Eleanna Davos ’20
800,000 federal employees versus 800,000 federal employees furloughed. 16 days versus 35 days. 2013 versus 2018. Full versus partial government shut down. Democrat versus Republican. Healthcare versus border security. Which numbers correlate to former President Barrack Obama’s full government shutdown and which are numbers that relate to current President Donald Trump? The answer may surprise some of you, the first numbers (before each versus) are numbers that belong to former President Barack Obama, and the latter belong to President Donald Trump.
Why is it that people are so much more comfortable with a government shutdown when it has to do with healthcare, when it arguably took a much larger toll on our government and economy than President Trump’s? Is it because media is so scared of portraying an unbiased view of politics due to the stigma associated with being in support of President Trump? Or could it be because the potential outcome of what could have been a successful shutdown is funding for a large concrete wall that would avoid illegal immigrants crossing the border into our country. Some think this is an inhumane approach to border security, but considering that Mexicans and other individuals south of the border are easily able to cross by means of jumping the fence or crawling under pipelines, etc., it is clearly not safe for the millions of legal citizens of the United States. Not to mention that during the 2018 fiscal year, approximately 108,000 illegal immigrants were convicted of a Class A felony. And according to Catharine Shoichet writing for CNN, it is expected that in 2019, the crime rate will rise 142% if nothing is done to safely secure the Mexican border.
But what is it about Obama’s shutdown that made it completely acceptable in the eye of the public and media? Obama’s government shutdown was done in order to further his funding of the Affordable Care Act, at the end of his 16 days he clearly came out on top and was able to fund the ACA. To put this into prospective, the funding needed to get the Affordable Care Act off the ground, and into the hands of each American, was approximately 685 billion tax payer dollars.
Yet Donald Trump’s demand for his border wall funding taking into account the materials, labor, and land acquisition would cost approximately $25 billion. So, what is it about this government shutdown, partial may I add, that has people up in arms? Unfortunately, what it does seem to come down to is the party name, and what it means when you’re affiliated with the Republican party. Funny to add that Donald Trump is one of the few presidents in United States history to not only follow through with his proposed policy changes, but the unemployment rate is low, the economy is booming, and there are more jobs available to the public than there have been in years.
Hate him, despise him, loathe him, whatever it is you may feel about our current president is your justified opinion, just how it is mine. But at the end of the day, you should be able to remove yourself from the heated situation of how you feel about him as a person, and be able to look at the facts, because come the end of the day and the end of his presidency, all that will be left is his legacy and the things he has done to help the nation, not his personality. This government shutdown is not an unprecedented move, and many politicians have used this tactic to gain leverage. What it boils down to is that this government shutdown is associated with President Trump, and anything this president does, regardless of how good it may be for the nation, will be scrutinized and dissected, simply because the media and many others have a vendetta against him.