Currently, if you have not noticed, the American Government has shut down. But what does that mean? Are we no longer a country? Do we no longer need to abide to laws and whatnot? Well, here’s a brief run through on what the government shut down means.
The American Shutdown of 2013 is due to Republicans and Democrats of the House of Congress not coming to an agree on a spending plan for the fiscal year that started last Tuesday on October 1st 2013. Because of this the government had to shut down. The issue for the disagreement resulted from Republicans wanting to derail the Affordable Care Act, now known as Obamacare.
However, some services are still running. From Social Security, Food Stamps, Air traffic control, and active military pay will continue function. And, oddly enough, members of Congress will still receive their pay despite the shutdown.
So to address the initial impact:
Q: What will happen to mail delivery and what of post offices operation hours?
A: The Postal Service is partial independent entity within the government and can function on its own so the postal service is not affected by the shutdown.
Q: What about Medicare and Medi-Cal?
A: Checks will continue to be mailed out because they do not depend on the annual appropriations of the government. However, there may be delays with processing new applicants and receiving responses regarding benefits.
Q: How about Obamacare?
A: This is a new federal healthcare law and while it is the middle of a standoff in Washington will in fact continues unaffected. You can still enroll online for healthcare to buy coverage if needed, however the only problem you may receive is technical difficulty because many have been trying to register since it the site launched last Tuesday.
Q: How about national parks?
A: Any federal parks and monuments are closed. These are probably the most affected by the shutdown, and as a result have received much attention the past few days. Particularly by Republicans (who purposefully started the shutdown) trying to use the shutdown of War Veteran monuments and tours of the White House to try and obtain their desire in striking down Obamacare.
Q: What’s the effect of all this on the economy?
A: It depends on how long the shutdown lasts. There is an estimated several hundred thousand civilian workers who will not get their paychecks while the shutdown lasts. If this happens it will surly take money out of the economy.
An analysis by Moody’s Analytics estimates suggests that the impact on incomes could be about $200 million per day. If the shutdown lasts three or four weeks, the economic growth could be cut in half during the fourth quarter of the year.
Q: Will federal workers get paid retroactively once the shutdown ends?
A: Federal workers like Police Officers, Firefighters, anyone who receives a paycheck from the federal government will receive their pay once the shutdown is over.
However, those who fall under furlough will be paid only if Congress decides to approve retroactive pay. In the government shutdown of 1995 and 1996, Congress did approve the retroactive pay but for the 2013 Shutdown there is no guarantee.
The truth about the government shutdown is state and local governments are the sole providers of services to American citizens. Schools, highways, water, sanitation and etc. fall under state and local responsibilities. What the federal government handles are several benefit programs, which are not truly affected.
Again, most of what the federal government does in domestic policy like overseeing grants and contracts and regulating businesses will be something that will not be in affect like paying those who are to protect us.