Will We Even Notice If The Government Shuts Down?
You’ll still get mail — but won’t be able to visit the Grand Canyon. Here’s a look at what a shutdown feels like:
The probability of a partial government shutdown is increasing with each passing hour. With funding set to expire at the end of Friday, federal agencies have begun drawing contingency plans if President Obama and GOP congressional leaders fail to reach an agreement by then.
The basics of a shutdown, which we last experienced more than 15 years ago, are known: Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be placed on furlough, and only those deemed essential to the protection of human life and property will continue to work — without pay. But the details are nebulous. What, in practical terms, would a shutdown actually mean to ordinary Americans? Would it disrupt their lives? Would they even notice?
To help answer these questions, we’ve put together the following guide to life under a shutdown:
- Social Security payments will be fine. The Social Security Administration doesn’t receives its funding from annual congressional budget appropriations, but rather through the Social Security Trust Fund, which is financed through payroll taxes. The Social Security Administration will likely continue doling out payments, and employees essential to guarantee those payments will continue working, although new applications may be affected.
- Medicare is safe … for now. Recipients will continue to receive checks for a limited time. However, if the shutdown were to stretch out for several months, payments could be cut off.
- The military will keep operating. Members of the armed services will continue to work, although they wouldn’t receive pay during the shutdown. Officials are rushing to put in place contingency plans to ensure that vital national security and foreign policy operations keep running. Two-thirds of State Department staffers would go on furlough.
- The Veterans Health Administration would be unaffected. The V.A. operates on a two-year funding cycle that began last year, meaning it has already received the money it needs to keep operating.
- Good luck trying to visit national parks and museums. More than 350 federally run park sites, as well as federal museums, such as the Smithsonian and the National Archives, would be closed to visitors. Some museums that also receive private financing, such as the Kennedy Center, will remain open. The cumulative effect of the closures mean a half-million visitors could be turned away this weekend alone, according to some estimates. Security personnel, however, would remain in place.
- Federal courts could conceivably operate unaffected. During past government shutdowns, the courts remained fully open through the use of fees collected by federal bankruptcy courts. Still, an extended shutdown could require furloughs for “court clerks, technical staff, security guards and other court employees.”
- Homeland Security doesn’t stop. Most department employees would continue to work without pay. That includes border patrol, airport security and U.S. Coast Guard patrol. The department’s e-Verify system — which enables employers to check the immigration status of prospective hires — would be suspended.
- You’ll still receive your mail. The U.S. Postal Service, which is funded through customer payments, in large part from postage stamps, will continue to operate as normal.
- You’ll also still have to do your taxes. Income earners are still expected to file their taxes on time, although the IRS will suspend the processing of paper tax forms until government operations resume.
- Federally funded clinical research takes a hit. New research at the National Institutes of Health would be suspended, although ongoing research would continue.
- Tough luck if you need a new passport or visa. Most applications for passports and visas would likely go unprocessed. Such was the case in the ’95-’96 shutdown, when “nearly 30,000 visa applications were unprocessed” and “200,000 applications for passports were ignored.”
- Home loans will take a hit. The Federal Housing Administration could curb new home loan guarantees that private mortgage lenders often require for assurance that loans will be honored.
By: Peter Finocchiaro, Salon, April 6, 2011
April 6, 2011 - Posted by raemd Rae | Congress, Consumers, Government Shut Down, Mortgages, Politics, Public | Essential Personnel, Federal Courts, Federal Taxes, Federal Workers, FHA, Furloughs, Home Loans, Homeland Security, Medicare, Military, National Parks, Passports, Research, Social Security, State Department, Veterans Administration
No comments yet.
Share This Blog
- “2014 Midterm Elections”: With So Much At Stake, This Coming Election Day Is Not A Time For Eligible Voters To Stay Home September 2, 2014
- “So Far, Just Ripples”: The Wave Has Failed To Materialize September 2, 2014
- “The Medicare Miracle”: Everything The Usual Suspects Have Been Saying About Fiscal Responsibility Is Wrong September 2, 2014
- "Obama And The Warmongers": The Drums Of War And The Chants For Blood; The Politics Of The ISIS Threat
- "Some People Never Learn": What Happens When You Listen To Conservatives And Allow Them To Control Our Foreign Policy
- "Big Money, Big Mouth": How The Megadonors Of The Right Think
- "When Whites Just Don’t Get It": After Ferguson, Race Deserves More Attention, Not Less
- "Workers Are At The Mercy Of Markets": The Great Recession Shifted Bargaining Power To Employers
Affordable Care Act Bain Capital Bush Tax Cuts Citizens United Congress Conservatives Contraception Corporations Debt Ceiling Democracy Democrats Economic inequality Economy Eric Cantor Florida Foreign Policy Fox News George W. Bush GOP Government Shutdown Gun Control Gun Violence Health Exchanges Health Insurance House Republicans Immigration Reform Iraq War Jobs John Boehner John McCain Koch Brothers Lindsey Graham Low Income Marco Rubio media Medicaid Medicare Middle Class Minorities Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney National Rifle Association Newt Gingrich NRA ObamaCare Paul Ryan Politics Poor and Low Income Poverty Racism Rand Paul Reproductive Rights Republicans Rick Perry Rick Santorum Right Wing Ronald Reagan Rush Limbaugh SCOTUS Senate Social Security Spending Cuts Tax cuts Taxes Tax Revenue Tea-party Teaparty Ted Cruz Texas Unemployment uninsured Voter Suppression Wall Street War on Women Wealthy
- "@PAFreshStart: "The tires continue to squeal in Corbett's campaign, but the car isn't moving." trib.me/1rDi9V4 via @TribLIVE #PAgov"----------- 6 hours ago
- “2014 Midterm Elections”: With So Much At Stake, This Coming Election Day Is Not A Time For Eligible Voters To… wp.me/pIVTG-961----------- 8 hours ago
- “So Far, Just Ripples”: The Wave Has Failed To Materialize wp.me/pIVTG-95S----------- 8 hours ago
- “The Medicare Miracle”: Everything The Usual Suspects Have Been Saying About Fiscal Responsibility Is Wrong wp.me/pIVTG-95k----------- 9 hours ago
- “The Magical President Doesn’t Exist”: What The Left Must Really Do To Defeat The Wingnuts wp.me/pIVTG-95O----------- 9 hours ago
- 156,230 hits