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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/17/2011

What might a government shutdown look like?

By Ed O'Keefe


(File photo: Nancy Andrews/Post)

Eye Opener

Updated 2:48 p.m. ET
If President Obama and congressional Republicans fail to agree soon on how to fund the final seven months of the fiscal year, some veterans might not receive benefits checks and other Americans would be unable to apply for Social Security. The State Department might not issue new passports, unemployment statistics would not publish as scheduled, museums and national parks would close, and worse -- piles of elephant manure might pile up in a National Zoo parking lot because workers can't ship it away for composting.

Budget disagreements between Bill Clinton and Republicans prompted these incidents in 1995 and 1996, as federal agencies halted operations and stopped paying workers.

Over the course of more than 20 days, about 260,000 District-area federal employees stayed home, or reported for duty only to be sent packing hours later. Security guards roamed the halls forcing out workers who lingered and some frustrated feds sought temporary jobs as bike messengers and waitresses in order to pay holiday bills, according to Post reports from the time.

Agencies retroactively paid workers once the doors reopened, but many government contractors -- paid separately by private employers -- earned nothing during the shutdowns.

Obama and congressional leaders must strike a deal by March 4 in order to keep the government running. Failure to pass a bill could cause an immediate stop to a wide range of federal services.

Depending on the proposal, the GOP is hoping to cut $60 billion to $100 billion, in an effort to trim the deficit and make good on a midterm election pledge to cut government spending. The White House has vowed to veto such plans. Numerous tea party groups have called on lawmakers to force a government shutdown, if necessary, but GOP leadership has vowed not to go that far.

"The government isn't going to shut down," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the second-ranking Senate Republican, insisted Tuesday night. "Nobody is talking about shutting the government down."

Actually, they are, according to sources. Federal agencies are beginning to instruct senior officials to prepare for a possible shutdown, ordering the cancellation of vacations or other personal commitments, said officials not authorized to speak on the record.

Jacob J. Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, disputed those reports Thursday. "We're planning on reaching the kind of agreements that make it unnecessary to put the American people through a government shutdown. I don't want to either intentionally or unintentionally send any signals that we're planning to the contrary," he said at a luncheon hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

At his press conference Tuesday, Obama also warned against suggestions of a shutdown. "This is not an abstraction," he said. "People don't get their Social Security checks. They don't get their veterans payments. Basic functions shut down. And it -- that, also, would have a adverse effect on our economic recovery."

"It is interesting to see this come up again," said Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, which represents thousands of the government's career managers. "It seems the last shutdowns didn't leave a negative enough impression on Americans if lawmakers are entertaining the thought of them once again."

Some of Bonosaro's members reached Wednesday, who asked not to be identified, recalled awkwardly deciding in 1995 which "essential" employees could work through the impasse and which "non-essential" personnel had to go home.

"The main impact was a vast amount of work associated with building shutdown plans and determining exactly who was and wasn't essential, and all the morale issues associated with the fear of impending implementation of those plans," one SEA member said in an e-mail. "I worked hard to get as many as possible of our then-1,200 or so employees deemed essential as I could, and that helped with morale."

Even if non-essential workers wanted to work without pay, they could face fines of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison for violating a federal law that prohibits agencies from accepting volunteer labor.

So how might it work this time? It obviously won't be quite the same, said Stan Collander, a longtime budget analyst.

"Instead of checks being mailed, they're now transferred electronically. But you've also got other things that didn't exist before like Homeland Security," he said. "There would have to be some reevaluation from last time. Those are big policy decisions. The next level down is to tell every agency to start preparing for a shutdown. Who gets to come in, who doesn't? What additional help do you need for security and computer systems?"

Stores and restaurants near federal buildings relying on daytime foot traffic would suffer and Metrorail revenues would plummet from lower ridership. It would be as if the movie industry shut down Hollywood, or if the auto industry temporarily closed shop in Detroit.

Government contracting firms are already mobilizing and preparing for potential disruptions, according to Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, which represents hundreds of mid-sized contracting firms.

"We want our folks to be as prepared as possible," Soloway said. "That doesn't mean it's going to happen, but it's not outside the realm of possibility either, so we can't ignore it."

Calculating the potential savings from a shutdown are difficult, primarily because agencies historically pay back workers for time lost and might spend more to compensate for lost productivity, according to Post reports from the period.

Cities and states relying on federal funds would also have to spend unavailable cash. During the Nov. 1995 shutdown, the District of Columbia saved about $1.2 million daily by keeping some offices closed, but concurrently spent $4.4 million to cover the salaries of 26,000 employees normally paid with federal funds. At the same time, Maryland's state government spent $1.4 million a day to cover the salaries of 9,680 state workers also paid with federal dollars.

The president is given wide discretion to determine which agencies and programs continue operations during shutdowns, meaning many employees of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Veterans Affairs would keep working in order to keep national security and defense concerns running smoothly. In 1995, Clinton signed a special appropriations bill that kept 12,000 Agriculture Department workers on the job.

Other self-funding agencies would also open for business. The U.S. Mint, which finances its operations through a special fund, would still produce coins, and neither snow nor rain nor threat of shutdown would keep postal workers from their appointed rounds.

And even if the waste piles up in the parking lot, it's likely zoo workers would feed and care for the animals, just as they did the last time.

Researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine spoke Wednesday (about the Virginia senate seat?). Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asks the GOP for patience. Jay Carney's for White House briefing was standing-room only, but Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton is leaving. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates defends proposed health-care increases for military retirees.

CIA:
Panetta outlines plan for bin Laden's detention if al-Qaeda leader is captured: He'd be held by the military and probably will be sent to Guantanamo Bay, the first time any senior administration official has outlined a detention plan for al-Qaeda's top leadership.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Staying in touch with home, for better or worse: Forget the drones, laser-guided bombs and eye-popping satellite imagery. For the average soldier, the most significant change to modern warfare might just boil down to instant chatting.

Investigative spotlight turns on Army captain who helped bust counterfeiter: His subsequent investigation was "inappropriate, impermissible, and not taken lightly," according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post.

FEMA:
Seeking private-sector input, FEMA invites executives to work at headquarters: Under the program, corporate executives in industries ranging from retail to energy spend three months at the agency's response coordination center and serve as a liaison to the business world, particularly during a disaster

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
Obama's rule makers raise the value of life: To protests from business and praise from unions, environmentalists and consumer groups, one agency after another has ratcheted up the price of life, justifying tougher -- and more costly -- standards.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT:
HUD to rental policy groups: Sign agreement, stay quiet: It's a highly unusual request that has drawn criticism from a top Republican lawmaker who is investigating the matter.

IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:
Cartel gunmen shot U.S. agents, Mexican state governor says: The agents were returning from meetings with their U.S. counterparts in San Luis Potosi, where the Mexican federal police academy is located.

Immigration authorities at odds on local participation in enforcement program: Even as federal immigration officials were telling Arlington County, San Francisco and other jurisdictions that they could not opt out of a controversial immigration enforcement program, they were telling other municipalities that they could.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Sen. Leahy on anthrax case: 'It's not closed': The Vermont Democrat has never accepted the FBI's decision to close the case in the series of anthrax-laced letters mailed to public officials in fall 2001.

U.S. MARSHALS:
Deputy U.S. Marshal, suspect killed in West Virginia: One of three deputy marshals who were shot while attempting to serve an arrest warrant has died, and a drug suspect also was killed in the shootout.

SEC:
In an Amish village, the SEC alleges a Madoff-like fraud: The suspect spent a quarter-century raising $33 million from more than 2,600 investors, the overwhelming majority of them fellow members of the Amish community, which often shuns modern conveniences such as automobiles.

TSA:
Two TSA agents arrested at JFK Airport for stealing $39K from passenger's bag: The rogue agents have admitted to other thefts of up to $160,000.

TSA drops Iditarod recruitment effort after PETA complains: The group complained to the agency that it was sponsoring a "cruel" event.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | February 17, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Budget, Eye Opener, Government Shutdown  
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Comments

The GOP is responsible for the massive deficit because of the two bogus wars they conned the rest of us into going along with! What the heck are they to decide what gets cut. Cut defense spending, get the troops home and close all our foreign military bases! Pay your federal income taxes to your state, county or city government. Let Washington have the recession for once.

Posted by: manicdrummer | February 17, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Once again, the Democrats want to scare old ladies and kids.

Posted by: yokosuka1985 | February 17, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

The manure in this article stunk so bad I couldn't finish reading it.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | February 17, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Fear mongering ... give us all your money or else you won't get essential services! ...

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

If congress shuts down the federal government, NO Federal workers should report to work, regardless of designation or agency. If the buttholes want a shut down, they need to experience what a tru shut down means...then let's see how the third grade educated tea parties howl.

Posted by: dem4life1 | February 17, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country."

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse
_______________________________________
Ya, because the american public is just so grateful for all we do. FAT CHANCE.

Posted by: dem4life1 | February 17, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The State Department might not issue new passports<<<

Who needs a passport? Aren`t all countries like ours?

Posted by: nanonano1 | February 17, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The State Department might not issue new passports<<<

Who needs a passport? Aren`t all countries like ours?

Posted by: nanonano1 | February 17, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

No one would really notice. Scaring the old folks is typical of the Democrats. Let's do it for an extended period of time and see where the wheels really do fall off the bus. I suspect no one will notice that the Department of Energy and others like it are shut down.

Posted by: richard36 | February 17, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Ha Ha HA HA HA HAAA HAAA! This would be interesting. The fed hating resentful non-federal citizenry would love it. Especially if the IRS and FEMA had to squirm.

Posted by: glenmayne | February 17, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Numerous tea party groups have called on lawmakers to force a government shutdown, if necessary, but GOP leadership has vowed not to go that far.

Lol! All across the nation our public servants are losing there jobs. Thousands are protesting.
It is just a matter of time before these unemployed workers start to organize, lobby, campaign and protest against the Republicans and there Tea Party loonies.

Posted by: KBrustmeyer2003 | February 17, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. O'Keefe, you forgot to mention martial law. If the scenario you described were to occur, there would be total chaos in every major US city, with millions upon millions of very desperate citizens trying to stay safe. It's just a question of whether or not the military will care. Probably not.

Posted by: manicdrummer | February 17, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.
Posted by: free_np |

From the article:
Even if non-essential workers wanted to work without pay, they could face fines of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison for violating a federal law that prohibits agencies from accepting volunteer labor.

Reading comprehension?


Posted by: subrosa77 | February 17, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey, KBrustmeyer2003: did you not ever learn the difference between THEIR, THERE, and THEY'RE? Maybe shutting down the Department of Education isn't such a good thing after all.

Posted by: luv2bikva | February 17, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Most folks wouldn't even notice a shutdown. What, we won't get felt up at the airport? Fisherman in N.E. won't be fined tens of thousands for NOAA slush fund managers? We won't be attacked by lower Slobania? Wall Street and mega banks won't rip us off any longer? Subsidy payments to corporations will be late? Can't go to the health club before lunch?
Bernanke will have to pay his own way to Davos?

Its just amazing that state governments are laying off left and right, but when it comes to larded up federal employees chicken little comes out and says the sky is falling, the earth as we know it will end, Armageddon is upon us.

What a load and a crock. Where were all these dedicated public servants when banks, speculators, home builders and defense contractors were stealing us blind or blowing up the economy. Why they were leaving early on Friday to get to their sailboat on the Md. shore or off to their latest boondoggle in Jackson Hole.

Time to cut Federal pension payments and pre-medicare health plans by 25% immediately. Time to stop all non-essential Federal employee travel and conventions. Time for a 25% across the board cut in Federal pay.

Next will be the best refrain, how they will "save" money by not filling "vacant" positions. HuH? More Fed calculus.

Posted by: wesatch | February 17, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Well March 4 is a payday so they'll have two weeks to work things out after that. If they shut us down I hope the weather is nice then.

Posted by: ronjaboy | February 17, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country."

--------------------------------------------

Actually, if you bothered to read the entire article above, or perhaps bothered to think and comprehend it, you would have seen that there is a law which actually _prevents_ people from doing that; and the line from a description of the last shutdown about "....forcing out those who lingered" also fairly clearly indicates that some people still tried, too.

Posted by: Eleiana | February 17, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Quite frankly I am sick to death of hearing about how the mean old Republicans did this or that. The same irresponsibility can be attributed to democrats, too. The nation is is economic peril. It is time to admit it forthrightly and speak some truth. Spending must be cut plain and single. That means people will be inconvenienced. Some will lose their jobs. Unions and other special interest groups are putting themselves ahead of the needs of the country in their demands that their groups not be touched. Just how well do these people think they are going to do if the country defaults? The simple answer is they'll be sunk like the rest of us. If I hear finger pointing one more time, I'll have to fight the urge to smack someone! We can either deal with this problem now when the cuts are manageable or be buried by the debt and economic collapse it will bring tomorrow. I, for one, don't care about unions right now. I don't care about collective bargaining. I don't care about the dubious contribution some public employees make to our lives. I don't care about how African children deal with AIDS. What I do care about is the nation's economic viability and survivability as well as the consequences this irresponsibility will have on my children and grandchildren. Is either party's refusal to deal with the deficit comparable to treason? I would say yes!

Posted by: panamajack | February 17, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr. O'Keefe, your article is ridiculous. Congratulations for feeding the right wing echo chamber more bull-spit (or should I say elephant spit, to quote you). You make government service laughable. Here's what's not so laughable about a shutdown:

* Fewer employees to keep our food safe daily.
* Easier methods to breach security at airports. Don't think Al Qaeda isn't following this?
* Computer experts furloughed - those who ensure those damned paychecks come to public and private employees
* Protection of nuclear and other critical energy infrastructure gets reduced...
* ...by fewer employees and/or overworked essential staff where fatigue opens a security gap
* Air traffic control suffers the same fate as above. A fatigued workforce tasked with ensuring a safe National Airspace is a dangerous road to go down.
* Critical weather forecasts for the enhancement of the national economy and protection of life and property are not available at a local level in a timely fashion.
* Infrastructure support for weapons systems is crippled by non-essential employee layoffs, including civilian AND non-active duty military personnel

...and many more. So stick your elephant spit where the sun don't shine.

Do you UNDERSTAND???

Posted by: wxdancer | February 17, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Would not mind seeing those parasites, not get paid for their "work" Cut 50% of the work force and let the national guard and a bunch of monkey's take over. Couldn't do any worse then the current crop of government, all levels, employees.

Posted by: nomobarry | February 17, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If there's a shutdown, there will be a Tahrir Square on the Mall.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 17, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What about IRS Service Centers? Will this delay our tax refunds?

Posted by: AnnsThought | February 17, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the Dems control the fear mongering card for sure, after all the color coded terrorism alerts courtesy of the previous Admn are child's play compared to the Dem warnings regarding a government shutdown. Republicans are known for their fairplay,integrity, & stating facts only. Can anyone say Birther movement...anyone?

Posted by: discgolfnut | February 17, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Sure, put the federal government workers on furlough. Save us a ton of money, right? Well then why don't we put private sector employees on furlough too, and have THEIR wages put toward the national deficit. Not such a good idea anymore, is it?!? Why should federal employees suffer when it's ALL of our deficit, and a huge reason for our national debt is the resources we've wasted fighting an unnecessary war in Iraq. Boom.

Posted by: bissell20 | February 17, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Federal agencies are beginning to instruct senior officials to prepare for a possible shutdown, ordering the cancellation of vacations or other personal commitments, said officials not authorized to speak on the record."

Federal agencies lead by Obama. Why does Obama want to shut down the government when the Republicans say they won't? Is he planning to do it on his own? I guess he can, since he's the boss.

Frankly, a shutdown would be a great idea. Just like with the snowstorm last year, we can see who is actually needed and who isn't. They didn't pay attention to that last year, but with that information we can start looking seriously at which bureaucrats need to go.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 17, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Would not mind seeing those parasites, not get paid for their "work" Cut 50% of the work force and let the national guard and a bunch of monkey's take over. Couldn't do any worse then the current crop of government, all levels, employees.

Posted by: nomobarry | February 17, 2011 9:49 AM "

You, sir, are a Horse's A**.

Signed, A Federal Employee who's sick and tired of being called, lazy, overpaid, stupid, and, yes, "parasite".

Posted by: dstreet208 | February 17, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The republican party wants a shut down so they can continue to attack federal workers. See, republicans are paid by their corp masters and as long as the american people believes that republicans care, the american people will continue to suffer. Its very simple, republicans want a 2 class society, the working poor and the mega rich. The democrats want to keep a another tier of Americans, middle class, unions members who do everything we need to live. Have you ever seen a millionaire work in jail, become a police office, a fire fighter and so on? No, without the middle class, unions workers this country would be ruled by aristocrats and we know how that works out. Unions continue to protect peoples rights and aristocrats only protect their friends rights or those within their class. Look around the world where unions and workers rights are only a dream and you will see they are ruled by aristocrats. In many places, like Egypt, one could not get a very good job or a job of prestige if they were not connected. So go ahead, weaken yourselves, your rights and see how your future ends up. Once a right is taken away, its never given back without a class warfare, riots and deaths. Your children are looking to you to protect their future and you are selling them out due to political ideology. Like the speaker said "So be it".

Posted by: Realistic5 | February 17, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

hate to tell you this but the Auto industy in Detroit crashed years ago. Which is another reason why Detroit is a Sh$th0le. Former Michigander here.

If the gov the way of the "D" then were all in for a bad time.

Posted by: dionysus_anew@yahoo.com | February 17, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.
Posted by: free_np |

From the article:
Even if non-essential workers wanted to work without pay, they could face fines of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison for violating a federal law that prohibits agencies from accepting volunteer labor.

Reading comprehension?
-------------------------------
Then patriotic workers should go to prison or pay the fines -- the fines will help cure the deficit problems and pay them for their precious services ... the word "civil servant" should be converted into "civil masters" -- the servants are out there in the real world while the masters are worried about possibility of working without pay -- it's like their hands and feet just swell up.

The options should be clearly laid out for civil servants -- the people who are your pay masters cannot afford your services [that's why there is a deficit!] -- now .. if you would like to keep this job and serve the nation -- take a pay cut or go home and join the millions of other unemployed! ...

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Shut down the Gov't?! Sounds good!

What's the catch?

Posted by: pgr88 | February 17, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are known for their fairplay,integrity, & stating facts only. Can anyone say Birther movement...anyone?
Posted by: discgolfnut | February 17, 2011 10:44 AM
___________________________________________
The second sentence disproves the first. What a bunch of male bovine excrement.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 17, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

How many of those tea party "shut down" advocates were around during the last shut down? They make think it sounds heroic, but it's just more high sounding rhetoric. Yes, we need to trim spending. But costs are not stagnant. You can't count on anything costing the same next week as it does this week. No matter what I cut from my personal budget, Metro can still raise fares, gas will still go up, even groceries. At some point, you have to think about increasing revenue, too.

And if those yahoos think they can cut away what effects all of us and still find a way to route funding to their pet home state projects that benefit only a handful while everyone else goes begging, they'll be feeling the brunt of a nation's wrath come the next election. They want ME to give up? Then they'd better give up something, too!

Posted by: cb11 | February 17, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse


They became Obama's Wars on January 21, 2009. What is Barry the incompetent boob Obama's excuse now? Barry the chickenhawk who has never served a day in uniform has already sent 1,050 American armed service members to their deaths over there.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 17, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Discussing what a federal shutdown would look like is like discussing arguments about spending.

Everyone outside DC loves to want spending cuts across the board yet whenever topics are discussed being cut that ACTUALLY hurt those outside DC, they do NOT want that cut at all.

Much like everyone LOVES saying they want the feds to go away...but if the feds being shutdown hurts them? Oh, different story then. The shutdown of courts, NUMEROUS national buildings, etc...would see many parts of the country shut down.

Oh, suddenly people want the government running? Funny how that changes

Posted by: Bious | February 17, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean Social Security won"t be paid?

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse


"We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

Barry the lying weasel Obama, 10/07/2008

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 17, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't care let them shut down the Government. They have squandered multil millions to pay themselfs while they royal screw Tax Payers an rob social securites to no longer exist! How the hell would the President & Gongress like it if America took there cars an gas cards away? Took their retiremnt benefits to suite all the Americans not working? How the hell would they like if took all their fancy free perks away?

Posted by: JWTX | February 17, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Social Security won"t be paid?

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse
--------------------
Social Security will have to be paid -- defaulting on that would be a US debt obligation default .. unless .. congress decides to wipe out the obligation or the country goes through a rapid bankruptcy re-organization and re-emerges without that debt -- since we are in "deficit mode in other places" -- social security still takes in more than it pays out so it will have funds in it's bank account.

What's going to happen is that the government employee who is supposed to print the check *may* not come in and operate the computer to print the check as they won't work unless they see the cold hard cash! -- it really depends -- revenue is not zero so the government can spend up to 6 months [the budget is $3.2T and deficit of $1.6T and assuming constant spending rate -- the money should run out after 6 months -- usually the government then uses the credit card from China].

IBM will be pitching to outsource that function quickly and have it setup in China at a fraction of the cost!

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

America has been under lying scheeming Presidents since 1985. Time to end there regime has reached its final end they can't steal from us no more. 26 Years of their tyranny is done finse gone the end.

Posted by: JWTX | February 17, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

By golly, the next time I go to work for a government, I'm damned if I'll put up with it being as fly-by-night as THIS government!

Posted by: dotyr | February 17, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Not a bad deal the unions worked out with US TAXPAYERS.


Yes go ahead and shut down the government for as long as you want. Then when we return to work we get our back pay for the time off. Nice vacation, not even having to use our vacation time.

Thanks suckers; oops I meant American citizens

Posted by: frankn1 | February 17, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

If a shutdown means that members of Congress will no longer have health care coverage, I say shut it down. Let these bas*ards exist like the very folks to whom they want to deny coverage.

Democrats should have taken care of defunding Congressional health care coverage when they enjoyed a majority. But they were just as self serving as Republicans.

Posted by: joachim1 | February 17, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What's different from the 90's is two things: telework and appropriations bills. We didn't have telework back then. The question is whether dedicated employees will be able to work from home even if they aren't getting paid for it. Will the IT community have the equivalent of guards roaming the halls to send home non-essential workers? Can the IT people distinguish between an essential worker logged on from home and a non-essential one?
As for appropriations, in the 90's Congress was still passing appropriations bills, so my memory is the government shutdown was partial, and diminishing, because people like DOD had their appropriations already. Some people worked at fee-funded agencies (AMS? maybe), USPS. All I remember is my USDA agency got back to work before some others.

Posted by: bharshaw | February 17, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Federal shutdown?

WHO CARES!!!!!!

Go home, stay home. Maybe even go find a REAL JOB.

There is not ONE so called "essential" service that we need. EVER! We'd all be much better off learning to live without them.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 17, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP is responsible for the massive deficit because of the two bogus wars they conned the rest of us into going along with! What the heck are they to decide what gets cut. Cut defense spending, get the troops home and close all our foreign military bases! Pay your federal income taxes to your state, county or city government. Let Washington have the recession for once.
Posted by: manicdrummer | February 17, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse "

lets bring them home and deploy them at our borders and polls...
that way they protect our country...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 17, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

this shutdown will be applauded by the masses as ling as the federal employees are not paid...
that way they help reduce the deficit...
skeleton crews can handle it until the goverment is started back up again because the dems start working with the house...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 17, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Shutdown would cause a cascading effect throughout the economy. If my agency shuts down, the flow of grant funds to cities, counties, states, and non-profits for job creation and economic development immediately stops. My agency's programs created over 400,000 jobs last year.

Posted by: tttttttt1 | February 17, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The only people I hear talking about a shut down is the dems and the media. The repubs. in the congress are still working on the budget. Yet Reed is saying they haven't negotiated with them and that the repubs have threaten them with a shut down. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the house creates the fiscal bill in committee, then passes it out of the committee to the floor, and if it pass there then it is sent to the senate, where it gets debated there, if there are changes and then pass, it go to a committee of house and senate members to work out the different. Is this correct? Then why Reed complaining?

Posted by: tateofpa | February 17, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Used to be private sector, downsized, unemployed for 15 months, hired as a fed contractor for 50% LESS than what I was making in private sector....would have made more staying on unemployment and could have instead of looking for a job 15 hours a day. Not like some who are abusing the system. (Let's start monitoring how legit those job contacts are, heh?) Now a full time Fed making 30% LESS (way under 50K) than in private sector with a customer service position.... What entitlement we the US citizens have or think we deserve. Rude, nasty, many resort to swearing, yelling, screaming and sending foul language emails. Who do you think you are? With that kind of treatment why would I want to work for free? Granted we are all in this together so agree with whoever said lets all, private and public sectors, take pay cuts and have shut downs.... the fed employees didn't cause the recession and continuing unemployment.

How ignorant that people think that.

Let's cut back on welfare and other entitlement programs that encourage people to stay on them. Let's cut Congressional and Senate salaries across the board to a GS-7 or GS-9 level and get rid of their staff. Oust those officials that are living in their offices and learn to live like the rest of us trying to make ends meet paying rent (don't make enough to buy) food, etc.

So what do you think fed furloughs and firings will do for the economy except put more people on unemployment and keep the recession going longer as we won't be spending are hard earned unemployment or job dollars for much. Get a grip, not one of us should feel entitled. As someone else said, as long as cuts and furloughs don't affect THEM, it's fine, but once it does, it's not ok. How could people think feds have job security when employment seems to be at the whim of a miserable Senator or Senators wanting money for his own pet project. Where's the job security in that? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Posted by: FedUptoHere | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I say, SHUT IT DOWN, SHUT IT DOWN, SHUT IT DOWN!

Everyone needs to get a little taste of what it would feel like if the Gov't were too shut down completely for about 1 week.

Hopefully, the people who are always whining and crying about the Gov't being too big will never ever express those thoughts again ever in life.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Knowing full well that any shutdown will mean getting a retro check, neighbors are looking forward to a few more days off to add to the weeks that they've already accumulated.

Posted by: JAH3 | February 17, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

There are so many programs that can be cut, and I would be willing to bet 10-1 that these special interests programs would soon reopen with donated money instead of tax-payer money.

Posted by: damnit79 | February 17, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: Would not mind seeing those parasites, not get paid for their "work" Cut 50% of the work force and let the national guard and a bunch of monkey's take over. Couldn't do any worse then the current crop of government, all levels, employees.

Posted by: nomobarry | February 17, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse
----
A few things about your post. Do you know any federal employees? Are you jealous that you're not a federal employee? What salaries do you think the majority of feds make? Do you not think federal employees pay taxes? Do you not realize that the feds hired since 1985 no longer retire under the Civil Service Retirement System -instead they pay into Social Security. Are you putting the National Guard and monkeys in the same category? Do you not realize that some federal employees are also in the National Guard?
It's simply amazing how ignorant some people realy are.

Posted by: missingwisc | February 17, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse


Either eat your grandchildren or we will close the museum.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 17, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

As a Federal employee I'd come to work regardless of not getting a paycheck till they worked out the kinks at least till I run out of my savings account money. The problem is under the law if I did come in I'd be in violation of the law which means I could be fined and put in jail. Back when this happened the last time I was a Service Member and did in fact come in and work even though we did not know if we would get paid. As an active service member we had no choice. Everyone needs to understand that most of the Federal employee would in fact come to work till this could be worked out. As for services to you the public it will have an effect on you because we will be told not to come in and forced to leave our offices. It's very short sighted because you are mad at the process to think it will not have an effect on the general public. It sure will. When your parents don't get there SS money because no one is there to make that happen it will affect you. The states also get money from the Federal government and that would stop coming in too. The real problem of a Federal shut down is that it will cost more once the offices are opened back up again. So the debit would not decrease but increase because of a shut down. Unemployment funds come from the federal government to the states to pay the unemployed so they will be affected. It cost the government over 800 Million in lost work which got paid. This does not include what the private business suffered due to lost sales for the 24 day period in 1995. We want to decrease the debit not increase that debit. A shutdown would be very costly to you the tax paying public myself included. Funny how short sighted everyone is when they want to try and make a point. Guess it don't matter if we increase the debit ourselves...

Posted by: Concerned5 | February 17, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Is this paper ignoring the union thugs rioting in the streets in Wisconsin? As a licensed teacher, I find those teachers dragging their kids to protest as one of the most disgusting things viewed in years. What part of "we do not have it" do these union thugs not understand?
Shut this government down? Now that would save us all money and stop this Federal intrusion by this radical inept Obama administration. I want the Republicans to stand firm against this tyranny. Shut it down. It is not protecting the border or doing anything it is suppose to be doing to help us. Shut it down. We could care less. We are sick of those who could careless about the future of this nation or the deficit these evil people are laying at the feet of our children. Shut it down.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 17, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are known for their fairplay,integrity, & stating facts only. Can anyone say Birther movement...anyone?
Posted by: discgolfnut | February 17, 2011 10:44 AM
___________________________________________
The second sentence disproves the first. What a bunch of male bovine excrement.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 17, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Lefty, I would like to introduce you to sarcasm. Learn it, and next time you won't seem so foolish

Posted by: nmoses | February 17, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

No one would notice??? While shutdown remains a "what if" scenaro for federal workers, failure to agree upon and pass an FY11 spending bill this late in the year has resulted in reduced funding in some agencies. This reduction directly impacts contracts. This means facility maintenance, guards, programmers on and on, have already had their hours (income) reduced or even eliminated. So while some are salivating at the thought of a "we'll show them" shutdown of what they consider wasteful, big govt, plenty of other citizens are already experiencing loss. They have families to feed, bills to pay, spend their money in the local economy just like everyone else. Yet another wrench in the struggling economy...

And patiotic to show up and work without pay???? It's not patriotic to be imprisoned or owe $5K in fines for violating the law.

Did someone hit "snooze"?

Posted by: Marilyn58 | February 17, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone is important, the question is whether they are essential. We need to stop listening to the press, unattach ourselves from party lines (Democrat, Republican...) and do our own research about these people we elect. Their history not their current actions/promises should determine our vote.

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Fear mongering ... give us all your money or else you won't get essential services! ...

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 7:56 AM
------------------------------------
Uh, maybe you weren't paying attention to the following:

"Even if non-essential workers wanted to work without pay, they could face fines of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison for violating a federal law that prohibits agencies from accepting volunteer labor."

It's not just unethical and improper to expect federal employees to work for nothing, it's against the law.

Posted by: lonquest | February 17, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

@greatgran1:

As a licensed teacher, I'm curious if you were a part of a union?

It's not the pay cuts the teachers out here are unhappy about. They are upset about the fact the bill entails killing collective bargaining.

I have many friends who are part of the University system here - they have taken their unpaid furlough days with grace and little complaint.

I am not necessarily pro-union. But it's the way Governor Walker and the Republican legislature is slamming this down the throat of the State that is bothersome. Even my very Republican neighbors - who were enthusiastic supporters of Walker during his gubernatorial run - are disquieted by the inclusion of the collective bargaining issue in the Budget Repair Bill. Especially considering you can't even sign up to be a substitute teacher in K-12 without a Bachelor's in Education, let alone progress up the teaching scale without a graduate degree.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | February 17, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The real problem with our government is that about 20-35% of the voting public actually vote in the elections. What happened to the ones who don't vote? So you wonder why we have the government we have? People listed to the News talking heads and the lies that are told by the ones who are seeking office. You get what you get when you don't participate in your rights as a member of our nation. Then you want to cry about it when you don't like what you get. In my book if you did not vote then you don't have a say in what you get. I know I'll get flamed for this but that's ok I did and do vote!

Posted by: Concerned5 | February 17, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Think Progress asked Rep Mike Kelly of PA about a government shutdown at CPAC. He doesn't like calling it a shutdown and on social security he said:

"People aren’t going to lose their Social Security checks and they’re not going to lose their access to Medicare and Medicaid."

Kelly talks about funding and seems to think some things can be funded and some not and he thinks it won't be that bad.

Posted by: FauxReal | February 17, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Q. What is wrong with Obamacare?

A. Study: Doctors order tests out of fear of lawsuits.

Q. Why can't the government afford museums, parks, government benefits?

A. The Obama Administration is planning for a permanent occupation of Afghanistan - which will cost trillions.

You can clearly see what the real priorities are: wars, imperialism and greedy, scummy trial lawyers.

Posted by: alance | February 17, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

As a former federal employee who had to put up with ignorant asses like some who posted comments here my whole career (even from my family).

I realize there is a subset of people in America who are so dense they would be willing to play Russian roulette with all six bullets if Rush or Glenn told them to. They are salivating at the thought of shutting down the government.

The trouble is, the government won't be totally shut down, essential workers will still have to go to work and do things that absolutely have to be done, and people will think, "HA HA, see we don't need all those government workers after all."

No, if the government shuts down, it must be a TOTAL shutdown, and it should stay shutdown for months so people can really see if they need all those "lazy" "useless" government workers or not. (It would help if all the Congressional staff members would also stay home, too)

I'm astonished by the new fury in this country. I never thought I'd see so many people insist we must become a 19th-century country in a 21st-century world! What are you thinking???

Posted by: Trakker | February 17, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any opinion on unions pro or con. I get the impression that they create tension between employee and employer. Members do have benefit of great benefits, but how great are these benefits when the employer has to shut down because they can't afford to pay these benefits. Also, should unions be representing gov't employees? I don't know but welcome constructive opinions.

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Now that is tax season it would be a great time to shut down the government. That way all those Tea Partiers and fed haters can have a lovely April without getting their tax returns in their mail or their bank accounts... ;-)
Let's see how they like that!

Posted by: lcruz1 | February 17, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Funny to hear Obama keep using his 'scalpal' talk, when that's exactly what the GOP has done. They aren't proposing a flat x% reduction across all agencies/programs. They identified specific agencies/programs for reduction or elimination....precisely what Obama keeps claiming to support.

This is turning into what happens with every school levy. You know, school administrators start lobbing threats that your kids favorite activity will be cut if the levy doesn't pass (e.g., sports). Of course the administrators could eliminate several asst-administrators and/or make other less visible cuts, but they threaten the public with painful cuts to strong-arm residents to pass yet another levy.

Similarly, Democrats use the same tactics in Washington....the $60B-$100B could easily be cut while never touching SS, Medicare, etc. But Democrats attempt to intimidate citizens with threats that "your SS check won't come next month" in an effort to strong-arm their way to continue deficit spending on favorite pet programs.

But while the blame is squarely on Democrats for refusing to respond to the elections last November that sent the message that people are sick of their out-of-control-spending, the lapdog media is doing their best already to begin framing this as blame-the-GOP for grandma not getting her SS check next month.

Posted by: dbw1 | February 17, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember to two big snow storms we had last year? The government, aside from emergency personnel, was shut down for two non-consecutive weeks, and the country didn't implode.

Posted by: snaker123 | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

People a not thinking they are reacting with out thinking. Darn the consequences to anyone I don't care about anyone but me because I'm mad and I want to extract vengeance! Mob mentality at it's finest. The funny part is that it will affect you even if you think it won't. Do a little research for the years 95 - 96 on the last shutdown. Find out what happened and don't just react. Oh I forgot that would require you to think and actually do something rather then to follow blindly. What was I thinking... I’m just a governmental worker who can’t think and I’m to lazy to find out what exactly a shutdown would cost. Good thing I’m not working today oh shame on me for not working on my day off. Are people really this dense… yep they sure are…

Posted by: Concerned5 | February 17, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

p_a_hobbs:
" I get the impression that [unions] create tension between employee and employer."

You are correct. Creating class-warfare and us-vs-them mentality (where management is the Great Enemy) is the hallmark of union LEADERSHIP.

I feel it's important, though, to differentiate between union leaders and union workers; at least in my experience of working in both union and non-union companies, the problem is not with the majority of union workers themselves....it's with the union leadership who usually seems to be more interested in protecting their cushy 6-figure jobs and a steady stream of union dues, than they are in working with management to help the company be more competitive, succeed, and create more jobs for more regular union workers.

Union leaders like to bang their fist about representing the "common worker", but how well can they be representing common workers when labor unions gave over 90% of their political contributions to Democrats last year....when the actual votes of union members were split almost 50/50 (48% Democrat to 47% Republican).

But just in the past 2-3 years have I noticed local unions (in my world, at least) starting to put down the tired anti-business rhetoric of the past and come to the table willing to talk about what they can do to protect jobs for good workers...and willing to stop protecting bad ones.

But so far these have tended to be the manufacturing unions...which I'm sure it's no coincidence that they are the same organizations that have lost vast swathes of membership in the previous couple decades. But it appears public-sector unions like the AFT and SEIU haven't gotten the memo that we are in a bad economy with tax revenues dropping, and they continue to jerk with our kids educations and basic government services (read: New York City snow plows) to protect their lavish benefits.

"When students start paying union dues, that's when I'll start worrying about the interests of students."
- Al Shanker,
President of the American Federation of Teachers '74-'97

Posted by: dbw1 | February 17, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The Tea party wants to shut down the government? What a bunch of idoits!

Posted by: stuckintraffictoo | February 17, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Dear mdsinc,
Do you seriously mean what you wrote in your post below? Yesterday, I saw some nut carrying a crazy, obscene sign (and literally wearing his underpants on the outside) while he shouted about what pigs government workers are.

After over a decade of faithful service, I am all of a sudden evil and lazy because I work for the Government. Where is this stuff coming from?


*********************
Federal shutdown?

WHO CARES!!!!!!

Go home, stay home. Maybe even go find a REAL JOB.

There is not ONE so called "essential" service that we need. EVER! We'd all be much better off learning to live without them.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 17, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jake88 | February 17, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the people who want a government shut down (mainly your Tea Party congressional members) don't read this column or look back on how the last Federal shutdown went. This ignorance makes a shutdown dangerously likely, and the consequences will be disastrous both at home and abroad.

Posted by: EdwardNashton | February 17, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember to two big snow storms we had last year? The government, aside from emergency personnel, was shut down for two non-consecutive weeks, and the country didn't implode.

Posted by: snaker123 | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM |

-----------
1) The entire federal government isn't located in Washington DC so it wasn't shut down entirely.

2) Many of us went to work anyway, if we could get there.

Posted by: margd1 | February 17, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.
Posted by: free_np |
----------------------
Some of us did consider it our patriotic duty to come in anyway. I did and was escorted out of the building by an armed guard.

Posted by: margd1 | February 17, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the people who want a government shut down (mainly your Tea Party congressional members) don't read this column or look back on how the last Federal shutdown went. This ignorance makes a shutdown dangerously likely, and the consequences will be disastrous both at home and abroad.

Posted by: EdwardNashton | February 17, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember to two big snow storms we had last year? The government, aside from emergency personnel, was shut down for two non-consecutive weeks, and the country didn't implode.

Posted by: snaker123 | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM |

-----------
1) The entire federal government isn't located in Washington DC so it wasn't shut down entirely.

2) Many of us went to work anyway, if we could get there.

Posted by: margd1 | February 17, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

---------

One more thing a buch of federal government workers worked from home by telework. So even is we did not drive in to work we were still working and doing our jobs during the whole time.

Posted by: Concerned5 | February 17, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

By all means, Republicans, please go ahead with that brilliant government shutdown strategy. Especially right before the summer, when everyone wants to go to the parks, museums, and historical sites. By all means, shut down essential services when people are hurting.

I don't think there's a single other thing that you could do that would better demonstrate to people just how important the government is to their daily lives than that. All of your talk about big, bad government takes on a whole new meaning when you actually pull the rug out from under the people. Inconvenience them and make them suffer...that'll make them love you.

Take all that "kill the government" rhetoric from the abstract to the concrete and let people see how they like it. But you already know how that will work out for you. Just ask Newty.

Posted by: js_edit | February 17, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any opinion on unions pro or con. I get the impression that they create tension between employee and employer. Members do have benefit of great benefits, but how great are these benefits when the employer has to shut down because they can't afford to pay these benefits. Also, should unions be representing gov't employees? I don't know but welcome constructive opinions.

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 1:44 PM
------------------------------------
I think you're mistaken about unions creating tension between employer and employee. Employers do plenty to create that tension on their own, with layoffs, discrimination, required, but unpaid, overtime, and pay cuts. It;s true that, before unions, employers had a much easier time walking all over their employees, but tensions of this sort antedate unions. Unions just stop the tension from being all one-sided.

Before unions, there was no such thing as overtime, for instance. Employers told employees what hours they were going to work, and what they were going to be paid, and the alternative, for the employee, was no job, no money, and no way to survive. Consequently, employers routinely exploited laborers 12 to 16 hours per day, and paid minimum subsistence wages. Any hours demanded by the employer were to be worked, without protest or comment, by every employee who wanted to keep eating.

Unions invented the concept of full-time employment, and of overtime, and of weekends off, and of minimum wages, and, out of all these standards and conventions the unions invented, the middle class arose. It's because of unions that we're expected to work forty hours per week, instead of eighty. It's because of unions that ordinary Americans have ever been able to buy cars, or labor-saving appliances, or to hope for a college education for the next generation.

Unions are really not responsible for the tension between employer and employee, but thay are responsible for the existence of the middle class, the American standard of living, not so long ago the best in the world, and the scale of American markets, growth driven by union-induced middle class prosperity.

As for whether or not government employees should be allowed to join unions, one could argue that the government is explicitly prevented from prohibiting unions by the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to assemble peaceably to petition the government for redress of any grievance. It doesn't say, "unless you're a government employee."

Posted by: lonquest | February 17, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

If the federal government is shut down, the American people will flood into the streets egyptian style to celebrate.

Posted by: TeaPartyNation | February 17, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Do ANY of you teat@rds understand the absolutely TINY amount of the federal budget goes to fed worker pay? The deficit is NOTHING to do with fed pay.

Posted by: Island_Boy | February 17, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone remember to two big snow storms we had last year? The government, aside from emergency personnel, was shut down for two non-consecutive weeks, and the country didn't implode.

Posted by: snaker123"

Dingbat, that was Washington DC only. The rest of the federal govt operated fine. Plus, if you read the news during the shutdown, there was a large percentage of telework... that means operations continued.

As I have said many times, be very careful what you all wish for there anti-govt worker clowns. You think it is just going to hurt us workers? Sorry, but if you, your family or neighbors work for ANY company that is operated based on the federal govt and treasury payments (and that is ALL corporations) except some mom and pop shops, YOU TOO will come to a screaching halt with no pay check... fed funds WILL NOT get disbursed... and that means grannies SS or medicare, unemployment, which btw ALL states couldn't operate long without the fed funds.. please go ask them!

Here is the funny part of this Mr and Mrs fed-worker haters... they HAVE to pass the authorization eventually and we'll all go back to work... but guess what, our salary is ALREADY signed by the President; therefore approved. We'll get our pay... the private side will not see it because they will have to find funds elsewhere, or cancel other things... just watch the havoc of TRYING to get things back in order... I was a fed in 95/96 working for DFAS. We were a working capital, so we continued working since they operate on a revolving fund and have a few weeks of cash to operate off...

Again, careful what you wish for... you may get it!

Posted by: darbyohara | February 17, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

We are in for a horrid recession if the tea party fiends and their so-called republican cohorts get their way. You think unemployment is bad now? just wait.

Posted by: Sooska | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sure the teaparties say force a shutdown because they receives their check on the first first or third of the month, so they are safe.

The republicans are afraid because they know in the end they will not get what they want and they will help the president get reelected. They been that route once and they know what can happen. People will turn on them and not the president and that is not what they want.

The republicans now with the teaparties movement never ever think, they just react and it is always to the worst of things and make them even worst.

They walk into this with their eyes closed and now they are afraid to open them because they afraid of what they may see.

They do not listen to the real american people only those in their make believe world and decided that they are doing what is best for them and not the american people.

They really think most of the american people are so stupid that they don't care what they do and they just keep voting them back into office.

As long as they can keep bashing the president a lot of them are happy but now that is even beginning to wear off and not working any more. Now the new congress is so confuse that they are running around like a chicken with their heads off.

They would rather stay against the president instead of sitting down like adults and work out things the way adults should. Children act better than some of these people act and like the bible says the children will lead us. Republicans should understand they got reelected not because people believe they could change the government but because they were led to believe they would get rid of the president. They convince them that the president would resign and move on, but they got fooled again.

He is still standing strong and they will have to deal with him and now on his terms, they lost their voice when they put their foof in their mouth in december. They thought they had did something smart but they only played right into the president hands. Where are the teaparties marching, screaming and shouting now. They are now behind closed doors trying to figure out how to get out the mess they have caused. Don't hide now. Protest against your leaders for using you in their plans.

Posted by: ocrmom59 | February 17, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The red state Tea Baggers are likely to change their tunes when their government assistance checks stop coming in.

Posted by: js_edit | February 17, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I really think these teaparty people are too radical and they will damage the GOP. Palin was impressive for 5 minutes, now she's a liability to the GOP. The GOP should separate themselves before the teaparty does more damage.

Who gave them that name, anyway?

Posted by: p_a_hobbs | February 17, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Will the military shut down, too? Isn't that part of government. Or are they exempt from thug RepuBPlican blackmail like they are for budget cuts in entitlement programs for Halliburton and Lockheed Martin?

Posted by: areyousaying | February 17, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse


Each agency of the US government should put a contingency plan together to unwind operations. The following actions should be documented:
• Immediate shut down and withdrawal of all armed forces around the world; particularly Afghanistan and Iraq. Stateside facilities should be on notice to receive airlifted personnel and supply redeploying back to the USA.
• Notices should be sent to all vendors and suppliers to immediately stop providing all goods and services to the U.S.A.
• All distributions of healthcare (including payments), social security payments, and other benefits, such as unemployment, Va benefits, disability pay, should be stopped immediately.
• All building services such as gas, electric, water, and sewer should be stopped
• All communication devices and plans should be stopped immediately – cell phones, land lines, internet access
• All activities by coast guard, homeland security, air traffic control, etc should be discontinued
• All funding payments to state, local, public and private institutions for education and training should be frozen
• All payments to military personnel and supporting staffs should be frozen
• The treasury and Federal Reserve must freeze all accounts and payments on assets
• All assets such as trucks, cars, military equipment, computers, etc should be returned and inventoried
• As 40% of the nation’s electricity is still run by U.S. federal government – notices should be sent and plans developed for the shutdown of these facilities
• All pay for elected officials and support staff should be frozen immediately

Because the economic impact for each day of shut down will reduce the GDP by at least .5%, all private industry should reduce economic forecasts appropriately. With any luck, within 45 days of shutdown we will achieve a balanced budget. In 60 days, we will have the greatest depression in the history of the world. In 90 days, we will have total anarchy. In 100 days, we will have a completely new government. Perhaps this time we can get it right.

Posted by: NewThoughts | February 17, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Some of the heated comments directed against federal employees are so over the top, I wonder if the posts are legitimate thoughts or just trolls posting. Trolls would be preferable, because no one should be as deeply ignorant as some of the posts sound.

The Tea Partiers and people spewing hate would not notice if I were furloughed, that is true. The private industries that this Agency supports would notice, though. They rely on us to assist them in exporting their commodities. Our government has to assure the foreign government that their standards for imported goods are met.

No, Mr. or Ms. Crazypants, you personally and everyone living on your block would not notice my absence directly. You would just notice the overall decline in the economy when the vaunted private industries were no longer able to export their products and were forced to shut down, too.

China, Mexico, India - pick your country. They don't follow the Tea Party line. If there is not a US government for them to work with, then they'll get their supplies elsewhere. Do you really think a small business would be able to negotiate on its own behalf with the Chinese government?

Posted by: trichobezoar | February 17, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The Rethugs are utterly without redeeming qualities. All they ever care about it serving their international corporate masters, and making ordinary Americans' lives as miserable as possible. If it were not for how vile they are, Obama might not be reelected. But they are that vile, and he will be reelected.

Posted by: Jihm | February 17, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

That will never happen. Washington's big shots are not crazy enough to provoke a revolution. Dems and Reps will agree on that.

Posted by: rolandberger | February 17, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama and the discredited Dims in the 111th Congress went 2 years without passing a national budget. Then last November, the Dims were ousted and the GOP majority in the House has a budget bill ready to pass in less than two months after taking office.

The House will pass an appropriations bill: it is then up to the do nothing Dims in the Senate to pass it.

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 17, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I remember when Newtie Gingrich and pals shut down the govt. in 1994. I'm sure the present bunch of Republicans remembers it, too. It was interesting then and if it happens now it will be interesting again.

Posted by: crew260571 | February 17, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Congress just do the following?

Make 6 year term limits for themselves.
End their fatty retirement plans
Take $1.oo for the next 2 years, give the Administration all $1.oo for the next 2 years and demand they all have no hidden history.
Throw out all who breeched laws and cheated on their own taxes.
End the unConstitutional power of shadow governance as not elected czars.
End the Patriot Act

Stop the lawsuit on Arizona and defend the place instead.

Why?

They have made themselves 'out of order' with no people willing to support them anymore.


TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT

seems to be the new ringtone that is popular as people already see 55% and up of their income already taken by State, City, County, Federal taxes, and SS# prior to Obamacare.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/tag/preppers

Posted by: dottydo | February 17, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.
Posted by: free_np |
----------------------
Some of us did consider it our patriotic duty to come in anyway. I did and was escorted out of the building by an armed guard.

Posted by: margd1 | February 17, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse
------------------------
Nothing worse for national security than a disgruntled unpaid federal worker -- money trumps all!

Someone even quoted that it is unethical and illegal to ask a Federal Government Employee to work for free ... actually it is illegal to expect a Federal Government Employee to Work! ... they usually define their job as they exist to "Govern" over others that work in this great country ... and of-course to "regulate" and make sure all the other people don't lose their way!

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes there are consequences to a government shutdown. I do not care. Shut it down. I want the Republicans to stand strong and hold out for those cuts. This is not funny anymore. These Democrat Party scoundrels think it just fine to lay this debt at the feet of our kids feet and that is wrong. This is the future of our nation. My daughter is out of work. Her ex is out of work. I do not know a family who does not have at least one person out of work. Why not let Federal workers be out of work and find out what it feels like? You think we could be hurting anymore?
Shut it down and it would be a sure way to cost us less. We are drowning in debt and our family is sick of Obama's lies.

Posted by: greatgran1 | February 17, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse


The GOP is going to pass this spending bill. It is up to Harry Reid and the do nothing Dims in the Senate to pass it. If Reid sits on this bill and government grinds to a halt, it is on Reid and the Dims.

Have the craven Dims learned nothing from their slaughter at the polls last November?

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 17, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Apparently greatgran supports Sharia law. An eye for an eye, a job for a job. If someone in her family is out of work, then a symbolic government employee must also be sacrificed.

Did you even read some of the cogent arguments about why shutting down the Federal government will be -worse- for the economy? There are private businesses that rely on the US government to clear hurdles for them. Those regulated industries (like the one I serve) want the government to do what it does to protect them from international trade disputes, help them move goods overseas, prevent harm to their industries. They would like us to do more for them, but our agency is tapped out, flat lined budget for many years now.

Posted by: trichobezoar | February 17, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Fear mongering ... give us all your money or else you won't get essential services! ...

Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

*******************************************

You've got to be joking. In that case, the military should operate solely based on their love for the country and congressman should work for free. In fact, the teachers and cops should operate for free too because the grocery store is going to give them free groceries and their landlords will let them live in the property for free.

Posted by: nsu1203 | February 17, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Greatgran1

I was out of work for 15 months from a good paying private sector job. To get off the free handout of unemployment that so many are abusing now...Let's stop the unemployement checks...There's a fix right there. (I would have made more staying on unemployment). I took a fed job that paid 50% less than what I was making in the private sector. So some Feds do know what it's like to be under paid as well as unemployed. Read some of the posts and find out what a shutdown actually costs. We didn't make this mess so why are the Federal employees being blamed for this and expected to remedy this? They are making Federal jobs more like private sector everyday....so we should be getting increases rather no increase.

What are you willing to do without? It's ok for us not to feed our kids or be able to pay the rent....but God forbid if you can't? I get to deal with whiners all day long (disguised as the American public)who think they are the only thing on this earth that matters.

Contempt prior to investigation is ignorance-People who are badmouthing the Feds employees without knowing the facts. If the Republicans told you to jump off a bridge, would you?

Posted by: FedUptoHere | February 17, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Greatgran1

I was out of work for 15 months from a good paying private sector job. To get off the free handout of unemployment that so many are abusing now...Let's stop the unemployement checks...There's a fix right there. (I would have made more staying on unemployment). I took a fed job that paid 50% less than what I was making in the private sector. So some Feds do know what it's like to be under paid as well as unemployed. Read some of the posts and find out what a shutdown actually costs. We didn't make this mess so why are the Federal employees being blamed for this and expected to remedy this? They are making Federal jobs more like private sector everyday....so we should be getting increases rather no increase.

What are you willing to do without? It's ok for us not to feed our kids or be able to pay the rent....but God forbid if you can't? I get to deal with whiners all day long (disguised as the American public)who think they are the only thing on this earth that matters.

Contempt prior to investigation is ignorance-People who are badmouthing the Feds employees without knowing the facts. If the Republicans told you to jump off a bridge, would you?

Posted by: FedUptoHere | February 17, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Deer Tererist evildoers and imigrants, a fedral guvment shutdown is coming, it might be a good time to come in. GOP 2012 Y'all!

Posted by: DPoniatowski | February 17, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 15 percent of the federal workforce works in the Washington metro area. 1-5...fifteen. The other 85 percent are spread all around America and the world. That includes the men and women putting their lives on the line in far off lands to do the dirty work that our country sometimes needs to be done. And I'm not talking about the troops.

Posted by: nsu1203 | February 17, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The US is broke and have maxed out on our credit card.
SHUT HER DOWN!

Posted by: rteske | February 17, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

There is a word for making people work without pay: slavery. Such involuntary servitude is expressly forbidden by the 13th Amendment, even to the US Government.

Posted by: AxelDC | February 17, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq ...

and now here.

You shut off people's Social Security and shut down the govt and you'll see the House tossed out into the Bay and left to rot there.

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 17, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Where do you come up with your abstract number? I suspect it's from somewhere that was covered by a diaper when you were little.

As for the national guard, they do an excellent job digging ditches during floods and I praise their services, but they are not doctors, lawyers, economists, etc. that staff our Federal government. Do you want the National Guard prosecuting criminals? Do you want the National Guard operating on Vets? Do you want the National Guard inspecting food, issuing weather reports and estimating tax revenues and GDP growth?

It's amazing what people think the government does. Maybe a real shutdown would make them realize that the US would not function without a fully staffed government. Let's put all air traffic controllers on holiday for one day and see what happens to FedEx and all the passenger airlines.
________________________
Teabagger wrote:
Would not mind seeing those parasites, not get paid for their "work" Cut 50% of the work force and let the national guard and a bunch of monkey's take over. Couldn't do any worse then the current crop of government, all levels, employees.

Posted by: AxelDC | February 17, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"As a Federal employee I'd come to work regardless of not getting a paycheck till they worked out the kinks at least till I run out of my savings account money. The problem is under the law if I did come in I'd be in violation of the law which means I could be fined and put in jail."

"Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country.
Posted by: free_np |
----------------------
Some of us did consider it our patriotic duty to come in anyway. I did and was escorted out of the building by an armed guard."

-------------------------------------

Precisely. Trust me, if it were not against the law--a law made by CONGRESS, by the way, NOT Federal employees, for those who seem to blame feds for that law--I would be at work just the same as always during a shutdown, doing my job and my duty to my country, even if I wasn't getting paid. I very much wish it WAS legal to work during a shutdown. Guess I will probably end up like the commenter quoted above and end up being escorted out of the building for trying to do my job regardless.

Posted by: Eleiana | February 17, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

How about moving the coming piles of elephant doodoo to the Congressional offices of Republican 'leaders'? Seems fitting.

Posted by: chuck8 | February 17, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If they are going to do this, they need to cut welfare programs before they cut social security. The people who receive social security have already earned it by paying in for many years.

Posted by: gtown2 | February 17, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Close it down. It is hard to leave a comment without personally
attacking those miscreants that have AGAIN led us to this point.
This is Obama's doing. The people spoke with there vote and now
he is fighting the will of the people. What does that make him?
In order to leave a comment at the Washington Post, I'm not
ALLOWED to say. Buzzy

Posted by: drjazz777 | February 17, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

People in fly over country won't even know if the DC government employees aren't working.

That is because we can't tell if federal employees are working now!

"The least government is the best government." Tom Jefferson.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | February 17, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't look good ... furloughs? California has implemented as many as 2 or 4 unpaid days per month at times. Now, both California and the Feds are in the same position.

Posted by: bccb | February 17, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Who would be to blame for shutting down the gov?

So simple even a lib MIGHT understand it.

If the House writes a check to keep the gov operating and the Dem Senate refuses to pass it to the Pres, the Dem senate is.

If the Senate gives the check to the Pres. and he doesn't cash it, Obama is.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 17, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

For those individuals giddy about a Government Shutdown the sequel ? guess what its not 1995 so put away the MC Hammer Harum pants. How many of you know what the Federal Government does? Imagine no Social Security payments to needy Seniors... VA hospitals shutdown, Research Labs shutdown. Not a pretty picture huh???

Posted by: sunnyside1 | February 17, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I was around for the last government shut down... nothing bad happend while the crooks were shut down. Shut it down again but whatever you do, dont pass a continuing resolution that funds OBAMACARE. Shut it down

Posted by: markandbeth92 | February 17, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse


If you WORK and make an HONEST living at some TRADE, you'll have NO PROBLEM.

If you're a BLOODSUCKER feeding off the PEOPLE at a GOOBERMENT JOB you'll be in DEEP TROUBLE, even unable to get UNEMPLOYMENT since you'd need GOOBERMENT for that.

Posted by: notinca | February 17, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Shut Government down. We don't need Government for a few months plus we will save money and kill Obamacare.

Posted by: bugabbo | February 17, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse


In California, you can retire at 40 with a pension of $150,000/year!

THAT has to be stopped. Dropping those pensions to no more than $30,000/year and not kicking in until age 65 is the way to go.

Posted by: notinca | February 17, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's recap a few things about Republicans and spending. Two wars were started with NO FUNDING in the BUDGET. EVERYTHING was supplemental, emergency appropriations from borrowed money from China and Saudi Arabia. A Republican Senator was interviewed and he proudly said, "We don't pay for anything" in response to a reporter's question on how the war was being paid for. Let's talk about those Bush tax cuts that cost us trillions of dollars in revenue, but WERE NOT OFFSET by spending cuts. NO PAYGO HERE. We saw them oversee a run upward in the housing market to levels never seen before, all on the back of the shakiest financial schemes since the Ponzi Scheme. That house of cards went into the ditch with a big roar. We are still paying for that in foreclosures, lost jobs and failed businesses, people unable to find any kind of work for two or more years, and Republicans are proud as hell of what they did.

Anyone who thinks that Boehner, et.al. can govern is full of cow leavings.

Posted by: ronjeske | February 17, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

How does MY not getting paid help the other 10% of Americans who are not getting paid? How does it help the economy to have MORE unemployed?

Guess what? If I lose my Fed. job, I'm taking YOUR job from you. I'm educated, experienced, and I was raised with an impecable work ethic. MOVE OVER!

If we're going to have a shutdown, then let's REALLY have a shutdown. No "essential" or "emergency" employees work (including me). No defense (troops) employees. Bring all of our brave soldiers home in the next 2 weeks. See if they need us. Let the chips fall where they may-Anarchy!! I will laugh in your face!

Posted by: stilldoin | February 17, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Quote from an overpaid, fat, lazy retard - "Signed, A Federal Employee who's sick and tired of being called, lazy, overpaid, stupid, and, yes, "parasite"."

Sick and Tired? Really? Then just QUIT!!! I'm sick and tired of getting RAPED by my state and federal givernment to pay for you and your stupid bureaucracy. I'm sick and tired of your constant intrusion into my life - whether your stupid lightbulbs, my kids' school food, taxing my vehicle type, forcing me to buy health insurance, delegitimizing my marriage, heaping your taxes on our evening wine, on and on - you sicken me you freedom hating Nazi thug!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | February 17, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

.....

"Sometimes it gets very confusing whether the people in the government are patriotic or mercenaries --- if there is going to be no budget and no possibility of getting paid in the government, a patriotic person will still come and do their job to serve their country."

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse
.......

Guess "free_np" didn't actually read the article:

"Even if non-essential workers wanted to work without pay, they could face fines of up to $5,000 or up to two years in prison for violating a federal law that prohibits agencies from accepting volunteer labor."

I guess this is the place where people just talk without caring about trying to inform themselves.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 17, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

What does it look like? It looks like a dream come true! The very idea of a complete and total federal government shutdown is so appealing that I figure this is story has to be a fake. Imagine - no TSA, no Homeland Security, maybe even the FBI, CIA, and all of those contracted secret police home and out-of-work; no Republicans or Democrats, Wall Street cut off from the US Treasury hogs trough, illegals cut off, their snouts out of our social services, and all of those local and state government boondoggles defunded even for just a week! On top of that, with their Social Security checks cut off, millions of snowbirds stuck in Florida or Arizona, with no gas money to drive their RV back home, no money for their boat, shriveled old hags being forced away from the one armed bandits in Reno, Los Vegas, and Atlantic City. And, if we're really lucky, maybe the public employee herds will be so thinned, China and India denied payment on their already worthless paper, that the various "Free Trade" schemes of the big government-big business cartel will be so damaged that actual private sector jobs can grow for a while.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 17, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

.....
If you WORK and make an HONEST living at some TRADE, you'll have NO PROBLEM.

If you're a BLOODSUCKER feeding off the PEOPLE at a GOOBERMENT JOB you'll be in DEEP TROUBLE, even unable to get UNEMPLOYMENT since you'd need GOOBERMENT for that.
Posted by: notinca | February 17, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse
......

Wow, I guess you don't drive on ROADS to get to work at your TRADE, or use EMERGENCY SERVICES when you are in TROUBLE, or expect the MILITARY to PROTECT YOU.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 17, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Its very easy for alot of prople out there to say let the government shut down who cares. But I for one will be especially hurt by a shut down. I am a disabled person who is living at poverty level now as it is surviving on 1,032.00 a month. I have severe lupus and it now looks like my kidneys are giving out. If I

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq ...and now here.You shut off people's Social Security and shut down the govt and you'll see the House tossed out into the Bay and left to rot there."

Sounds like a threat to me. Got news for you - we're ALREADY in a state of rot!! You keep going and this place is going to blow too.. Frankly I'd vastly prefer tgat the PO'd ones be the federal workers who don't get paid instead of those who are taxed to death paying the federal bill. If it comes to a resistance movement the good news is that the Federal workers can't organize, can't plan, can't execute, and can not function as a legitimate, organized force - if they can't do it now they'll never do it in crisis. SHUT IT DOWN and force these greedy sloths to either quit or take massive pay cuts... let them riot in the streets and scream to their thug unions about "fairness." But this ain't Egypt - we won't be cowering in our basements waiting to be looted.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | February 17, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It is a nice paid vacation for Federal Workers. Governments always pays Federal workers for forced days off like this.

Posted by: Doctor_Evil | February 17, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

hithere1

Wow, I guess you never heard about Pay For Performance, where, if you WANT something, like a ROAD, you PAY FOR IT and then, when it's done, you can get to your TRADE. And, if you WANT something, like MEDICAL SERVICE, you PAY FOR IT, and then, when it's done, you can continue to live. And, if you want SECURITY, you can HAVE A GUN and PROTECT YOURSELF instead of WAITING for some GOOBERMENT to SAVE YOU, which they RARELY DO, unless you're a STUPID LEMMING DEMOCRAT who wants to be TAKEN CARE OF by his FAIRY GODMOTHER GOOBERMENT which is a FANTASY. Understand?

Unlimited Gooberment wealth is a FANTASY.

Retirement at 40 with $150,000/yr is a FANTASY, well, except to you.

Posted by: notinca | February 17, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

....Then patriotic workers should go to prison or pay the fines -- the fines will help cure the deficit problems and pay them for their precious services ... the word "civil servant" should be converted into "civil masters" -- the servants are out there in the real world while the masters are worried about possibility of working without pay -- it's like their hands and feet just swell up.

The options should be clearly laid out for civil servants -- the people who are your pay masters cannot afford your services [that's why there is a deficit!] -- now .. if you would like to keep this job and serve the nation -- take a pay cut or go home and join the millions of other unemployed! ...

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse
....

Wow, I misjudged you "free_np." I didn't know you worked for free! Tell us how long you have been working for free please, and where? I am sure your free work is also of the highest quality, and you never takes breaks on your volunteer job.

Please, continue to spread your wisdom.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 17, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I predict that that the first Social Security checks that don't get mailed because of a government shutdown will elicit an immediate and angry response from constituents -- followed by an equally immediate pledge by Republicans to end the shutdown.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 17, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Its very easy for alot of people out there to say let the government shut down who cares. But I for one will be especially hurt by a shut down. I am a disabled person who is living at poverty level now as it is, surviving on 1,032.00 a month for both myself and my son who is can electrical engineering student at Drexel University. Children of disabled parents collect a check for their child but that ends now at either the age of 19 or high school graduation. (They want you to be self sufficient but you are suppose to get there on your own with no help for your education costs ect. The republicans dont want to pay for entitlements but what is suppose to happen to people like me who have a child (whose father is not in the picture) I have severe lupus and it now looks like my kidneys are giving out. If I dont get my check I cant pay for my medications (I am on pain medication as well) I am living pay check to pay check. A stopage will put me on the streets. Kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

notinca

I misunderstood you before. I did not know that you have enough guns to protect yourself from foreign invasion. And you have enough guns to fight the whole war on terrorism too! You are right - let's just shut down the military now.

And I didn't know that ROADS and EMERGENCY SERVICES are already free! Or wait, they aren't - we DO PAY FOR THEM ALREADY, don't we? Hmm, this is a tough one. So you think we should stop paying the feds taxes to build and maintain roads, and instead each citizen should directly pay a private company to build roads, am I right? Except who decides which roads to build, and where, and which to maintain? I guess we could all just directly vote on that - oops, there's the government again! Sorry about that. No voting on roads, that is too political for you. OK, we'll leave how to organize this an open question for now.

In terms of emergency services, you're right! Let's just let all the private fire departments, private coastal rescue guards, etc. take over. And if a community gets hit by a hurricane and is too poor to pay for emergency services, well, that's their own fault, right? Tough luck for them.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 17, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Typical for the GOP to start trouble and then act like there should be no consequences.
They are as usual black mailing the President. Everyone understands the need to trim the budget but as usual the GOP and the Tea Party want to run the government.
I think the answer is to have all the salaries cut first as they say everything is on the table. Our very rich congress people have no problem cutting, health care, jobs, and programs that serve the poor people in our country. Why would they care. They have lots of perks, live in fine estates and eat like kings.
I for one think this country will think the recent protests in the middle east could happen here. Every state is broke and they will find people in these states will reach the point of discontent.
Now the GOP and the Tea Party are using this last election to gain power, if they were so concerned with our debt, it is a bit late. * years in power and two wars and all the tough talk landed us where we are. IN debt.
I think the GOP should be working with the President but they are not they are doing what they do and that is to make treats and say the american public is behind them.
Well, lets see what happens when the American public finally feels the hurt of these cuts. It will definately not effect the rich people the GOP give tax cuts too.
They had no problem with how that added to our deficit.
So much hypocrisy.
This is hurting our country all this Tea Party influence.,where is the real Republican Party?
Well, I will tell you, the Tea Party have inflitrated and plan to tell the public whatever they want to hear but does anyone really know what they are about?
I say that because during elections it is never about solutions, it is about charactor assassinations,religion and money.
Think the GOP and Tea Party scared the public with the debt, but forgot they borrowed money from China for two wars we could't afford. Pehaps we could start with cuts there and work out a budget to pay back what we borrowed for these two wars and include the expenses for Pakistan, to hold that government up.
Hello America this is all about Politics as usual.

Posted by: crich520 | February 17, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Dear mr wesatch Your answer is to cut medicare by 25% How do you think I will pay all my doctors? I am a disabled Lupus patient I am currently seeing 6 doctors to help control my disease I have had 2 colonoscopies and 4 endoscopies this past year and a half to try to locate the reason for my serious blood loss (I currently have a red blood cell count of 8) I cant live off the 1,032.00 a month I am getting now. No what needs to be done is anyone who can afford to pay their childs primary and secondary education costs should be required to do so also there isnt any real need for school buses. My parents paid their taxes raised four children and put us all through primary, secondary school and college. They paid for everything books included.(How is it that the Catholic schools can do so much more with much less money?) They are not rich but they dont live high on the hog either. They didnt have a huge house with tons of upgrades. We were four kids in a three bedroom house. My mother was a catholic school teacher for 42 years and my dad worked for social security. My mom has a masters degree from Hopkins and taught High school chemistry. She didnt make as much as she should have, never was paid what she was worth and now you want to cut her benefits. SHAME ON YOU. SHE is only getting 1,600.00 in social security. Still she managed to save close to 80,000.00 in her pension plan. It is time that the upper class starts paying THEIR fair share. You want to hear about waste just look at the Defense department THEREs where you will find waste. And how about that politician who built his own PRIVATE AIRPORT. Its now sitting there EMPTY. -- We shouldnt be paying noncitizens disability or welfare but we do. I worked for 15 years and when I couldnt work a fulltime job due to my illness I worked as a temporary There arent many employers who want to pay someone like me - I frequently get bronchitis (which is contagious) and requires usually 2 weeks off at a time. SO I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE than to be ON disability. Its not a life style CHOICE. Oh by the way the first time I had to have a transfusion I was in the hospital it cost 3700.00 for a four night stay. Medicare paid most of my cost. The second time my blood counts dropped I decided to stay out of the hospital and just try iron infusion (done by IV I also needed the same round of tests I had when I was hospitalized) I thought by staying out of the hospital I woud save not only myself but the government money --- I was the one who got screwed medicare didnt pay for even half the bill. Now what am I suppose to do ? Kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Lord, I hope this doesn't happen. My husband already works 12+ hours most days, as he has since 9/11... and if he's forced to stay home, the work doesn't just magically go away. It just means he'll be working 20 hour days until he gets caught up again.

I'm so tired of the whining about lazy feds... from people who are so lax about doing their own work that they are POSTING ON A WEBSITE DURING THE DAY. My husband, on the other hand, is still at work at 9:30 at night. And he has no internet access to distract him. But he's the lazy one.

Posted by: floof | February 17, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse


The options should be clearly laid out for civil servants -- the people who are your pay masters cannot afford your services [that's why there is a deficit!] -- now .. if you would like to keep this job and serve the nation -- take a pay cut or go home and join the millions of other unemployed! ...

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse
....

Wow, I misjudged you "free_np." I didn't know you worked for free! Tell us how long you have been working for free please, and where? I am sure your free work is also of the highest quality, and you never takes breaks on your volunteer job.

Please, continue to spread your wisdom.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 17, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------
I work for the private sector and have faced several lay offs when money was never easy to come by and bills to pay ... sometimes there would be several months with no pay check and bills to pay ... the people who work for the Government and talking about a shutdown causing them to default on their bills should step out in the real world a little more often.

As for working for free ... sometimes when one is jobless for a long time -- one would be ready to work for even free ... I guess you work for the Government and just cannot grasp the concept or the feeling.

Posted by: free_np | February 17, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

One consideration that may lead to a shutdown is that this time the employees will surely not be paid for lost time. It will be a convenient furlough and saving of salary.

Posted by: jhough1 | February 17, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I dont think everyone NEEDS to get social security or medicare. If you make more than 375,000.00 a year, you should be able to save for your own retirement. (an addendum to an above posting) Kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with manicdrummer completely. The Republicans got us into these draining wars and that is the basis for our economic mess. Let's pull everyone out of the war areas and cut our losses now. We are not going to gain anything but animosity and more debt as these wars go on and on forever. The world did not fall apart when we pulled out of Vietnam. We are beating a dead horse and harming the lives of too many Americans. Shutting down the government is foolish at best. This is another way to foul up the country and really shows the Republicans have not learned from history of only a few years ago.

Posted by: snoopsmom | February 17, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey demforlife1 I think we are the only two dem out there. Kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

sorry spelled it wrong dem4life1 kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I dont believe many of you out there are thinking about what a shut down will mean. Even my measly 1,032.00 a month disability check not getting spent --- I still MUST see doctors, who in turn give me my 7 prescriptions a month to be filled at the pharmacy. Now think about the fact that a majority of our population is getting old. Think about the fact that they also.... still need to see doctors and fill presciptions, buy their canes ect. It will mean alot of money NOT moving through an already sluggish economy. Gee I really wish the money that was suppose to have been recouped by our government for the Iraq war (promised by Bush "The oil will pay for the war") would have materialized. And those banking regulations the Republicans said were not needed----after which the housing market collapsed. Lets see now...... Who is to blame for the mess we are in ? kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the air traffic controllers should be classified as non-essential, shutting down all air transportation. That would place maximum pressure of Congress to do their job. Without the ability for many to travel to their home, they might as well do the job for which they were elected.

Posted by: edwardatvienna | February 17, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

hitthere

Your ignorance precedes you.

Fire Departments USED TO be private and ANYONE who paid for their services GOT THEM. The rest DIDN'T.

Perhaps you've seen recent reports of PUBLIC fire departments which have let citizen's homes BURN TO THE GROUND because that address hadn't PAID ITS SERVICE FEE for fire department services? NO? You need to CATCH UP with WHAT'S HAPPENING.

'Pay For Performance' is where its at.

But, don't make THAT deal with a DEEM-N-RAT. As soon as you hear a DEEM-N-RAT make a PROMISE to do 'pay-as-you-go' or some other PLEDGE meant to DECEIVE the Citizen that whatever service the Government might be called upon to provide will be paid for, from now on, RUN FOR THE HILLS, because, THEY ARE LYING!

Posted by: notinca | February 17, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering how many of you have stock in pharmasutical companies ? Yeah thats the answer lets just shut it down. How many elderly people live on your block? Are you willing to take care of them on your salary when their social security check stops. The answer is not in cutting social security its barely enough to live on as it is. The fund itself should NEVER have been touched but it was and now its a catch up game. Government shut down will affect too many people people who worked their whole lives and paid their taxes. The elderly make up a huge part of our population making them suffer is not the answer. Congressmen and Senators should give up their salaries right now until this mess it worked out. I have a hunch they would survive ----me not so much kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

hey notinca do you have grandparents anyone in your family elderly? Maybe a neighbor? Dont you think these people worked all their lives and deserve their retirement? If the government shuts down they dont get their social security. By the way I am not a blood sucker Im just really sick disability is all ive got. Kim

Posted by: strawbrryfld | February 17, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

A shutdown looms and Congress goes on RECESS FOR A WEEK? They should all be furloughed without pay for that recess as well as any time other federal employees are out of work in a shutdown.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | February 17, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"stilldoin" muttered:
"How does MY not getting paid help the other 10% of Americans who are not getting paid? How does it help the economy to have MORE unemployed?

Guess what? If I lose my Fed. job, I'm taking YOUR job from you. I'm educated, experienced, and I was raised with an impecable work ethic. MOVE OVER!"

That's hilarious. Maybe 10% of the federal employees I have met are qualified to hold ANY private sector job. Yet your lofty sense of entitlement makes you believe that you can walk into any company and "take" a job from someone.

Are you not aware that the federal government is the employer of last resort for the otherwise unemployable who cannot function in positions where actual performance is the determining factor of whether or not you are promoted, and not "time in grade".

Any federal employee "taking" a job from a private sector employee just because they are a federal employee and have an "impecable" work ethic...let's just say:

Thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: dionysianmadness | February 18, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Shut it down!!!...and stop paying defense contractors first! Then stop paying the federal subsidies to oil companies! Then stop paying agriculture subsidies to corporate owned farms! Once the fat cat conservatives and corporate welfare recipients who suckle at the federal teat stop getting their welfare checks, the Republicans will change their tune pronto!

Posted by: lhflier | February 18, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

You people think running this country is like running your household. If you Tea-party nutjobs and other kooks have your way the government will shut down and we will have chaos and I would advise you knuckle-heads to try to find a hiding place. Absolutely no one will be safe. Look at all these protesters abroad and how it is spreading. If you brainless idiots get your way and provoke Americans to start protesting which will spread nationwide, you will have a mess on your hands. You will get a change all right, but I don't believe it is what you idiots have in mind. As crazy as you Tp's are, I want you to know that you are trying to wake up these homegrown nutcases who are nuttier than you TP's are. Looks like the world is about to end and perhaps you TP's will be the catalyst.

Posted by: mwm1165 | February 18, 2011 2:48 AM | Report abuse

obama wants a shutdown...
a gimmick because he has nothing else...
and wants to bankrupt the nation...
he will destroy America...
if the people let him...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 18, 2011 5:03 AM | Report abuse

retailme not and printapons saves me lots of time and money and more than that it make the online shopping lot more fun when you get discount!!

Posted by: carrideal | February 18, 2011 5:15 AM | Report abuse

A shutdown is a very bad idea. My mom has never forgotten the time the senior citizen bus trip to Ellis Island was canceled due to a government shutdown.

Posted by: Gadder | February 18, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

The time for kicking the can down the road has ended. A CR for the rest of the year is not going to happen. Time to sharpen the knife Obama MUST sign the 2011 budget if he hopes to have any credibility. Time to stop these federal programs in their tracks NOW> NO MORE SPENDING. Do you hear us Harry Reid!!!

Posted by: espnfan | February 18, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

People... Feds pay taxes, work overtime for free and many have come from private sector because they applied for and were found QUALIFIED for the job. For those of you that are unemployed, why aren't your looking at the want ads instead of posting on a website? Did you apply for the jobs and found lacking? If you would not do for yourself or do without then don't suggest it for someone else. Boehner...HAHAHAwhat a joke, thinks he's Marie Antoinette.....take a 50% pay cut, pay for your own healthcare and travel fees Congress and Senate members. Quit freeloading off the American citizens. Why are we paying for your recess? Should be LWOP!!!!!!! So be it!

Posted by: FedUptoHere | February 18, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Some of us did consider it our patriotic duty to come in anyway. I did and was escorted out of the building by an armed guard."
===================================
Speaking of being told to leave, in no uncertain terms!, the exact same thing happened to me on 9/11/2001. I wanted to stay put, I figured the best way to stick MY finger in some cowards eyes was to stay put and do my job, but I was not permitted to do so. They were quite serious about it.

The thing about government shutdowns is that they are not total. They should be, if they occur at all. No air traffic controllers. No VA hospitals open. In a research protocol at NIH for treatment--not until the government re-opens. Applying for social security benefits--nope. I guess we'll all enjoy not paying our taxes, because the IRS will be shut down too, right?

I don't *want* it to happen, but if it does, it should be complete and total.

I wonder how Congress would feel about it when the federal police weren't on the job, either. Does anyone know how the legislators are paid? Annually? Monthly? Biweekly? THEY can afford to go without pay for quite some time--it would be quite some time before they'd feel the same pain of the unemployed, laid-off, furloughed or shut-out citizenry.

But I don't want to see it happen. Their #1 job priority is to PASS A BUDGET.

Posted by: Skowronek | February 18, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

floof wrote:

I'm so tired of the whining about lazy feds... from people who are so lax about doing their own work that they are POSTING ON A WEBSITE DURING THE DAY.
================================
Well, to be fair, there are people who work evenings and nights. Or they have an alternate work schedule. They may be writing on their private time. Not saying it's always the case of course.

Posted by: Skowronek | February 18, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Much harder never bent rather broken, Under political antagonism Republicans spending cut policy is based. Cut in federal budget and in States signaling Jungle-Raj (regime) which gives birth to discontentment and frustration blocked development.

In State Wisconsin thousands workers are on strike and if this infection travels in other States than anarchy will dominate in country like Egypt. Development runs miles away.

Worldwide people discontentment is sparking against autocrat regime for civil-rights. Days are gone when full perfumed water tube needed for bath. Now time is scarcity so all senators, congressman including president freeze 50% annual emoluments and give in exchequer under Patriotic Act similarly States follow than understand pain of shortage and people resentment doing strikes
.

Posted by: kaushalramesh | February 18, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Much harder never bent rather broken, Under political antagonism Republicans spending cut policy is based. Cut in federal budget and in States signaling Jungle-Raj (regime) which gives birth to discontentment and frustration blocked development.

In State Wisconsin thousands workers are on strike and if this infection travels in other States than anarchy will dominate in country like Egypt. Development runs miles away.

Worldwide people discontentment is sparking against autocrat regime for civil-rights. Days are gone when full perfumed water tube needed for bath. Now time is scarcity so all senators, congressman including president freeze 50% annual emoluments and give in exchequer under Patriotic Act similarly States follow than understand pain of shortage and people resentment doing strikes
.

Posted by: kaushalramesh | February 18, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Note to WAPO and the Socialist Democratic Party Leadership... (you too ObaMao). IF Congress fails to reduce the wild spending of the previous Congress and current administration in the WH... then there WILL BE A DAY were no one get's a check for anything. How is that confusing??

IF the last Congress has actully done it's job and submitted and passed a budget there would no discussion on this issue now!!!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 18, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm glad to see that the calls to calm the political rhetoric a mere month or so ago have already been forgotten. I tend to doubt that any issue has ever reached a rational conclusion in the comments section of a random blog post, but kudos to so many of you for trying. Here's my small attempt.

There are certain universal truths many of us - Fed and non-Fed, employed and unemployed - can probably agree on. As one small example of this, I've been in public sector and private sector offices and I've seen underpaid people go the extra mile to accomplish a task/mission...while watching overpaid people in the same office "phone it in." I do not think this is my unique experience. Further, I think that many of us are smart enough to not extrapolate these sorts of anecdotal experiences into generalizations. It is simply that some people are wired in one manner, while others are not.

The national debt is not a new story. I recall seeing the national debt clock in NYC in the late 1990s and thinking how unfortunate that number was at the time. I have to assume it's not like Congress started getting phone calls from bill collectors.

It's a worthy effort to reduce the amount of debt, but the current debate (blaming Federal worker salaries, NPR funding, etc.) is like your friend with the maxed out credit cards saying he'll start saving a few bucks a month by cutting out his daily Starbucks order...but there's no way he's giving up his luxury car, super cable package, and quarterly vacations. It just seems like the message isn't lining up properly with the motivation.

The reality is that to tackle the debt - if that's what we're really concerned about - we need to look at things like Social Security. I personally don't know anyone under the age of 45 who realistically expects to receive a Social Security check. I'd probably hug any politician who came out and said "You know what, people under 45, it's sunk costs. We know. We're changing the rules mid-way. Sorry." But sadly, my age bracket has a worse voting record than the blue hairs, so I doubt I'll be hearing those words any time soon.

I'm not advocating the removal of Social Security, mind you. I merely think that the intent of the program has been lost. Between life expectancy changes, tax-beneficial retirement plans, etc., the world has changed and Social Security hasn't seemed to react in any meaningful way. Raising the retirement age and establishing tiers of repayment seem like common-sense solutions. As a society, we decided that having the elderly + infirm die destitute in the gutters was something we wanted to prevent. That intent shouldn't be any different today. Similar hard looks must occur with the wars, with Medicare, and with Medicaid.

I personally don't care if the people in power are Democrat, Republican, or something else entirely. But I refuse to ever root for anyone to lose his or her job. I only hope my fellow Americans would similarly abstain from that practice.

Posted by: cbiscuit1 | February 18, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

For all you Fed haters out there, that are in lock step with the “so be it” crowd, I say fine. You want a Fed shutdown then let it be true Fed shutdown. No FBI, no CIA, no HS, no military protection, no Federal services period! Let’s see how far you can go when your bank or credit union runs out of money because the Federal Reserve is closed. Let’s see how well you like it when your child goes missing and the only people you can count on is your local police. Let’s see how your business survives when it needs a loan. Let’s see how far your revenue can drop when local Fed employees no long fill your shops or eateries. Let’s see how far you can fly with no FAA ATC to direct your planes. Counting a big tax return? Let’s see how much you get back when no one at the IRS is there to process it. Let’s see how safe your food and drugs are when the FDA is absent. Let’s see how safe you will feel when all branches of the military stand down. Extreme and absurd examples? Of course it is. The list could go on and on.
Federal payroll didn’t get the USA in $14T cluster-f$#k, so quit calling for a 25% or any percent pay cut for federal employees. I don’t B&tch about your salary when my fuel is expensive, my food is expensive, my healthcare is expensive or whatever walk of life you have that has an impact on price of the goods or services I consume.
For all of you calling for a complete shut down; let’s just see how it would all work out for you. My guess is you would be scared $h%tless when all chaos breaks loose. So, yeah, shutdown everything.

Posted by: kd1256 | February 18, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

For all you Fed haters out there, that are in lock step with the “so be it” crowd, I say fine. You want a Fed shutdown then let it be true Fed shutdown. No FBI, no CIA, no HS, no military protection, no Federal services period! Let’s see how far you can go when your bank or credit union runs out of money because the Federal Reserve is closed. Let’s see how well you like it when your child goes missing and the only people you can count on is your local police. Let’s see how your business survives when it needs a loan. Let’s see how far your revenue can drop when local Fed employees no long fill your shops or eateries. Let’s see how far you can fly with no FAA ATC to direct your planes. Counting a big tax return? Let’s see how much you get back when no one at the IRS is there to process it. Let’s see how safe your food and drugs are when the FDA is absent. Let’s see how safe you will feel when all branches of the military stand down. Extreme and absurd examples? Of course it is. The list could go on and on.
Federal payroll didn’t get the USA in $14T cluster-f$#k, so quit calling for a 25% or any percent pay cut for federal employees. I don’t B&tch about your salary when my fuel is expensive, my food is expensive, my healthcare is expensive or whatever walk of life you have that has an impact on price of the goods or services I consume.
For all of you calling for a complete shut down; let’s just see how it would all work out for you. My guess is you would be scared $h%tless when all chaos breaks loose. So, yeah, shutdown everything.

Posted by: kd1256 | February 18, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I think if we are going to shut the government down because of the Tea Party--it is time that all of those Tea Partiers who flew into DC with their "keep your government hands off my Medicare" learn what is provided by the government and what is not. So, if we shut down, let's make it a FULL shutdown--let's shut down the FAA and the Air Traffic Controllers which means a ground stop on flights for as long as the government remains closed. No Medicare, no Social Security, no Foodstamps, no museums, everything that is operated by the Federal Government should shut down completely--that way, the Tea Partiers and others who do not quite get the concept of what is provided by the Federal Government and what is not understand. I would imagine if we had a real shutdown, those same "protesters" who came out for the Tea Party would come out demand that "their" federal benefits get restored immediately. I think the good that will come from this is that the nonsense will stop.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | February 19, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

These politicians were voted into office to make a budget that works, not to act like spoiled 2 year old demanding to get their way. They need to stay there until they can make it work, if they can't, they need to be penalized. Loss of wages and benefits would surely light a fire under some of these recalcitrant fools.

Posted by: millielencioni | February 19, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It is easy for some of you to criticize the federal work force with simply conclusory statements that there is a bloated federal work force, but it is up to you to prove it. Keep some facts in mind.

(1) While some state pension systems and medical benefits are low cost or no cost, since the 1980s federal workers contribute between 5 and 10 per cent of their salary to their retirement accounts (if they want to participate) and pay for their health insurance just like the private sector. True, there is a pension for federal workers, but under the plan in place since the 1980s, it has been much smaller and designed to KEEP federal workers on the job. It is also true that the federal employee health benefits are an excellent system. We pay for it though through an ever-increasing premium payment.

(2) The federal work force has high standards for employment and those wanting to join us have to have excellent qualifications. There are hundreds of applications for each job opening--a testament to the attractiveness of federal employment to prospective workers.

(3) Sure, there are people who are sluggards or low performers, and it is often difficult to get rid of them, but the average worker is an excellent worker that any business would be glad to add to its work force. The best way to prove that statement: whenever jobs are contracted out and the federal work force reduced, the contractor hires them back to do the job.

(4) The federal compensation and benefits system is a well-thought out system designed to retain trained workers as a career force. It is also designed to prevent corruption. If that irks you, I am sorry. If you think we are overpaid, prove it. Study after study prove our salaries and benefits overall are lower than those paid for comparable jobs in the private sector.

(5) If you convince Congress and the President to eliminate an agency or program, then so be it. If you think there are too many federal workers in a given agency, I'd ask you to prove it. Also, whenever contracting out is tried it always works out that the near-term compensation and contractor costs are higher than just paying the federal workers. All you save is the future retirement costs.

(6) We are all aware that there is a 9 per cent unemployment rate. We all have friends or family members who are looking for work. What good will firing or furloughing federal workers do? Not a single job will be created. Taxes won't go down. Private sector workers get laid off for a variety of reasons: including no business, efficiency, and forced productivity. increases. And you WILL lose services you need and want.

This is a frustrating time for millions of workers, and it just as frustrating to be a federal employee. We are providing the government services that the country needs during this time of national struggle. You are the public we are proud to serve.

Posted by: hbrown906 | February 19, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to see the comments about how "unpatriotic" the government workers are supposed to be. Didn't anyone read that part that they are PROHIBITED from working for free? And if they do so, they will at--the very least--face a stiff fine?

If I were still working for the Feds (I'm retired), I certainly wouldn't show up. First of all, I'd face a potential loss of income, AND maybe pay for the "privilege" of serving the U.S. citizens.

Posted by: TheOlderEd | February 19, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that even if the congress and odimbs can't get their heads out of their rear ends, that we the people vote a special funding measure that will get their attention. According to the article...

"piles of elephant manure might pile up in a National Zoo parking lot because workers can't ship it away for composting."

I think we need to fund the removal of the elephant manure, from all the zoos in DC and surrounding areas, and we need to fund not only its removal, but its shipment for composting, just inside the front door at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | February 19, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I really feel bad for the Veterans, to think they fought for us to get something like this in return. I really hope something gets figured out soon.

Posted by: Sydney2206 | February 20, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

If the government once again shuts down, the shut down will be seen as a Republican stunt, regardless of who is at "fault." It was a Republican stunt in 1995, and it'll be a Republican stunt in 2011. That's good news for the Democrats in 2012, I guess.

Posted by: John991 | February 20, 2011 4:44 AM | Report abuse

If the government once again shuts down, the shut down will be seen as a Republican stunt, regardless of who is at "fault." It was a Republican stunt in 1995, and it'll be a Republican stunt in 2011. That's good news for the Democrats in 2012, I guess.

Posted by: John991 | February 20, 2011 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Here is a Report for Congress created as a result of one of the earlier budget closures and makes for an interesting read.

http://ncseonline.org/nle/crsreports/government/gov-26.cfm

We need to stop the rhetoric and remember that the people affected by a closure are US citizens. The United States is made up of billions of people whose ancestors came to the US seeking a better life. The better life does come at a cost and we do need to reduce the budget and get spending under control, but to perform a drastic reform at the cost of the health and welfare of our own citizens are barbaric. We got into trouble by overspending in the past 10 years and getting out of trouble will take time, but we also need time to get started and work out a proper plan.

Every year we hear about elderly who die because of a lack of heat because they were too proud to ask for heating assistance. I have seen children in KY who during the school year only eat at school and if the lunch program is stopped, will suffer.

The US was a great nation and we were great because of what we could do together. Once war was declared in WWII, no nation could stand up to our might when we pulled together as a nation. We need to pull together again and quit the bickering and infighting.

Posted by: KYVeteran | February 20, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@free_np

You're a complete tool. In one post, you assert that we should go to work without pay if we're really that Patriotic. In a subsequent post, after someone pointed out the penalties for violating the shutdown, you tell me I should go in anyway and take the fine or do the time or both, if I really care. Hey, you have no idea what I went through just to get my job, so I'm not about to lose it by violating the law, and certainly not for an ingrate like you.

On the contrary, I think I'll go ahead and stay home. You know why? Because of the hate and envy I feel from you and others of your ilk.

I'm guessing that you are either a) someone who is trying to enflame a situation, b) somebody who mad a bad choice early in life and works for low wages at the best job you could get or c) somebody who applied for federal employment and was rejected because you were not qualified.

I have served this nation with pride for most of my adult life, first as a Marine (you're welcome), then as a postal worker, and now as an investigator.

If I was too stupid to know otherwise, I would think you speak for the majority, but you don't. You speak for the loudmothed, blowhard minority who thinks that anyone who works for the government is a parasite.

And before you tell me to get a real job, you should know this: I worked overnight at the post office for 15 years before I transferred to my current agency. The last 8 of those years, I spent in college and law school, busting my ASS to make my life better. Instead of vilifying all of us who chose to becaome federal employees out of a desire to serve the public, why don't you do something fulfilling and enriching with your own life?

And one last thing. I AM proud of what I do and who I serve. What are you proud of?

Posted by: Joe_the_fed | February 21, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@ free_np

I forgot to tell you... Before you even think about banging on about how I need to get in touch with the reality of life and learn what a layoff feels like: I worked in the private sector for 8 years before I got my first federal job in the Post Office.

My first company went bankrupt. I showed up for work one morning and the doors were closed. No explanations, no nothing. Out of work for 6 months, and back then, there were no extensions, so my unemployment ran out a month before I went back to work.

Company number two was successful. So successful that the owner sold it out from under us and walked away with a $22 million dollar payday. But the workers? Nada, baby. Just a notice and an escort to your car by a couple of jackbooted thugs who were strapped. Out of work only 5 months that time

Company three was even MORE successful. He was so mad that he lost the rights to distribute a certain beer in my area, that he laid us all off and bought his wife and three kids each a Mercedes. Fortunately, one of my coworkers at the time saw it coming and he brought me in an ad from the paper about a postal exam for truck drivers 8 months before the place went out. I got laid off the day before I started the new job.

So I remember VIVIDLY what it's like to get laid off and not have money coming in.

Posted by: Joe_the_fed | February 21, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@KYVeteran

Great post. Unfortunately, compassion is no longer the virtue it once was. In case anyone has failed to notice, your paycheck is a little bigger since the first of the year, because the tax rate was cut. And yes, it was well deserved. But if you think that we, as Americans, are over-taxed, do some research on what the average tax rate is in Europe.

Most of the good things done for the poor and the sick in America come from the philanthropy of others.

I personally donate a money out of every paycheck to breast cancer research and the Lymphoma/ Leukemia Society. I donate to the latter because I'm a Hodgkins survivor.

But what we're seeing here is a backlash against federal employees from the small minority who think America should be one step removed from Somalia, where anarchy and disorder are the rule.

Posted by: Joe_the_fed | February 21, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

There seem to be a lot of folks on here pointing fingers, talking about fearmongering, advocating a shutdown of the government, talking about government fatcats, lazy federal workers who are ripping off the American taxpayer, so I thought I would chime in. I am one of the over 2 million federal employees. I am also a disabled veteran who was injured serving my country. I have worked for private sector employees, state governments, and now the federal government. Most importantly I am an American taxpayer just like all other federal employees. There seem to be a lot of folks that think that as federal employees we dont care about the deficit, rampant spending and possible economic doom. That is simply not true. We pay our taxes, pay our bills, raise our families, struggle with a household budget just like everybody else. We don't all have "sailboats in Maryland" or "leave early on Fridays", etc, etc. As a matter of fact most of us are very hardworking and dedicated to our jobs. Lumping all federal workers into the same genre is like saying the reason that Japan exceeded us technologicaly and industrialy for so long is because all Americans are lazy. Yes we have a lot of problems in government. Yes something needs to be done about it sooner than later. But the thinking that a government shutdown only affects the so called "bureaucratic fatcats" is not only very wrong but idiotic. Out of all the federal workers, less than .005% can be called "bureaucratic fatcats". People are quick to blame others rather than themselves. We put these people in office. Either by way of voting, or not voting whatever your individual case is. Finger pointing, fearmongering or even a shutdown of the federal government doesn't solve the problem or prove anything. Our system isn't perfect, it just is what it is. Finally I say to those who like to slander and hate that which they either don't understand or just plain have no clue about, this is the United States of America. You are free to leave at any time. Go join a protest in Libya, or Yemen, or Bahrain, or Egypt if you think we have it so bad here.

Posted by: homelessvetguy | February 22, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

For all of those who think it will only hurt the government employees think again. My father is an 80 year old Vietnam Veteran. He was also a career Air Force officer. If the government shuts down he will not receive his retirement or his Social Security payments. No veteran or retiree from the armed services will. If you are on disability, and yes some people really are disabled, they will not receive their disability checks. Any program that is funded by the government will stop. If you are receiving a government grant to attend college, it will stop. So those of you thinking it will hurt the politicians are wrong. It will hurt hard working Americans many of whom sacrificed their lives for this country. I really don't think people realize how many government programs are out there and how they affect their lives. With this shutdown you will realize it. Instead of threatening people who depend on their social security or retirement benefits to live why not take away some of the stipends for housing and such that so many politicians have and don't really need. For once reach into their very full and fat pockets. Most of all do not forget this when election time rolls around again. This is how much the government cares about you. They are willing to sacrifice you and your livelihood to make a name for themselves. It will not hurt the politicians. It will hurt Americans.

Posted by: shlbycindy | February 23, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I have been a federal employee for the past 15+ years after working in IT in the private sector. Over the years I have run across Federal employees that don’t produce as well as employees that are extremely overworked and under paid. This is no different than the stories I hear from my wife who works in the private sector and is always complaining about how her coworkers do not pull their weight. The day-to-day work of many feds goes unseen by the general public. Doesn’t mean it’s not important or unneeded. Sort of like saying Ford doesn’t need an accounting department because the accountants do not produce cars. We all have our missions, some of which are to support the mission of the agency. Some are to provide the necessary support services to units within our agencies so that they can support he mission of the agency. I for one have spent countless hours during the holidays, nights and weekends and being on-call to support computer upgrades and crashes. I work damn hard and take extreme pride in what I do, as do MOST federal employees. Is there a problem, YUP. But shutting down the government or making blanket statements about the employees don’t fix it or correct the budget problem. I can think of lots of things that my agency can cut to save instead of federal staffing. The whole concept of saving is lost on the Federal government and its upper management !

Posted by: raiderfan85 | February 24, 2011 3:19 AM | Report abuse

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