I don't believe I've ever posted in D&D before, but feel that I need to get my worries out somewhere, and hopefully find others who are in the same situation.
My wife's been a federal employee for 10 years now. We've had shutdown situations before, pay has come retroactively, it's been alright. I find it atrocious that the people who do their job, 400,000 +, have to suffer with uncertainty because those we've elected to do their job refuse to do so.
We kept a nice buffer in savings, about 2 mortgages worth, in case this happened. Well, a couple months ago, our dog needed knee surgery. She's got a lot of life left in her, it was the first big expenditure we've had to do for her, but it knocked our savings down a bit....
So, I'm in worst-case scenario thought mode now. People make choices in life to establish themselves in careers that provide long-term, predictable stability. Nothing feels predictable anymore. The whole system isn't functioning, and I don't see people stepping up to right this whole clustertruck. If I lose my house because a wannabe dictator didn't get his wall, the house that my wife and I worked hard to purchase, that we chose specifically to give our children a positive life.... I don't know.
Shutdowns have become a commonly used weapon now, and the victims are regular-ass people like you and me.
Shutdowns should be dramatic, impactful, but not to people just getting by. We "get by" well enough. But we can't make it two pay periods of this.