I need to thank my friend Sarah B. for some of the research done here. If you are not outraged with the GOP/Tea Party, you are not paying attention. There is a great economic and emotional cost to this government shutdown–the brunt of the cost is being paid by the workers, the middle class, and lower classes of the country. While millions of Americans in the United States are having to go without a salary and resources, John Boehner , Ted Cruz, and all the others drinking the Kool Aid are GETTING PAID while they devastate the country. It is difficult to believe there is not a sad and disgusting thread of racism as part of what is motivating the Teahadists.
Let us look specifically at just some of the direct costs of this horrific behavior:
- Over 800,000 Federal employees have been furloughed and will not be paid.
- Up to 19,000 children are unable to attend head start programs, depriving them of early childhood educational opportunities and leaving their parents scrambling for childcare.
Cancer Patients Turned Away:
- Cancer patients trying to enroll in clinical trials at NIH have been turned away until the shutdown ends.
No Flu Outbreak Monitoring:
- Monitoring of Flu outbreaks nationwide has been crippled, with only cursory examinations and no “in-depth” investigations of potential outbreaks.
Assistance for low-income families comes to a halt:
- The WIC program, which provides food assistance to families with children, has shut down. Some states are not accepting new applicants, and other states are running on reserves which will last mere days.
- Over 18% of the workforce in Colorado Springs, CO (55,000 workers) are on furlough and won’t be paid.
- Incidents like the deadly bus crash in Tennessee cannot be investigated because the staff at the National Traffic Safety Board are furloughed.
As of today, the cost of the Shutdown is now well over 1 Billion Dollars and all because a bunch of wealthy congressmen (who have full health care and are still collecting a salary) want to get rid of the much-needed Affordable Care Act, which they are calling Obamacare.
Here is where the GOP/Teahadists need to catch a clue and pay attention. The Affordable Care Act is a huge success in just four days. Millions of people are enrolling and for many this is the first time they have had health insurance in years. Enrollment is so vigorous that it is crashing web servers. Now tell me again why the Affordable Care Act is a bad thing?
As programs continue to shut down when their existing funding ceases, the crazed militants in the House speak about the situation out of both sides of their Tea-holes. While many Republican members of the House laugh and call the situation “fun” and “the best part of my job,” others bemoan aspects of the shutdown that inconvenience them. (Yes, Rep. Neugebauer (R, TX), who publicly shouted down a park ranger who wouldn’t let him into a closed memorial, we’re talking to you.)
While it is great to see the President and the Democrats united in standing up to this bullying, the impact on the country is horrific. How long will the so-called “moderate” and “rational” Republicans be cowed by the fringes of their party? Until enough members of the House agree to do their jobs, the most vulnerable citizens of our country will continue to suffer. Sadly, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell (two Madhatters) were caught on mic with their despicable behavior. Click here to see them.