By: Amelia Buchanan
If you are anything like me, when the government shutdown you were completely unaware of how the event could impact you. In my mind, my life and the running of the government are separate. When I stumbled upon the news, honestly all I could think was, “well its not like Taco Bell is going out of business, so basically not my problem.” However, I soon became aware of how incredibly wrong I was.
I received an email from my Geology professor informing the class of the cancelation of our camping trip due to the closing of national parks. Needless to say, I was distraught. The trip was changed from a three-day camping excursion, to a three-day commuter trip. So this past weekend, instead of sleeping in tents and roasting marshmallows, my class drove four hours each day in vans to Barstow and back, waking up at four in the morning, and returning to campus around nine. I have never been so exhausted and I blame this completely on the government shutdown and congress’ inability to pass the new budget.
To help others avoid future disappointment, I created a list of ways that the government shutdown could possibly affect the life of the average American citizen.
- National Parks: Since this is what ruined my weekend, I decided to put it on the top of the list. After the government shutdown, national parks were forced to give visitors evacuation notice. All 410 national parks, including Yosemite and Yellowstone, have been completely shutdown to tourists. This is projected to affect around 715 thousand visitors each day. Hopefully you haven’t planned any extravagant camping trip for fall break, because that will not be happening.
- National Monuments: If your class trip to Washington is coming up, you are out of luck because all of the monuments are closed. Tourists cannot get in or near the Washington Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York have also been gated indefinitely.
- Federally Funded Museums: Similar to the shutdown of national monuments is the closing of federally funded museums. These include the Smithsonian, the Holocaust Museum and National Museum of the American Indian. Being a tourist has never been so difficult.
- Identification Documents: Currently, citizens are completely unable to get new social security cards. Passports are still being renewed with funds outside the annual congressional appropriation, but who knows how long those will last.
- Federally guaranteed loans: All small business loans and loan guarantees have been stopped; getting federally guaranteed loans is currently impossible. If you own a small business and want support, too bad.
Obviously, I’m a bit bitter about the whole situation, and maybe I’m taking it all a bit personally. My camping trip was cancelled, and therefore the government better pass something soon because I know I’m not the only one who has been adversely affected by their hiatus.