Apr 7, 2011 11:43 PM by Maddie Garrett

What a Government Shutdown Would Mean for You

The Friday deadline is fast approaching for a compromise on the federal budget, or shut the U.S. Government down. An agreement seems to be slipping further away in Washington, and a federal shutdown could have severe negative effects for millions of Americans.

"I think it's a little extreme to shut down the government for budget cuts," said Elisabeth Boudreaux-Papa, a Lafayette resident.

Who gets paid, who goes home and who gets the short end of the stick? All questions the American people want answers to.

"Unless they do something between now and tomorrow evening the government will shut down at least for the weekend. You don't know how long it will take for them to hash it all out, but it looks pretty likely," said Dr. Ryan Teten, a government professor at University of Louisiana Lafayette.

If the lights go out in Washington on Friday, some government services will stay, while others will be shut down.

Social Security, Medicare, mail delivery, air traffic control, food inspection and Homeland Security won't be affected for the most part.

But the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), passport operations, Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Housing Association (FHA) will close their doors.

"If the government shuts down can we get an extension on our taxes? That would be nice right? But no, no such luck," said Mark Lentz, a history professor at UL.

That's right, your taxes are still due on time, but refunds will come later. And for the military, it's fight now and get paid later.

"The military is a perennial whipping boy, it's easy to always cut away from the military. You know we're going to cut this from the military or cut that from the military, but when it comes down to it those are boots on the ground those are individuals serving their country right now and those families need that money," said Teten.

Uniformed military would continue to serve but not get paid until the government reopened. For their next pay check, troops would only get one week of pay instead of two since the shutdown would fall in the middle of the pay period. And that has many people upset.

"They get serious consequences if they don't honor their contracts and so it seems it should be both ways. They should, on the other hand, get their pay," said Charles Gravely, a Lafayette resident.

"They need to keep paying them because they're going to be doing the work regardless, there's no shut down in Afghanistan or Iraq," Lentz agreed.

Not to mention, some of the 1.9 million civilian government employees could be furloughed if deemed "non-essential."

"I hope they come up with a much better solution," said Boudreaux-Papa

The House and Senate have passed a temporary bill that would keep the government running for another week. Teten said it makes some cuts and has provisions that go against President Obama's beliefs, and the White House has stated that the President will veto that bill. So the clock is ticking to find an agreement on the budget by the end of the day Friday, or shut the government down.



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