When the government shuts down, people really find out who their friends are and what matters most on a federal level. Take the recent shutdown in the United States. While the nation’s congress and president waged war over funding and policies, many federal agencies felt the pain when monies were put on hold. Services were limited, a bare bones approach was adopted, and many federal workers were placed on furlough. For a country that was beginning to recover from the Great Recession, the shutdown did not bode well for the future.
Public Safety: Obviously Not an Issue
If the US citizens thought Uncle Sam was taking good care of them, the shutdown suggests otherwise. Aviation safety inspectors, auto recall inspectors, and food inspectors were all placed on furlough. Forget about safe flights, paying attention to any cars that malfunction, or if food is up to regulations. If the shutdown had continued, there would have been serious ramifications felt by all individuals.
Agencies that Were Not Affected
The mail continued to go through with the US Postal Service because it is a self-funded agency. The Federal Reserve relies on contributions from shareholders and was able to continue running at maximum capacity. The Department of State does not get its funding from federal sources either, therefore it kept on ticking. The same can not be said about other agencies.
Who Was Hit Hardest?
The White House, residence for the most powerful man in the country, was reduced to a skeletal staff with a little over 400 on staff while over 1000 were on furlough. The Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Smithsonian, the Institutes of Health, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Resources really had to tighten their belts. Thousands of workers were placed on furlough.
Who Was Given Preference?
The powers that be decided that the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Veterans Affairs should continue to have the majority of workers on staff. However, every federally funded agency experienced cutbacks that trickled down to the American public.
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