PBS NewsHour / YouTube Where Congress stands now on government 1545830284.jpg...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

It’s millions.  Thanks to the Republican dream of running government like a business being starved and drowned in a bathtub, much of the actual work done in Uncle Sam’s name is actually performed by contractors, large and small.

And, should those contractors and all their subs of subs not be contracted by an “essential” agency, they are as good and screwed as any fed clock-puncher, often more so.

As one fellow put it the last time we danced this dance with Donald (or was it the time before?),

“We know the drill. No government, no billable hours. I thoroughly enjoy playing this game with my income every two months.”

Many furloughed contract employees do not operate under collective bargaining agreements, so they will not be paid during the shutdown. Some, in fact, may not get paid at all.

Unpaid employees of federal contractors, however, might not be paid. “In the past, some contractors have secured retro-financing, but it varies from agency to agency and contract to contract,” said Michael MacHarg, an attorney with Freeborn & Peters in Chicago.

However, Libby Henninger, an attorney with Littler in Washington, D.C., said, “Retroactive compensation typically is not the case for government contractors.”

Members of Congress and the media are rightly talking about the ripple effect on the economy from 800,000 federal workers being furloughed. But the number of workers and families affected is actually much larger.

Even people who don’t work for the government at all can have their incomes yanked by these GOP temper tantrums.

The Office of Management and Budget said the last shutdown in 2013 cost fisherman thousands by delaying the Alaskan crab fishing season and delayed lending to small businesses.

The 16-day 2013 shutdown is estimated to have cost the economy $24 Billion and cut job growth by 120,000.

These GOP shutdowns cause real injury to individuals and the economy. Causing or threatening injury to further political goals is the dictionary definition of terrorism.

We have to stop electing terrorists.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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