Is it just me or is anyone else getting tired of hearing the Federal Government threaten to shut down? It seems to happen every 3 or 4 months any more. The problem usually boils down to the Democrats and Republicans not being able to get along and play in the same sandbox so they just threaten to "do nothing" so that the government will shut down. "That ought to get a response", just like it did when you were in kindergarten. One side threatens some catastrophic event in order to draw everyone's attention to the issue (or really draw attention to themselves I think). "When the government shuts down, everyone will realize that I was right and we will get our own way"! Well, it rarely works that way in the real world. I find the parallels to today's politics to the politics of kindergarten to be alarming.
So what would happen if the government really shut down? Certainly this would cause a problem with all the suppliers to the government. Suddenly there are no people at work so there is nobody to deliver product or services to. That might not be a problem unless the government is shut down for some period of time. The bigger problem is with payment for those goods and services. If they aren't received, the government won't pay. If there is nobody at work, nothing will get processed for payment. Now if this only is a few days, what is the harm, right? Well a politician might say that but in reality there is a significant impact. This total stoppage of the flow of all paperwork within our huge government machine will cause a buildup or a backlog of work when the government does return. It will take a long time to dig through this backlog (it is government by definition - imagine your post office at Christmas time). The result is a delay in processing documents within the government. This means slower time to award and, more importantly, it will mean slower time to pay. This can be a killer for a small business. Do you think your congress representatives are thinking about that consequence? If small business is really providing the bulk of jobs, why would any politician do anything to hamper that right now? Maybe it is a good question to put to your senators and representatives.
Now after going through that, do we really think that the government will shut down? Probably not. More often than not this is all just a big threat to draw attention to themselves. Personally I think this is rather immature and we should let these politicians know about that come election time. More and more I think we should limit terms for these people by voting incumbents out of office with no more than 2 terms. At least until they can start working together for the good of the country again. Or stop acting like they are in kindergarten!