Nation reacts to government shutdown - New York News

Nation reacts to government shutdown; Chicago sees little impact

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's been three full days now since some federal agencies went into a partial shutdown. Unless you're on the U.S. government's payroll, though, you may not have felt any impact at all.

It's huge in terms of the national economy and the future of our politics. It's even the number one topic trending on Twitter. A lot of people are wondering, where's the impact on them?

Even joke Twitter accounts are feeling neglected.

One called @GovShutdown 2013 tweeted "I'm still shut down. Is your life noticeably different?" and ‏@GovtShuldown said, "I feel like a lot more people would care if the government shutdown meant Wi-Fi stopped working."

That's certainly because essential services are still being provided. And, unlike the Washington, D.C., area, where about 20% are directly on the federal payroll, it's less than 2% in the Chicago area, among the lowest anywhere in America.

"No, the partial shutdown has not affected me or impacted me in any way whatsoever," Crystal Lake resident Alice Pollard says. "People on the train didn't even know it's shutdown."

"I think that people are disengaged about the government. So, therefore, that's the reason people are not concerned about the whole shutdown," Derrick Williams says.

Another reason: most services funded by the Feds are continuing, including Head Start Day Care and the Women and Infant Children program that, for example, provides baby formula.

Hundreds of employees remain on the job at the regional offices of the Social Security Administration, assuring checks go out to pensioners and the disabled, even if they are not certain of their own pay checks.

"Well, Social Security's open for business," Cheryl Bellamy-Bonner, who works for the administration, says. "So, it's not impacting the public as much, because we're open for business. It's impacting the employees. It's gonna impact the economy. Frustrated, worried how am I gonna pay my bills. I have a daughter in college. I am very frustrated."

Officials in Chicago predicted most key social services would continue uninterrupted until at least Halloween. There could be problems after that, they said, should the impasse in Washington drag on into November. But that would imply the U.S. government missing the Oct. 17th debt limit deadline and defaulting on international obligations. If that happens, everyone with a stake in the economy will have very big problems.

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