News / USA

Americans Sound Off on Budget Woes

Americans Sound Off on Fiscal Drama, Crisis Governancei
X
September 24, 2013 6:09 PM
In the past three years, Americans have endured three threatened government shutdowns, two legislative brawls over raising the debt limit, and another fight over automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, fiscal drama has become the norm in Washington, but Americans are of many different minds on the lurch to crisis governance.

Americans Sound Off on Fiscal Drama, Crisis Governance

Michael Bowman
In the past three years, Americans have endured three threatened government shutdowns, two legislative brawls over raising the debt limit, and another fight over automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. Fiscal drama has become the norm in Washington, but Americans are of many different minds on the lurch to crisis governance.

Far removed from the formality of Washington, Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is distant geographically and culturally from the nation’s capital. Tony, a tattoo artist, said he refuses to lose sleep over yet another episode of dysfunction in Washington.

"I can't do anything about it, so I'm not going to stress over something I can't change. So I just take care of myself and my family, and that's all I can do," he said.

Others hope for yet another last-minute deal to avert a government shutdown.

“They're not going to let it go. This is America. They have to do something,” said Gregg Donovan, a Hollywood greeter.

“I mean, the Republicans are nuts,” said Perry Mann, a street actor.

Some blame Republicans for near-constant fiscal drama.

“They're wasting their time and they're threatening to shut down the government. I mean, they don't care about anybody but themselves,” said Mann.

Others blame President Barack Obama and his signature health care law.

“I support defunding Obamacare. I think Obamacare is a disaster. When they say government shutdown, it doesn't mean that everything is going to stop,” said Larry Green, a tour industry worker.

And some prefer not to follow the news in Washington.

"Not as much as I should, I admit, and I probably represent quite a few people. But about the budget impasse, I think it happened so many times before,” said Julie Mammano, a children's author.

With fiscal showdowns common, some Americans may shrug at Washington’s current impasse. But that will change if the federal government closes on October 1, according to analyst Stan Collender.

“This will start to have an impact on people’s thinking when it has an impact on their lives - not when they are hearing about the possibility on the news, but when they call the Department of Education and no one is there to answer the phone. Or when they need a visa or a passport and no one is there to process it," said Collender.

Collender thinks this time a shutdown is more likely than not, and that Americans are suffering from what he calls “crisis fatigue.”

No one should underestimate consequences of a shutdown, according to Democratic Senator Charles Schumer. “I think the American people get very aware when the stock market goes down 2,000 points.”

In New York, some urge consequences for members of Congress. "I think they should all be fired,” said Linda, a visitor to New York.

From New York to Los Angeles, Americans could do just that in next year’s congressional elections.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid