As fall approaches so do a couple of massive dilemmas for Washington. October 1st is the beginning of the next fiscal year and currently there is no operating budget. We are on pace to surpass our debt ceiling in mid-October. This week the Republican-controlled House passed a budget resolution that will keep our government open until at least December 15th of the current year. With that attached budget comes the defunding of the controversial Obama care, which is backed by the Democrats. Therefore, the chances that this resolution passes the Democratic senate are slim to none. If a resolution does not reach the President’s desk by October 1st, the government will be forced to shut down.
A government shutdown is something that our country has experienced before, most recently in 1995, however it is not ideal for our economy or our worldwide reputation. It is estimated that a government shutdown would cost our economy several hundred million dollars each and every day. Quite simply, our recovering economy cannot currently afford that under any circumstance. In addition to crippling our economy for the duration the shutdown lasts, it also will have several other severe implications. The major visible signs of a government shutdown would be the closing of all national parks and museums, only essential government workers reporting to their jobs every day, and a massive delay in visas and passports; all of this will affect our daily lives and also bring disgrace to our international image.
In addition to the looming government shutdown, the United States is also set to reach its debt ceiling around October 15th and default on their 16 trillion dollar debt. This would mean that our national debt has surpassed the limit that our government has set on it, therefore resulting in a default. Recently our economy, housing market and employment statistics have been on a positive curve ever since the crisis of 2008 and progress is finally being witnessed. However, with both of these approaching issues ensuing, it could halt our economic progress, and derail our country once again.
On top of the economic impact, a physiological impact would also result. America is the strongest country in the world yet within one month of not being able to construct an operating budget or being able to pay our bills we will ultimately be led into a dreaded government shutdown. For the American citizen, that possibility is extremely demoralizing, especially since it is coming from our country’s leaders. Our lack of ability to get an operating budget working and pay our bills also makes us look weak to the rest of the world.
Overall, our country faces two crucial deadlines. Both need to be addressed in order to maintain our economic progress. Congress often waits until the very last minute to get their work done; right now it is still too early to panic; however panic is soon approaching. Republicans and Democrats must come together and compromise on both of these issues. It is their duty and obligation to pass a budget and also address the debt ceiling. The clock is ticking.