By Tony Espinal
This past week, I tuned in to C-SPAN to watch the debates between House Republicans and Democrats over the government shutdown.
This was the single most shameful and disgraceful display of petty arguing I have ever witnessed.
It included hours of our country’s leaders blaming each other for the shutdown. The politicans even specified names of which people they held responsible.
Compromise is a part of everyone’s lives.
In order for us to be successful, we have to learn to work with our classmates, co-workers and the people around us. Yet the leaders of this nation are bickering like children over whose fault this all is.
Does it really matter?
The National Institute of Health has shut down. Head start programs are closing, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is dangerously close to shutting down as well.
In addition, Bloomberg reported this shutdown could cost the U.S. economy $300 million a week.
So while the government workers sit at home and the economy takes a hit, politicians think it’s more important to figure out whose fault it is.
Then, House Republicans reported to CNN that they do not expect a resolution to the shutdown until the next showdown over raising the debt-ceiling. If you aren’t familiar with the details of the debt-ceiling, it is the United States’ ability to raise its borrowing limit to pay its obligations. If Congress fails to raise debt limit, then the U.S. could default, and the economy could suffer a major catastrophe.
On Oct. 4, Business Insider presented a timeline example of how quickly this situation could deteriorate.
On Nov. 1, two weeks after the official deadline, the value of U.S. financial instruments could come into question, causing a global economic problem.
So what can we do as citizens?
We can start by becoming involved in the political process. Learn about your representatives in Congress. Reach out to them and call on them to compromise. Pay attention to who will be running in 2014, and express your voice by getting out there and voting.
We also have to be prepared to awknowledge that those whom we put our trust in and cast our votes for may be part of the problem.
Time and time again, people believe the problem is everyone else, but their own representative and that’s why we keep electing the same people.
So take a stand, do your research and hold our leaders accountable for their lack of progress and the great risk they have put our country into.