Washington, 1st October, 2013: Unbelievable as it may sound, the government of the United States has been shut down. Nearly¬† a million government employees would be sent on unpaid leave and more than another million asked to continue working without salary.
The shut down occurred following the failure of the US Congress to keep the federal government financed. Negotiations and arbitration failed to end the stand-off between the ruling Democratic Party and the Republican opposition, who have a majority in the Congress.
The major disagreement is due to the Affordable Care act or Obamacare which seeks to socialize healthcare in the country. By incorporating a stay on the implementation of Obamacare in the Federal funding bill, the Republicans forced the Senate to either pass the bill and kill Obamacare or send it back, thereby forcing a government shut-down effective from the 1st of October.
While the shut down is definitely serious, it must be said that it is not the first time; the last time being in 1996, when the US Government was shut down for 21 days.
The shut down is expected to have a serious effect on the US economy with some experts estimating that the GDP growth could be affected by 1.5 % points.
The Obama government had only raised the debt ceiling last May, when the nation had hit the USD 16.7 trillion point and was in risk of defaulting on its debt, however the shut down puts the government at risk of defaulting again.