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Local reaction to government shutdown

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:22:15 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 01 2013 10:55:49 AM CDT

You don't have to go far to find someone with an opinion on the partial government shutdown.

You don't have to go far to find someone with an opinion on the partial government shutdown.

Some visitors to Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol, Virginia on Tuesday were talking about the shutdown. "It just seems like people are just getting jerked around and I'm tired of the government, feeling like we're all getting jerked around," said one person we spoke with.

Joe Lane teaches political science at Emory & Henry College. He says the latest government changes have been the topic of discussion in his classroom. "I think what got them in trouble in this case were the promises Republican members of congress made to constituents in their districts during the election of 2012, where they simply said I will not allow Obamacare to take effect under any circumstances whatsoever," he explained.

Lane says he doesn't know how long the shutdown will last, but it's something Bristol, Tennessee resident Peggy Wade doesn't mind. "I think our government has gotten too big. If you listen to the people, people want smaller government. It's not that way and I think I’m glad for it, I really am," she said.

Although he says it may be depressing, Colin Christensen believes many people his age don't even care. "We've grown up with a congress that engages in hostage-taking politics, winner take all. That's not healthy for democracy and I really think we are numb and kind of unaffected right now," he said.

Lane says the effects of the shutdown could grow depending on how long it lasts. "There could be some pretty substantial ripple effects. The question we can't answer very precisely is how long does the government have to be shut down before those ripple effects start to be felt," he said. "You start to see downward pressure on employment, economic activity, things of that character."

Emory & Henry College is feeling the effects of the shutdown. Wednesday night a diplomat from the State Department was set to speak on campus, but Tuesday called to cancel, saying she's not allowed to come because of the shutdown.