Government shutdown's effects on Paly parents

Levi Schoeben and Frankie Comey

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Nine days have passed since the U.S. government has shut down, and its effects are being felt nationwide. Palo Alto High School parents that work government jobs are no exception.

Two students gave us insight into the changes that they have experienced at home. Seniors Zach Rizk and Neal Biswas both have fathers that work for the NASA and are now on furlough.

Rizk shares how his home life has been altered.

“My dad is around more so that’s not so bad,” Rizk said. “He calls it a ‘forced vacation’, and it’s great that we can spend more time with him.”

Biswas doesn’t find the changes at home that drastic. “It didn’t really change that much. Now, in the morning, I leave for school and my dad is still at home. But that’s pretty much the extent of changes at home.”

How long the government shutdown will last is anyone’s guess, but Rizk and Biswas both say they will start to worry if it lasts more than two more weeks. Both students share a similar opinion about the shutdown itself.

“More time with my dad is awesome, but it doesn’t justify the fact that people are being paid without working,” Rizk said. “I don’t see how this shutdown is effective, and I think it’s best that he gets back to work as soon as possible.”

“My dad thinks it’s a pointless shutdown,” Biswas said.  “The entire system is being shut down for a discussion about the budget.”

The government shutdown is affecting all government jobs deemed nonessential. This includes 97% of NASA employees, 94% of the Environmental Protection Agency, 80% of the Treasury, 50% of Defence, 29% of the Social Security Administration, a reassuring low 4% of Veterans Affairs and so on, according to a New York Times article.