Shutdown fallout still falling

Although the most recent record 35-day government shutdown is now just a painful memory for many fed families, it is still very real for some. For many it took weeks after the shutdown to get the actual back pay withheld from both those forced to work, and those forced to stay home. Because of the timing, some people got huge deductions which ate into already-delayed payments. To add insult to injury. the retroactive pay raise was also delayed for many. That too created to oversized deductions which further eroded already late payments.

For millionaires at the White House and on Capitol Hill, the shutdown was just another day at the office, playing political chicken using real bureaucrats. And they got paid on time, even if you didn’t.

We asked feds to share their stories of life-after-a-shutdown. Got some good, if at times sad, stuff. Sorry about that, but thanks for taking the time.

“Good morning I was just reading the news article and decided to reply at this time since the government shut down the income in my household is only one income and it has been very stressful and still hard for me to catch up on my daily bills my credit card debt has went up extensively since the shutdown and my wages are not enough to catch up so at this time I’m taking a hardship with my credit score. I’m from the California area and I know there’s a lot of people still in the same boat.” –F.C.


”I read your article and your mention of wanting to hear from folks. I would ask for confidentiality in my situation. I work for a non Defense federal agency. I’m divorced and live alone. I picked up a second job at Starbucks to get caught up as I was trying to finish school. I was supposed to graduate this month, but the shutdown caused financial hardship and stress for me, and I am 12 credits shy of graduation. I am going to try to make it up this summer. Thank You.” –L

”I’m sure you heard lots of tales of woe. Some are serious. One of my children has a serious, chronic condition. Our health insurance coverage is excellent and reason we stick with the federal government as an employer. Despite our insurance there are out of pocket costs that add up. I cannot imagine any employer in the private sector who would shutdown some operations and keep others going and yet pay either group until months later. What is the logic? I think you pointed out before that if a private government contractor pulled a stunt like he it would be banned from future contracts. Keep mentioning the fact that the millionaire politicians who caused or allowed the shutdown to happen and drag on for 35-days never missed a paycheck. Or a bill. “ –Just T

”Since the shutdown I’ve been saving $200 (every two weeks) from my paycheck. It is tough. To make it more real I actually take $200 from my account every week and hand deposit it in my credit union. I don’t have a credit union debit card and it is a good drive from my home or office. In other words, I put real cash money into the account and make it difficult for myself to get at it. It is adding up. Not a fortune but enough to provide a nice cushion the next time this happens.” –D in Denver

”Mine may be the most unusual contribution to your request for shutdown tactics. My daughter works for the federal government. She has two children. Her ex is generous in helping out with the children’s costs. Even so she struggles. Since vet bills are so high in the Washington area she now takes their 9-year old dog, a wonderful mutt, to a vet in Fredricksburg, Virginia to get shots, teeth cleaning, and treatment for Lyme disease. I hate it when she is on I-95, the always crowded interstate from DC to Richmond, but I understand why she does what she does. A shutdown is the gift, a kick-in-the-teeth, that keeps on giving. Thanks POTUS and Congress.” –Mad Mother Of Fed Mom

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

The town of Salem, New Jersey held tomatoes on trial in the early 1800s because they were believed at the time to be poisonous. Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson proved the city wrong by eating a basket of tomatoes, known then as love apples, in front of a large crowd on the steps of what is today known as the Old Courthouse. Johnson was one of the city’s most well known citizens and of course he survived, proving the theory false.