Real Impact of the Government Shutdown: A Primer for Donald Trump

Real Impact of the Government Shutdown: A Primer for Donald Trump

As many as 800,000 government workers didnít get paid on Friday. While they will eventually receive their checks once the shutdown concludes, many of them will have to go into debt to pay bills and mortgages. Others are already at risk of losing their homes or cars completely. US President Donald Trump seems to be undeterred by the impact of the longest government shutdown in history.

Lives Are at Risk

Zillow estimates the shutdown could be affecting as many as 39,000 mortgages held by government workers, but it doesnít stop there.

One Department of the Interior worker, Mallory Lorge, suffers from diabetes and now canít afford a $300 copay for insulin. When her blood sugar levels went out of control last week, she ignored it, trying to conserve her last two vials of insulin for an absolute emergency. Lorge said:

The Wisconsin worker recently got married, and despite her husband working overtime, they estimate they can only survive financially for another 3-4 weeks. Lorge says she loves her job but:

Some families have more than one earner affected by the shutdown:

US Workers Live Paycheck to Paycheck

An estimated 78% of US workers live paycheck to paycheck. That means they donít have savings and are immediately using credit cards and going into debt to try to get through the shutdown.

Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas said:

These employees may see their credit downgraded:

Even the US 10% of workers earning over $100,000 are either unable to save or save very little.

This Twitter userís colleagues are likely some of the higher earners affected, but they are still struggling:

One federal attorney is already in rent arrears:

Americaís Vulnerable Rely on Government Services

Itís not just furloughed government workers at risk of losing their homes. Donald Trumpís demand for nearly $6 billion to build a border wall, without any concession, is threatening seniors, veterans, and very low-income families ó a point on which prospective presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren have already begun to seize.

Between 70,000 and 85,000 extremely vulnerable people and families are under a program called Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Many could see their rental contracts expire during the shutdown with no government staff available to address the issue. Already,†1,150 contracts between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and private landlords have expired.

There are also serious implications for federal government provided services including the coast guard, air traffic control, and airport security. Though many of these employees are working, they are working without pay.

These key workers need their minds focused on their jobs, not to be worrying about paying their bills. Some may even look to change their careers to protect against this situation in the future.

Letís not forget the government shutdown also affects border security staff.

The Wider Economic Impact of the Government Shutdown

S&P Global Ratingís Beth Ann Bovino has already predicted that the shutdown, if it continues much longer, could cost more than Trump wants for the wall:

One report recently analysed the spending of affected government workers during a prior shutdown, finding that workers could be cutting their household spending by as much as 20%, thus creating an economic hurdle further along in 2019. This reduction in spending will impact not just retailers but also service providers of childcare and the like.

Some workers may even look to cash in retirement, or other long-term savings programs, permanently destroying a long-term financial support.

Though historically the stock markets appear to ignore government shutdowns, this one is now the longest in history. Yet President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponents are nowhere near a resolution.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Featured Image from†REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

14.01.2019 / 10:35 19
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