"Our Country!
In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right;
but right or wrong, our country!"

    --Commodore Stephen Decatur

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What the Government Shutdown Means For You

With the threat of a federal government shutdown growing with each passing day, it’s important to understand what functions would and would not continue operating after this Friday if Democrats and Republicans can’t reach a last-minute compromise. The list below is by no means complete, but provides at least a partial accounting of some of the far-reaching effects of a shutdown:

WON’T SHUTDOWN: the US Postal Service is considered self-funding, so mail will continue to be delivered. However, paychecks for millions of government employees and contractors will not be sent out, so postal workers will have slightly less mail to sort through.

WILL SHUTDOWN: all national museums, parks, memorials, cemeteries, and historical sites will be closed to the public. The Park Police will still patrol the monuments to ensure that nobody takes any pictures or listens to music on their headphones though.

WON’T SHUTDOWN: the IRS will continue to collect taxes, so don’t feel like you can slack off as tax day approaches next Friday, but if the government owes you money, don’t hold your breath waiting for your tax return. Meanwhile, The Federal Reserve will still continue to print worthless currency to fund the existing debts of the United States.

WILL SHUTDOWN: all non-essential government offices will be closed and it will be a fire-able offence for government employees to attempt to do any work during a shutdown. Some agencies are even exploring ways to remotely shut down the ubiquitous blackberry phones wielded by government employees.

WON’T SHUTDOWN: Metro will continue to run at full capacity even if all the trains are empty. Plush Union contracts will also guarantee that even though nobody is riding metro, senior employees will continue to accrue overtime hours while not fixing the broken escalators at Farragut West.

WILL SHUTDOWN: all personnel aboard the International Space Station will be requested to enter deep hibernation until the budget situation is resolved. Operation of the space station will be transitioned over to control by a new computer system called “HAL 9000.”

WON’T SHUTDOWN: the Sun will continue to shine. US Department of Agriculture farm subsidies will continue to be funded under the “provision of payments” clause which defines essential government functions. However, all federally-subsidized solar power plants will have to be pointed away from the Sun, unless the weather is cloudy.

WILL SHUTDOWN: the Moon will go dark and the tides of the ocean will cease. Functions of the commerce department relating to measurement of oceanographic phenomena will be suspended and as mentioned previously, NASA will be closed. During the shutdown, only the dark side of the Moon will be visible. The Earth will also stop spinning and fire and death will rain down from the heavens.

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