WASHINGTON (AP) - If the government "shuts down" next Tuesday, your mail will still come. Doctors will see Medicare patients. NASA will keep talking to the astronauts circling Earth on the Space Station. In fact, the majority of government will remain on the job.
The bad news would hit random Americans first: vacationers hoping to take in Mount Rushmore or a Smithsonian museum. Homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages. Travelers who want new passports, quickly. Perhaps on the bright side - for some - tax audits would probably be suspended.
Troubles would spread the longer a shutdown lasted.
There could be delays in processing applications for new Social Security and Medicare benefits. And lost profits for businesses that sell to the government. Delayed or even lost pay for all those government workers.