What Really Will Be Shut Down If That Event Happens?


Government shutdown 2

It's looking more and more likely the government is going to shut down on October first. From THE HILL:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said for the first time on Thursday that the House is unlikely to accept a clean spending bill from the Senate, increasing the chances of a government shutdown after Sept. 30.

“I don’t see that happening,” Boehner told reporters at a Capitol press conference.

So what does all that mean? Who's going to be out of a job? What departments are not going to be functioning? Will we still get mail?

The NATIONAL PRIORITIES PROJECT  has put out  an explanation called Federal Budget 101. It breaks it all down in pretty simple terms and charts.

The U.S. Treasury divides all spending into three groups: mandatory spending and discretionary spending and interest on debt.


First off, the only money we're talking about being affected in the government shut down is Discretionary spending. Mandatory spending and our interest payments are not affected.

We all know what the interest payments on our debt are. Those will be paid. Next, what are the mandatory payments which also will not be affected by the shutdown?

Mandatory spending makes up around two-thirds of the total federal budget. The largest mandatory program is Social Security, which comprises more than a third of mandatory spending and around 22 percent of the total federal budget.

Mandatory spending is largely made up of earned-benefit or entitlement programs, and the spending for those programs is determined by eligibility rules rather than the appropriations process.

Mandatory spending pie

So what's left is discretionary spending, those things that can and will be affected in a government shutdown. Let's take a look:

discretionary spending

In this pie are education, housing, government (which includes congressional staff, but not the congressional members) veteran's benefits,health, international affairs, energy, transportation, food/agriculture and the biggest, with 57% of the money -- THE MILITARY.

Now understand this -- the President has the power to unilaterally make any spending decisions relating to our national security. Basically, he can keep the military money safe which of course he will do. But other governmental offices can and will be impacted. National parks,after school programs, even healthcare spending (outside of ACA - Obamacare -- as it falls under the mandatory spending funds and is untouchable a shutdown) will be effected immediately.

So, if this whole brouhaha is about Obamacare, it's not affected.

There's really a lot at stake here, though. We're all going to feel it's pinch. That's why we have to let our representatives know that we mean business in saying no government shutdown. If they vote to shut down our country, we have no choice but to vote to shut them down at the next election. Time to dust off those vocal cords and make our will known.

Tell your representatives that if you want to fix our government, go ahead. We're always looking for improvements. But we're not looking to shut down for them to play political games. It's petulant, childish and dangerous. Lives are at stake.

Ted Cruz and his cronies, John Boehner and his gang, they all say they want to do what the people want. Well here's what the people want, according to a Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 CBS/NY Times Poll:

Is Threatening a Government Shutdown an Acceptable Way to Negotiate?

Yes: 16%

No: 80%

So perhaps, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cruz and the rest of you Republican zanies might want to reconsider your actions. Even Republicans by a margin of 72% to 23% (same poll) don't want you to shut us down. Don't go thinking your safe in your gerrymandered districts, you're not going to be protected.