The Lowdown on the Shutdown
Matt | On 07, Apr 2011
Everyone and their mama keeps calling, tweeting, or texting me to ask about the government shutdown and what I think about it. So, I know there are even more of you out there that want information on what seems to be the inevitable in Washington, D.C. after Friday.
For the clueless, the FEDERAL government will most likely shut down beginning on Saturday, April 9. All of this is due to the failure of Congress to pass a budget for 2010-2011. The budget year began on October 1 and we still do NOT have a budget.
Republicans want to cut roughly $60 billion in federal funding, while Democrats (looking out for the poor and middle class) only want to remove about $30 billion. Both sides have met with President Obama at the White House, but a deal doesn’t seem likely by the close of business on Friday when the current continuing resolution expires.
For those wondering, here’s how your life will look post-federal government shutdown:
- 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed, meaning no work and no pay. Thousands more federal contractors will face the same fate.
- Military troops will not be paid, but of course, will still be expected to fight.
- White House and Congressional staffs would be sent home.
- National monuments – including the Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Smithsonian museums – and a host of other landmarks would be closed to the public.
- Federal income tax returns submitted after Friday will not be processed right away.
- The District of Columbia will basically shut down as a city. They get their funding directly from Congress since they aren’t a state. So, the District’s revenue is tied to the federal government. Trash won’t be picked up during the first week of the shutdown and other city services (DMV, libraries, etc.) will be completely halted. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest impacts of the shutdown because so many people live in the District.
- Federal agency websites would not be updated.
- “Non-essential” federal employees would have to give up their Blackberry devices. They are breaking the law if they voluntarily work during a shutdown.
- The Small Business Administration would not be giving loans to businesses (that would be helping to GROW the economy otherwise).
- Overseas diplomats will remain at their posts because they provide essential functions.
- Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security checks WILL BE distributed to recipients. There is no interruption in the payments.
- Members of Congress and the president will still receive their paychecks. This makes absolutely no sense, but some lawmakers say they won’t accept pay. It’s still ridiculous though!
Think of it this way, anything with a tie-in to the federal government’s ongoing budget would be disrupted. This includes road construction, school loans, tourism, veterans benefits, and a host of other services.
Again I say, this is YOUR government NOT hard at work! They need to come to an agreement on this damn budget to avoid this mess. But, that would be too much like right.