You may not be a Federal employee or contractor or live or work in an area or business that is tied to government programs, but you can be affected by the partial government shutdown.
There are several ways the rest of us can be affected by services no longer rendered due to the shutdown. Here are some of the ways Americans are being affected.
People are being bombarded by telemarketing phone calls on their cell phones because the National Do Not Call Registry is not available
The choices of the foods you eat, whether purchased at the grocery store or eaten at a restaurant may be affected because of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) being shutdown because the FDA has had to cut down on routine inspections.
According to the Associated Press (AP), “The FDA oversees about three-quarters of the food supply, from fresh vegetables to dry cereal. The agency conducts about 8,400 domestic-food inspections a year, about a third involving “high-risk” food.”
However, the FDA does reassure that they are continuing to inspect fresh meats and poultry as well as imported foods.
Another area being affected by the government shutdown is with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you are wanting to file an identity theft complaint you may run into a wall as the FTC system is offline during the shutdown. So checking on complaints already filed or trying to file a new complaint will not happen for now.
The partial government shutdown is also having an affect on school lunch programs that receive anywhere fro 50-90 percent of its food budget from the USDA because of families that qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. These schools are rationing their food purchases to make sure they will have enough if the shutdown continues beyond March.
Filing tax returns could be a problem if you want to do it now and you need to get information from the IRS. All you will get will be a message that says, “help is not available at this time.” But the IRS will be calling back half of its workforce around January 28th when the official start of its tax season starts.
Another area that involves the IRS is with student aid applications and the Department of Education is saying that some “systems and processes depend on information from—and actions taken by—other federal agencies, several of which are currently closed.”
At airports Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors were recalled to work on Jan. 12 and 2,200 out of 3,000 are doing only critical work but are foregoing things like issuing new pilot certificates.
Even craft brewed beer is being affected because they can’t receive permission from the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tx and Trade Bureau to release or expand new beers. Or even receive approval on seasonal beer offerings which will have to be delayed.
In one way or another the government shutdown will affect everyone’s life, although not dire situations – just inconvenient for now.