What?If you were surfing the Internet for even a few seconds last night it was hard to miss all the news about the government shutdown.  The shutdown came about after Congress failed to meet their Monday deadline for passing a budget.  President Barack Obama stated, “unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility.  It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again.''

Let’s take a few minutes and look at the immediate effects of the government shutdown.

What Are the Immediate Consequences of a Government Shutdown?

  • All national park services will close. This means that campers and visitors will have 48 hours to leave their campsites. These include the Statue of Liberty in New York, Skyline Drive in Virginia, and the Liberty Bell.  This may be damaging to the already slow economy because nearby hotels and restaurants will probably stay empty during this time.
  • Those veterans waiting to hear a decision regarding disability claims are out of luck because the Board of Veterans Appeals will not be issuing rulings during this time.
  • It doesn’t look good for new patients.  During this time, the National Institutes of Health will not see any new patients for clinical research purposes.
  • Federal medical research will be reduced.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not conduct their routine food inspections. This may pose many dangers, as the FDA helps us stay up to date with the many foods to avoid.
  • The government will not hear any complaints made by airline passengers
  • The government will not deal with automobile recalls, new car safety testing and ratings.
  • Nearly half the Defense Department's civilian employees will be on leave.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics will terminate nearly all of its function, thereby disturbing economic data. This data is generally used by the stock market as economic indicators.

Of course, the longer it takes to come to a decision regarding the issues giving rise to a government shutdown, the more we will feel its consequences in our daily lives and especially in our economy.  According to Goldman Sachs’s assessment, “a three-week shutdown would slow the economy's annual growth rate in the October-December quarter by up to 0.9 of a percentage point.”  I hope that this shutdown is brief.

What are your thoughts?