The most immediate impact of the partial government shutdown was felt by federal employees of affected agencies. Now the “collateral damage” is starting to become evident, and it will affect everyone.
Some states and local communities are already taking an economic hit because so many federal employees live there.
In Ogden, Utah — a city about the size of Medford — more than 4,000 federal employees are affected, including IRS workers and U.S. Forest Sevice employees.
Things are not quite so dire here, although Oregon has more federal employees per 100,000 workers than either Washington or California.
At national parks and public recreation sites, trash is accumulating and bathrooms befouled by people who still show up even though there are no park workers to empty the bins or clean the toilets.
Ogden is hit hard because of its concentration of IRS workers, but every taxpayer faces the probability that income tax refunds will be delayed.
House Democrats planned a bill funding just the Treasury Department. That would increase pressure on Senate Republicans, who are expressing concern about the effects of the shutdown on their states. Rep. Greg Walden, to his credit, was one of seven House Republicans voting to end the shutdown last week.
No matter what your opinion on the merits of a border wall, shutting down part of the government makes no sense.
Members of Congress are supposed to represent their constituents. We’ll see how responsive they are when voters start complaining about not getting their tax refunds.