With a multi-billion-dollar loss of money and a growing divide that just seems to keep growing larger, the recent government shutdown caused more problems that it helped to solve.
Lasting 35 days, the longest shutdown in the history of the government, we saw millions of federal workers not getting paid as airports shut down, government paperwork stopped being processed, and money just continued to funnel down the drain.
“It’s affecting people,” said Castleton University student Caitlin Laird, “hardworking people who are just trying to get by on paychecks.”
Laird is studying to go into law, and she expressed a sentiment echoed by many of those interviewed about their feelings on the shutdown. Why are regular American’s suffering the consequences of a political power feud?
“I feel like it’s just his (President Trump’s) need to put his own agenda forward,” said Charles Madsen, a music professor at Castleton.
“It was a power play by the president,” said SGA advisor Matt Patry.
President Trump, love him or hate him, has been a consistent lightning rod for media attention and criticism. Unsurprisingly, that means he’s receiving the brunt of the blame everywhere, including at Castleton.
While not everybody is opposed to the government shutdown, most interviewed for this article in some way blamed our POTUS. The fact that his proposed wall to separate Mexico was the reason behind his shutting everything down didn’t help his case.
“It’s hurting a lot of people that don’t need to be hurt, and in my opinion the wall is not
helpful,” said Music Department Chair Sherrill Blodget.
The most unfortunate part in the entire fiasco is that it’s affecting everybody in one way or another, including at Castleton. Reilly Knipes, a junior nursing student, was supposed to be doing her clinicals at the Veteran’s Affairs offices, but has been held up recently due to the shutdown.
“We’re supposed to get signed on to computers to work with the VA, work at the VA, but with the shutdown happening it’s delaying everything. So, I currently can’t go to clinical,” said Knipes.
Caton Dueso, another junior, needs to get a tax refund but can’t because she’s missing a form that she needs the government to be functioning to receive.
“That’s putting me off further from getting my tax refund,” said Dueso, “which my tax refund is the biggest refund I have seen in my life while filing taxes, and I really need that money, because I have a bill to pay for college.”
Luckily for Dueso, who’s papers are due to come by Feb. 9 at the earliest, the government has officially reopened — for three weeks to try to make a deal.
However, optimism isn’t high.
“I truly believe that it’s impossible in three weeks’ time, I don’t think it’s enough time,” said Patry. “For years it used to be you didn’t have to love each other, but you agreed to disagree and find a middle ground, you find something where nobody’s thrilled with it, that’s what government is, you find a middle ground.”