Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's unclear how much effect a federal government shutdown March 4 would have: even social security payments sound a little iffy

How much sacrifice could a government shutdown threatened on March 4 impose on some citizens?

There’s an article in the Los Angeles Times by Michael A. Memoli of its Washington Bureau, “Government shutdown would halt many, but not all services,” link here.

The president has said that social security payments would be delayed or affected, but the news story says that with the 1995 shutdowns during the Clinton years (and they had some duration),  checks continued to be “mailed”.  Presumably the electronic deposits would continue to be made by computer systems.  But processing of new applications and various other services (mortgage related, veterans, etc.) would stop. Real estate closings could be affected.

The Federal Times has a Feb. 17 article about SSA’s plans to have a “skeleton crew” which presumably can keep computer systems running for EDP, here

But TPM has an article by Brain Beutler in which Shala predicts missing social security payments and Medicaid, “The ‘Un-American’ results if Republicans really force a government shutdown”, link (website url) here

If social security payments were interfered with, they might not affect everyone, as different people are paid in different weeks.

And some federal employees would have temporary layoff and lose pay. Work schedules of intermittent workers would be affected, as some work would be lost (as would happen with snow days).

It’s not a nice feeling to be caught in the middle and “sacrificed” for someone else’s ideological agenda.

The Democrats are saying that the GOP is willing to force sacrifice on the unlucky to advance its ideological agenda.

The Washington Post has a story Feb. 21 by Ed O'Keefe, "What might happen if federal government shuts down again", link here.  I'm note sure what this passage means: "Federal agencies are beginning to instruct senior officials to prepare for a possible closure, ordering the cancellation of vacations or other personal commitments".  Does that mean all employees or only senior officials. It would be intolerable to bear the personal cost of busted airline reservations because of someone else's partisamship. 

ABC News video follows: 

No comments: