The deadlock between President Donald Trump and the Democrats on the issue of the U.S.-Mexico border wall funding has now resultedin the longest federal government shutdown.
The effects of the shutdown are being felt not only by the estimated 800,000 federal employees who have not been paid since the shutdown started on December 22, 2018. This has resulted in real pain and hardships for many families whose breadwinners are employed by the federal government. The government shutdown has also affected many federal contractors and their employees. Losses are estimated to have reached between $5 and $6 billion since the shutdown.
The shutdown has been particularly hard on mid-size contractors and devastating, to say the least,on smaller-outfits and corporations.
For ordinary citizens and non-federal government employees, how are they impacted by the shutdown?
Government services are considered vital for the safety of human life and protection of properties. How then can the government function effectively and properly if agencies are staffed only by “essential” employees? Just consider the consequences if food inspection, consumer products, and workplace safety cannot be carried out due
to lack of personnel on duty.
A shutdown is a huge waste of taxpayer money as well. It results in loss of government revenues and is disruptive to government operations— both domestic and overseas.
What scares me about the shutdown is the impact that it can have in the long run on the U.S. economy. It canheavily affect and derail the continued growth that the previous Obama administration has accomplished after the recession under the Bush administration.
Trump is fixated on building the border wall and pleasing his anti-immigrant base that he is willing to sacrifice many needs and must do just to build the wall. The extended shutdown and its immediate impact to the furloughed federal employees and to government operations, it appears, are the least of his concern as president.
There is more to it though than Trump’s central campaign pledge to build the border wall. Similar to the war on terror for George W. Bush that helped win him his reelection in 2004, for Trump, the border wall was a campaign formula and“building the wall” is an indicator ofhow far his early pledge can take him with voters when he’ll need to secure his reelection in 2020.
The sad reality though is that majority of Americans are still demanding for affordable health care, immigration reform, alleviation of poverty, the strengthening of America’s economy, and for proactive policies on climate change and sustainable environment.
If Trump continues to insist and prioritize the wall despite of bigger and more important issues that face America, then he is cementing a reputation of a president who does not care.
There are bigger concerns than the border wall that this administration has to tackle in order to make America better. Trump and his administration must not lose focus on what is important— and what should be given priority at this time. But firstshutdown has to end as it does not serve the interest of the American people.
Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio “Jojo” Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336. You can also visit Jojo Liangco’s website at www.liangcolaw.com.