If the government shutdown drags on, it could take a bite out of the economy

Lots of key government services will be shuttered.

The US government shut down at midnight on Friday, and if it doesn’t reopen soon, it could have serious effects on the American economy.

When the government is shut down, it doesn’t come to a complete halt. Some parts of the government deemed essential keep running — active-duty military personnel report for duty, and the US Postal Service continues to deliver mail, for example.

But a shutdown means that hundreds of thousands of...

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