On Oct 17, the day after the partial government shutdown ended, President Obama offered what he called, “a simple message” to federal workers who worked without pay or were furloughed during that period. “Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters,” he said.
His kind words stood in stark contrast to the apparent indifference of the American public captured in a Fox News Poll taken after the partial shutdown ended. Asked, “Were you or was anyone in your family significantly affected by the federal government shutdown?” — 73 percent of respondents said no. Only 25 percent said yes.
Another poll, done by the Associated Press in the eighth day of the partial shutdown mirrored the Fox News Poll results. It found four out of five American households were unaffected by the shutdown.
“The government is too big, it’s grown too fast. It doesn’t do anything well,” said Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste. “That’s the basis for a poll that shows four out of five people had no reason to think the shutdown affected them. In most cases, showing up and doing a job is enough to get a bonus in the federal government.”
Critics argue the number of federal workers deemed “non-essential” across many agencies during the partial shutdown suggests there’s plenty of fat to trim, especially given that many of the federal government’s key functions are automated.
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