Local Impacts of a Government Shutdown

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.


  1. Shut it down.  I am tired as everyone else of giving.  My tax bracket is higher than what I spend on family outings anyways.  Have you seen the price of gas over the last year? (104% increase) Have you seen the price of food?  It’s time to put a stop to the non essential spending.  We cannot afford to give away. 
        I am all in support of helping people when we can.  What is the cost to the city of San Jose for being a sanction city?  Look around people.  We are cutting police/fire, parks, teen clubs, after school activities, sports etc.  We have to align our list of important issues.  We cannot be known as a subsidized city.

  2. So, the president has said (which I am told is the same as the Pope speaking ex Cathedra on matters of Church doctrine) . . . .  So the president has said that the war in Iraq is a “war of choice”, but the war in Afghanistan is a “war of necessity”.

    Does that mean that the Iraq war is a “non-essential” war, and all war employees should go home, but that the Afghanistan war is an essential government war, and that war employees should continue to get paid, along with Planned Parenthood employees?

    But wait. Planned Parenthood is all about upholding “choice”.  Doesn’t that put them in the same category as the Iraq war, and shouldn’t Planned Parenthood employees not get paid?

    I’m confused.

    Could some helpful Democrat with connections to the regime ask Harry Reid to clear this up?


    1. NEVER pay anything up front for ANY reason.
    2. NEVER extend credit for ANY reason.
    3. NEVER do ANYTHING until their check clears.
    4. NEVER expect ANY help from the US Government.
    5. NEVER rely on YOUR Government to bail you out.

  4. > Local Impacts of a Government Shutdown

    Those government employees furloughed by the “government shutdown” will simply be getting paid time off.

    When Harry Read finally puts on his grown-up suit and agrees to the microscopic spending cuts the Repubs are asking for, there will be sweetness and light and all will be forgiven.

    The Senators will go back to being “collegial” and the government employees will get full back pay for staying home, sleeping in,  and watching daytime TV.

  5. Frankly, this whole “government shut down” concept is more a Democratic Party propaganda slogan, than it is a meaningful reality.  They make it sounds so horrible (“The government will be shut down!”), but in reality, the military, the State Department, the FBI, the Border Patrol, Agricultural inspectors, the VA hospitals, air traffic controllers, etc., etc., etc., all the actually important aspects of the Federal government, will continue apace. But if tourists in D.C. want to visit the Washington Monument, or if I wanted to visit the Hamilton Avenue office of the SSA here in San Jose (where I’ve gone twice in the last 30 years), then tough luck, I guess.

    I think we’ll muddle through somehow.

  6. Wonder if the Treasury and Mint will stop printing funny money and issuing bonds to back our bad debt.

    Ryan’s budget plan is more politics than reality, but at least it has a goal of eliminating all deficit spending and paying down the national debt.  If Ross Perot weren’t such a dingbat, I’d say its time for him to come back and run again.

    Neither party is serious about fiscal policy and specialize in spending OPM (Other People’s Money).  And the sickest game is being played with our children’s future who will grow up in a second-tier nation bankrupted by the yuppie feel-good baby boomers.

    • Maybe “Neither party is serious about fiscal policy”, as Blair says. But the much maligned Tea Party IS.
      Unfortunately the socialist media machine has successfully conditioned the sheeple to simply dismiss them as ‘too extreme’.

      And, I wouldn’t worry too much about the next generation. Just like cute innocent little lambs they’ll instantly learn to accept the squalid, debt ridden confines that they’re born into as the natural order of things. It’s only us old koolaid resistant geezers who’ll be perpetually tortured by the knowledge that it didn’t have to be this way.

    • > Neither party is serious about fiscal policy and specialize in spending OPM (Other People’s Money).

      This is an oft-repeated meme on the internet.  Usually it goes something like:

      1. Both parties are run by the same people, or
      2. They’re just two sides of the same coin,
      3. Yadda, yadda, yadda

      If you really believe this, then politics doesn’t make any difference, there is no hope, and why bother to vote.

      WAIT!  THAT’S IT!  This is really a ruling class vote suppression meme.

      Personally, I believe that there is a profound difference in underlying political philosphies embraced by the political parties, but in the interest of winning elections, both parties try to fuzz up, and take the sharp edges off of their philosophies (or ideologies), in order to gain votes and win elections.

      Therefore, in order to understand what politicians really mean and to identify who are really the good guys and who are the bad guys, it is necessary to use the equivilent of a “decoder ring” to decrypt the messages of politicians and discover what they really mean in plain terms.

      When, for example, democrats say they are “for the little guy”, what they really mean is “WE are big guys, YOU are little guys, and stupid to boot. So WE are going to take all the money that society and the economy produces, borrow any additional money that corrupt foreign bankers will lend us, and then run your pathetic little lives for you.  We’ll tell you what kind of light bulbs to use, how little energy we’re going to allow you to have to drive your tin rickshaw to the mass transit station, and how much water you’re allowed to flush your turds.”

      “Remember, YOU are the little guy.  And without US, you’re sure to make a wrong decision.”

      Repubs ALSO say they are “for the little guy”, but mean it in an entirely different way.

      “You’re a little guy, and we don’t like it when the BIG GOVERNMENT BIG GUYS push you around.  So we’re going to do everything we can to turn the BIG GOVERNMENT BIG GUYS into BIG GOVERNMENT little guys.  And, oh by the way, when we do, you’ll be on your own.  And that’s the way it should be.  But you’re smart, and you’ll figure it out.”

      Same messages.  Very different ideas.

      If you think “they’re just the same”, you don’t understand the messages.

      • I think you’re taking a lot of partisan blather a bit too seriously.  A lot of the people actually holding political office do not have particularly strong ideological motivations.

        • > I think you’re taking a lot of partisan blather a bit too seriously.

          You failed to grasp my point.  I said you can’t take the blather at face value. You have to use your “decoder ring”.

          > A lot of the people actually holding political office do not have particularly strong ideological motivations.

          On the surface, yes.

          But as one ancient philsopher astutely observed:

          “One cannot NOT have a philisophy.”

          In the case of the politicians not having “particularly strong ideological motivations”, their motivations are really “it’s all about ME.”

          If you think it through, this is really the philosphy of the ancient Greek Sophist philisophers.  Their main focus was perfecting their skills in rhetoric, or in their words, the ability to “make the weaker argument seem like the stronger”.

          And what would such an extraordinary talent be useful for?  Why, always getting your way in politics.

          And history records that ancient Greek politicians sought out the Sophist philosophers to learn this very valuable skill.

          “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

  7. The notion of “the fog of war” seems to apply very well to the war over cutting the Obama federal budget.

    Voices on both sides seem to be saying “we won, they lost” and “they won, we lost”.

    My feeling is that if the Democrats REALLY lost, it would be easy to tell.

    Just like a tour of the battlefield after Waterloo, one would see bloody and mangled corpses all over the place, and the cries of wounded and maimed victims would be making a horrific din.

    But instead, nothing.  Just silent, smug, smirking from the Democrats.  The $1,600 billion dollar deficit became a $1,562 deficit, and oh by the way, the $38 billion that was cut was just pocket change in the back of the sock drawer left over from last year.

    The Democrats whine constantly about “the rich” hiding their wealth from the tax man.  But the Dems don’t seem to be slouches in hiding THEIR slush money from the spending cutters.

  8. The Congress and the President brayed about finding $38billion to cut out of the $3.7 Trillion budget.  That is the ONLY thing Congress has done ALL YEAR. 
    That’s 4 days worth of government spending, or a little more than 1% of the total budget.  BFD!

    This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich, especially in coastal California. It’s not even yacht and Learjet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there’s a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.

    More taxes is NOT the answer.  Less SPENDING is the answer.

  9. You really have to admire the genius of President Obama and his advisors for finding a way to get gasoline prices above four dollars per gallon.

    It is really providing a meaningful incentive to poor people to curb their greed, cut back on their hyper consumptive life styles and their driving, and use mass transit.

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