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Government shutdown and the fear of uncertainty

As we stand poised on the precipice of a government shutdown on the heels of sequestration, I think I’ve got a lot of company when I say that the last thing we need is another government shutdown. I don’t claim to fully understand every aspect of the politics behind this latest crisis. What I do know is that on a practical level for small businesses like mine and many others, the government shutdown is more pain than we can afford. Now I’ve been told that there are bigger issues afoot but I think that at a certain point, the little things (and people) are pretty important too.

Everything that’s been done already in the name of trying to get this country on the road back to recovery, a lot of it seems to have added very little with regard to value for regular people. It has mostly seemed to serve to fuel the political rhetoric of one party or the other. Personally I just want to see everybody continue working whether that means we cut here or there, I’d just like to know and have some stability. I think that’s one of the big things that’s caused so much pain and angst.

People really don’t know what the situation is going to be a month, or 3 months, or 6 months down the road. As a business it’s really hard to hire in such uncertain times and when it’s hard to hire, it’s hard to get hired as a person looking for a job and it just becomes a vicious cycle. When you start talking about shutting down the government on the heels of everything that has gone on this past year, there’s just an enormous amount of pain to be borne by a lot of folks. There’s going to be lives that are changed forever and all for what? To make a political point?

I think at some point the folks that are in charge of this place need to act like grown-ups and figure out how to make it work. I don’t know that there’s going to be a solution out there that is going to make everyone happy and so you got to find a way to compromise. Find a way to make things work for all the people that don’t have high profile stakes in this and aren’t going to be in the news because of it, but they may be out of a job, maybe underemployed, and having to find a way to feed their family on a lot less than they would have if people would get their act together and at least allow people to plan.

Again I’m not advocating any particular political position in this I just want to know what to expect so as a business and as a person I can plan for it. I think I speak for a lot of the country when I say we just want to know where things are going to stand. The uncertainty is almost worse than the certainty of any particular thing. I don’t think that I’m particularly unique in just wanting to know what is going to be the next reality. So this is me adding my voice to the many who are just out there going, “Hey we’ve had enough politics let’s fix something.” Let’s make some decisions, get to know what the rules are going to be for the next year or more, and let’s get to work and start healing for the long term, now.

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Profile Photo Henry Brown

Having the privlege of living in a dark red state, Not only do the politicians believe that they are going to solve all the political and budgetary problems that have been caused by the other political party but a significant portion of the electorate believe that confrontational politics is the only way to solve what they perceive to be all the problems.

So a few government employees get hurt in the process.....

Profile Photo Dennis McDonald

The impact on productivity and public service is huge. As an independent consultant I see the effects every day -- a meeting cancelled here, a conversation postponed there, a decision put off for another month. Things add up. People suffer. Projects get stretched out and end up being more expensive. Contracts are not awarded or cancelled outright, people get laid off. So what if it takes longer for the checks to get written or for the food to get delivered? People end up saying, "See? You can't trust government after all!"

Profile Photo Earl Rice

I was told today that the sub agency that I work for will be exempt from the "shut down" because of the 2 year budgeting process. The head office in DC, and sister sub agencies may be left high and dry though.

I have to agree with Henry. Once you get outside the very liberal DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia are, you will find that a lot of people are saying bring it on and kill the [Un] Affordable Care Act, what ever it takes. Though they don't feel very kindly towards the Government right now, with some justification. Heck, 32% of them believe that some sort of an armed insurrection will be required to set our government straight and back in line with the Constitution.

Profile Photo Chris

Few vendors told me (informally) they would not persue long-term contracts for the next few years. Time and money going in to win the contracts are just not there anymore. We have few contract specialists busy with private sector buddies in my agency for jumping-off.