The government shutdown may be over, but that doesn't mean that life has returned to normal for many people around our nation. Federal workers, who were furloughed during the shutdown, will receive backpay for the time they weren't able to work, but many others won't be so lucky. And, many businesses, research projects, and government contractors are now struggling to make up for the lost time and income.
For example, small businesses that rely on federal clients, like the consultant group Business Management Associates, will likely be paid late on outstanding invoices, and forced to finish projects in much less time. NASA researchers who were conducting experiments may have to re-do preliminary work, which means they may miss their scheduled time to use important equipment. Private contract employees, like line-cook John Anderson, were temporarily laid off during the shutdown, and they now find themselves short on much-needed income.
The list of stories like these goes on and on, as we learn about Americans who were hurt during the economic standoff. These are real people, and real businesses, who are suffering because the Tea Party held our government hostage – and they could be hurt even worse if a small faction in Congress is allowed to do this again. The debt limit deal provided a temporary solution to long-term political gridlock, and Congress is tasked with agreeing on a larger deal by December. For the sake of our nation, and for the thousands of Americans suffering because of the Tea Party, our leaders must find a way to prevent this from happening again.
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.