As if the Internet didn't already have enough responsibility, now it’s got a government to save. While taking valuable time away from insisting the public cut back on its intake of homophobic carbs, Twitter swung into direct action following the shutdown of the U.S. federal government.
By the deadline Monday night, Congress was still unable to compromise on a budget that would continue to fund the federal government for another year. As of midnight, roughly 800,000 government employees will no longer receive paychecks, even though some of them will be required to continue working. U.S. citizens on Twitter reacted to the chaos by choosing to mock themselves for having a government that couldn’t even vote to keep itself alive. After the hashtag #NoBudgetNoPants began trending, many vowed to join in and refuse to wear pants as an act of protest.
#NoBudgetNoPants Burn the pants. Burn them all.— Le Petit Sasshole (@er0tikka) October 1, 2013
EVERYONE. PANTS OFF. #nobudgetnopants— Kaytee Nesmith (@kayteenesmith) October 1, 2013
So the government shuts down and now the anonymous people are all exhibitionists? What is happening? #NoBudgetNoPants— [MāTT.JōRGēNSēN] (@MattJorgensen95) October 1, 2013
Not everyone in the government is out of a job, but many services considered vital by U.S. citizens are being suspended. For instance, veterans seeking disability benefits may be placed on hold. Low-income women and children relying on food assistance through the WIC program could be cut off. The nation's economy as a whole is also expected to suffer with so many federal employees out of work. What may have pissed the Internet off the most is that, despite the effect of a government shutdown on its citizens, the president and every member of Congress will continue to get paid throughout the crisis.
This is the second time in 20 years Congress has permitted the U.S. government to shut down. Once you understand the consequences of failing to pass a budget, that track record is depressing. For instance, the next viral hashtag might very well be #ThingsIFoundInMyFood, as frequent food-safety inspections begin to cease.
It's unlikely that taking your pants off will actually do anything to save the federal government, but at this point, it can’t hurt its chances either.
Photo via maelvillafranco/Flickr