A question and some possible answers:

1. If the government is shutdown (just the non-essential stuff) what do they do with the money they’re not paying for those programs that are shut down?

A. They keep the money and have that much more. Then, the government has saved money by shutting down and will not need to collect as much in taxes.

B. They give it to the furloughed workers retroactively as back pay and there is no net gain. Then stories like this would be overly-dramatic at best or outright lies:

http://time.com/money/5494199/tsa-employees-government-shutdown/

C. They give the money they saved in shutting down back to the tax payers since they aren’t using it to pay their employees. Anybody get any extra tax money back in the past week? Anybody?

D. The government budget by way of taxation and spending is so convoluted and byzantine and well…systemically corrupt that it doesn’t matter if they collect the same amount of money in taxes but don’t spend what they had planned on spending. They still won’t have any extra money.

E. THIS bizarre option:

Taxes still due, but refunds delayed if government shutdown continues

Let’s clarify this. If government were a restaurant, they just closed their doors for a week because of a fight between management and the owners. They’re not paying the servers or dishwashers or cooks and you can’t eat there, but they’re still going to take your money if you had planned on eating there and they won’t pay their employees with it.

How does this work again?

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