Government Shutdown: Is it Fair to Hold the Country Hostage?

As the government shutdown seems poised to continue into the weekend, debates rage on as to which side is to blame. As many non-essential government employees continue to miss work, Congress continues to fight a battle of public opinion with each side attempting to portray the others as holding the American People Hostage. As the battle drags on and more people are effected, whether it be by missing vacations due to national park closures, possible delays on veteran's benefit payments, and much more, public opinion will simply sway against the political establishment. Congress, already with extremely low approval ratings, will receive more negative publicity as the will seem out of touch with everyday Americans. The President, if he refuses (as he asserted) to sign piecemeal funding bills, will have to answer to the people as well.

In addition, with the federal government set to hit its borrowing limit on October 17th, the political and economic effects may only get worse. As Republicans continue trying to defund and repeal Obamacare while Democrats refuse to make any budget concessions, progress seems extremely slow. The question that the entire shutdown comes to is whether or not this is an appropriate way to force change in the government. Though the effects of a shutdown and lack of a debt ceiling or budget deal are detrimental to many individuals, I believe that these serious crises are the only things that can cause true change to occur. Without being under the gun, the political establishment will continue to simply pass on the responsibilities to a later generation of elected officials while the nation's finances continue to deteriorate. This is the time to make change happen towards a more responsible fiscal future, and the country must take advantage.

-Varun Sawhney