Affecting the masses: South Forsyth families and how they deal with the government shutdown


By Kevin McCoy, CC BY-SA 2.0,

President Trump announced the government shutdown December 27th. Since then, this government shutdown has become the longest one in the history of the United States. The government continues to try to reach a compromise in order to end the shutdown.

Since December 27th, the United States government has been in a government shutdown, leaving thousands of government employees unpaid but still required to go to work. Employees have now missed two paychecks, which is taking a toll on families across America. 

Before working for the government, future employees must sign an oath stating they will continue to work during a government shutdown, even with missing paychecks. Government families across the globe are affected by this. The government employs both parents of sophomore, Ella Mcafee. Her father is currently employed by the FBI, which happens to be a division of the government that is unpaid. Her family’s income has been halted. 

“My mom, who is a teacher, is still getting paid but my dad hasn’t been paid at all during the shutdown,” Mcafee said.

The Mcafee’s way of life has undergone changes resulting from this shutdown. Her family has had to carefully budget their income during the partial shutdown.

“We’ve had to cut down on our electricity use and be extra cautious to not waste materials.”

“My dad has prepared for this and has a savings account from his years of work but all the new agents are really hurting from this.” This shutdown has brought financial hardships to many families who are living from paycheck to paycheck. Although employees may receive back pay after the shutdown ends; rent, mortgage, and other payments are still expected to be paid for. As the shutdown still continues, it becomes more difficult for families to pay for these things.

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“My dad has had to put his life in danger and isn’t even getting paid for it.”

— Ella Mcafee

The financial impact of the shutdown burdens not only government employees but also those who rely on government programs in daily life. Low-income families who rely on food stamps and other food assistance programs are finding it more difficult to put food on their plates.

“My dad has had to put his life in danger and isn’t even getting paid for it.”

The expectation of employees has not changed because of the shutdown. Despite not receiving compensation. her dad has continued to attend FBI raids, which have the potential to be life-threatening.  

“I think the shutdown has gone on for way too long. The government needs to consider that millions of people are affected by this,” Mcafee said.

This shutdown is now recognized as the longest shutdown in American history, with both parties staying firm with their beliefs. If a compromise is not met, families across America will continue to remain income-less.