Consider the possibility of a federal government shutdown.
The Washington Post was filled with articles for weeks about the impact on federal workers, the District of Columbia and the transit system. Who is considered “essential,” and stilll expected to report to work if the government closes, and how do people feel who aren’t deemed that important? The Metro system would run fewer trains since many of its usual riders wouldn’t be going into work. Residents of the District, where many services are federally operated, wouldn’t have trash pickups and might be able to get away with illegal parking with parking attendants off-duty.
I was at a briefing yesterday on the House of Representatives’ proposed 2012 budget — another political topic of its own — and the statistic was given that 31% of Americans didn’t know a government shutdown was a real possibility.
Reading The Washington Post you would have thought that was on everyone’s mind these days.
The circles I work in also are focused on policies and political wrangling. Emails are flying back and forth about the impact of Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget on future seniors (more out-of-pocket medical expenses with Medicare changes), on nursing home patients (declining quality of care as Medicaid payments are cut), Head Start students, the homeless….the list goes on and on.
I’m invited to all kinds of talks (the federal government’s role in averting disaster with state and local budget deficits, for instance) and conferences (I was at workshops all day on U.S. militarism and its role in the oppression of people in many countries of Latin America).
I could get overwhelmed with all the information available and all the suffering both at home and abroad to be relieved. So I’m looking forward to my sisters and their kids coming in a week to just play tourist and enjoy their company.