Government Shutdown?

When the US Federal Government Shuts Down: Why it Stinks for Regular People

Have you ever wondered what happens when the US federal government shuts down? Well, it might just happen this weekend.

And it’s not just a matter of politicians bickering; it affects real people and real services.

Government Grind to a Halt

First, government agencies stop in their tracks. That means no more national parks, no more passport processing, and no more small business loans. It’s like hitting the pause button on essential services.

Furloughed Workers

Government employees feel the hit too. When the government shuts down, hundreds of thousands of federal workers go on furlough. This means they’re on unpaid leave until the government gets its act together. Bills still need to be paid, and groceries don’t magically appear on the table.

Economic Ripples

The impact isn’t limited to government employees. Small businesses that rely on government contracts can struggle. The economy takes a hit as consumer confidence drops and stock markets get jittery.

National Security Concerns

National security doesn’t take a break. However, a government shutdown can strain security agencies. They may have to operate with limited resources, making it harder to keep the nation safe.

Political Ping-Pong

All this chaos happens because of political deadlock. When Congress can’t agree on a budget, or the president and Congress can’t see eye-to-eye, it leads to a shutdown. It’s like a giant game of political ping-pong, and the ball is the federal budget.

Public Frustration

People get frustrated when their government isn’t functioning. National parks are closed, tax refunds might be delayed, and immigration services slow down. It’s a recipe for public anger.

End in Sight?

The good news is that government shutdowns don’t last forever. Eventually, politicians find common ground and pass a budget to get things moving again.

In the end, a government shutdown is a complicated mess that affects everyone in the country

So what will a government shutdown do to Massachusetts?

  • 1. WIC Cuts

    More than 125,000 people in Massachusetts could see cuts in WIC. (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.) The program serves about half of babies born in the nation, according to the White House. It wouldn’t be immediate, because state funds could support the program, but if the shutdown lasts, there aren’t any guarantees.


  • 2. Delays in Passports and Other Things

    A shutdown could mean longer waits for people who are applying for passports, firearms permits and clinical trials. Which will affect the travel industry, gun sales and put sick people in a holding pattern.


  • 3. No Childcare

    The White House  said about 10,000 children would lose childcare starting in October as a result of disruptions to programs like Head Start. And for those who rely on this childcare, it could cause a lot of chaos.

  • 4. Food Banks Will Suffer

    People who receive food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, would continue to receive benefits through October, CNN reported, but what happens after that is less clear, according to the Agriculture Department, which administers the program

    SNAP funding problems could limit the ability of food banks to place new or and fulfill existing delivery orders.


    “Federal reimbursements to Meals on Wheels programs could also be delayed, and some community-based services could have to suspend meal services, reduce the number of meals they deliver, limit hours or shut down altogether,” program officials told CNN.

    More than 1 million people in Massachusetts received SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2022, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


  • 5. National Parks and Museums Disruptions

    People won’t be able to visit Smithsonian museums or national parks during the shutdown.  Massachusetts does not have any national parks, and the Cape Cod National Seashore ended its fee season on Sept. 17.

    The state does have several National Historic Parks, like the John F. Kennedy house in Brookline, John Adams house in Quincy and Lowell’s textile mills. Those hours might be affected by a shut down.

  • Air Travel

    Air travel could be delayed because Transportation Security Administration employees and air traffic controllers would work without pay. the U.S. Travel Association estimated that a government shutdown could cost the American travel economy $140 million per day, with six in 10 Americans canceling or avoiding flights in the event of a shutdown.

  • 7. Paychecks for Federal Employees in Massachusetts

    More than 24,500 federal employees live in Massachusetts, according to the Congressional Research Service. Across New England, nearly 61,000 workers could be affected, WBUR reported.

    Government Shutdown



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