Department of Bioregion responds to United States Federal Government Shutdown

Cascadia Department of Bioregion travel advisory in affect for Southern (and very far Northern) Cascadia

Regions Affected: Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

December 22, 2018

For Cascadia Citizens,

Please be alerted that on December 22nd, the Southern and very Northern regions of Cascadia have been impacted by a partial collapse of the United States Federal Government, which is unable to pay federal workers and employees.

The shutdown occurred after leaders failed to come to a temporary agreement over budgeting, and will impact roughly 800,000 individuals, tens of thousands within the Cascadian bioregion – and includes the halt of programs responsible for food inspection, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, crime victim support, and basic food assistance for women, infants and children across Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California.

So far this year in 2018, there have been three government shutdowns, more than the past two decades combined.

What services will be interrupted?

The partial shutdown means that all but essential operations in those departments will be closed and some 800,000 federal employees will be furloughed or forced to work without pay until the standoff is resolved. Departments impacted are Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, as well as several smaller agencies.

More than 420,000 federal workers who provide essential services will be forced to work without pay. State and local farm service centers operated by the Agriculture Department are closed, national parks are closed or offer just limited services. More than 30 million small businesses no longer have access to federally assisted loans and technical assistance from the Small Business Administration until their funds are unfrozen. Universities and other receivers of large federal grants could also see impact to their budgets.

Other “essential” federal employees that are required to work without pay throughout the shutdown include 42,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard, thousands of law enforcement officers and 5,000 firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service.

The country’s 58 national parks and national monuments will remain open but without staffing throughout the shutdown according to the Interior Department’s 2018 contingency plan. That means toilets, campgrounds, gift shops and any other facilities that require staffing will be closed.

A Governments Responsibility to its People

The Cascadia Department of Bioregion is greatly disappointed by the actions of the United States Federal Government, whose actions have negatively impacted the livelihood of tens of thousands of Cascadians as we enter this holiday season, and whose actions continue to put millions at risk.

An inability to govern, undermines the very basic principles of a modern government, and by defaulting on it’s payments the United States is defaulting on it’s responsibility to provide economic stability, create and enforce a society of law, and increase the livelihood and well being of its citizens. The federal government is also responsible for maintaining and regulating a stable economy. Originally under the Articles of Confederation, while states could print their own currency, the constitution led to the creation of a national currency and placing it under the control of the federal government.

According to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the authority to levy taxes, duties and excises to raise money in order to pay the country’s debts. It can also borrow money and regulate both international and interstate commerce. Most importantly, Congress has the power to print or coin money, and to regulate its value.

As of March 15, 2018, the U.S. debt exceeded for the first time ever $21 trillion dollars, and with the debt ceiling removed by congress, the United States is now adding more than a trillion dollars of debt each year. The primary way to measure this, as a ratio to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP – the overall economic output of the United States) the United States has been over 100% in 2016, 2017 for the first time since World War II and is expected to grow to 108% of the GDP in 2019, and 2020. This means that the United States has been spending more than it earns, as an entirety of its economy, for the past three years, and is expected to do so into the future. Every day, the United States is paying more than $1 billion in interest, that is not being reinvested into the economy, just to stay current on what is already owed.

Broken down to a per person basis, the debt that every person owes has more than doubled in the last eleven years to more than $160,000 a person.

The Biggest Threat to the United States, is the United States Itself

People often say that Cascadia as a sovereign bioregion is an unrealistic notion, but the reality is that every time the federal government shuts itself down, every time they strip away rights and protections from citizens, and every time they create chaos and volatility that affects the livelihoods of millions of American and Cascadian citizens, the strongest case for Cascadia is made.

As traditional borders and protections of nation states fade into the thread of a 21st century environment, Cascadia is not an if, but when. Cascadia will not happen in a vacuum. As the United States continues to centralize authority, decrease representation and strip away the rights and protections of it’s citizens, Cascadians, and citizens of every bioregion must ask the questions of how long we will wait, and what pathways we will create for a more sustainable, equitable and just future, before the choices are taken away, and other decisions forced upon us. .

As the United States government increasingly fails to be able to provide the fundamental responsibilities of a government, the biggest threat to the United States remains the United States itself.

December 22, 2018
Department of Bioregion Official Release

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