Shutdown Slowly Affects Everyone
Want to report a dangerous toy to the government? Leave a message. If it’s life-threatening, they’ll get back to you.
Got your eye on one of those 400 new border patrol jobs the feds have open? Forget it. That program’s off for now.
Feel the urge to join the few, the proud, the Marines? The recruiting offices are closed.
The average American may not feel the pinch of the federal government right this minute, but as the days drag on, the number of people who might get jilted is multiplying.
All Americans will eventually feel it, because they’ll likely have to pay federal employees for the lost days - even though no work was done - at a tune of $150 million a day.
“A lot of Americans can walk down the street and say, ‘Well, this doesn’t affect me,”’ said White House spokesman Mike McCurry. “But it does affect them, because it affects their pocketbook.”
Here’s an update:
President Clinton late last week ordered 52,000 workers back on the job starting Monday to handle new claims for Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits.
But if there’s no deal by Tuesday, some 3.3 million veterans and survivors may not get their December benefit checks.
Almost 3 million people didn’t get to enjoy one of the nation’s parks.
Another 320,000 taxpayers - 80,000 a day - got a recording at the IRS tip line.
This week, with federal funds axed to states, some 60,000 Head Start children stand to have their programs halted.
With the Christmas season approaching, shiploads of toys are coming in from overseas - but no consumer product agents are at the ports to weed out the dangerous ones.
Anyone calling the Commission on Civil Rights to complain about a discriminating boss is out of luck.
One week of shutdown means about 100,000 people can’t get State Department visas to travel overseas.
For 20,000 students and their parents trying for federal student loans or Pell grants, the shutdown means that their applications cannot be processed.
The White House has warned that funding for rehabilitation services for 1.2 million people with disabilities soon will run out.
The Education Department’s civil rights office, which handles discrimination complaints, is closed.
Each day, the government loses $3 million worth of fines and other penalties against polluters. Meanwhile, there are 240 calls daily about water contamination that aren’t being probed.
Mortgages for 2,500 families daily are being held up while 32,000 homeless people are not getting aid. And nearly 9,500 people who have HIV or AIDS are losing services funded with federal money with non-profit organizations.
Life has carried on more or less as usual for the active-duty military during the partial government shutdown, but that will change if the crisis continues past Dec. 1 - the next military payday.