With Republicans and Democrats in Washington still haggling over a possible federal funding compromise, the possibility of a government shutdown today looms ever more ominous. It has been almost two decades since the last shut down, so it is probably worth reminding ourselves of how it will likely impact everyone.
Mail will be delivered, since the US Post Office is independently funded. This is good news for current Social Security and Medicare recipients, who will still be getting their checks. The bad news is for people applying to receive Social Security and Medicare, since their applications will not be processed.
If you want to fly off and forget about all the fighting over funding, the good news is that air traffic controllers will still be working. Their job is considered essential. If, on the other hand, you are thinking of flying overseas, check to see if you have a valid passport, because new passport applications will be held up. You could also escape to a vast park and lose yourself in the wild, but make sure it is a state park, not a national park. They will all be closed, so Yosemite is not an option.
One way that this will affect the local economy directly is that the Federal Housing Administration will not be guaranteeing any mortgage loans during the shutdown. That will result in a slump in sales in what is already a depressed market.
Local works projects could also be delayed because the Environmental Protection Agency will stop releasing its environmental impact reports and issuing construction permits. That, in turn, will have an impact on local construction jobs, which are already facing a depressed market.
Frustrated by all this? Ready to round up all the members of Congress and ship them off to Alcatraz until they reach an agreement? Don’t count on it. Alcatraz is a national park, so it will be closed.
Read More at the Business Journal.