The government shutdown could cripple the world’s economy, but some Eastern Michigan University students are already feeling the fallout.
“Congress is still getting paid, but less important things like my family’s vacation must not matter,” EMU sophomore Cassidy Smith said. “I had a family reunion this weekend in Arkansas, but it’s cancelled because we were going to a national park and it’s closed.”
Smith is an elementary education major and said the recent shutdown debacle has made her skeptical of America’s political climate.
“This is a really bad sign, and it seems the U.S. is just going downhill in a hurry,” she said.
The Department of the Interior said it had to turn away more than nine million visitors in 1996 when the government shut down. USA Today said all national parks and wildlife refuges will be closed while the government is squabbling over paying its bills.
EMU junior Christopher VanCamp is a criminal justice major and served as an infantryman in the Marines for five years.
He is using the post 9/11 GI bill which includes tuition and a monthly housing allowance. VanCamp said it would be nearly impossible to afford attending EMU if the government didn’t send the monthly payments.
“That money is going towards rent, insurance and a car payment,” he said. “I can’t afford those things on part-time wages.”
VanCamp has already asked his boss for more hours in case veterans’ schooling is defunded and said he is “ashamed” of our elected officials.
“Congress and Obama are acting like little children, and it’s kind of pathetic,” he said.
Different stories resulting from the shutdown are enraging, VanCamp said.
“I saw a news link on Facebook about how troops killed in combat weren’t going to receive their benefits,” VanCamp said. “Those families need that money right now to bury their loved ones, and it’s disgusting.”
The Associated Press said roughly 3.8 million veterans may not receive their disability checks on time if the shutdown goes into late October.
Students placed the blame on the usual suspects for the deadlocked fiasco.
EMU sophomore Brittany Chapa is a theatre arts major and also a member of EMU’s dance team. She said President Obama is at fault for the country’s economic woes.
“I feel like ever since he first stepped foot in office he didn’t care at all about the people, and he just has no clue what to do,” Chapa said.
Many students are uncertain about the country’s future if America defaults on its payments, and Chapa said the U.S. may be unable to bounce back from the careless spending.
“I don’t know how this will end,” she said. “The nation may never recover from all this debt.”
EMU alumnus Deondre Richmond received a degree in communications and said the blame should be put on Republicans.
“It has been looming and looming for years, and there are a lot of people ragging on Obama,” he said. “Republicans and Bush had a bad financial plan that weakened the U.S., and I can’t rag on Obama for that.”
EMU sophomore Ryan Lafferty is taking business classes and said both political parties need to take responsibility.
“I blame all of Congress, but I don’t blame one party more than the other. Blaming each other is what got us in this mess,” he said.
EMU sophomore Leah Cassar is a speech and language pathology major and said she doesn’t follow politics but was informed about the crisis from her news feed.
“I found out on social media,” Cassar said. “I knew what it was because I learned about it in high school, but I didn’t think this would actually happen now.”
Cassar said she remains unaffected by the shutdown but is staying more informed about the budget debates.
“It’s definitely gotten my attention, because I never actually thought the government would shut down,” she said.
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