2012 GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN – “One kid is planning on doing a passport for spring break might need a passport I said that could impact you, some of them that maybe saw direct impacts, some of them asked about education why are we in school I had to explain that,” said John Lee.
John Lee is a busy man in the classroom.
As a Government teacher at Mason City High School, being able to teach the kids about a moment in history as it happening, is one he can’t help but enjoy.
“Lot of times we talk in theory we talk constitution what does it mean, we use court cases or whatever but this isn’t practice this is how it’s actually unfolding so we talked about how bills become law today something we’ve talked about in here before but this is how it happens at 11 last night they’re still trying to pass a bill,” said Lee.
But it turns out this moment in history has been seen before.
NIACC Political Science Instructor John Schmaltz says a government shutdown is just history re-occurring.
“We’ve had numerous shutdowns I think something like well over 18 over the last 35 years, most recently we had them in 1995 there were two of them,” said Schmaltz.
But go even further back – and you’ll see how the groundwork for this was laid hundreds of years ago.
It goes right back to the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Congress controls the budget so the president doesn’t have too much power, and to this day, when they can’t agree, the money can’t be spent, and you have a shutdown.
While it has many real-world impacts, for lee, it’s a way to bring the real world into the classroom.
“Comes down to I just said keep an eye on it, we’ll keep an eye on it. If they go home tonight to talk to their parents and see what they knew about it and tomorrow we can have a couple more questions,” said Lee.
Schmaltz says what’s really historic about this shutdown is what is not shut down, like the post office, or air traffic controllers.