When government shutdowns cause innocent people to go without a needed and earned paycheck, it is immoral.

What adds to this despicable situation is that the people responsible for this impasse have a lifestyle significantly above those placed in jeopardy, have rarely lived from paycheck to paycheck, and have never experienced the hardship of an unexpected expense without emergency savings. While they may claim to understand the difficulties of their constituents (in the rare case that they once experienced poverty), they are so far removed from it, they no longer understand the impact their inaction has.

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. There may be many reasons for this: inadequate pay, a serious illness, downsizing at work, unexpected hardship. But most people are doing the very best they can.

While a multitude of part-time work is available, compensation is minimal. There are only so many hours an individual can work without effects on personal health, relationships and parenting.

A noted economist, in talking about behaviors of those living in poverty, shared how the poor lack the discretionary income to stock up on everyday basics when they are on sale. Instead, they live from paycheck to paycheck, paying full price for necessities. Often, fast food is less expensive and more filling than stocking up with fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, dairy products and other nutritious foods at the local market.

A lack of savings means that normal but unplanned-for expenses such as medical bills, auto repair or appliance replacement can be a major setback. Those dedicated sacrifices to build savings, retirement, education funds or just to save for a family vacation to go to Disneyland are wiped out and must begin again. Use of finance plans, credit cards, payday loans, etc. compound the situation.

Surely, there are better ways to research, plan and establish effective national security than making federal workers pawns in a game fraught with egos, side deals and public power plays.

Karen Taylor, Salt Lake City