Inciting a dubious record, the gridlock in Washington has produced the 28th day of the government shutdown. Politicians on both sides of the aisle point the finger at each other, while mainstream news outlets offer talking points. Eerily, it all seems rather mundane, until you realize that we’re headed towards an economic crisis.
First, let’s start with the obvious: several government workers are plying at their jobs without pay. Perhaps the most egregious example of this insanity is the Coast Guard. As our protectors of the sea, the Coast Guard plays a vital role in our national security. Yet because they’re under the Department of Homeland Security, the guardsmen must make do without compensation.
But another vulnerability stems from critical commercial activities. Specifically, I’m referring to the air transportation industry. Over the past few years, airliner demand has increased dramatically as the economy improved. But with the government shutdown, air-traffic controllers must perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
Unfortunately, that’s not how reality works. Yes, air-traffic controllers receive generous compensation for their high-stress work. Therefore, it’s fair to presume that they have enough savings to hold them over for a few weeks. But not all enjoy such luxuries, creating a dangerous situation at our nation’s airports.
Moreover, people aren’t stupid. They realize that air transportation represents a ticking time bomb. Fewer people will travel, leading eventually to an economic crisis.
On the Verge of Economic Crisis
Given that a significant portion of the country is suffering, I don’t want to contribute more finger-pointing. However, if I had to blame a side, I’m looking at the Democrats. Historically, the liberals have established a reputation for being unreasonable and unwilling to negotiate.
Naturally, I sympathize with President Trump’s position. Morally, he’s spot on: we can’t allow political temper tantrums to permanently compromise our border security. We need a wall because it represents a cheap but effective obstacle for those seeking to smuggle contraband or people.
At the same time, if we continue this standoff, we’ll drive ourselves to a severe economic crisis. Absolutely that cannot happen. As much as I respect Trump’s hardline stance on this issue, cooler heads must prevail.
Of course, this entails a sincere negotiation with Democrats. Understandably, the President doesn’t want to cave to his political rivals. But let’s be frank: Trump and the Republicans lost the midterm elections. If they didn’t want to put themselves in this position, they should have won the House outright.
Here’s the maddening point: Trump loves winning. Throughout his time in the White House, he has expressed this sentiment. In addition, you may also remember his outlandish statements from The Apprentice. Trump hates losers, often punishing people for failures, real or perceived.
Again, let’s be frank: Trump lost. In the context of the midterms, he’s a loser. As such, he must take responsibility for the defeat, just like he made his Apprentice candidates do.
That means re-opening the government, even if it involves painful concessions.