Money to pay some of them has already begun to dry up, thanks to the failure of Congress to appropriate money for the new fiscal year that began October 1. Checks for about 4,200 VISTA volunteers scheduled to be mailed out Monday were held up, for lack of funds. Most other federal employes will not feel the paycheck bite unless Congress fails to act early next week. Some programs already are being affected, causing real hardships and some very, very unhappy taxpayers and voters: Example:

Black Lung benefit checks due nearly 50,000 mostly disabled persons cannot be mailed out this week as planned.

Federally-funded Unemployment benefits may not go out this week to the 125,000 who regularly receive them.

Housing grants and loans backed by HUD cannot be made.

Military paychecks due to be mailed next Wednesday (Oct. 10) cannot go out unless Congress votes funds, or authorizes the Pentagon to go-ahead pending new appropriations.

The prospect of payless paydays for the military might be enough to stop Senate-House bickering over the various appropriation bills. Students of history point out that it is most unwise not to pay your Army (or Navy, Air Force or Marines) on time.