If lightning struck your house twice in 2018, once in 2013 and twice before in 1997, you might consider moving — right? Or investing in a really good lightning rod! And suppose this was a pattern. Nightmarish stuff. But what if the nightmare is real. And you are the target. It’s déjà vu all over again. Groundhog Day, government style!
Do you see a pattern here?
Now if you are a federal government worker, the disaster is a government shutdown. Which could happen in few weeks. It’s Washington-based politicians — House, Senate, White House — who are at it again. Some past shutdowns have been just a mild irritant. Others saw federal workers and their no-fault family members standing in soup kitchen lines.
Shutdowns are when most workers and contractors are sent home without pay, while others are forced to work, but also without pay. Shutdowns tend to happen at the start of the fiscal year, which is October 1. Today is Sept. 23. And they tend to last longer than experts usually predict. In December 1995, the shutdown lasted 21 days. That meant delayed paychecks and retirement benefits for millions of feds. Merry Christmas from the folks you sent to represent you.
Shutdowns are not just an inside-the-beltway problem. Most of the federal workforce and the much bigger group of contractors, is in New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Alabama, Texas and California. In many communities, the federal government — an IRS or social security service center, military base, federal prison or VA facility — is the financial heartbeat of the community. Most people there, and for that matter most people here, don’t understand or appreciate the legal and legislative game that triggers a shutdown.
While members of Congress and the White House are using the threat of a shutdown to win a budgetary or political victory, the pawns are you. Career federal workers and millions of contractors. Politicians continue to get paid. Furloughed feds usually get reimbursed for the time they were locked out of their jobs. But it can take week or even months to get the back pay. Or the first full annuity payment after retirement.
Extended furloughs can really put a damper on the holiday season. Not to mention food and rent obligations while there is no money coming in.
The reason that pill bottles are the color orange is that it helps keep UV light from damaging the medications that are kept inside. Pills can be photosensitive and the photo-chemical reaction from UV light could negatively impact them.