11 Reasons Why A Government Shutdown Is Terrible For You
The government is hours away from its first shutdown since 1996. Here’s why it would be awful:
1. HUGE NUMBER OF FURLOUGHS: As many as 800,000 of the country’s 2.1 million federal workers could be furloughed as the result of a shutdown.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ON HOLD: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says that the regulator would “effectively shut down” without a deal to fund the government. The EPA wouldn’t be able to pay its employees and most of its regulatory functions would be put on hold until a deal is reached.
3. DISEASE MONITORING: In the event of a shutdown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have to halt a critical seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of the flu.
4. NUTRITION SUPPORT SLASHED: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, a program to provide healthy food for low-income pregnant women and new moms, would have its federal funding cut in the face of a shutdown.
5. MAKING THE BUDGET DEFICIT WORSE: Despite the Republican party’s insistence on fiscal responsibility, a government shutdown would “likely add to the budget deficit,” according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Ethan Harris.
6. FOOD SAFETY: Most routine FDA food safety inspections would be suspended in the case of a shutdown.
7. NO BACK PAY: Employees of one U.S. attorney have been warned that there is a “real possibility” they may not receive back pay if the government shuts down.
8. WORKPLACE SAFETY: Most Labor Department investigations into workplace safety and discrimination would cease if a deal is not reached to avert a shutdown.
9. NATIONAL PARKS, MUSEUMS (AND PANDAS!): The country’s national parks would be forced to close without a government funding deal, as would Smithsonian Museums, disappointing countless potential visitors. But humans wouldn’t be the only victims of a shutdown. The National Zoo would close and turn off its panda cams, which means no more livestreaming of adorable pandas.
10. STOCK MARKET PANIC: The stock market reacted negatively on Monday amidst worries about a shutdown and an upcoming fight to raise the country’s debt ceiling. The lack of a resolution could mean more market madness to come.
11. DOJ DISRUPTION: Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday warned that a shutdown would have a “disruptive impact” on operations at the Justice Department. He pointed fingers at the House of Representatives and stated that there are “good, hard-working Americans who are going to suffer because of this dysfunction.”
Don’t forget what the shutdown is really about
1) This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That’s it. That’s why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt.
2) The “continuing resolution” only funds the government for six weeks. So even if all goes well Monday night we’ll be doing this again in November.
3) Republicans are now discussing a “one-week CR,” which would mean we’d be doing this again in seven days — and we’d be that much closer to the debt ceiling.
4) The leadership of the Republican Party agrees that the debt ceiling absolutely must be lifted. “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government,” House Speaker John Boehner said. But they also maintain that they are willing to breach the debt limit, risking the full faith and credit of the federal government. As my colleague Greg Sargent has written in the Plum Line, this is a “glaring contradiction” at the heart of the GOP’s position.
5) A few months ago, the conventional wisdom was that the negotiations over funding the government would hinge on how to replace sequestration, as the cuts are proving too deep for either Democratic or Republican appropriators. Instead, sequestration’s cuts have been mostly left alone, and the argument has been entirely about Obamacare.
6) Boehner isn’t really in control of his House conference, and he has no idea how to get out of this. Remember, Boehner’s initial preference was to simply fund the government. His members forced him to accept Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s defunding plan. After the Senate rejected Cruz’s plan, Boehner again wanted to simply fund the government. He lost again. As the National Review’s Robert Costa reported, “For now, Boehner doesn’t have a plan beyond passing this resolution and waiting to see what happens.”
7) Democrats won more votes than Republicans in the last election. That was true in the presidential campaign. It was true in the Senate campaigns. And it was true in the House campaigns.
That doesn’t mean the Republican Party is under any obligation to stand back and let Democrats do as they please. But imagine if the Republican Party had won the 2012 election and Senate Democrats threatened to breach the debt ceiling and cause a financial crisis unless Republicans added a public option to Obamacare. Does anyone think a President Mitt Romney would find that position reasonable? Does anyone think that position would be reasonable?
Source: Ezra Klein @ Washington Post