[Update: obviously the gov’t has re-opened at least for now… that’s not what this is about – or it could be if you want…]
In case you’ve been living in a cave lately, the U.S. Government has been shut down since October 1st. Not because of a terrorist attack or a bank system meltdown or a natural disaster, but because Congress cannot agree on a spending bill to determine our government’s funding plan for the next year. The government shutdown has its consequences (such as closed national parks, postponed federal research funding, the halting of the CDC’s flu vaccine program [which is not a bad thing IMO], and unpaid federal employees), but these will seem like a slap on the wrist if Congress can’t agree to raise the debt ceiling by October 17. If we are still in a government deadlock at that point, we will default on our national loans and suffer disastrous consequences (such as the devaluation of the dollar, social security payments not being made, spiking interest rates, and devaluation and forced selling off of bonds). Congress is up against a deadline to make a group decision, and the consequences of not making one in time are much higher than the consequences of making an imperfect one. It’s hard to come to a consensus when so many individuals in the group have a strong opinion one way or another, but the fact of the matter is: honeybees can do it. So why can’t we?