The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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October 15, 2013

Shutdown misery across the country

SUNBURY — By Joe Davidson

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — As Congress and the White House try to find their way out of the bleak hole that is this partial government shutdown, the damage it has done is becoming increasingly clear. The pain grows each day workers remain idle and services remain closed.

Even with many federal employees being called back to work, albeit with Uncle Sam's IOU in place of pay, the lapse in appropriations continues to raise havoc for many across the land. This was demonstrated by an online project by my Washington Post colleagues that let readers tell how the shutdown affects their lives. In just two days last week, Thursday and Friday, more than 2,300 replies were posted.

They were classified in four areas: "It doesn't affect me" (450), "It affects me a little" (380), "It affects me on a daily basis" (525) and "It threatens my livelihood" (962). Almost two-thirds said the shutdown affected them daily or threatened their livelihood.

A map of the replies illustrates that the shutdown's distress reaches to every corner of the nation, though, unfortunately, the posted responses are identified only by state.

Here is a sampling of the misery:

Ohio — A large percentage of the real estate sales in my area are USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] or VA [Department of Veterans Affairs]. As a realtor, the shutdown has almost shut down the market here!

Kentucky — I am a mortgage broker in Kentucky. I work straight commission. I had three USDA mortgage loans scheduled to close but now they can't due to Government shutdown. I need this money to support my family, not to mention the ripple effect of real estate agents, buyers, sellers, title company, insurance.

California — My husband and I are both federal law enforcement officers currently working with no pay. We can't survive if this shutdown goes any longer. We had enough to pay some bills this month but barely enough for food. If it goes any longer, we will have to tap into our retirement to pay for necessities.

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