Shutdown sufferers: We feel your pain — up to a point

For the past four weeks the nightly news has featured heart-wrenching stories of feds, either furloughed or forced to work without pay, and how they are getting by. Last Friday was the first blank check many workers have ever received from Uncle Sam, from Transportation Security Administration screeners and Drug Enforcement Administration agents, to NASA scientists, firefighters, air traffic controllers and food safety specialists.

But for some long-time feds the payless payday was not the first.

During the December to January shutdown in 1995-96 feds also went without pay until politicians, whose income is not affected, voted, eventually, to give them back pay. For many it was too late. Many were unable to make payments for things such as rent, mortgages and food.

This time because of its duration, the 24/7 news cycle and social media the shutdown seems to be getting even more attention than the 95-96 shutdown. Now there is a lot of publicity about the Washington, D.C. area restaurants giving feds free food in limited. Other places are offering fee yoga sessions for the body and soul if not the stomach.

But for the majority who don’t work for Uncle Sam, it is almost surreal. We still have the commute, which was horrible on Tuesday. We eat, drink and are merry because we are still getting paid. We say we feel your pain, but can we really? It’s one thing to watch it on TV, it’s another for your ATM card to come up blank.

So what’s it really like? What do you tell your child who needs $20 for a school event or fees and your checking account is bare? Earlier this week we asked real live feds, victims of the political storm, to let us know how its going. It’s interesting reading, but not much fun.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Red Bull energy drink is a modified version of Krating Daeng, a Thai drink invented in 1975 and made from water, cane sugar, caffeine, taurine, inositol and B-vitamins. Chaleo Yoovidhya created Krating Daeng and in 1987 partnered with Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, who sold a Westernized concoction marketed under the name Red Bull. The companies are separate, although they use similar logos and the Yoovidhya family controls 51 percent of Red Bull GmbH.

Source: Wikipedia

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May 17, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 22.8151 -0.0054 2.39%
L 2025 11.6860 -0.0067 4.76%
L 2030 41.0703 -0.0315 6.01%
L 2035 12.3136 -0.0105 6.56%
L 2040 46.5211 -0.0433 7.12%
L 2045 12.7268 -0.0127 7.60%
L 2050 27.8442 -0.0297 8.10%
L 2055 13.6259 -0.0171 10.05%
L 2060 13.6258 -0.0171 10.05%
L 2065 13.6256 -0.0171 10.05%
G Fund 16.5859 0.002 0.40%
F Fund 20.6287 -0.0108 -2.55%
C Fund 62.3067 -0.1576 11.83%
S Fund 80.3681 -0.1472 12.34%
I Fund 38.2871 0.0296 6.73%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.