Government shutdown: Nightmare or paid vacation?

If there is a government shutdown, either tonight or a couple of nights before Christmas, what will it mean to you? Feds who are forced to stay home will get paid. Eventually. So is that a problem? Are you living paycheck to paycheck?

Many veterans of government service have learned to take shutdowns in stride. Treat them as a vacation. Either a time to sleep in late, catch up with chores or take a mini-unplanned trip. Just not to a national park.

And what about government contractors? If projects and offices where they are working are shut down, so are they. Except in the private sector, it’s usually no work, no pay. Awkward!

For lots of feds and contractors, the threat of a shutdown — especially this time of year — presents all sorts of problems. Members of Congress who favor shutdowns as a tool (both Democrats and Republicans) like to think and say they are sticking it to Washington. And they are. The D.C. metro area has the largest concentration of federal workers in the nation. But California has more feds than any state. And there are literally hundreds of communities around the nation whose job base (and economies) depend on the federal government. If there is a military base, a federal prison, a VA facility or an IRS center near you, it may be the largest employer in the area. Many parts of Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Washington state depend on Uncle Sam’s presence. If you live, work, eat and spend money in Ogden, Utah, odds are you or somebody in the family works for the Interior Department, the IRS or the Air Force. There are other Ogdens — Anniston and Huntsville, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; San Antonio, and more — in every state. The American Federation of Government Employees is believed to be the largest union in the state of Oklahoma.

For most of us who don’t work for the government, a shutdown is a stupid exercise where politicians (whose paychecks will continue to flow) play chicken using their own voters as pawns. But for you, it is a lot more than a stupid political game.

So what’s your take? Is it going to happen, and if so, when and for how long? What has prepping for the shutdown cost your agency in hours, labor and work not done? If it is extended (Happy New Year?), what will not getting paid on time do to your spending (and eating) habits? Would it be enough to curtail or wreck your holiday plans? Let us know and we’ll let them — the political masterminds — know. Love to hear from you: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The yellow Manila envelope gets its name from Manila hemp, the fiber from which it’s made.

Source: Jam Blog