Government Shutdown? What It Would Mean For You

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

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.”

  • Heather

    Cut the national debt by lowering the salaries of everyone in the government! Give them a lower-middle class income like the rest of us!

    • Mike

      So they can be even more swayed by lobbyist dollars! But seriously, better to reduce defense spending…it’s over half of expenditures as it is, and we’ll be less likely to get into more expensive meddling overseas putting American lives at risk and burdening our children with a massive debt.

  • james young


    • Laurie

      realy; that is what you are concerned abuout yourself!!!! what about the soldiers who are fighting for you to have a free country not getting paid for risking their lives

      • Michael E. Harvey

        Military still gets paid under the “essential services” exception.

  • emom

    I say stop paying all those over inflated egotistical, fatheaded politicians, that is whats wrong with the budget, their over psending of resources. they create job after job after job for their friends and family and they do absolutly nothing. Then spend millions on frivoulous stuff. I am sick of their brand of PUSHING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AROUND. Threatening us with a shut down to minipilate us into giving them more money. You watch prices , taxes, cost will go up to elviate THEIR cost.. it happens all the time. we will pay more for taxes those breaks they gave us watch them go back to what they were at. FEEL THE PINCH , this was all in their plans , give us a false belief only to crush us and make us work harder…. shut them down but continue services to vital people, the governemnt needs to shut their salaray’s off.

  • Denise

    How will we know the difference! Oh ya… there won’t be any middle of the night meetings to take more $$ out of our pockets!

    So what does that mean? they close the doors… do the people still get paid? or will they get back pay for the days the governement was closed? They can’t sign up for unemployement – there won’t be anyone there! Oh… can they use vacation/sick time so they get paid back pay when they get back? All it means is a VACATION for the government – they’ll get all their $$ when they decide to go back to work after they’ve once again come close to crippling the good ol USA!

    what does it mean for us… more criminals on the streets breaking into cars and houses to make ends meet!

    When the government starts running itself like the private sector – we might finally get some people in there that can make a difference! Cutbacks… that’s what we all have to live with! The Government needs to get lean and mean… not over inflated and lazy – like they are now!

  • Mary

    If this shutdown happens, will the FAA be operating? TSA? What government employees will work and who will not?

    • Michael E. Harvey

      FAA (especially air traffic control) is considered essential services because of various treaties, so it won’t shut down.

      Not sure about TSA, they’re just there to make you feel secure.

  • Laurie

    all i have to say is how dare the congress take their pay if the goverment shuts down while our soldiers are risking their life to keep our country free from harm

  • Landon D

    Shut em down without pay! All fed employees should get no compensation for this. The ones who can and do continue to work should get payed but that is it. And these politicians should be relieved of their post for failing the people who voted for them. And all of the fictitious jobs they created for their friends should be terminated as well. It would be a very good time to do away with lobbyists and their ridiculous power they have in this country. But none of this will happen. The system has been amended to make this corruption possible while simultaneously getting richer off of inaction.

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