Posted: 12:05 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
SPECIAL REPORT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
By Jack Torry
Key questions if the government shuts down
Q: Who will be furloughed?
A; About 800,000 federal employees across the country, including more than 40 percent of the civilian workforce of 1.2 million.
Q: Who decides who can keep working and who can’t?
A: Basically, essential – or as the government now phrases it, excepted — staff are kept on the job. For the most part, federal workers providing national security, medical care, air traffic control, airport security, border protection, prisoner custody and disaster assistance would continue working.
Q: Will mail service continue?
A: Yes. The Postal Service is self-funded and thus unaffected by the shutdown. Also, enrollment under the new federal health care exchanges will go on as scheduled, according to the Obama administration.
Q; If I’m not a federal employee, how will this affect me?
A: Depending on how long it lasts, everyone will likely feel it in one way or another. Federal parks and museums, such as the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, will be closed. Medical research will be curtailed. New Social Security and Medicare claims could be delayed. Passport applications won’t be processed. An extended shutdown would drain rainy day accounts. Many federal agencies are already warning of slowdowns in customer service.
Q: If I’m an “excepted’ federal employee, will I still get paid?
A: Not right away. Also, it is up to Congress whether furloughed employees will get back pay. Although that has happened in the past, it is not at all clear whether it would happen this time.
Q: How will Wright-Patterson be affected?
A; Col. Cassie Barlow, the base commander, has predicted that 8,700 civilian employees will be furloughed if no deal is reached. Some of them were furloughed earlier this year as part of the sequestration showdown. Barlow says it is the first time the military has had a scheduled furlough and an emergency furlough in the same 12-month period.
Q: What about Congress. Will they be furloughed?
Q: Will this impact the stock market or the economy?
A; Again, it depends how long it lasts, but the initial indication is that Wall Street is nervous. Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, said a partial shutdown would trim economic growth by 0.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter, even if it lasted only four days. An impasse of a month would cut growth by 1.4 percentage points, and an interruption of two months ‘would likely precipitate another recession.”
We’re sorry if your newspaper arrived late today, but we extended our deadlines to give you the latest information on the government shutdown.