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Who would be impacted by a federal government shutdown?

In our previous blog post, we discussed the first-ever reported drop in child support payments in this country. The drop was reported by the federal government's Child Support Enforcement Program; a program managed by states.

It deducts child support payments from paychecks and unemployment compensation, for instance, and also helps track parents who fall behind on their payments.

With a shutdown of the federal government increasingly on people's minds, it's worth noting that one of the many government services likely to be drastically impacted is that very same Child Support Enforcement Program.

It's possible that custodial parents wouldn't receive child support payments and it's possible that non-custodial parents wouldn't have the payments deducted from their incomes. It's also possible that those who are delinquent would see a stoppage in enforcement efforts.

This isn't meant to scare anyone, but rather to keep people abreast of the possible consequences of the political upheaval in our nation's capital. As politicians battle over budget shortfalls, they sometimes overlook the drastic impact their actions, or inaction, can have on members of the taxpaying public.

National Public Radio recently outlined some of the services that took serious hits when the federal government was shut down in 1995:

  • Bankruptcy courts were brought to a screeching halt
  • The Centers for Disease Control was forced to stop tracking infections and diseases
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was unable to process applications
  • More than 350 national parks and sites were closed
  • Immigration services stopped processing visas and passports
  • Many veterans services were curtailed or halted
  • Funding for federal contractors came to a stop, resulting in unpaid furloughs for workers

Resource: National Public Radio: "If Government Shutdown Occurs, Prepare For Much Collateral Damage" by Frank James: February 18, 2011

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