Kids Talk About Government Shutdown

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The government shutdown -- from the perspective of fourth graders. Children at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in New York are weighing in on the situation, and they have some advice for Congress.

(Reporter): "Karl, what do you know about the shutdown?
Karl: "They're going to shut down the government because of some of the government people."
(Reporter): "When I say 'shut down the government,' what does that mean?"
Nicole: "Like, the government is going to stop for a while?"
(Reporter): "Does that sound scary?"
Kids: "Yes, yes…"
(Reporter): "Now, the big things stay. The people who protect us? They stay. But, a lot of people who work for the government wind up not getting paid until they reopen the government. How's that sound?"
Kids: "No… not good… that sounds horrible."
(Reporter): "Jocelyn, let me ask you something. When you are being taught to work with somebody else in a situation, what are you taught? What are you supposed to do?"
Jocelyn: "You're supposed to share the things that you do, and you're supposed to agree, and compromise when you have different agreements."
(Reporter): "So, in Congress, they didn't do it. They said, 'You want to do one thing, I want to do another. We can't agree, so let's stop the government and not pay anybody and not do lots of things that we're supposed to do.' Who likes that solution? "Oooh. Double thumbs down. Oh, I forgot to mention something. The members of Congress, when the government is shut down, and they send people home to their families with no pay, they still get paid."
Karl: "How?"
Prabhigt: "They might like do another job?"
(Reporter): "No. No, they're not doing any job. But they still get paid. Jocelyn? Does that sound right?"
Jocelyn: "No, because if one person gets paid and the other person doesn't, that's not fair to the people that don't get paid!"
(Reporter): What should I do with the money if I do get paid? Let's say, the law says I get paid, what should I do with my money, Prabhigt?"
Prabhigt: "I think that you could divide it into half and give it to everybody."
(Reporter): "Divide it in half and give it to everybody."
Karl: "You get money for being in politics?"
(Reporter): "Yes, they pay you to go there and have all this fun who knew?"
Karl: "Can I run right now?"
(Reporter): "How old are you?"
Karl: "Nine."
(Reporter): "If available, do you want to run? And what is your message why vote for Karl?"
Karl: "Because I will make the world better."
(Reporter): "You're all Congress members right now, okay? Nicole and Jocelyn while friends up to this day, now disagree… They do not like what to do. How do we solve it? Jonathan, Prabhigt does not like your ideas. She thinks they're dumb. In fact, you're dumb, too, for having those ideas."
Jonathan: "We could compromise, like Jocelyn said, and we could agree somehow."
(Reporter): "Karl what do you do if you're the president and Congress won't compromise?"
Karl: "I'll tell them, I'll tell them, just get along because people are going to be losing their jobs."
(Reporter): "What should the president tell Congress?"
Nicole: "The president should tell Congress, 'You better cut it out and get back to what you are supposed to do.'"
(Reporter): "What if they say no?"
Taylor: "Then he should fire them."
(Reporter): "Who's gonna fix it? Nicole, how do we fix it?"
Nicole: "You can fix it by… actually that's a really hard one!"
(Reporter): "Right? How do we settle things that we don't agree on, Jocelyn?"
Jocelyn: "You should do the right thing, not the wrong thing. You should try to give the effort to agree with somebody instead of acting like a bunch of babies. You should act like adults because you are and agree with people."
(Reporter): "Nine years old. Why is this so easy for you to figure out? Yes?"
Nicole: "Because we're kids, and sometimes kids we have smarter ideas than grownups."

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