Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Your Government Shutdown

And, that will do it. Following a Congressional inability or unwillingness to come to terms on the Affordable Healthcare Act, they have instead chosen to close down government operations, furlough hundreds of thousands of federal employees and roll the dice on the recovering economy. This hasn’t happened in seventeen years, and Americans—most of whom somehow manage to spend most of their time getting along well enough with people who disagree with them—are understandably confused about how the Federal Government can’t seem to figure this one out. This is also of grave concern to other nations (the BBC notes that Syria, in the throes of a civil war, has managed to pay its bills and worker’s wages) and Mexico’s The News writes that America’s lawmakers “are facing the unthinkable prospect of shutting down the government as they squabble over the inconsequential accomplishment of a 10-week funding extension.” Americans, welcome to a country in the middle of a shutdown. Here’s what that means:

Certain government offices will be put on hold until a compromise is reached. Some of those offices include national parks, federal museums, a few overseas offices and IRS call centers. More troubling, nearly 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed without pay. They could be compensated after the shutdown is resolved, but it isn’t guaranteed. And perhaps most troubling of all is the potential affect a government shutdown could have on the economy. If things are quickly resolved, the impact will be pretty minimal. Otherwise, things could get dicey. …

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