Ah, the partial government shutdown. Truly, I could write updates about this every day -- and apparently (sadly) not run much risk of it becoming obsolete. 

Today's episode, day 34 if you're keeping count, includes:

  • $6 billion in total unpaid federal paychecks as of Friday,
  • a renewed fear that $100 billion in federal tax refunds will be delayed, because government officials didn't realize that IRS employees who aren't being paid are entitled to take "hardship leave,"
  • contingency planning at the White House for what happens if the whole thing lasts until "March and April" (which is depressing but prudent),
  • renewed concern that the federal SNAP program, known colloquially as "food stamps" will run out of money leaving 38 million low income families without benefits they count on for food, and
  • more back and forth on the political side, with the State of the Union likely the latest symbolic casualty.

All of this matters for many reasons of course. But if you own or lead a business, it's especially crucial. 

There's the very real risk of negligible or even negative economic growth. There's also a more pressing concern: that your customers won't have cash on hand to buy your goods and services (or maybe you're in a more business-to-business field, in which case it's about your clients' customers suddenly facing a cash crunch).

I wish I had the answers. But it seems like the prudent thing to do is take a page from the White House: and start planning for what you'd need to do if this thing goes on for months.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

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