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  1. #1
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    Government Shutdown Looms

    As a former federal employee and now as a government contractor, I follow these things pretty closely. Some observations:

    1) If the government shuts down, members of congress will still get paid, while most federal workers and our troops may not get paid. Troops would get paid later. But regular government workers may not. When I was a fed and the government shut down, I eventually got paid but I was a low-level worker and was unable to pay my bills for about a month.

    2) People will still get their Social Security checks and Medicare benefits. Medicare will still process claims. They vote. But Medicaid is in jeopardy if I understand things correctly. They vote for the wrong people.

    3) If the government shuts down, government contractors like me who do not perform "essential" work are essentially jobless until things get going again. we do not get paid retroactively of course. This stands to harm thousands upon thousands of contract workers at low-levels who live paycheck to paycheck.

    4) Tax returns most likely would not be processed or sent.

    5) Of course, all of this can be changed at any time by passing new legislation.

    6) The sticking point appears to be funding for Planned Parenthood. Defense remains a sacred cow, in spite of the fact that the Secretary of Defense has identified billions of dollars in useful cuts--Republicans in the house won't even entertain the idea.

    Ironically, everyone I know over 65 or so is just fine if the government shuts down. Like I said, they tend to vote for the "good" guys. Ahem.

    ::

    April 7 (Bloomberg) -- As tomorrow night’s deadline for avoiding a government shutdown nears, about 800,000 “non- essential” federal workers face the prospect of getting no pay at all for time lost to the political impasse.

    Elected officials, including House Speaker John Boehner and other members of Congress and President Barack Obama, all would be paid as usual during a shutdown, unless Congress changes the law. Soldiers, law enforcement officers and other government employees whose jobs are deemed essential would continue to work yet wouldn’t get paychecks until the budget standoff is resolved.

    Workers who are furloughed as non-essential, however, aren’t guaranteed that they’ll be paid at all for time off when the government closes for business. While they’ve ultimately received back pay after previous shutdowns, it’s up to Congress to “determine whether ‘non-excepted’ employees receive pay for the furlough period,” according to a U.S. Office of Personnel Management website providing guidance and information on furloughs.

    “It is unknown whether legislation will ultimately be passed” to make up lost pay, says a sample letter to non- essential employees prepared by the Committee on House Administration. “We wish that we could provide you with more guidance on this issue but, due to the fluid nature of the situation, we cannot.”

    Obama said a White House meeting last night with congressional leaders served to “narrow” differences over spending cuts. The government’s current spending authority is set to expire at midnight tomorrow.

    Officials have told lawmakers and senior aides to designate which employees are “essential” and must report to work, and warned that those deemed non-essential will be furloughed without pay.

    ‘Everyday Americans’

    “A shutdown could have real effects on everyday Americans,” President Barack Obama said late last night at the White House after a meeting where House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to reach an agreement. “It means that hundreds of thousands of workers across the country suddenly are without a paycheck. Their families are counting on them being able to go to work and do a good job.”

    Still, the political drama has not disrupted a prevailing calm in financial markets. Yields on two-year Treasury securities rose 2 basis points yesterday to 0.83 percent. That is below the average yield of 2.59 percent in the last decade, according to Bloomberg Bond Trade prices.

    ’Rational Approach’

    Those prices reflect expectations by investors that when political leaders “come to the edge of the precipice, a more rational approach should prevail,” said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody’s Capital Markets Group.

    In Washington, the shutdown has specific costs. The cost of back pay for furloughed government workers would be $174 million for each day the government is closed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government analyst Scott Anchin.

    Unlike the president and legislators, military personnel and essential federal employees who stay on the job would have to wait until government spending authority is restored to get salaries and wages.

    “Agencies will incur obligations to pay for services performed by excepted employees during a lapse in appropriations,” according to the website.

    There is no guarantee that Congress would make furloughed workers whole. It is possible they will be eligible for unemployment compensation, though it depends on state requirements, the website says. “Some states require a 1-week waiting period before an individual qualifies for payments,” it says.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...overnment.html
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  2. #2
    Grand Slam Champion jjnow's Avatar

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    I heard yesterday that the Director of the FBI was telling his agents to prep for a vacation. I guess I'd never really considered how wide ranging a government shutdown really is.
    Blue Steel

  3. #3
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by jjnow View Post
    I heard yesterday that the Director of the FBI was telling his agents to prep for a vacation. I guess I'd never really considered how wide ranging a government shutdown really is.
    Oh yeah. And government-backed mortgages, which account for about 1/4 of all mortgages, will not be backed during a government shutdown. Not sure what the correct terminology is, but you get the gist.

    Trash will not be collected in the District of Columbia.

    And if someone with a visual/other disability or someone without Internet access needs to find a substance abuse or mental health treatment facility in their community, needs crisis counseling, or information about oral diseases, neurological disorders, arthritis or musculoskeletal or skin diseases, just to name a few, we won't be answering those phones like we usually do. So suffer on your own. And hope that those folks seeking crisis counseling don't commit suicide.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  4. #4

    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    I'm really at a loss for words when it comes to this issue.

    If they can't come together on this, what the hell are they going to do during the rest of this congress?

    If we didn't have this job, which includes our rent and utilities, we could be in trouble if Mary's SS check was delayed for even just a week or two.

    Of course congress still gets their paychecks, so that's a good thing.
    Oh Grigor. You silly man.

  5. #5
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkus View Post
    I'm really at a loss for words when it comes to this issue.

    If they can't come together on this, what the hell are they going to do during the rest of this congress?

    If we didn't have this job, which includes our rent and utilities, we could be in trouble if Mary's SS check was delayed for even just a week or two.

    Of course congress still gets their paychecks, so that's a good thing.
    She'll get her SS check, kirkus. That was one of the first agreements reached by the House and Senate when the government shut down under Clinton. Today, it's a given.

    ::

    I feel very guilty about how mad I am at our senior citizens. I know it's not really their fault and that not all of them really want the rest of the U.S. to suffer while they are always the first group protected. But it really bugs me how protected they are and how other populations, in comparison, are so expendable.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    So, if I have a refund coming from the IRS, I guess I should have filed earlier.

  7. #7
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by shtexas View Post
    So, if I have a refund coming from the IRS, I guess I should have filed earlier.
    Hardly a week goes by without an Episode of Judge Judy that involves a tax refund check--usually the defendant had promised to pay a debt upon receipt of the tax refund but something always goes wrong for the poor things and they end up getting ripped to shreds in front of 10 million people by Judge Judy.

    This would give her enough material for an entire year of episodes. "But the government shut down and I didn't get my refund until really late, and she was sending me harassing texts, so I feel like I don't owe her a thing, blah blah blah..."
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  8. #8

    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Democrats were told by a Republican Representative this morning that, "if you vote against this extension bill you're voting against our troops."

    Statements like that just piss me off.

    ::

    MSNBC just reported that the House passed the extension bill. If it passes the Senate, the president has promised to veto it.

    I'm not sure what this extension bill is all about.
    Oh Grigor. You silly man.

  9. #9
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    She'll get her SS check, kirkus. That was one of the first agreements reached by the House and Senate when the government shut down under Clinton. Today, it's a given.

    ::

    I feel very guilty about how mad I am at our senior citizens. I know it's not really their fault and that not all of them really want the rest of the U.S. to suffer while they are always the first group protected. But it really bugs me how protected they are and how other populations, in comparison, are so expendable.
    It is funny that you bring this up because just 30 minutes ago in our Lifespan Cognitive Development class we were discussing if and how much of resources should be allocated to the older adult population. It is crazy that we are trying to find every way to live longer when it is actually harming the group as a whole.

  10. #10
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Pay for troops was also one of the things that was proposed to be covered anyway.

    They are/were supposed to vote on it before Friday if I'm not mistaken.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtdrum10 View Post
    It is funny that you bring this up because just 30 minutes ago in our Lifespan Cognitive Development class we were discussing if and how much of resources should be allocated to the older adult population. It is crazy that we are trying to find every way to live longer when it is actually harming the group as a whole.
    I'm not quite following. What do you mean by trying to live longer and how it actually harms seniors? (I just got out of a string of conference calls, so I'm not thinking properly and my neck is kinked.)

    ::

    I do want to clarify one thing. I'm not mad at our older citizens. I was always been taught, and have always believed, in revering our older citizens. They have paid their taxes, raised their children, and spent the bulk of their lives caring for others--from spouses to children to grandchildren to siblings to their own parents in their latter years. I have to utmost respect and fully support the idea that the system should work for them and that they should be respected and protected.

    My gripe is only about the inequity in terms of how our elected officials view different populations.

    ::

    And the office has confirmed it. Unless a budget is signed by Monday, I'm essentially jobless come Monday. I'm not worried. I saw this potentially coming and have some money in the bank that I've squirreled away. But I'm a rare duck. A lot of people don't have a choice but to pay their pills and have no safety net.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkus View Post
    Democrats were told by a Republican Representative this morning that, "if you vote against this extension bill you're voting against our troops."

    Statements like that just piss me off.

    ::

    MSNBC just reported that the House passed the extension bill. If it passes the Senate, the president has promised to veto it.

    I'm not sure what this extension bill is all about.
    As I understand it, the extension bill includes $12 billion in new cuts and would fund the troops and the Department of Defense through Sept. 30. I believe the extension bill was to keep the government open at current funding levels (unless you got slashed and burned in the $12 billion) for another week? It's all very confusing.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    The one they tried to offer goes after common republican 'targets'. It's not a real offer.

    That is probably what pisses me off the most. It's playing politics still. Nobody comes across as really sincere. Congress still gets paid and doesn't care about the collateral damage.
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  14. #14
    Content Jtdrum10's Avatar

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    I'm not quite following. What do you mean by trying to live longer and how it actually harms seniors? (I just got out of a string of conference calls, so I'm not thinking properly and my neck is kinked.)
    I should have clarified better. There are some people out there who believe we can push the envelope when it comes to life expectancy. But what we were discussing as a class was why anyone would want to live longer. Your cognitive and physical abilities decline, you drain your own personal finances (and in many cases, your close family's funds), and you strain a national system. So the question of why are they, like you said, "the first group protected" also came up in the discussion since they are not pulling their weight in society.

    I don't have many opinions on this topic, I was only noting that I thought it was funny that I had just left a class where we were discussing the exact thing you were saying. I don't mean to offend anyone by conveying what we were talking about in the class.

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    Re: Government Shutdown Looms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtdrum10 View Post
    I should have clarified better. There are some people out there who believe we can push the envelope when it comes to life expectancy. But what we were discussing as a class was why anyone would want to live longer. Your cognitive and physical abilities decline, you drain your own personal finances (and in many cases, your close family's funds), and you strain a national system. So the question of why are they, like you said, "the first group protected" also came up in the discussion since they are not pulling their weight in society.

    I don't have many opinions on this topic, I was only noting that I thought it was funny that I had just left a class where we were discussing the exact thing you were saying. I don't mean to offend anyone by conveying what we were talking about in the class.
    Interesting.

    I guess I see this from multiple angles. Yes, there's a chance by extending years of life that you increase the burden on the system. But there's also the chance that you can increase the years and quality of life--which should be the goal.

    As I've said, I'm fine with seniors being a protected class. I just don't understand why our public policy views other populations as expendable.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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