The United States government LIBERTY AND JUSTICE... MAYBE TOMORROW
We hope the shutdown of the U.S. government is over by the time you read this, but the fact that it happened at all is enough to earn the country’s politiciansthis issue’s Big Loser spot. Some high-end politicking allowed the Republican-controlled House to refuse to pass the government’s annual fiscal budget as long as that budget provided funding to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act: i.e., a healthcare program that, while not nearly as good as Canada’s, is much more in line with that of most “enlightened” countries. Having a government setup that can bring public services to a halt so quickly and easily is problematic, to say the least. Allowing it to happen just as the country is coming out of a major recession is foolhardy and irresponsible. But shut down it did. Well, the important parts, anyway. Taxes can s till be f iled (though not refunded). Congress will still be paid, and the military remains at the ready. But if you’re a wheelchair-bound veteran, get set to storm another barricade to visit that war memorial. Dependant on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children? Sorry, you’re going to have to wait. The Post Office—that money-losing agency that could use a forced closure for a few days—of course remains open. Because as long as there’s a defended border and mail on Saturday, everything will be fine.