Will a Government Shutdown Happen? I Pray Not.

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    Hola!!  It’s been a few weeks since the Hokie Guru has blogged here on Blue Virginia… I’m back for a little while… the Guru’s been busy with all things named Georgetown Public Policy Institute (Master of Policy Management – Inspectors General Program).  But I’m back today to talk about a potential government shutdown (which is the nervous time for all federal employees… and realize that the Guru’s opinions are his own and he’s not speaking for the government)

    Potential Government Shutdown

    Want to know about the impact of a government shutdown?  Here is some required reading from the Congressional Research Service.  The report addressed some of the causes and effects of a government shutdown.  Several important funding streams, such as social security, veteran’s benefits, and education funding, can be stopped (or at best, delayed substantially) during a shutdown.  Passport and visa applications go unprocessed, national parks are closed, and the federal hiring process (that many say is already broken) grinds to a halt. Ed O’Keefe from the Washington Post has a great article on the impact of a government shutdown in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area.  

    Federal employees (and many contractors) are not paid during the shutdown, but will most likely get back pay upon return to work.  You are not permitted to work during the shutdown and if you do, you will be fined (agencies cannot accept volunteer work). I was employed during the last shutdown (which should tell you how long I’ve been in government… smh, it’s going to be 16 years in May 2011) and I really thought that no political party wanted to go there again.  However, partisan tensions are among the worst I’ve seen in Washington in several years.

    How do you prepare for a government shutdown (knowing you might not get paid for a while)?  This is a good time to stop eating at restaurants, limit the use of your credit cards, institute that savings account, maybe not go on that big vacation you planned, don’t make any big purchases, etc.  Realize I’m tell you to stop spending… and I shouldn’t be doing that because consumer spending drives the economy, but in uncertain times, maybe one can hold off on some of the unnecessary purchases.  I have to think that cooler heads will prevail because a government shutdown would indeed have a debilitating impact on the economy. Pray for cooler heads.