Federal Furloughed Employee on Coping with the Government Shutdown

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Federal workers protest the government shutdown on the steps of the Capitol (coolrevolution/flickr)

Nine days into the government shutdown, thousands of federal employees are still on furlough as they wait for Congress and the president to finally reach an agreement. 

Many are sitting in their homes, and others are looking for temporary work in an attempt to bring in needed revenue that can curb their family's financial burden.

Marcelo del Canto and his wife, Lizette, are both furloughed, and with each day they're growing more and more anxious.

Marcelo and Lizette work at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Lizette is a public health analyst and Marcelo is a budget analyst.

Marcelo describes what it's like to live with uncertainty during the shutdown.


Marcelo del Canto

Produced by:

Reema Khrais


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

Marie from Springfield Oregon

My husband is one of the government employees who is considered "essential" so he is working, but has no idea of when he will be paid again...we were careful with our money, and have been working for the last 3 years to be debt free in order to refinance our home and start planning for retirement in about 15 years...Now we have our finances in place with the exception of not knowing when and if we can expect a steady paycheck. We still have kids at home, two of whom are attending the University of Oregon and because we have one of those "great" government jobs (sarcasm here) we make too much for our kids to qualify for any financial aid except for loans. Because of that, they still live at home. We also have a senior in high school, so we will be at this for awhile. We have worked really hard to be in a better financial position, but we are still only a couple of paychecks away from missing a mortgage payment and our best laid plans for getting our ducks in a row are starting to look like a waste. As a side note, my husband lost a 17 year career with a major airline in 2001, and we lost 100K in stock and about 2/3 of a promised pension. It definitely feels like we can't win for losing.

Oct. 15 2013 02:28 AM

I'm in the private sector and like many others, I've been laid off.
I'm sick of hearing about crying government workers and their fat pensions.

Between Federal, state, local, etc, government spending accounts for 70% of the GDP. Income tax someone paid with tax money is like taxing a tax. It looses efficiency quickly. Get a real job.

What about the 30% that is supporting you? You're feeding off of us like vampires. The money supply is being given to China and left Bernanke to use QE to prop us up like Japan but Japan is buying US bonds to also prop themselves up. We will collapse thanks to the vampires. Low money supply is leading to low labor demand which leads to low wages destroying tax revenue.

You can use morality as an argument but it will destroy the US financially.

Quit crying.

Vampires killing it's host.... Nothing more.

Oct. 09 2013 03:29 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

How is it that the Politicians who are supposed to run our Government want nothing to do with it?...Oh that's right, they are still getting paid!

Oct. 09 2013 01:57 PM

I can't imagine working for nothing, even if eventually I'll get paid. I bet your bank wants your mortgage payment on time, same for landlord, electric co., phone, etc. etc. etc.! Who pays the penalty for late payments? How about the vets who can't get needed health care, because of backlogs? Backlogs are going to be greater, and greater . . .. Thanks, Boehner, Cruz, Ryan for slowing down the economy ~ what insanity you are creating!! Thanks, George W. Bush for starting war(s), declaring victory, but never bringing our young men and women home, but letting them go on being injured while discouraging benefits be paid for PTSD and other injuries. Oh! You think this saves money - do you? No, and it makes people very angry because we don't live in an equable country with a MINORITY in charge.

Oct. 09 2013 01:01 PM

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