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DC is Burning

Washington Post 9/27/13

Although (fortunately) the “sequester” of 2013 hasn’t been nearly as bad as some were predicting, i.e., another recession, transportation coming to a halt, etc., the across-the-board cuts on spending have lessened the pace of many things, including the economy. Put into tentative place a couple years ago, the spending cuts were only supposed to go into effect pending no Congressional resolution on a “simple” spending bill.

But, guess what? Dems and the GOP can’t play nice and agree. The result? Federally funded agencies and programs have been (temporarily) scaled back. The moves made by the big time players are having their effect. For instance, for about a month over the summer, my federally employed father was furloughed one day a week. (He was able to make light of it by taking an extra (paid) day off so he could have four-day weekends.)

Here in DC, the talk of the town is the ominous government shutdown. Because a deal on the funding bill was not made by midnight September 30, the agencies that were declared “nonessential” were hit hard, forcing those without enough money scrounged from their coffers to furlough ALL their employees. This means no work and no pay for as long as the shutdown will last. It also means a LOT of Twitter jokes including a variety of pick-up lines, such as my personal favorite: “The only thing nonessential about you is those pants.” And at least a week-long shutdown is looking increasingly likely. Here’s a short list of the agencies/groups on the chopping block:

 Federal workers
 U.S. Food and Drug Administration
 Dept. of Health and Human Services
 National Parks
 Internal Revenue Service
 Courts
 Environmental Protection Agency, and yes,
 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

As an unpaid and eager student worker, I am fortunately not altogether worried about my own livelihood. And due to the well-oiled machine that is the U.S. SEC, we/they are one of the few agencies that has enough funds saved up to provide all of their employees with at least a few scheduled weeks of work. But what the near future holds, only time will tell.

Agency list:
Pic: Washington Post 9/27/13

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