810,000 federal workers, give or take a few, were furloughed this week as Shutdown 2013 began. Those employees had to report to work to "prepare" for a shutdown, in many cases simply reporting, signing a form acknowledging the furlough, and leaving again. The "average" American lives 16 miles from wherever they work, driving 32 miles round trip in a car that averages 24.6 miles per gallon. This trip uses 1.3 gallons of gas, at an average price of $3.39 per gallon, which comes out to $4.41 per trip. Going on national averages for fuel economy, commuting distance, and gasoline, these 810,000 furloughed federal employees collectively shelled out at least $3,572,100 on gas for a short, short workday.
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- What's Closed in a Government Shutdown
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It's Day 4 of the government shutdown - which means Day 4 of your life being more dangerous than it was in September...
You see, besides the effects of 800,000 workers being furloughed, the government shutdown affects the general public in ways most of us don't realize.
Some are downright scary.
Here are 10 you should know now:
The government shutdown is a big headache for the entire country, but it's also having an impact on individual investors. With several key agencies closed for business, investors can't get something they must have in order to make sound financial decisions...
Yesterday, CNBC hosted Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald to talk about what the government shutdown is doing to the markets.
And that, everyone agrees, would trigger a much more pronounced reaction from Wall Street.
Biggest stock market news today, before the opening bell: The government shutdown that kicked in yesterday after lawmakers could not agree on a federal budget last night has done little in the way of dampening the stock market. With politicians at odds now, investors are anticipating a faster resolution to another issue -- the debt ceiling issues that will come to the foreground in about two weeks.
While some 800,000 government employees are now furloughed with another million asked to work without pay, investors seem to believe this closure will be short-lived. The shutdown is the first in the U.S. in since 1995.
Today has surprised some people who went about their daily business without knowing what's closed in a government shutdown.
Another surprise: Markets didn't plummet. There are a few reasons for that:
- The government isn't entirely closed.
- A closing isn't as uncommon as it is being made out to be. Government shutdowns have occurred 18 times since 1976.
- Negotiations are still being talked about behind the scenes.
- Markets are really more concerned about the debt ceiling deadline (which is now Oct. 17).
And assuming a deal is reached sometime within the next few weeks, the impact on fourth-quarter economic growth from this U.S. government shutdown is expected to be relatively minimal. Any loss is expected to be easily made up in Q1 of 2014.
As of midnight Monday, the government shutdown is upon us. But this is only the first of several budget-battle flashpoints coming over the next few months that will thrash the markets. And despite the angst it will bring, every Washington screwup has a silver lining for investors who know how to play it...
Overnight budget talks failed to lead to a federal budget agreement, and now we're just a few hours from the first U.S. government shutdown in 15 years. The shutdown could put 800,000 federal employees out of work, while creating a nightmare for U.S. taxpayers who are regular users of government services.
As bad as that all sounds, the shutdown threat isn't the worst thing I see here - not by a longshot.
The worst thing is that - with a $14.2 trillion national debt - the part of the budget the two sides are squabbling over is miniscule. Democrats have agreed to $34.5 billion in spending cuts, while the Republicans have agreed to $39 billion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
It's a rounding error.
The phrase "government shutdown" is being used with increasing frequency.
Temporary funding measures have kept the government running this year as U.S. lawmakers repeatedly extended the final budget deadline. An end to negotiations is still nowhere in sight - stoking the shutdown discussions.