Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fed Shutdown - Business As Usual?

The Federal shutdown is impacting over 800,000 federal workers sent home without pay. That number of people can have a severe impact on the economy over time on many levels as discussed in our previous article. While some employees were hoping to volunteer free man hours to get work done the Anti-Deficiency Act of 1884 places a handicap on the idea at least at the present time.

The interpretation of the Act by the Justice Department implies that officials are not allowed to undertake actions that create financial obligations the federal government has not approved. That said, non-essential Federal employees must avoid performing work that requires government funds to complete the task including turning on office lights or using fed funded email accounts.

The Justice Department now interprets this to mean that unless approved a federal workers can't work during a shutdown. Unless, that is, they are considered an essential worker in which case they must work.
This shutdown hurts everyone including extended families of Congress as volunteers for non-profit agencies rendering assistance in areas of  health, medicine, disease and rehabilitation technology are halted.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lack funding to support its annual flu vaccination program. If the shutdown does not end soon this could lead to an an upsurge of flu cases and possibly reach epidemic proportions. The CDC will be unable to track outbreaks and monitor infectious diseases at a local level.

The Coast Guard will cut back on routine patrols lowering security along some coastlines against pirate and terrorist intrusions. Death benefits of military families will be delayed curbing spending during the upcoming holiday season.

National security will suffer. Key players leading to the shutdown including members of Congress will have to make greater use their investments to employ private security agencies to protect their assets both public and private as well as institutional buildings and banks as funding for Homeland Security regulatory program ends October 4.

Tens of thousand of Visa applications will be put on hold slowing down a rebounding economy.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the ripple effect a delayed Shutdown could have on families and the overall economic recovery on Wednesday stock trading and home mortgage applications continued to process steadily. That means for now it's business as usual.