The Herald Bulletin

October 15, 2013

Shutdown continues, affects more people

By Zach Osowski
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — As the government shutdown drags on, more and more people are becoming aware of the problem and are feeling the impact.

Michael Frank, a political science professor at Anderson University, said historically shutdowns are an extremely rare event, especially federal ones. The only one he compared this shutdown to was the shutdown back in 1995-96 when the government closed the doors for 21 days.

"This shutdown is really a function of how our budgeting process at the federal level needs some reform," Frank said.

Frank also blamed a growing divide in the parties' ideological stances for this current shutdown.

"The difference ... has grown substantially in the last 20 years," Frank said. "People who want to reach across the aisle are viewed as not liberal or conservative enough depending on the party."

Mike Meadows, an Anderson resident, said partisan divides are responsible for no one wanting to negotiate.

"It's crazy," Meadows said. "It just seems like everyone is saying 'it's my way or I'm taking my ball and going home.'"

Michael Pierce, a student at Anderson University, agreed with Meadows and said the government seems to have lost sight of what it was originally supposed to do.

"This shutdown is from a lack of cooperation," Pierce said. "It's supposed to be government by the people for the people and it's just not right now."

Pierce said he knows people personally affected by the government shutdown. His cousin and uncle are active members in the National Guard. He said they told him they've been laid off duty and are currently without benefits, which has forced them to try and find jobs in the meantime.

Frank said he has an adult student in one of his classes who was an Afghanistan War veteran. If the government stretches into November, this student will not receive his disability check and will be unable to continue attending Anderson University.

"Most of us will feel some sort of inconvenience from this shutdown," Frank said. "Some of us will have our lives changed, it just depends."

Regardless of where people fall, Frank said the impact will lead to a major mistrust in the federal government and its authority from all citizens. It could lead to sweeping changes in the elections next year.

Frank said there are some studies that said all the seats the GOP won in the U.S. House back in 2012 could go back to Democratic control. While he said that was unlikely, he did say there would be some sort of ramifications from both parties.

Meadows said he blames the Republicans for the shutdown because of their unwillingness to fund Obamacare. Frank said he doesn't think one party is more responsible than the other but does think voters will show their disapproval in future elections.

"Perception is reality," Frank said. "People are going to make their decision and act accordingly."

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB or call him at 640-4847.


Longest government shutdowns in U.S history Dec. 1995 - Jan. 1996 (21 days) Oct. 1978 (17 days) Oct. 2013 (15 days) *active Oct. 1977 (12 days) Source: Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University