In the wee hours this morning, it happened; the U.S. government entered a partial shutdown. It's a statement that just doesn't look right.
We're all painfully familiar with why we're in this position. In simple terms, Congress couldn't come to agreement on legislation that would fund the government. Being Congress and all, the situation really is a little more complicated and intensely political. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein provides an excellent, and succinct perspective on it all
"This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance," Klein writes. "That's it. That's why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt."
The full effects of the shutdown won't be apparent to most people for a while, unless you're trying to visit a national park. Social Security checks will still be mailed out, military personnel will be paidm and air traffic controls will still be working. And the Affordable Care Act provisions that were supposed to go into effect today (October 1) will still go into effect.
Congress will find a solution, eventually. It doesn't mean it'll be a good one, or one that anyone will be happy with. But eventually the representatives will take enough flak from constituents that they'll compromise.
As a side note, Congress members get paid during the shutdown, though apparently some have chosen to forgo their checks, reports the Daily Beast.
Congress really ought to pass a law killing their own pay during a shutdown, though I know that's wishful thinking on my part.