5 months ago
Last edited at 5:09AM on 10/1/2013
Congress didn't pass a budget for the next fiscal year, so the different government organizations aren't getting more money than what they have now. Things like the post office have their own forms of income, and will continue to operate. Also, some programs like Social Security have budgets that are approved a year or so in advance, and won't be affected. But any entity that relies on Congressional money year to year now has no money, and so can't pay employees. Therefore the offices get shut down while they wait for Congress to get its act together and send money their way. That means some federal employees don't get paid, and citizens can't submit new applications for certain programs (like unemployment) until the offices re-open.
The entire government doesn't shut down. Only non-essential components are affected. What will happen is the politicians will get some big face-time on television while the little guy sits at home without a paycheck. They'll start everything back up in about a week with nothing more accomplished than what we have today.