An important factual correction. Many people believe that “only” the 800,000 federal employees who are furloughed are not being paid. That’s wrong.
FBI agents working kidnapping cases are not being paid. The Capitol Police who just risked their lives to protect members of Congress are not being paid. Forest Service personnel who are fighting wildfires are not being paid.
Over 2 million federal employees are doing their jobs for free at the moment. How long would you do that? How long could you afford to? Would your creditors accept a promise that someday the House of Representatives will act and then you will be able to pay your rent, your utility bill and your credit card bill?
It’s public service indeed to persist in one’s duties under these conditions.