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Government Shutdown? What It Would Mean For You

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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File Image (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

File Image (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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For The Family

BOSTON (CBS) – It has been about 15 years since we’ve seen anything like this – a partial shutdown of the federal government is looking more and more likely.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports



In the short term, a shutdown would likely result in a few inconveniences.

A longer shutdown, some experts fear, might drive the country into another recession.

During a shutdown, your mail will still arrive, as will peoples’ Social Security checks.

However, it’s unlikely the Social Security Administration will be processing new applications for retirees or issuing cards for newborns.

It’s still tax time, and yes, you still must file by April 18th. But the shutdown could slow your refund.

Before you get there, though, it is worth noting that if you have questions about your return, no one will be picking up IRS phone lines to answer those questions.

Applications for passports and travel visas won’t be processed during a shutdown. That’s bad news if you’re going abroad.

Your domestic vacation options will get a bit narrower as well, since a government shutdown closes national parks.

Some support staff might remain, but landmarks like the Bunker Hill Memorial and presidential libraries like John F. Kennedy’s in Boston will be off limits to tourists.

But it might not all be doom and gloom, at least according to Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s David King.

“There’s some reasons actually to applaud the shutdown of government,” said King.

While King thinks we will avoid a shutdown, he says it would work as a good “device to have that confrontation, that argument” about fixing the nation’s finances.

“That’s what this is ultimately about,” said King, “How are you going to cut the national debt? It has to be done.”

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