The Washington Post

Government shutdown generates stories of misery

Carol Diaz, a U.S. federal government employee who has been on furlough since the shutdown, poses at her home in the borough of Staten Island, New York, October 4, 2013. Diaz moved back to her home that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy with her husband and son three weeks ago after being forced to rent for close to a year. Picture taken October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT SOCIETY PORTRAIT) Carol Diaz, a federal employee who has been on furlough since the shutdown, at her home in Staten Island, N.Y., Oct. 4. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Wednesday’s Federal Diary drew lots of Twitter reaction. It reported on reader comments about the government shutdown. They were collected as part of a project by

In case you missed the article, here is  the top of the column, with a link to the full story.

As Congress and the White House try to find their way out of the bleak hole that is this partial government shutdown, the damage it has done is becoming increasingly clear. The pain grows each day workers remain idle and services remain closed.

Even with many federal employees being called back to work, albeit with Uncle Sam’s IOU in place of pay, the lapse in appropriations continues to raise havoc for many across the land. This was demonstrated by an online project by my Washington Post colleagues that let readers to tell how the shutdown affects their lives. In just two days last week, Thursday and Friday, more than 2,300 replies were posted.

They were classified in four areas: “It doesn’t affect me” (450), “It affects me a little” (380), “It affects me on a daily basis” (525) and “It threatens my livelihood” (962). Almost two-thirds said the shutdown affected them daily or threatened their livelihood.

Here is a sampling of the misery:

Ohio — A large percentage of the real estate sales in my area are USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] or VA [Department of Veterans Affairs]. As a realtor, the shutdown has almost shut down the market here …

Arizona — Federal employee family of five in a single income family. Second time in six months that I am furloughed. This is day 22 of the government shutdown for me, 11 due to sequester plus 11+ due to shutdown. Considering leaving government work . . .

Read the full column at:

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.



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