NEW YORK (CBS NewYork) — If the federal government does shut down, will you still be able to catch a plane, get your tax refund and collect your social security check?
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has answers to those and a lot of other questions.
A government shutdown would sock it to the Tri-State Area in dozens of ways, including lost jobs and lost tourist revenue. On Friday, Kramer spoke with a man who is an unlikely victim of the government brinkmanship going on in Washington.
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Ned King makes his living from the kindness of strangers. He plays the steel drum for tourists waiting to board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For him, if the government shuts down the music — and his livelihood — will die.
“I would become a pauper. I would not be able to survive. I wouldn’t be able to collect any dollars,” King said.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are among hundreds of national parks and historic sites that would be closed as part of the government shutdown.
“We want to do it today because we know that by tomorrow it may be closed,” California tourist Jane Metz said upon her visit to Lady Liberty.
Other effects of the shutdown will include:
* Delays in getting passports and visas
* Tax refunds will be delayed, but you still have to file your returns on time
* Medicare and Social Security checks will go out, but new applications will not be processed
* Unemployment benefits would be paid, but there may only be enough money to issue checks for one month without interruption.
The good news is that airports will function normally and so will mail service. The bad news is the some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed — many right here in our area.
“I don’t know. I may have to apply for unemployment next week or whatever,” Upper East Side federal worker Michael Stack said. “I’m very concerned about it because you don’t know how long you’ll be out — whether a day or two, maybe a week, two weeks.”
“It will mean some difficult times so we’re hoping there isn’t a shut down,” Staten Island federal worker Jose Velez added.
Mike Irvin works for a firm that has a federal consulting contract. He’ll be out of work, too.
“(I’m) a little depressed. I just did a little more than a year unemployed, so, yeah, I feel bad about it,” Irvin said.
A quirk in the law will allow senators and congressmen to still collect their paychecks if government shuts down, but some, like New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said that’s crazy. If regular federal workers aren’t getting paid neither should they.
If the federal government shuts down, who would you blame? Leave a comment below…