The blame-game ratcheted up this week. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Pelosi fired back. President Donald Trump blamed “Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck” Schumer. If only “Tweet” rhymed with blame, we could coin a cute new Twitter term as the country enters the 25th day of the partial government shutdown.
Both sides agree that shutdown has a negative impact — though some may argue that there’s an opportunity here to check government waste and duplication.
But the power in this shutdown act comes from the blaming, and the strength of the political outrage that follows when it comes to turning someone’s arm until they say uncle.
But politics aside, we should weigh the impacts … not just in terms of the pinch of today.
We’ve done plenty of impact stories since the shutdown started on what’s happening now, from empty checking accounts to full trash bins. We’ve spoken the people in our community who are directly impacted.
Long term implications are harder to measure.
A recent story about Michigan State Housing and Development Authority found the authority wouldn’t be able to make payments for HUD’s portion of March rents if the shutdown lasts past February. They could fix the short-term concerns once the shutdown was lifted, said the agency’s chief housing solution officer.
Long term, though, landlords may reconsider whether to accept housing vouchers at all, she said.
Already, Traverse City suffers a shortage of housing that working people can afford. There’s little incentive to build it in our high-demand, high-rent rental market. Past Record-Eagle reporting already found a shortage locally of landlords willing to take Section 8 vouchers. We can imagine more delays won’t help.
Ripples like this may take awhile to reach our shores, but they’re coming.
In the meantime we’ll find someone to blame.