IF government shuts down question

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#21
Elko, NV
1,176 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Holmie
Is this a concern right now? I haven’t heard anything about it. The only new I’ve seen in the last two weeks has been talking about all these winter storms we’ve been blasted with
It is a concern, January 19th is the deadline and people on both sides are threatening a shutdown if they don't get what they want. Not sure what the actual odds are, but I wish I could be as confident as some of the others here. I'm practically biting my nails trying to figure out if we'll have to cancel our cruise, which we leave for in exactly three weeks if we don't have my husband's leave rescinded.
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#22
New Cumberland,PA, USA
29,969 Posts
Joined May 2000
During a government shutdown, employees deemed essential still work. This includes the CBP folks (who handle cruise ship passengers) and TSA (at the airports). The reality is that most Americans would not even notice that there was a government shut-down (which makes wonder why we need all these folks). One issue would be that most National Parks would be closed due to staff shortages.

Hank
#23
New Cumberland,PA, USA
29,969 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
When you get off a cruise ship you get processed by customs and immigration personnel - who are government employees. If you fly to or from the port you get cleared by TSA personnel - also government employees.

It is usually assumed that a government shutdown will mean that those government employees might not be on the job - need any more explanation?
But that assumption is completely wrong. Both TSA and CBP agents are viewed as essential and will be on the job...shut down or not. The biggest problem for some travelers would be a big time slow down in getting Passports (renewals or new) processed. The biggest fear (by many) of a major government shutdown is that most folks will not even notice. And perhaps that will start them thinking why in the world we need around 3 Million Federal employees.

Hank
#25
San Mateo, California
5,791 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by SRF
Essential personnel still work.

So things like ports and airports will be fine.
Agree, worked for the feds for 30 years...
#26
South Florida & Shenandoah Valley, VA
6,267 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
For most of the folks on this board a government shutdown will most likely only impact you if


  • you need to apply for/renew a passport. An anecdotal story: during the shutdown in the 1990s an acquaintance was a senior staffer to a member of Congress. He attended a meeting where another member railed about not being able to get an expedited passport - and of course he had voted for the shutdown!
  • national parks and monuments will be closed.
  • if the government owes you money (you are a vendor or you made an overpayment for a passport for example) payments may be delayed (although in the past - in my experience - at least some of the payment processing staff and those that run accounting systems are declared essential).
And to those who said everyone is paid after a shutdown - that has been true in the past for federal employees but it certainly wasn't true for federal contractors (of which there are many). Their companies understandably can only bill the government for hours worked so they do not get paid retroactively.

One other last thought - US Embassy personnel have been considered essential in the past and there was no interruption in American citizen services.
#27
Oakland Park, Fl
14,090 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by capriccio

One other last thought - some US Embassy personnel have been considered essential in the past and there was no interruption in American citizen services.
Fixed.




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#28
Rhode Island, U.S.A.
24,521 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by capriccio
For most of the folks on this board a government shutdown will most likely only impact you if


  • you need to apply for/renew a passport. An anecdotal story: during the shutdown in the 1990s an acquaintance was a senior staffer to a member of Congress. He attended a meeting where another member railed about not being able to get an expedited passport - and of course he had voted for the shutdown!
  • national parks and monuments will be closed.
  • if the government owes you money (you are a vendor or you made an overpayment for a passport for example) payments may be delayed (although in the past - in my experience - at least some of the payment processing staff and those that run accounting systems are declared essential).
And to those who said everyone is paid after a shutdown - that has been true in the past for federal employees but it certainly wasn't true for federal contractors (of which there are many). Their companies understandably can only bill the government for hours worked so they do not get paid retroactively.

One other last thought - US Embassy personnel have been considered essential in the past and there was no interruption in American citizen services.
Maybe when quarterly taxes come due next I'll tell the IRS that I've shut down and they just have to wait.
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#29
85,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by karen s
I sailed during a government shutdown in Oct 13 and the only impact to us was that we couldn't go to Arcadia National Forest because it was closed. I'm active duty and was not impacted at all...guess I'm not essential...

Karen, you ARE essential and appreiciated. If you are able, go back to Bar Harbor to see Arcadia. It is beautiful. My DH and I sailed C anada/ NE b-to- b cruises summer after summer and love d each of them.
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#30
United States
2,687 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Essential personnel will work and get paid.

Non-essential may or may not work, and if they don't work, they may not get paid (although, so far, every time they have been paid). It depends on the agency and funding. And it they do get paid, it may be weeks or a month or two before the money shows up.

The last two shutdowns, my agency did not have any days off. We have a lot of zero year (not tied to fiscal year) funds, so they just kept on going.

My spouse at the time, did get time off, and pay was delayed. But later, Congress voted to pay people for the lost wages, so they all got a paid vacation, while I got to work.
#31
85,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Hlitner
But that assumption is completely wrong. Both TSA and CBP agents are viewed as essential and will be on the job...shut down or not. The biggest problem for some travelers would be a big time slow down in getting Passports (renewals or new) processed. The biggest fear (by many) of a major government shutdown is that most folks will not even notice. And perhaps that will start them thinking why in the world we need around 3 Million Federal employees.

Hank

For those retired seniors whose only income is Social Security , I hope they will receive their monthly payment. And, who processes all tthose Medicare claims and payments to hospitals and doctors?
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#32
New Cumberland,PA, USA
29,969 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by sail7seas
For those retired seniors whose only income is Social Security , I hope they will receive their monthly payment. And, who processes all tthose Medicare claims and payments to hospitals and doctors?
One huge problem with our news media is that they spin things in a way that simple promotes their own agendas. And one popular spin is to scare Seniors be it with government shutdowns, that one political party will cut their benefits, etc. etc. The reality is that Social Security payments will continue during a government shut down. Their funding stream is not even part of the General Budget. Some non-essential Social Security employees might be temporarily furloughed, but it will have no impact on existing payments. It might create staffing shortages in local offices and that would certainly be an inconvenience to some.

As to Medicare payments, the claims processing are not even done by government workers. Medicare claims (and most questions) are handled by so-called Fiscal Intermediaries (there are about 2 dozen around the country) that are contracted to provide the services. These are private companies which are paid (under contract) to operate the Medicare payment and claims systems. During a government shut down these companies will continue to operate...as none of their employees actually work for the Federal Government. In fact, most of the Medicare program is operated by contractors. I know a little about this subject because I worked for a State Government for over thirty years..and part of my job involved dealing with Medicare and Medicaid issues.

My comment about the news media was said with a degree of bitterness. There is absolutely no reason for the media to throw fear into the lives of seniors. It would be a simple matter for the media to publicize that Social Security Payments as well as Medicare/Medicaid programs will operate as normal. But if you can even find this info in a newspaper (or hear it on the evening news) it will usually be buried and missed by most.

Hank
#33
85,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I have heard no mention of Soc Sec on any off the tv news reports and certain ly am not crumbled in fear. . I asked the ques tions because I have not heard anything l ab out either cagtegoryr. That is why I asked. While your comments about the press in general might often apply, in this case, they are not applicable. The scarcity of comments ab out those subject s in tv news reports s makes it interesting on its own, IMO ONe would usually expect to hear gthe sky is falling type scare mongering but I have not heard any of that, Hank and wonder if anyone has?
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#34
Tacoma, Wa, USA
9,064 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Originally posted by sail7seas
I have heard no mention of Soc Sec on any off the tv news reports and certain ly am not crumbled in fear. . I asked the ques tions because I have not heard anything l ab out either cagtegoryr. That is why I asked. While your comments about the press in general might often apply, in this case, they are not applicable. The scarcity of comments ab out those subject s in tv news reports s makes it interesting on its own, IMO ONe would usually expect to hear gthe sky is falling type scare mongering but I have not heard any of that, Hank and wonder if anyone has?
You know,,,, I thought Hank was making a general statement and was making a well thought out non biased statement and sharing information gleened through years of experience.
Yes, I have seen, read, and heard of some news outlets and/or political groups using scare tactics to seniors to push their agenda. That is something that has been going on for decades.

While Hank did "quote" you, I felt he was using your question or statement as a generality and not as a poke to you personally.
#35
United States
2,687 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
What you may not be able to do in a shutdown, is apply or change things.

Payments will typically continue.
#36
New Cumberland,PA, USA
29,969 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by sail7seas
I have heard no mention of Soc Sec on any off the tv news reports and certain ly am not crumbled in fear. . I asked the ques tions because I have not heard anything l ab out either cagtegoryr. That is why I asked. While your comments about the press in general might often apply, in this case, they are not applicable. The scarcity of comments ab out those subject s in tv news reports s makes it interesting on its own, IMO ONe would usually expect to hear gthe sky is falling type scare mongering but I have not heard any of that, Hank and wonder if anyone has?
The fact that you have heard nothing on the news media is exactly my point! A tried and proven spin technique is "spin by omission." You would expect to see news media reports that reassure citizens that a government "shutdown" does not mean that many services such as Medicare and Social Security will be impacted. In the case of this shutdown threat (and previous shutdowns) the silence is often deafening. The fact that you felt the need to ask the question here is proof enough that the news media is not doing their job of keeping the population well informed.

Getting back to Medicare, it is doubtful that many Americans have ever dealt directly with a government employee with regard to this insurance program. Many Americans are simply not aware that this program has always (from its inception) been handled by intermediaries (contractors).

Hank
#37
Michigan
186 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Snit13
OP, thanks for asking this question. We sail next week and DH wanted me to ask but I didn't want to incur the wrath of some of our regular posters.
That's a sad commentary on the behavior of these regular posters but unfortunately it is accurate.
#38
85,418 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by klfrodo
You know,,,, I thought Hank was making a general statement and was making a well thought out non biased statement and sharing information gleened through years of experience.
Yes, I have seen, read, and heard of some news outlets and/or political groups using scare tactics to seniors to push their agenda. That is something that has been going on for decades.

While Hank did "quote" you, I felt he was using your question or statement as a generality and not as a poke to you personally.

,I, too, think Hank's post well expressed
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#39
Arizona
11,568 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Snit13
OP, thanks for asking this question. We sail next week and DH wanted me to ask but I didn't want to incur the wrath of some of our regular posters.
Glad the OP asked the question. I'm not cruising, but flying a few days after the deadline and love getting information from those in the know.
#40
Connecticut
13,629 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
This thread reminds me of how New York controlled spending during their fiscal crisis of the 1970's -- public libraries were closed in evenings and weekends, beach parking lots were closed on weekends: generating high visibility - and incidental pain for working taxpayers.
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