As of January 23rd, 2019, the longest government shutdown in American history continues. The first month of the year is coming to a close and nearly 400,000 federal workers have not received their pay for the services they provide. Several workers report receiving a check of net $0 while others have even received checks in the amount of deficits due to social security and other withholdings.
Clearly, this practice does not bode well with the American population, especially those who are now unable to make rent or buy groceries for their families. While Congress promises that these furloughed workers will receive backpay, the times and dates of said compensation are under discussion. This means that it could be months after the government gets up and running again before these employees receive pay.
Who sees the Worst of It:
Government workers like Senators, Congressmen and women, and military personnel are receiving their full pay during the government shutdown.
However, lower contracted workers —the 9-5ers; the ones who live paycheck to paycheck—are the ones receiving deficits on their checks.
- Cafeteria Workers
- Security Guards
- Maintenance Workers
Workers who keep the buildings up and running are receiving no compensation for the services they provide. Yet, they are expected to show up to work every day and proceed through life as normal. So not only is the government depriving them of the means they need to survive, but the government is also preventing them from going out and getting some temporary independent contracting work to meet ends meet.
This does not bode well with the greater population.
The families of these workers are clearly in financial distress. This is a tragedy in and of itself. To add insult to injury, the economy is greatly affected by these temporary layoffs as well.
While President Trump assures us that the shutdown will not hurt the economy in the long run, long-term government shutdown historically does have a great effect on the business market. When the market is affected, so too is the economy.
Small business owners especially feel the negative impact of the government shutdown, especially so early in the year.
First, there are no small business loans
When the banks are in suspension due to federal withholdings, all of their lending operations are temporarily locked. This leaves upstarts and well-established businesses in a serious bind. Whether they were in financial need before the government shutdown or the shutdown caused their financial need, these businesses are left with few options to meet their financial needs.
Additionally, there is less communication with the IRS. This makes processing taxes a slower and more labor-intensive project.
International travel is stunted. Hiring takes longer. Any government grants will surely be delayed in their delivery.
The government shutting down for an extended period of time is no small matter. Whether or not the President claims it will not affect the American economy, the government shutdown creates a state of desperation in the lives of financially struggling Americans.
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