Sorry, Rich People: Even You Will Be Affected by the Shutdown
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When Congress passed the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration last year, the wealthy were largely exempt from feeling the sting: While programs like those for low-income children’s education andaffordable housing took a hit, the affluent only had to cope with losing out on White House tours. In fact, Congress passed a special provision that eliminated cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that would have created longer airport lines for business travelers.
Not so with the latest Congressional crisis: This time, it looks like even the wealthy are going to experience some (relative) hardships thanks to the shutdown. Even the FAA is getting furloughed. Here are some of the programs they might miss until funding is restored to the U.S. government:
Any tennis courts located on federal land are owned by the National Park Service (NPS). That means they are shut down this week and will be until Congress comes to a resolution.
Tucked within DC’s Rock Creek Park is the Rock Creek Horse Center, a set of stables for mostly privately owned horses. Rock Creek Park is also owned by the NPS and closed for the duration of a shutdown. Don’t worry though; the horses are still being fed.
NPS also owns several golf courses all around the country, from Massachusetts to California. They are closed until further notice.
Rowing, Sailing, and Yachting
Rowers who usually use the waterfront in DC’s upscale Georgetown neighborhood were turned away on Tuesday, since their boathouse, the Thompson Boat Center, is on NPS property. Marinas are also closed, including the Columbia Island Marina, home to yachts up to 50 feet long.
Though the stock market has been fairly steady since the shutdown, stocks oscillated severely before it began and could tank if this drags on. A shutdown is also expected to impact consumer confidence, which could hit corporate profits hard. On top of that, since the government is closed, businesses that want to open up new oil or gas drilling projects can’t, and contractors can’t set up new arrangements with the government or get paid, in some cases, until the shutdown ends.
In reality, most of the pain of a shutdown is being felt by the less advantaged: Federal workers, women and infants who need food assistance, kids with cancer, flood victims, and so many others are the ones who have it hardest. But, as House Republicans drag their feet on finally passing a clean budget, it’s important to remember that no one is exempt from the effects of a government shutdown.