Is the Government Shutdown Affecting Business?

Christina Lewellen
October 9, 2013

As the government shutdown drags on, many question whether we're getting any closer to a resolution or whether each day takes us farther away from some sort of workable compromise. We try not to get too political with The Talk topics we kick around, but this is a pretty tough situation to ignore. While a two-week government shutdown is unlikely to have a large impact on housing and the economy, a shutdown that spans a month or more could be quite costly, according to NAHB's most recent "Eye on the Economy" report. Among the potential repercussions: possible delays in FHA-insured single-family loan approvals, FHA multifamily insured financing, rural housing loans, and E-Verify for hiring. Additionally, with the closure of the IRS, it may be difficult for prospective homebuyers to acquire lender-required forms to obtain mortgages, NAHB analysts point out.

And as October 17th draws closer, if we don't resolve our country's debt-ceiling situation, our economy could suffer significant repercussions.

What do you think? Will our elected leaders allow us to default on our debt, or will reason prevail in the final hours to avoid this type of situation from playing out? Some analysts predict that the extended government shutdown, coupled with defaulting on our debt payments, could throw us into another recession. Do you think this is concerning enough to slow the U.S. consumer from reaching for his or her wallet to pay for home improvements? Has the government shutdown and pending debt ceiling crisis affected your business? Please send an email or post a comment to share.

Survey Results for 10/09/2013 :

Has the government shutdown affected your business?

No, and I doubt it will.





Not yet, though I expect it will.





Yes, buyers are skittish.





I'm not sure yet.





Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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We are a suburb of Washington D.C. Normally recessions do not effect us. The sequester has had a very negative effect on our sales. The government shut down has amplified this problem. It has been a long 3+ years of poor economic results, this is not what anyone needs right now.

Geeze Louise, I sure wish that this website had an "edit" feature, to enable those of us who post to finalize our thoughts with a little cohesion. I'm the first anonymous poster above. Unfortunately, earlier today, I got distracted in the middle of my post, and was called away for a jobsite emergency. I did not get to correct, or finalize, just where I was going with my "rant."

My last paragraph had to do with a mortgaged future for our children and grandchildren, and how those who "govern" us (and I use that term loosely), don't seem to care. This standoff between the Executive and Legislative branches of our government is critical to business. The players in this deadlock and debt ceiling debacle really have no idea of precisely what effect their action, or lack of it, has not only on our businesses, but on American life in general. The have no clue simply because all of them are out of touch with reality. Under more careful scrutiny, many Members of Congress, and possibly the President himself, are products of the earlier two thirds majority that I mentioned earlier.

Example: The Affordable Care Act, or socialized medicine is so wonderful that everyone ought to be delighted. As a matter of fact, it's so wonderful for everyone else, but it's not for the crowed that gave it to us. The legislators have "opted out." Some even admit that they enacted the legislation, but didn't even bother to read it! Hard to believe, but true. This same attitude prevails when they make decisions affecting business.

There's no way in hell the this continued standoff will help businesses in this country. The governments' long history of poor judgment has also contributed to the information that I was given with regard to the workforce. Our education system continues to graduate students who have no business graduating. Affirmative action presently guarantees that the best qualified candidate for a position does not necessarily get the job. Laws prohibit potential employers from asking questions of job candidates having to do with hopelessly addictive drug abusers, or repeatedly convicted felons. All this due (no only) to poor judgment but to the complete absence of common sense. The apathy continually exhibited by our so called leaders is appalling.

The total lack of accountability in entitlement programs represents one of the most blatant malfeasance and misuse of public funds in the history of human civilization. But, it guarantees votes, so no attempt to make changes to the system will ever be initiated. What effect does all of this have on the well being of the United States, and on our businesses? Continued governmental mismanagement, and thoughtless edicts continually forced on businesses, and those who work for a living, spells future disaster. My friends, sadly, the outlook is bleak. The cavalry is not riding in on the horizon to rescue us.

Those of us facing the September of our years in business have much to be thankful for. We succeeded during America's halcyon days. The struggle for younger business folks will be much tougher than it was for us. And I truly, with all my heart, wish you the best!

Our monthly debt payments are $18B and our government takes in about $225B per month. Our law requires that our debt obligations be paid first. Unless math has changed, there is plenty of money coming in to cover our debts. What will be affected are the handouts that are used to get votes. I hope they keep the government shut down so we will be able to see the real results instead of the media hype and political lies. But then the WWII vets will still be locked out of a freestanding memorial while the illegal immigrants are permitted to have a rally on "closed" federal property.

stated exactly what the future looks like for our children and grandchild, who will be "mortgaged to the hilt," if we continue down the same road of financial irresponsibility.

On top of all this, in a worldwide survey, not only do American students rank 25th and 27th (respectively) in Math & Science, but now, American adults between the ages of 18 and 65 rank 17th in a worldwide study of adult intelligence. The general atmosphere in the country today seems to be, Oh, we care about our sports teams, and we can't get enough of Miley Cyrus, and the Kardashians, but please don't trouble us with thoughts about the future of our country. We just can't be bothered. So we continue to elect people who are just as dysfunctional as we are, and to hell with everything else. A study to which I was privy (while lobbying in Washington a few years back. on behalf of small business), it was revealed to me one third of the American workforce is functionally illiterate, while another third is chemically dependent. That leaves normal folks like you and I, going completely out of our minds trying to deal with the other two thirds. It must be noted that the Senator who gave me this information stated that it came from the (then) Department of Labor & Industry, and called only be applied to the workforce, and not the general population, but hmmmm, I wonder????

Having grown up in the 1950's & '60's, and having lived through more American History than most others here, I'm also a student of American History. I've traveled (on either business or pleasure), to every state in the Union except Alaska & North Dakota. I've seen what we'll refer to as "the best & the worst of the USA." I've lived through turmoil, witnessed several wars (including one in which I served), many economic recessions, near depressions, the Cuban Missle Crisis, political assassinations, near political assassinations, Presidential scandals, and Presidential resignation. After living through all of this tumult, I can honestly state to you today that there has not been a more dysfunctional time in the United States than right now. There are many reasons for this.

We have a Congress whose self interest is completely out of control. The reason? Term limits would eliminate the self interest, but the folks who would have to approve term limits are the same folks who are guilty of the abuse. We have a President who claims he will negotiate with the Iranians, he'll negotiate with the Syrians, but refuses to sit down and negotiate with other Americans. The cause for the current impasse? The Affordable Care Act/Law, or Obamacare.

This is not a political statement professing my loyalty to any party. I'm disillusioned by all parties. I always vote for the candidate I like, regardless of party. However, like it or not, jobs are created in this country by small businesses. Ordinary folks like you and I, put people to work. I speak regularly to business owners all over the country, small, medium, and large manufacturers, service companies, home improvement distributors and retailers. Those with companies large enough are cutting their full time workers in favor of part-timers. The reason is the Affordable Care Act. Also, Americans interest in signing up on the Government website for medical insurance are voicing the opinion that the website was not yet prepared to handle the volume. The standoff with the shutdown, now has to do with delaying Obamacare, not destroying it. Yet the President will not budge. He is insisting that there be no delay in enacting this program. He states that the Act is the law of the land. He omits the fact that the only reason that it's the law of the land is the fact that the Supreme Court. in June of 2012, did not pass it as protection for the uninsured, but as simply another tax on the people of the United States. The President also will not entertain the vigorous budget cuts being proposed by the opposition.
Yesterday, local news stations in the Greater Philadelphia area

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