WASHINGTON — Here's the truth about a government "shutdown."
The government won't shut down if a dysfunctional Washington can't pass a funding bill before the new budget year begins Oct. 1.
Social Security payments will still go out on time. Troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will get Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Virtually every essential government agency – the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard – will remain open. Officers will remain in full force at airport checkpoints.
Around the corner is a far bigger danger: Sometime in late October or early November, the government could run out of cash and be unable to pay all its bills on time. That could delay Social Security payments and wages for troops in the field.