Reality Check: Government Shutdown - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: Government Shutdown

Some believe in the Washington budget battle that not only will a government shutdown send a message about how serious Americans are about fixing our budget problems, but also in the short run will save taxpayers money.

Here is a Reality Check:

"If liberals in the senate would rather play political games and force a government shutdown instead of accepting a modest down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say...shut it down, shut it down, shut it down." says Rep. Mike Pence before a group of Tea Party members in Washington D.C.

Will a shutdown save money? Imagine a government construction project. Since it's impossible to know how long the shutdown will last, workers are forced to wind down all operations and secure the work site; that all costs money.

It is also a process that will be repeated all across the country, and in every government agency. Plus, whenever funding is restored, it will cost money to get the project back up to speed.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a group of U.S. Soldiers on Friday, "The good news is, you will get paid. The bad news is you may not get paid on time."

That is true.

Not just for the military but for the 800,000 or so workers who might be furloughed. In every previous government shutdown, Congress has authorized back pay, even for days they didn't work.

There is no guarantee that will happen again, but if it does, it'll be a double whammy. Workers will get their paychecks but the work they normally do will have piled up in the meantime. When workers return, agencies might have to pay overtime just to catch up on all the work that wasn't done during the shutdown.

Here's what you need to know.

When a shutdown is considered in the context of the larger budget negotiations, the whole process will almost certainly result in savings for taxpayers. That's because both Democrats and Republicans at some point will have to agree that a compromise spending bill will slash tens of billions from the federal budget.

And that's Reality Check.

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