We are now in the longest partial government shutdown in the history of our nation. President Trump has put his foot down and refuses to approve a federal budget that does not include funding for his wall across the American-Mexican border. Glossing over how ineffective and incredibly costly a wall of that scale would be, the shutdown is a dangerous political tool that has wide reaching effects most Americans aren’t even aware of.

Most know government employees are not paid, but who are government employees? Well the politicians in Washington are clearly government employees, so shouldn’t they lose their pay until they get this worked out? Except, no, that’s absolutely not the case. None of the people who caused this, whether you think it’s because of Trump’s insistence on the wall or the Democrats refusal to fund it, are losing paychecks over this period. To their credit, a few have decided to donate or withhold their paycheck for the duration of the shutdown, and notably, one of our own senators, Bob Corker, has donated his pay since 2007.

However, the employees who do not get a choice are people such as TSA and IRS employees. While you likely are not fond of these agencies, they do an important job, especially the IRS during tax return season, which is now. Only about half of IRS employees are working right now, none of them with pay, and while TSA employees are supposed to be working, many have just called in during the duration of the shutdown. This means tax returns could be delayed and security drops at airports could last even longer, and these are just two of the many government programs affected.

Others include some members of the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, crew members of Coast Guard ships, members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, employees of National Parks, and the FDA. The consequences for all of these programs being even partially down are dire and too much to explain all the consequences in this article.

There are 800,000 government employees who are not getting paid right now. They have gone nearly a month without a paycheck. Fortunately, many of these employees will receive back pay, and most are benefiting from many private companies offering assistance to those who are not being paid, but many employees will have to budget their finances pretty tight without any aid. Some may lose their homes, others their vehicles. We cannot know every person’s story, but missing any paycheck can have immediate effects for many hard-working people and families.

The fact of the matter: Hundreds of thousands of Americans who do vital work for the good of our nation are not getting paid because of a wall.
President Donald Trump’s temper tantrum has gone on too long, and innocent people are losing money as a result. Should people have to miss their paychecks for this?