OK, I know that I said that I was taking a vacation from politics for a while… it does still tend to get my blood pressure up, but I just couldn’t stand it. I heard this morning on the news that our Congress is all up in arms to passes a stop gap, bridge to cover the debt to avert a “government shutdown”. Oh No! what do we do? I say, So what if the government shuts down. They act like it’s the end of the world. Well, it’s not. Congress is having late night meetings, Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes and the debt ceiling while the Republicans want to cut spending, balance the budget, and leave the debt ceiling well enough alone. They all are crying that the other is party is holding up the works. Obama has gone on CNN saying that if we don’t get things going and work through this stalemate soon, the government might shut down. I ask, what if the government does shut down?
I say, let it shut down. What has the government done for me? What really constructive thing has the government done for anyone lately? I pay my taxes and get nothing but waste corruption. I guess if I were a federal employee and my livelihood depended on a tax dollar sponsored paycheck, well then, I would probably be worrying a lot more right now. We all know that the government bureaucracy is rife with waste and is in desperate need of thinning. But, as a private citizen of this great country, I say “what could possibly happen that is so horrible if the government were to shut down? What nightmares would a government shutdown cause Americans in general?
Witness the horror….
Social Security will continue. The government would continue to make Social Security payments to the 53 million beneficiaries. “We will continue to process applications for benefits, but it might take longer if a shutdown does occur,” said Mark Hinkle, a spokesman for Social Security. “The local offices will open for limited services. We are working on the long term specifics.” With a smaller workforce, the backlog of applications for Social Security disability benefits would grow larger, an agency officials said.
Healthcare will continue. Medicare, the program for people who are 65 and older would continue to pay doctors and hospitals for several weeks, using money from its trust funds…
Passports may be put on hold. As a national security agency, the State Department would continue operations, but some activities, like issuing passports for travelers and visas for foreigners coming to the United States, could stop or face significant delays. Emergency consular services would continue.
The Post offices would maintain their regular hours and mail delivery would continue.
The food stamp program will continue. Since the government makes the money available to states by the beginning of each month, advocates for food stamp recipients predicted no immediate impact on benefits. “They should be O.K. for at least an additional thirty days after a shutdown,” said Stacy Dean, a food stamp expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The military will continue. Active-duty personnel would continue to work and earn pay during a shutdown, but would generally not receive an actual paychecks until Congress appropriated money at some later date. While troops already in combat zones might not get additional payment until a new budget is approved by Congress. The Department of Homeland Security expects to keep its “frontline” officers on duty during any government shutdown. This includes all immigration agents, border-patrol officers and airport screeners. About 80 percent of the agency’s employees are considered frontline and therefore protected from furloughs.
Members of Congress would also continue working… and getting paid for what they do!
Most national museums and parks are considered as non-essential would be closed through the shutdown.
Federal courts will remain open, although court officials say the loss of “non-essential” personnel could slow operations.
“During the last major shutdown, the Social Security Administration mailed checks throughout the crisis, and a close reading of established law makes clear the agency has the legal authority to do so again,” according to CNN. However, it’s possible that no new claims would be processed.
Medicare would also continue to process patients, at least in the short term.
Most small-business lending programs of the U.S. Small Business Administration will come to a halt. However, work on disaster loans will continue, as well as some of the Inspector General’s investigative work, the preferred security bond program for builders and work on previously approved real estate loans to small firms will still go forward.
Most federal campgrounds in National Forest areas will close and the grass will grow long at Arlington National Cemetery.
All federal agencies have been required to have a plan in case of a government shutdown, and to regularly update that plan, since 1980, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Overall, a “government shutdown” will have no real impact on anyone’s life. Everything goes on. Non-essential positions may be effected. The politicians hate this because all of those “non-essential” positions are friends or relatives of those very politicians. The positions that they are not directly related to are union positions and they really hate angering that big union bear. I say let them go. It’s high time that we downsize government just a little. But in the meantime …Write your congressman and tell them all to man up, spend less , waste less, and be responsible!