While the government shutdown may be all the rage in the media, it is really nothing more than a blip on the screen when compared to the bigger picture. While 800,000 "non-essential" federal workers will be without work for a week or two, the real issue is the impending debt ceiling crisis that this country faces every few months. It's unfortunate that the media caters to sensationalist headlines and screams at its viewers about the "horrific government shutdown" that will cripple the economy and wreak havoc on everyone's lives. Most Americans respond to such headlines and media bombardment with intense feelings, attitudes and interest. However, an issue that is much harder to grasp, such as the debt ceiling issue, gets very little media attention.
As of this writing, the U.S. government owes approximately $16 trillion to various institutions, individuals, companies and countries. Almost $3 trillion is owed to China and Japan alone. For years, our government has raised our debt ceiling in order to pay our bills, write Social Security checks, pay Medicare claims and pay the interest on our debt. Any reasonable person would question what the purpose of a debt ceiling is, if it's simply always being raised.
I hope that the media gives this topic the same urgency as this headline-grabbing government shutdown has. While it is not nearly as easy to explain, or as sensationalistic, it is infinitely more important to every person, not just in our country, but around the globe.