What Does The Government Shutdown Mean? – How It Will Affect The Average Person
A government shutdown occurred at midnight this morning, and today it has people wondering how it's going to affect their lives until this whole thing gets sorted out. For the most part, unless they work for the government, most people's lives won't change at all. Check out a pretty comprehensive list of people affected and things you will be unable to do during the shutdown after the jump!
First of all, not all government employees will be out of work until the shutdown ends, but a lot of them will. The ones who DO work likely won't be getting paid (other than those in the military) until after the shutdown as been resolved. Here's who will be working:
- Members of the military
- Air traffic controllers
- People who work on the power grid
- Federal guards
- People working for social security, welfare, and other benefit programs
- Mail carriers
- Emergency medical care workers
- Food inspectors
- Border patrol officers
- Prison guards
- Members of Congress
- The President
Who may be staying home? Well, that could possibly be the 1.2 million "non-essential" employees of the U.S. Government like Congressional Staffers and White House staffers. This also affects park rangers and museum workers, which could have ended up really hurting some ArtPrize entries, but didn't. We'll get to that in a minute.
So, really, how will this shutdown affect you? For the most part, it won't very much. The U.S. Postal Service will still be delivering mail (they are completely self-funded so the shutdown doesn't shut them down). But, here are some things that you won't be able to do until the shutdown is resolved:
- Go to a federally-funded museum. - This includes the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum which is the home to 25 ArtPrize pieces including four pieces that are in the top ten. All of the pieces that are in the top 10 have been moved outside of the museum. Unfortunately, you won't be able to get in to the museum to see the rest of the pieces.
- Get a firearms permit
- Verify the immigration status of any of your employees
- Get a replacement Social Security card
- Get a new passport
- Get any new veteran or Social Security benefit requests processed
- Go to a national park
- Apply to take part in any new federally funded clinical studies
- Rely on the CDC to track any new flu outbreaks
- Get a federally-guaranteed new home loan
If you're old enough to remember the last government shutdown, you just hope that this shutdown doesn't last 28 days like the last one did. If nothing else, this type of situation teaches us how much of an impact the federal government has on our day-to-day life.