There's been a lot of confusion surrounding the government shutdown and what it means for the lives of everyday Americans. This is particularly true of millennials, who seem especially bewildered about all this business. As such, here's a handy guide to get you through it.
1. Will any shows on Bravo be interrupted because of a presidential address?
No. Bravo is a cable network. A presidential address would only affect network TV.
That being said, a nationally televised presidential (or congressional) address would most likely come at the end of the shutdown, which experts say could be days/weeks, so you're probably safe.
In order for the shutdown to end, Congress has to pass a spending bill. Unfortunately, House Republicans are refusing to sign anything that funds the Affordable Care Act and President Obama and Senate Democrats are refusing sign anything that defunds the Affordable Care Act.
2. Why is anyone taking somebody with the last name "Boehner" seriously?
His name is pronounced Bayner, not Boner.
But to answer your larger question, people are taking Boehner seriously because he is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which along with the Senate, is responsible for passing laws and funding the government. Speaker Boehner is in a particularly difficult position, having to mediate between the right wing of the Republican party (who were elected on repealing the Affordable Care Act) and the moderate wing of the Republican party (who realize that a government shutdown is damaging to the American economy).
When the shutdown ends, John Boehner will be the key.
3. Can I still charge things to my parent's Bank of America platinum card?
Yes. Although the name "Bank of America" has the word "America" in it, it is not run by the United States government.
Remember, a larger piece of the debate over the government shutdown is the October 17 deadline for passing an extension on the debt ceiling, which likely will affect everyone, including big banks like BOA.
Economists warn that failing to raise the debt ceiling (which would cause the government to default on its loans), could have catastrophic effects, reminiscent of the “Great Recession” of 2008. Therefore, in an effort to avoid another economic crisis, it is likely that any deal to fund the government, will also address the larger issue of the debt ceiling.
4. What does Tom Cruise have to do with all of this?
But Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas, gave a 21 hour and 19 minute speech on the floor of the Senate against Obamacare that arguably started this all. Cruz is popular with the Tea Party, the same constituents who support House Republicans. They believe The Affordable Care Act is the worst thing since Green Eggs and Ham.
5. Does this in any way affect the shipping status of the fan mail I just sent to Miley Cyrus?
No. The U.S. Postal Service is still open for business, as it is not funded by the U.S. government.
While the government is shut down, most essential agencies remain functional, such as the military, disaster response, and the IRS. Meanwhile, House Republicans are trying to pass piecemeal budget items, such as funding the National Institute of Health, which could ultimately force Senate Democrats to prolonging the shutdown.
6. So can I bring a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut with me on my flight to Paris?
The TSA is an essential agency, which means it is still functioning and the old five ounce rule applies.
7. My friend got the week off work, how can this happen for me?
Quit your job. If you have one.
The shutdown furloughed approximately 800,000 of our 2.1 million federal employees. Furloughed employees aren’t getting paid, which means anyone could simulate such an experience by simply taking time off, quitting their job, or becoming unemployed.