The Long-Term Effects of the US Government Shutdown

US government shutdown

The US federal government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, and ended on January 25 the following year was the longest shutdown in US history. It lasted for 35 days and during then, all federal agencies not considered necessary or mandatory to the people’s health and safety were closed.

Unfortunately, even if you have no direct involvement in it, the shutdown has an impact on some economic matters. Worse, it has an effect on you and your lives.

In this post, you will learn more about the shutdown. You will also learn what you need to do so you can move forward.

The beginning of the government shutdown

It started when president Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress could not come to an agreement regarding the funding for the federal government’s operations in 2019. Particularly, the disagreement was about annual spending of $5.7 billion, a sum requested by the president. It included border wall funding, which was meant to extend the border security and build a wall along the US southern border.

When president Trump calls on the Supreme Court to help his case, the justices weakened him. Much to his dismay, the people who could fuel his quest to victory chose to do nothing. Instead of granting a win to the leader of the White House, the high court refused to take action.

Due to this, the executive departments with about 800,000 federal employees underwent full or partial government shutdown. This resulted in employees either getting salary furloughed or reporting for work without pay, causing interruptions involving the day-to-day operations of integral government agencies.

It comes with large-scale effects

Among those 800,000 employees who were furloughed, about 380,000 are at home without pay. The “essential” employees (e.g. policemen, corrections officers), on the other hand, continue to hustle – and many of them do so while crossing their fingers for back pay.

Some departments that supply government-provided services such as the United States Postal Service, Department of National Defense, and Federal Courts are likely to continue their operations. However, the shutdown will disrupt their services and cause a delay.

For example, the US Social Security Administration is likely to proceed with some of its functions. Social Security checks will keep coming. The paperwork associated with it, however, will not be processed and neither will new applications be accepted.

Its financial impact on you and every other taxpayer

This government shutdown is also the second one that occurred during Trump’s presidency. The first happened in January 2018. It addressed a disagreement regarding the subject of immigration and resulted to almost 700,000 federal employees being furloughed.

And whenever furlough is part of the picture, you, along with other taxpayers, are usually affected. Because the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) furloughed most of its employees, you will experience a delay in the processing of your tax returns.

Additionally, the IRS adheres to certain restrictions during this event. While it intends to serve you, it shouldn’t go against the government and should still be in line with its rules. The agency’s employees can’t do much for you. Their hands are tied and are not allowed to answer taxpayers’ questions, perform audits, or pay out tax refunds.

This is in stark contrast with countries like Malta with a much stabler government and taxation. It’s become an appealing destination for people to apply for a Malta residence.

No more shutdown

At the beginning of 2019, the date of the government shutdown’s end was unclear. When questioned during an interview, Vice President Mike Pence even defended it. He also warned the public that it could happen sometime soon.

When senate democrats expressed interest in reopening the government, the request did not come through. Senate Republicans, headed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pulled the plug on it before it could be set into motion.

Days after, however, the negations that took place on Capitol Hill came to a conclusion. House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that after sitting down with the House Democratic, the Trump administration decided to reopen the government.

And days after putting an end to the shutdown, president Trump calls for unity. This is his stand, despite publicly tossing the idea that he will declare a national emergency in order to get his border wall.

The solution is to apply for unemployment

Unfortunately, a government shutdown will impact you whether you like it or not. You will experience setbacks and the only practical action to take is to deal with the financial problem head on: find a solution.

One of your options is to apply for unemployment and as reported, employees who have been furloughed have high chances of qualifying for unemployment applications. You should also consider looking for a side-job, sell used items, cut down on your expenses, or – worst case scenario – stage your home.

Hustling nowadays is the preferred source of income. It allows you to utilize your skills in smart ways. Also, it gives you an opportunity to change gears from time to time. This is crucial for some people who prefer working multiple jobs at the same time.

While the solution may not be ideal, it is the best course of action for now. It’s just a matter of time before people take matters into their own hands.


Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.


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