What a Government Shutdown Could Mean to You

There are only five days left before the federal budget runs out of money and the question on everyone's mind is what would that government shutdown mean for me and my family?

We spoke with a Professor of Economics at UW-Stevens Point to try to get that answer. Dr. Randy Cray tells us the average person would barely notice a difference if the government were to shutdown. The reason being the shutdown would only be a partial one. That means any spending to protect human life and property would continue. So programs like social security, Medicare, food stamps or unemployment insurance are all protected.

"Where the slow down would happen would be in areas where people were applying for those benefits or they had questions or disputes with regard to that," Dr. Cray explains.

Another way you may feel the impact is if you plan to travel. While essential personnel, like air traffic controllers, will still be in place expect delays when applying for a passport. If the government shuts down national parks and museums will also be closed.

Dr. Cray tells us while the government shutdown would have an impact on the economy, the more troubling thing is not the shutdown, but the looming debt ceiling debate.

"It would more than likely lead to higher borrowing rates for the government and that would add even further to the US government debt and it would be picked up ultimately by the US taxpayer," Dr. Cray tells NewsChannel 7.

While the government shutdown would stop any new spending, the debt ceiling debate is about paying back money that's already been spent. Regardless of both debates, however, Dr. Cray says the Affordable Care Act will move forward.

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