After failing in their effort to perform a late-term abortion on Obamacare, House Republicans were broadly blamed for this week’s government shutdown — or rather partial shutdown, as more than two thirds of federal workers remained on the job.
The “nonessential” stuff grinded to a swift halt. On Wednesday morning, the Today Show actually led off its report with a story about an engaged couple complaining they would not be able to wed at a national monument as planned. Americans were outraged, they said.
Meanwhile, the World War II Memorial turned into a battleground of its own.
National Parks were closed, but only in the sense that the gates were locked to keep people out because nobody was being paid to take their money.
Here in rural Nevada most federal workers got an unexpected vacation, and if history is any indication, it will be a paid one.
The people in our part of the country who have been most affected work for the Interior and Agriculture departments. One of the impacts cited in an article by The Washington Post: “Wild horse and burro adoptions will stall. (Yes, wild horse and burro adoptions are a real thing.)”
Facilities like the California Trail Center shut down — just in time for the end of the tourism season.
It appears the shutdown could go on for quite a while before most Nevadans start feeling the pain. Eventually, the flow of federal grant money to local governments would dry up. Projects at the Elko Regional Airport could be delayed.
The most serious consequences — impacting veteran benefits and federal paychecks — likely will be resolved before the money runs out.
Our own Sen. Harry Reid first blamed the whole mess on tea party anarchists, then quickly shifted attention to House Speaker John Boehner as the man who held the key to get the engine running again.
If the shutdown is proof of anything, it is the colossal failure of leadership in Washington. And things could get worse. In less than two weeks, the Treasury Department will run out of cash and the only solution is to borrow more and pretend it isn’t happening.
It’s called “raising the debt ceiling,” and it’s becoming a semi-annual circus as the national debt has skyrocketed from $10 trillion when President Obama took office to $16 trillion today. This is possible because the federal government is not bound by law to balance its budget in the same manner as state and local governments.
The government shutdown presents a good argument for keeping the three levels of government as financially separate as possible, and minimizing our reliance on federal grants to accomplish what we could do on our own.
Think of it as a lesson in self-sufficiency, brought to you by the childish bullies in D.C.
Members of the Elko Daily Free Press editorial board are Travis Quast, Jeffry Mullins and Marianne Kobak McKown.