Shutdown confusion: LU students’ questions answered

By The Lincolnian staff

The national news this week is filled with talk of a federal government shutdown, but exactly what that means is complex and often confusing.U.S. Capitol

“All I know is it has something to do with money issues,” said Alex Jones, 20, a senior political science major from California.

So The Lincolnian asked students what they know about the shutdown and tried to find the answers to the most common questions.

 1. What does it mean that the government is shut down?

“I honestly believe it’s not truly shut down,” said Shina Pujoue, 20, a junior information technology major from Maryland. “We as a country can’t survive without the government. Yes, offices and building may be closed but America still has a government.”

Yes, the government, the military and other vital services are still operating. But “non-essential” operations—national parks, social programs and others—are suspended.

 2. What caused the shutdown?

“I believe it has something to do with the government not having enough money for government jobs,” said Malcolm Levy, 20, a senior history major from New York.

Basically, that’s right. Congress must approve a spending plan every year, and right now they can’t agree on that plan. Without congressional approval, the government can’t spend money.

 3. Why can’t Congress agree on a spending plan?

“I don’t know if it has anything to do with the Syria situation,” said Alea Binder, 18, a freshman mass communications major from Lancaster, Pa.

“Congress can’t agree because we are broke and owe in so much debt,” said Shauniqua Barksdale, 20, a junior business management major from Harrisburg, Pa. “Once America stops being so greedy, we can solve our money problems.”

The disagreement doesn’t have to do with Syria or even the federal debt.

The House of Representatives, where Republicans are the majority, want to delay or de-fund the Affordable Care Act, also sometimes called Obamacare. That Act, enacted in 2009, requires almost everyone to have health insurance, either through their employer, the government or through a private market. The Senate, where Democrats are the majority, will not agree to a spending plan that delays or de-funds the health care law, which was championed by President Obama.

 4. Why is this happening now?

“Because they don’t have money to pay everyone,” said Ajee Cook, 19, a sophomore from Washington, D.C.

The federal government operates on a fiscal year that runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. When the previous spending plan expired at midnight Monday, Sept. 30, the government had no money to continue operating.

 5. When will it end?

“It won’t end until the government has people from all financial classes begging for public assistance while still paying for someone in Congress [to have a] five-star meal,” said Chelsea Small, 20, a junior organizational psychology major from Brooklyn.

That’s a pretty cynical answer. As frustrated as people can be with Congress and other leaders, most people enter politics to serve the public. If voters don’t think they’re doing a good job, they can remove them from office at the next election.

In the past, most government shutdowns have lasted just a few days.

One thought on “Shutdown confusion: LU students’ questions answered

  1. I am truly embarrassed for Lincoln students. I have to say this is one of the most clueless columns I’ve ever seen penned by African American students who are at a traditionally Black college on the brink of celebrating its 160th anniversary. These are the answers I would expect from a 4th grader; 5th graders would know and be able to express it better than you have. It is unfortunate that a student of political science could give such an insipid answer, when a Black president is under siege from a rapacious republican ultra white/right wing regime, over whether or not you, your mother, father, sisters, brothers, or American in general, can have affordable health care (also known as ObamaCare) and you don’t know what the problems are. Your political science professors should be fired. Too bad you don’t have Dr. Charles V. Hamilton, Tony Montiero, Sam Anderson, or someone of their caliber teaching these classes. I’m concerned now about where and how LU is recruiting its faculty, if our students have no more inkling of what’s going on in the world around them than this, how can they be prepared to be leaders in the future. So let me explain it to you: The government was deliberately shut down by John “bonehead” Boehner, (rep-ugh-blican) (mis)speaker of the House, because he is trying to force President Barack Obama to repeal his law – THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT a/k/a OBAMACARE, which makes it possible for all Americans to have Affordable Health Care, regardless of income, or whether or not they have a previous condition. It is the law of the land. They are holding the government hostage by refusing to pay the bills, and have forced millions of Americans in governmental jobs, into unpaid leave until they get their way. President Obama will not allow them to dismantle this essential health bill. The rep-ugh-blican cronies, including the insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies, and others are backing the rep-ugh-blicans. They will continue to collect their salaries, while hard working people won’t be able to. But the rep-ugh-blicans, including Ted Cruz, and others don’t care, because they’re paid. So now when you do that poll as to who is to blame for the shutdown, make sure you say it’s the Rep-ugh-blicans.
    Also, if you haven’t registered to vote by now, make sure you do, President Obama is going to need your help in getting these idiots out in 2014. For the rest of you, there is a group of students who call themselves BAMN (acronym for By Any Means Necessary) who are going to march on the Supreme Court on October 15, to restore the voting rights to millions of African Americans, which was destroyed as a result of their insipid decision in June 2013.
    So my soon to be alumni, please Stay Blessed, Informed, and ECLECTICALLY BLACK – Gloria Dulan-Wilson LU ’67 – one of the first Coeds on Campus.

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