The government shutdown scare is back. Every few years this terribly scary expression gives lazy journalists a day off.

This term government shutdown sounds horrible and apocalyptic. It makes it seem as if Trump cannot reach a deal with Congress than the entire US government will go down. It invokes images of a political blackout happening around the country. This is a fun image for fear mongering, but the history of these so-called government shutdowns is very bland.

Since Congress has the power of the purse only they can give the President the resources he needs. If there is too little funding then for some reason they call it a government shutdown.

The term budget gap or underfunding would be more accurate. Perhaps if the amount of money was one trillion dollars this “news” might be important. But as of now, the problem lies in funding the DACA and CHIP medical programs for children.

Obviously, for the people receiving these benefits, a lack of funding would be unpleasant. Every time there is a gap in funding someone suffers. In 2013 around 800,000 federal employees paychecks/jobs were affected. Government shutdowns can hit certain groups very hard.

Obviously, for the people receiving these benefits, a lack of funding would be unpleasant. But for the nation at large, it will mean nothing. The global superpower will not fall. The electricity and oil will flow and so on. This event is news with a small “n”. Hyping up this beaurocratic conflict in Congress as something apocalyptic is clearly fake news. Just like the last 18 times since 1976 that there has been a government shutdown everything will be fine.


-Tim Kirby is a political analyst and award-winning radio talk show host in Moscow, Russia. Tim grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.

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