, we won’t default because Congress won’t let us, because if do, it would be political suicide. Also, the apocalypse is nigh. Think Hunger Games.
Did you learn anything new today? I did!