What's so bad about a Government shut down? What exactly does that mean?
Here's how it all breaks down:
- Entitlements: If a shutdown occurs, most officials say it will likely be brief, which means scheduled Social Security checks and food stamps would arrive and Medicare/Medicaid benefits would still be available-though staff might not be able to process new applications. Even in the event of a prolonged delay in funding, regularly scheduled payments will still be made.
- Pentagon: Defense Secretary Robert Gates specifically addressed the matter in a House Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, saying that any lapse in funding would not affect any current military operations.
- Parks & Museums: But as nonessential facilities, national parks and Smithsonian museums are likely to close their doors during a shutdown.
- Congress: Nonessential operations would cease should funding lapse. But according to a House memo obtained Tuesday, the Legislative Branch is constitutionally obligated to keep running.
- Federal Workers Pay: Congress will have to include in whatever budget legislation is eventually passed provisions to pay federal staffers who worked in essential capacity during the shutdown. During the shutdowns that occurred in 1995-1996, nearly half a million such employees continued to work for retroactive pay. No guarantee exists for furloughed employees, who may or may not be paid for the time they're off work.
Now lets look at Paul Ryan's plan to tackle entitlements. For the sake of argument, I'm going to call them, SENIOR ENTITLEMENTS.
Do we really want to PISS OFF one of the largest voting blocks BEFORE the 2012 elections? Now I realize there's a difference between cutting and reforming, I'm not that sure that the majority of seniors know or understand the difference.
Here is the results of a recent Gallup poll:
Medicare: 38% for cutting, 61% against
Social Security: 34% for cutting, 64% against
There you have it.
WHAT SAY YOU?