In just sixteen days, the government shutdown that threatened the credit rating of the United States has ended. On October 17, RT reports that the government shutdown is over and federal workers will return to their posts. The national monuments have re-opened and life will go on as the United States has avoided a last minute crisis and the debt ceiling has again been lifted.
Many American citizens will be quick to tell you that their lives remained the same as the U.S. government shutdown loomed overhead. There were, however, several agencies affected. For example, national monuments were closed. There was no access to places like the Grand Canyon, many monuments in Washington D.C. and the national parks and forests. This could be a huge disappointment for those who planned to travel during the month of October.
The shutdown also affected the IRS offices. While this may delight some, others found it very inconvenient because they may have needed to order previous W-2 forms and get information on taxes owed. The WIC program was facing hardships as a result of the shutdown, as was the Head Start program. Many programs were facing funding issues as politicians fought over Obamacare and vowed not to reopen government offices until their voices were heard.
In a last minute vote, the shutdown was ended. This came just in time to raise the debt ceiling. Essentially this means that the United States will be able to borrow even more money to pay off its debts. Is this a good solution? Probably not but it is the only one. We can expect to hear about the debt ceiling again in February, as the United States is expected to hit it again at that time and of course, will again need to raise it.
The most damaging part of this government shutdown probably affects the reputation of the United States. The inability to govern or to keep the government open lowers the esteem of other countries. There were threats that the credit rating of the United States was threatened and many other leaders were questioning the economic strength of the United States.
After sixteen days of political posturing, it looks like no one wins in the end. The government shutdown cost the American taxpayers somewhere in the realm of $24 billion. In the end, Obamacare still stands and nothing has been gained by either side to make the shutdown worthwhile.
Were you affected by the government shutdown? Are you glad it's now over? Sound off in the comments below.