Certainly tourists in the expansive American West and here in NYC are disappointed that they can’t see our National Parks like Yellowstone and National Monuments like the Statute of Liberty. The National Park System has closed hundreds of parks. The Environmental Protection Agency is almost completely shutdown. Only 3.85% of all EPA employees (less exempted employees) remain on the job. WIC funding is at risk once state monies run out. The National Institutes of Health are not accepting new patients. And the FDA has suspended food safety inspections. Putting the looming (and very significant) debt ceiling issues aside, I remain very concerned that, with growing income inequality, our social fabric will be unable to survive in a country where public welfare benefits (like health care, clean air and water, and safe food) are continually at risk and held hostage.

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