9/27/2013 2:15 PM ET|
13 ways a government shutdown could hurt you
If a shutdown does occur this time around, it would inconvenience the public in ways large and small. Consider the impacts of the shutdown in 1995.
As the possibility of a government shutdown moves into sharper focus with each passing hour, all eyes are on the ways it could hurt everyday Americans.
Back in 1995, when funding for the government expired, non-essential services came to a halt. National parks and museums were closed; passport processing was delayed. Even the National Weather Service cut back on its regular reports.
But in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, the president has broad discretion over what departments and agencies should be kept open, making it difficult to quantify exactly how much it would cost the government -- and how it would affect the public -- if a shutdown were to happen.
"Although a government shutdown would be disruptive, the impact will depend on the duration and the degree, on how tight or loose the exceptions are," Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at J. H. Cohn and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor, said in 2011, when another shutdown loomed. "But the bigger impact is its demonstration of political impasse regarding the country's unsustainable fiscal posture... The financial market implications of such an impasse should not be underestimated."
"I don't think there is a full appreciation of the impact of a shutdown on the bottom line of government," said Max Stier, president and CEO at the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan think tank. "Most agencies are ill prepared for the disruption."
A significant majority of Washington budget and policy experts surveyed by The Fiscal Times in 2011 said they expected a government shutdown of at least a few days after the latest stop-gap spending measure expires. (A shutdown was narrowly avoided that year.)
If a shutdown does occur this time around, it would inconvenience the public in ways large and small. Consider some of the impacts of the three-week shutdown back in 1995-1996 -- all of which could be repeated this time around:
1. New patients were no longer accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, NIH disease hotlines and CDC disease surveillance were stopped.
2. Work on more than 3,500 bankruptcy cases in the federal court system was suspended.
3. Hundreds of thousands of "non-essential" federal workers were furloughed for three weeks, from mid-December 1995 to early January of 1996. (Some of those workers eventually received back pay for their missed days.)
4. Of $18 billion in Washington, D.C., area federal contracts, $3.7 billion (over 20%) were affected adversely by the funding lapse.
5. Some 368 National Park Service sites closed -- a loss of 7 million visitors. The National Park Service administers 84.4 million acres of federal land in 49 states and other federal territories.
6. National museums and monuments closed, including the Smithsonian and other government buildings, with an estimated loss of about 2 million visitors.
7. Over 600 toxic waste dump sites went untended and uncleaned during the last shutdown. Some 2,400 Superfund employees did not work.
8. The recruiting and testing of new law enforcement officials -- including 400 Border Patrol agents -- were suspended.
9. During the last shutdown, 20,000 to 30,000 applications for visas by foreigners went unprocessed each day, along with 200,000 applications for U.S. passports. Airlines also suffered: Many prospective travelers were unable to fly.
10. The Department of Veterans Affairs had to cut many of its services, including health care, welfare, travel, and finance; the department could not process compensation claims.
11. The shutdown in 1995 meant a delay in processing alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives applications by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).
12. The National Weather Service did not produce its regular reports during the 1995-1996 shutdown.
13. New Social Security claims were not processed because the agency furloughed over 61,000 employees. As the shutdown continued, the agency regrouped, recalling workers to start processing new claims again.
It's clear that government shutdowns can be nasty business: They've required the cessation or the reduction of government activities and affected all sectors of the economy, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was one of the architects of the 1995 government shutdown which lasted 21 days. It was settled when President Clinton submitted a budget that proposed to eliminate the federal deficit in seven years, according to Time magazine.
The issues that were presented then and ultimately triggered the 1995 shutdown were the same as in 2011 and eerily similar to 2013 as well. June O'Neill, who was CBO director in 1995, says that Congress couldn't agree on a budget resolution for the coming year and was haggling over whether to raise the debt ceiling in 2011. The economy was also recovering from the 1991 recession and growth was sluggish, which is also similar to today. "There was a great deal of posturing then as there is now," O'Neill recalled in 2011. "The world would come to an end if the debt ceiling wasn't raised."
But in 1995, it was more about Gingrich proving he was just as powerful as the Clinton administration, she said.
More from The Fiscal Times
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And never pay it ever again !!!!!!!
the basic of finance 101 is that you only spend what you have.
how complicated is that???
Sounds like paid vacation for um.
Now by God, if they are "non-essential" , WHY IN THE H3LL was they hired in the first place !!!!!!!!!
AND, another issue, they get back paid, SO why are they furloughed, they might as well be working. !!! OH !! It's vacation for um !!!
99% of American's wouldn't notice that the Government shutdown as long as the contract that were funded continue to do so. 20% of contracts were affected by the egos of Federal employees that said the contractors couldn't work without their guidance. And many of the contracts 90% of Americans wouldn't miss if they went away.
As a Federal employee, I say shut it down and don't give us pay for the time we don't work.
If they shut down, the actual impact on the budget won't be much, they still need to cut programs to actually affect the size of the budget.
Look like not much impact at all, they might shut down forever if there is no money.
"2. Work on more than 3,500 bankruptcy cases in the federal court system was suspended."
Oh yeah, that would be a crying shame to have to slow down THAT ! Not !!
The Government better not let Obama decide on who is open and who is closed? He is the reason we are all in this mess. People should not act on ideas until there is sufficient funds for an idea to become a reality. The budget will never be balanced as long as there is 3/4 of all adult workforce out of work. President Obama didn't mind taking a African family Vacation at the taxpayer expense vacation this past summer when he should have been more conscience of less tax dollars for this trip. The African people didn't even want him there.
Top 20 reasons that the Affordable Healthcare act is a bad idea.
18. Not what the American people need right now.
17. No tax dollars to fund this Act the way it is written in the bill.
16. Mainstream American workforce prefer to have jobs and pay their taxes instead of worry if they will be taxes by the IRS for not having affordable insurance.
15. majority of all adult workforce not working will have to be on Medicaid.
14. 1/4 of all people working and paying taxes will grip because these other 3/4 of workforce is on Medicaid.
13, Democrats in political offices that really do not know what is going on nor they care about the American people.
12.. Lousy timing.
11. People who will not stand up to the supreme Court and the Executive Branches and tell them that they are out of line.
10. A man who throws fits because he can't have his way and thinks that he is smarter that the most people on the planet.
9. Did I say President Obama's way of thinking? Well that!
8. Violates the 10th amendment in that it forces the people of states to buy something that only the states can govern themselves.
7. It was thought up by a Democratic Donkey.
6. It makes people who pay the least to have the biggest deductibles per person that has to be paid per year per person before the insurance will pay 80% of the cost in which you will have to eventually pay the last 20% of the cost or have a debt collector calling you.
5. The credit is for about $5000. This is not per person. If your deductible is $3000 for the year then each person in your family as that same deductible but has to pay it separate.
4. You are bound to be on Medicaid if you are unemployed and looking for work.
The government intends to pay all bills for Medicaid out of all the working people tax dollars (all 1/4 of all adult workforce.)
3. Democrats who have never read the bill, but will agree with anything Obama says.
2. We cannot balance the budget and pay for healthcare for the general public of the United states because we cannot continue to borrow money we cannot repay.
1. President Obama thought it up and said he was also going to create jobs by appropriating funds for new infrastructure of our federal highways and bridges. He was going to create jobs by giving money to the big banks to loan to small businesses that already had to close their doors and give pinks slips to all its employees.
Where are all these jobs you created Mr. President? I guess you failed American History in college, because if you would had read it, then you would known that Prohibition didn't work. Infact it caused the Great Stock Market crash when Investors started taking their money out of businesses that had something to do with Alcohol! Then other people on fear the market would collapse took their money out as well and it started the Great Depression.
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