Well, it happened. The United States government closed for business.
Personally, I am not at all surprised it happened. I'm really disappointed, of course (and I'm being tactful using the word "disappointed"), but I am not surprised. The reason I'm not surprised is very simple, and it has nothing to do, at least directly, with the supposed reasons for it. But I have my own opinion, I'll get to that.
The big question is how long it will last. I don't think anyone knows the answer. It's painfully clear that the losers in this are the American people. No matter how long this goes on, the economy is going to take a direct hit. Do our lawmakers care about that? Apparently they don't. This shutdown would not have taken place if they did. Furthermore, the political parties are throwing stones at each other, saying the other is at fault for the shutdown. I don't buy that one bit; I believe both parties share blame for this happening. And they share blame in a big way.
The big cause of this whole mess is because of the attempts to defund, or at least undermine, the Affordable Care Act. The problem with that happening is because, simply put, the spending is mandatory, meaning it doesn't matter that government has shut down; it is going to happen. Plus, whether or not you agree, this is the law. Passed in 2010. Found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court in 2011. Whether you like it or not, it is a done deal.
As far as the shutdown is concerned, my own opinion of why it happened, simply, is many in elected government have wanted to see this sitting President fail catastrophically from day one. And those who have done this made it personal. Again, my opinion, of course, but I think that because this animosity exists it is being taken out on the American people.
I'm not saying I like him myself, but what I feel towards him doesn't matter. He is the sitting President, after all, and he is dealing with divided government. It appears that there is no cooperation to be had anywhere in Washington, D.C.
It is sad. And it is enough to make one really angry.
One thing that is clear is that there is an even bigger threat looming. In 17 days the government will hit its debt ceiling. In short, this means that if this is not addressed the government will not have enough money to pay its bills. If this happens, default will occur. The U.S. will not be able to meet its obligations. And while shutting down government operations is bad enough, the possibility of default is a much bigger and scarier problem.
Either way, this is big trouble. And our elected officials really need to get it together. Now.