In mere hours, Republicans and Democrats will make a very important decision. Based on the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, here are just some of the consequences we’ll incur today if the government shuts down, according to the Center for American Progress:
1. Social Security: Unprocessed. Social security checks are essential, so they’ll still be mailed out. But new applications will be left sitting unopened, on empty desks, and America’s seniors will suffer for it.
2. Veteran’s Services: Gone. Even though nearly half the fiscal budget is focused on war, a government shutdown would mean that many of America’s veterans would lose access to vital veteran’s services. At least that’s what happened in 1996.
3. Health, Disease, And Toxic Cleanup Services: On Hold. Cleanup at more than 600 toxic waste sites was stopped during the 1996 government shutdown. But that’s just the beginning: The Center for Disease Control halted its disease surveillance, disease hotlines rang endlessly, and the National Institute of Health stopped accepting new patients for clinical trials.
4. Taxpayer Dollars: Lost. In 1996, taxpayers lost an estimated $700 million–$800 million in backed salaries of furloughed employees. A government shutdown today would be even more costly.
5. National Parks: Closed. During the 1995 and 1996 shutdown, 68 national parks closed, resulting in a loss of 7 million visitors and $14.2 million per day in tourist revenues.
6. Museums: Closed. During the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, museums lost about 2 million visitors.
7. Passports And Visa Applications: Unprocessed. During the last shutdown, more than 200,000 passport applications and 20,000–30,000 visa applications went unprocessed.
And remember, this is all information from the 1995 and 1996 government shutdown. Today, in a recession-ridden America, the consequences will be far worse.