What does the government shutdown mean for Liberty?

Grant Rayfield

As of Tuesday, Oct. 1, the United States government officially shut down as a result of the failure of Congress to pass a working budget deal.  But what does this news mean for the average citizen of the United States, and the average student of Liberty High School?

The coming challenges as a result of the government shutdown have no clear outcome, aside from the inevitable fact that some spheres of the U.S. government will be shut down, and funding for each branch of the federal government is expected to decrease.

In the seventeen days that have passed since the shutdown officially began, neither party has budged on the terms of the agreement; as a result, the chances of a default remain generally vague.  Still, some analysts remain optimistic that a deal will be reached in time to prevent default, which was coming up on Oct. 17 when this paper went to press.

While the education system itself is unlikely to take a direct hit as a result of the shutdown (since schools are state funded), there are likely to be a number of minor inconveniences, such as the closure or reduction of government services including anything from national parks to food regulation.

Additionally, student loan processing and many national websites may experience difficulties.  This will probably not disrupt the school year, but may cause inconvenience to many people’s lives.

Overall, the government debt has just passed $17.6 trillion, well above the fiscal cliff imposed last year.  This is 8.8% of the estimated total value of everything on Earth in U.S. dollars, and well over 200 times the net worth of Bill Gates as of September 2013, when he reported having $72 billion.

In response to the situation, Republicans in the House of Representatives have blamed the Democrats for not being willing to compromise on the debt bill.  Meanwhile, President Barrack Obama has blamed the Republicans’ stubbornness as well, labeling them as “bullies”.