Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Quiet Days and Lonely Desks


Photographer: Desk Driver
This photo is in the public domain worldwide.
Once bustling halls and offices are quiet today.  The lonely stillness would send shutters up spines of dwellers, if any in fact could breach the pad locks securing the federally owned buildings.

818,000 public servants feel their bodies clinch as they wonder where their next rent check, or sack of groceries, will come from.  Meanwhile, stores, restaurants, theaters, and other businesses which depend upon public employees, as a chunk of their customer base, brace for a decrease in business, just as the holiday buying season begins.

Some government operations DO remain open on the second day of this political tug-of-war.

U.S. Postal Service,
Social Security Benefits,
Active-duty military (will keep working/fighting, but will not get paid until the funds are available),
Air-traffic control,
Immigration And Border Security,
Emergency and disaster assistance,
Federal law enforcement,
IRS can still process electronic returns and payments only

Any federal agency that’s subject to appropriations,
All National Parks,
All federally-funded museums, including Smithsonian and the National Zoo,
All federal government websites,
Research by Health and Human Services stops as well as the grant process,
Applying for Social Security,
Roads dependent on federal maintenance,
Head Start,

Military Commissaries,
IRS walk-in centers (paper tax return will not be processed),
Loan applications for small businesses, college tuition, or mortgages,
All Library of Congress buildings, events, and websites,
All federal contractors will be out of work

While Social Security benefits WILL go out, I mistakenly said they wouldn't in my last blog, and the mail will get through, many of the services Americans depend on for fiscal planning & assistance, food safety, education, health, and other facets of life will be unavailable to those who've paid their taxes in good faith.

WIC (Women, Infants, & Children), which normally provides vouchers for healthy food to low income households with pregnant or postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5, sits quiet now.  Purchase slips for iron-fortified infant formula, infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit & vegetable juices, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried beans & peas, tuna fish, and carrots rest within abandoned drawers, feeding no one.

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