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Ways of the World

Carol Stone, business economist & active Episcopalian, brings you "Ways of the World". Exploring business & consumers & stewardship, we'll discuss everyday issues: kids & finances, gas prices, & some larger issues: what if foreigners start dumping our debt? And so on. We can provide answers & seek out sources for others. We'll talk about current events & perhaps get different perspectives from what the media says. Write to Carol. Let her know what's important to you:

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

What Part of the Federal Government Is Closed? A Quick List

As you are probably aware, a significant part of the federal government closed as of yesterday because the two Houses of Congress and the President cannot agree on a budget spending plan for fiscal year 2014, which began yesterday.  So legal authority for much government spending has lapsed.

In addition, the debt of the federal government is nearing the legal "debt ceiling" and no further borrowing beyond that ceiling is legally authorized. This ceiling could be reached by October 17, just about two weeks from today.

We plan a full article within the next week  lamenting these situations.  In the meantime, you will soon receive another, totally unrelated piece from us on church stewardship, surely a worthy topic in its own right.  But in view of the timeliness of the government shutdown, we want to give you some information about that.

As you would also surely know, the federal government is a complex organization with a multitude of agencies and subdivisions and departments.  A quick Google on "what government programs will be shut down" produced this helpful table compiled by CNN:  It lists program categories by their open/closed status, the agencies involved and the number of employees furloughed or kept on the job.  You can sort the list by any of these aspects.  Notes are included with a brief description of the reasons for the individual program's being open or closed or partially so.

In addition, we urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators, whatever you political persuasion or theirs, and tell them you want honest and sincere negotiations to take place.  Meetings so far have only been used to insist that nothing can be negotiated.  Some aspects of ObamaCare, the center of this turmoil, could in fact be modified, such as the exemption of government employees themselves or the elimination of the medical device tax, without altering the main thrust of that huge law.   So, whatever your views, there seems room for discussion.  Responsible governing would seem to call for at least that.

More to come on these issues.

If you need brief, quick information on your connection to ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, see the helpful post from Debbie Loeb on the Farm's Hodgepodge page, here:

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