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Unplanned Vacation
Brooklet Correspondents
Last comment by Teapotter 4 years, 6 months ago.

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I have a job, but I am not allowed to go to work. Because I am not allowed to go to work, I do not know when I will be paid again. That means my bills may go unpaid, I may struggle to feed my family, and I could miss my mortgage payments and car payments. But, I have a job. I have work to do, but I am not allowed to go to work.

I am a Federal Civil Servant, ‘enjoying’ my second day of ‘vacation’ (furlough actually) due to Congress failing to pass a budget or a Continuing Resolution. The government is ‘shut down’. Well… not really. The military is working. National security personnel are working. I understand that, and have no issue with it. And they will get paid (eventually) because they are working, but no one knows when they will be paid. I am just losing money – because I am not working.

The Congress is still at work, still arguing, still getting paid, as is their staff. I have an issue with that. If they can’t work together and get along, they should be fired! Their job is to govern the country, including funding the government's business. If they can't, or won't, do their job then they and their staff should work without pay.

“Entitlements” are paid, and will be paid. I disagree with this. I am sure someone will say that old couple Smith needs that money for rent and groceries, and single mom Jones needs her money to take care of herself and her kids, because neither has any other income.

Folks – I don’t really have any other income either. All my income comes from the government. It’s OK to take care of the old and needy, but right now, there are almost 800,000 new ‘needy’ folks – the furloughed Civil Servants.

So, here’s my idea – when the government shuts down…. NOBODY SHOULD BE GETTING PAID! Some people might have to stay on their jobs (military, national security, law enforcement, etc), but no one should draw a check while someone else does not. No paychecks, no social security, no welfare, nothing! The uproar and outrage of THE PEOPLE should be enough to force the Congress and the President to avoid these situations. A lot of people agree that Congress should not be paid. I don't think the Congress cares if they get paid. Let’s face it, if these people got to Congress, they don’t need the money. But they do want the power and prestige. I don’t think they want to serve; they want to enjoy the power-trip of making laws. They want to stay in office.

This brings me to my final point. I have made a point for the last few days of saying I will not vote for a single incumbent next November. The Congress – the Senate and the House, and the President have FAILED to do their job. If you or I performed our jobs in the manner we now see in Washington DC, we would be fired. Remember this crap next November. I will, and you can take THAT to the bank, where my paycheck used to be.

Latest Activity: Oct 02, 2013 at 9:01 AM

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dirtroadlady commented on Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 at 09:42 AM

I think everybody will remember this crap next November! Most politicians tax payer funded salaries don't mean anything to them because their real employers are big business and special interests.

Sparklebeam commented on Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I agree with you Charlie....they all should go, every single one of those game-playing fools needs to be fired!!

I understand the ramifications all too well of not being able to work. I have been unemployed for most of this year, though it's not from lack of searching. We are down to only the most basic necessities...no tv, no cell phones, no purchases or anything other than absolute necessities. My husband is a veteran and has a job that pays a whopping $9 an hour. We have run out of food...
We are unable to help other family members who used to, somewhat, depend on us. Let me tell you this, poverty trickles down way more than prosperity does! I have learned a valuable lesson on what it means to be poor, truly poor...you don't drive unless necessary because of gas, you don't really get to live your life because everything costs something. Think about that. We are eligible for food stamps but I'm embarrassed to use them...look at how so many people around here feel free to judge a person, feel free to comment about what kind of food they purchase if they do use food stamps. Feel free to call someone lazy because they happen to be unemployed. Feel free to judge them because of their wardrobe, or maybe because they haven't had their hair cut and styled...because to do so may mean coming up short on the electric bill or the water bill or running out of food or gas for your vehicle.
Well, I could go on and on there but how dare OUR government treat US this way just to play their little games. Unfortunately, it may take the elimination of ALL government pay, entitlements, etc. for enough people to feel enough pain to take some kind of action. Yes, I'm angry!!

wildturkey commented on Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 at 21:34 PM

wanna go fishing?

Passinthru commented on Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 at 23:20 PM

I understand that out of the total of about 2.2 million Federal workers, around 800,000 described by the government as “non-essential” have been furloughed.

While sympathizing with Charlie and all those temporarily laid off, the obvious question remains why is the government employing close to a million non-essential personnel? Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to not rehire them?

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 06:00 AM

Passinthru - please do not get caught up in the semantics. "Non essential" means that these jobs can be left undone in the short term. How long can tanks and planes go without maintenance and up keep? How long can maintenance be sustained without supply parts? How long before you or someones else need a social security claim filed, or an income taxes issue resolved?

Based on your statement above, do you think you get something for nothing? Think of all the business you do with the Federal gov't. For every person you see, there are 3-4 more you do not working in the back offices, answering questions from the public, answering questions from their bosses.

I am hoping you question was rhetorical. Let me suggest some better question - why does the government hire so many contractors under terms that allow them to stay on the job while the Civil Servants go home? Why does the Congress exempt itself from it's own laws? Why are congressional staffers still on the job? Why does a Congressional rep need sooo many staffers?

theflyonthewall commented on Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 09:36 AM

Charlie, You have my sympathy.I am sure that the work that you do is essential ,and I hope the next vacation that you take is planned.We all suffer when government does not work.

Voters need to remember those who brought this down upon all of our heads and vote them out of office.

FrankCostanzasLawyer commented on Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 09:46 AM

Any Congressional pay changes can not take effect until after the next election of the House of Representatives. Not paying Congress during the shutdown would violate the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.

Passinthru commented on Thursday, Oct 03, 2013 at 14:33 PM

Charlie, I admit to the tongue in cheek nature of my above comment, made as a sort of retaliation to your stated belief that if you are not being paid, what you call “entitlements” should not be paid either.

That you would like to deny the 58 million or so Social Security recipients (including myself) their monthly income derived from insurance premiums and taxes paid over a lifetime of working because your employer has decided to temporarily furlough you seems to be an untypical excess of meanness on your part.

If it is any consolation, the probability is that any money that you have lost will be made up to you; at least this is what has happened after the last 17 times the government “shut down”.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 08:08 AM

Passinthru, I understand that Social Security is a accumulation of of insurance premiums paid over a lifetime of working. I have been paying Social security myself for over 35 years. I hope there is some left when I am old enough to draw it.

The point I was making was that people defend Social Security and other 'entitlement' payments as the only source of income for retired folks, single parents etc, while not considering that many furloughed Civil Servants are also single moms and older folks and that paycheck is their only source of income. In other cases, like mine, that delayed paycheck is the large majority of the family income. After enduring 6 furlough days earlier this summer, making ends meet might not be possible. Additionally, despite the fact that each worker contributes his or her own portion of Social Security, with matching funds from their employer, the payments ALL go into the US General Fund. In that huge pot of green, there is no difference between your SS dollar, John Smith's tax dollar, or Jane Doe's customs payment on her newly acquired Gauguin.

My overall point was that even while Congress tries, and fails, to fund even parts of the government, the opponents to partial funding say no. Why? Because, they claim, it would not be fair to fund this worker, but not that worker.

Well, the truth is, they are already doing that when they send those Social Security and welfare checks.

Bryant commented on Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Charlie, I'm with you. If I was Obama I'd make the shutdown hurt so that the average American would feel the effects - immediately.

Furlough every air traffic controller.
Embargo Medicare and Social Security.
Cease all distributions to state and local highway and police departments.

Frank, thanks for the info re:Congressional pay. Probably shouldn't apply to their staff. Let them go without pay as well as all other "non-essential" employees.

theflyonthewall commented on Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM

But we have been hurting from bad government for years and yet nothing changes.

Passinthru commented on Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 18:47 PM

Charlie, well, how about that, my above prediction that any lost pay due to the "shutdown" will be made up to you is now a fact – with the White House announcement today that it would support a House spending bill to provide back-pay for furloughed federal workers. Good news.

The point I tried to make earlier was why would the suffering of millions of others added to your own make you feel better?

I also disagree with your statement that all SS contributions go into the government “General Fund”.

The “Social Security Trust Fund” has never been a part of the General Fund.

What can be confusing is the “Unified Budget” of 1968 that incorporated all functions of the Fed Government, including S.S. income, into one budget.
It did not incorporate the “SS Trust Fund” into the “General Fund”.

In 1990 the SS Trust Fund was taken “off budget” again, but whether “on” or “off” budget it was just a matter of accounting practices.

Passinthru commented on Friday, Oct 04, 2013 at 18:49 PM

Bryant, so you agree that Obama is responsible for the “shutdown” but you don’t think he hurt people enough so he should:

“Furlough every air traffic controller” – i.e. ground all air traffic over the USA.

“Embargo Medicare and Social Security” - i.e. take away health treatment, life support and food from the old and the sick.

“Cease all distributions to state and local police departments” – i.e. give criminals, terrorists, etc. a free hand to commit any crime against defenseless Americans.

I am sure Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood agree with you.

theflyonthewall commented on Saturday, Oct 05, 2013 at 08:23 AM

Passingthru, You are absolutely correct . I do not understand how suffering piled upon suffering will serve any purpose whatsoever.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Saturday, Oct 05, 2013 at 22:06 PM

Passinthru, I never not once said that stopping someone else pay would, "make me feel better." If I did, please provide date time in the blog or comment.

My point REMAINS that if ALL payments from the government were required to stop, the Congress and the President would be FAAAR less inclined to do this sort of "passin contest."

Bryant, if I were the President, I would be trying to find a way to get our government functioning again. Instead, he is trying to score political points with a population that is FED UP with both parties. He could make HUGE points if he was trying to end this BS. Instead, he turns his head with crossed arms like a petulant child. Harry Reid, does the same thing. And the GOP continues its tantrum.

And we are ALL waiting for Nov 2014...

Passinthru commented on Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 21:09 PM

Charlie, you are right, you did not use those specific words, my apologies.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 22:22 PM

Accepted. Have a good night.

Bryant commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 08:50 AM

Passin - I do not agree Obama is "responsible" for the shutdown. Anyone who feels that way is as big a fool as someone who believes all of the fault lies at the feet of the Tea PArty or the Republicans.

And, yes, I am talking about grounding every commercial flight. Republicans big on business, let them figure out their priorities. AS to the ill and infirm, they would still receive treatment just as the uninsured do now.

And as to your comment on my last statement, "“Cease all distributions to state and local police departments” – i.e. give criminals, terrorists, etc. a free hand to commit any crime against defenseless Americans.", what foolishness! You left out the highway department, so I guess absence of Federal funds means bridges instantly collapse, since the absence of Federal funds for the police apparently means terrorists and criminals swarm out of the dark to wreak havoc on America.

My point is most Americans sit and watch this unfold on TV. There is no direct impact upon their lives at present. If there were, this would not happen because our elected representatives would worry more about our country and the people in it than their political positions and their re-election chances.

And, not to pour more suffering on anyone, except the politicians, by bringing the seriousness of this situation and the looming debt ceiling
to the forefront. And, resolving the issue quickly through public outrage against every member of Congress and the administration.

theflyonthewall commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The tea party has been a malign influence in American politics since its inception ,so I think politicians under the sway of the tea party bear most of the responsibility. Factor in the baleful influence of corporations treated as voters under the irresponsible Citizens United decision ,and you have a recipe for political dysfunction. If the battle is really about Obamacare, it would make more sense for Republicans to do absolutely nothing. If Obamacare is the great evil portrayed by Republicans, the policy will fail of its own accord and Republicans could make polital hay by saying I told you so.

hardeemann commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 17:11 PM

You have a job and you will be paid. Like you told me one time: "You have a job. Quit Whining!".

theflyonthewall commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 19:17 PM

Hardeemann, I disagree with Charles most of the time ,but I don't think he can be accused of whining.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 22:15 PM

Hardeeman - when I wrote this blog, yes, I had a job, but there was no promise I would be paid for furlough time. I was facing an indeterminate number of furlough days, in a row, for which I might not have ever received back pay. I am thankful to have my job and the pay.

I believe when I told you to quit whining, you were whining about taking ..what.. 3 furlough days spread across a year. And not having had a raise in 2-3 years.

Well, I haven't had a raise myself in 3-4 years! I just got hit with SIX (6) furlough days in SIX (6) weeks during the summer and now this crap. I think I'm "winning."

And thank you, Fly. The point of my blog is not (NOT) to whine, but to try to put all this in perspective and inspire people to vote these sorry-as-sewage rascals out of power.

dirtroadlady commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:57 AM

one thing i dont understand is why an actual shut down of services is necessary- its not like fed employees get paid every day-why not let them keep working and earning the money -i dont understand paying them later for days they actually didnt work! is that accomplishing anything? pay them later for days they actually did work-congress claims they are working but we dont see much proof or progress- fed employees that actually work are certainly earning their paychecks on a day to day basis-im confused

theflyonthewall commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 13:07 PM

The shutdown is a manufactured crisis calculated to wound Obama and give Republicans a perceived advantage in future elections. This gambit will damage the country and the Republican Party. The entire fiasco is unnecessary.

Bryant commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:05 PM

dirtroadlady, I went through the last "shut down" 17 years ago. Since I was deemed essential, I continued to work while others did not. We all got paid. But, it's illegal to have government employees work without pay (unless deemed essential) and so they are furloughed.

People do not realize the tremendous costs associated with furloughing employees. There are numerous letters issued outlining possibilities. Government facilities, even though not officially "open", still have to be maintained with utilities, security, etc. even though the public is not being served. It's a mess - and totally unnecessary.

Sparklebeam commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Yes, fly...you sure hit the nail on the head. Citizens United, the Tea Party, and now this other case (heard yesterday) up before the Supreme Court. McCutcheon v FEC..."Shaun McCutcheon is a conservative businessman from Alabama who likes to give money to political candidates and committees. He dished out thousands of dollars in donations last election cycle. He says he would have given more, if not for the law that says an individual can only donate a certain total amount each cycle to candidates and certain political committees. McCutcheon thinks the law is a violation of the First Amendment. The Republican National Committee, which joined McCutcheon in the case, agrees. From the perspective of the FEC and those who favor tighter campaign finance restrictions, the limits are necessary to fight corruption." "For the 2013-2014 cycle, individuals can give a total of $123,200 to candidates, national party committees and certain political committees, including a $48,600 limit on what individuals can give to candidates. There are also other limits. For example, an individual can only give $2,600 to a specific candidate for federal office, per election per cycle."

So, wonder how the SCOTUS will end up ruling on this one? I think it's downright scary.

Teapotter commented on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 at 20:43 PM

I think for any election, each candidate should be given a pre-determined (voted on by the people) time slot on public T.V., other media ,etc to say what they have to say. This way it is fair and square across the board for each candidate regardless of money.
If an elected person doesn't perform as promised, just like any other "employee" which they are of the people then they are fired! End of story.

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