For most Americans, the shutdown is yet another embarrassing political circus. But for the 800,000 or so federal employees who were placed indefinite furlough this week, it’s a lot more personal. And as the stalemate drags on, we wanted to hear what was on their minds. So we gave twenty furloughed federal employees 100 words to say, well, whatever they wanted. Some of them shared their insights on the serious repercussions happening behind the scenes. Others confessed their fears about not being able to get by financially. All of them, from the left and right, expressed frustration with being caught in the middle of Congress’s latest power struggle.
Archie Cubarrubia, Education Research Analyst, Department of Education:
I’m an immigrant. Growing up, I wanted to be nothing else but American, do nothing else but pursue public service. At my naturalization ceremony, I promised to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” I love our democracy. But what’s happening isn’t democracy. It’s anarchy perpetuated by people in pursuit of ideological extremism at the expense of America’s citizens. This isn’t how America is supposed to work. I remember what I felt when I took that oath. At this moment, all I feel is disappointment.
Ted Lehr, software developer in the “intelligence community”:
My question is: Why am I furloughed? My contract is fully funded – the money sitting there waiting to be used. So why am I at home, not earning a paycheck. As a single income family of 5, my paycheck is pretty important. The answer: it is important for Reid and Obama to create panic over the shutdown. Massive numbers of furloughed employees, closing of parks that are never manned anyway, and a media at the ready to stir up a panic to save an already broken health care system.