Author Topic: Government workers can't pay bills!  (Read 7984 times)

Cassie

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2019, 08:35:17 PM »
Roland, people may be vested in a pension, etc so may not be the best move for some people.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2019, 08:49:29 PM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

Sure, but they may lose a lot of benefits (pension) and would get no severance or unemployment.

And it's not like jobs are instantaneous.

Khaetra

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2019, 05:03:09 AM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

Sure, but they may lose a lot of benefits (pension) and would get no severance or unemployment.

And it's not like jobs are instantaneous.

And if you are a member of the USCG you can't just up and leave, nor can you look for other employment. 

Many Fed workers have to return to their jobs immediately if/when the shutdown ends.  Other companies know this, so why would you hire and train someone who may have to quit later today or tomorrow after hiring them?

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2019, 05:11:33 AM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

Sure, but they may lose a lot of benefits (pension) and would get no severance or unemployment.

And it's not like jobs are instantaneous.

And if you are a member of the USCG you can't just up and leave, nor can you look for other employment. 

Many Fed workers have to return to their jobs immediately if/when the shutdown ends.  Other companies know this, so why would you hire and train someone who may have to quit later today or tomorrow after hiring them?

We had a conference call with HR/the CFO office yesterday.  I'm an essential employee I go to work, the people in HR that process changes in employment status are not.  From an HR perspective I "can't quit" either.  Although as not a military person I guess I could "desert" without criminal punishment. 

kimmarg

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2019, 05:50:34 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry

Thanks for reassessing and understanding. I do have an emergency fund and I'm thankful, but yea I have a coworker who is sole income for a family of 5.... and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last fall. Suddenly instead of savings they have out of pocket max for copays, missed work, etc.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2019, 06:13:26 AM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

Sure, but they may lose a lot of benefits (pension) and would get no severance or unemployment.

And it's not like jobs are instantaneous.

And if you are a member of the USCG you can't just up and leave, nor can you look for other employment. 

Many Fed workers have to return to their jobs immediately if/when the shutdown ends.  Other companies know this, so why would you hire and train someone who may have to quit later today or tomorrow after hiring them?

Very good point about the military.

Also, I figure that federal employees who are finding other jobs would NOT return to their old job (hence the losing their pension).  I completely agree with you, and think I posted earlier, that getting a part-time job is barely feasible unless you know someone personally looking for help, because like you said- no company will hire someone who will quit any moment.

Excellent point to the poster who mentioned HR can't process paperwork for people to quit anyway...

wenchsenior

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2019, 09:38:54 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry

Thanks for reassessing and understanding. I do have an emergency fund and I'm thankful, but yea I have a coworker who is sole income for a family of 5.... and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last fall. Suddenly instead of savings they have out of pocket max for copays, missed work, etc.

Yes, even good planners who value emergency funds run into crunch periods where their cash flexibility is depleted.  DH and I have had minimal debt and a 6 month minimum emergency fund for the past 18 years or so. However, if something like this shutdown had happened during 2008 we would have been rapidly screwed b/c of an extreme temporary cash crunch we experienced that lasted about a year.  During that time, for reasons related to caring for parents, we in short order went from...

no debt except one small mortgage, a full 6 month emergency fund, and a flexible cash stream,

...to extra bills related to moving a parent cross country; a home equity loan used for a down payment on a second house; a loan for a second car (needed so that parent could have one of ours); a second mortgage (for the house for said parent); all the utilities and expenses being paid for parent, who had no income.  We consumed our emergency fund during this time as well.

From 2008 to 2010, we were in 'panic mode' trying to pay off this new mountain of debt while simultaneously rebuilding our emergency fund and fund retirement accounts.  We spent almost no fun money at all.  It absolutely sucked and I was in a constant state of anxiety.

Now keep in mind that this happened to coincide with the Great Recession!  My income is erratic (b/c I'm a private contractor), but DH is a federal scientist, so at the very least we knew we could count on his income during an otherwise chaotic period.  But we were still often paycheck to paycheck during that period, not b/c of any lack of planning or stupid blowing of money.  Just b/c  Life Happens Sometimes.  Had this kind of shutdown occurred then, we would have been in complete panic mode.  We would have rapidly had to run up credit card debt (something we never do) or tap into retirement funds.

Ever since then, I've wanted a bigger emergency fund than conventional wisdom recommends.  What if one of us had had a medical crisis during that time also? Or a car accident that totaled one of our cars (such as just happened a few months ago)?  Or if I had not been able to get contracts to supplement his steady income stream (b/c it was a recession)? 

Shit happens, and even for those of us who plan and save and generally are very responsible with money, there are times when we are all much closer to the brink than we like to think about. 

I am so thankful this current shutdown is happening when we have more than a year's worth of slush funds available.  I can't imagine what this would be like for us in 2008-2010, or when we were first starting out in the first few years post college.

Cellista

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2019, 10:04:27 AM »
The pension is another reason for not seeking other employment.

If I stay until minimum retirement age (MRA), my pension will be about 1/3 of my final salary.  But if I leave before MRA, I will lose 5% of my pension for each year not served. In my case that would be 15%.

They call it the "golden handcuffs" for a reason.

FireLane

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2019, 10:04:39 AM »
Most of what the government does is not immediately apparent.  30 days isn't enough to notice.  But eventually bridges fall, closed airports, no military, air unsafe to breathe, lack of clean water, no tax refunds, no social security payments, gas pumps that drastically short you on fills;  these things would be noticed.    As someone else said- the reason we aren't noticing vital services disappearing is people are being forced to work without pay. How long do you think that should continue?

Well said. And if the shutdown lasts much longer, problems are going to start stacking up. Here's one I didn't see mentioned yet: federal courts will start shutting down, which means that if you have cause for a lawsuit, you won't be able to get justice.

Quote
Should the shutdown last beyond Jan. 18, the court will be forced to operate under the Anti-Deficiency Act, which allows only “essential work” to continue. That means existing criminal and civil trials will continue, but jurors will not be paid until the shutdown is over. And no new civil trials would begin.

And if it lasts a few weeks beyond that, people will stop receiving food stamps. That's a lot of people, including children, the elderly and single parents:

Quote
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits in 2017. More than 68 percent of participants were in families with children, and more than 44 percent were in working families.

GuitarStv

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2019, 11:12:12 AM »
And if it lasts a few weeks beyond that, people will stop receiving food stamps. That's a lot of people, including children, the elderly and single parents:

Quote
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits in 2017. More than 68 percent of participants were in families with children, and more than 44 percent were in working families.

So, pretty much a Republican wet dream then right?  Finally, getting rid of the moocher class.  They can pull themselves up by eating their own boot straps or die trying.  Amirite guys?  :P

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2019, 11:19:33 AM »
Most of what the government does is not immediately apparent.  30 days isn't enough to notice.  But eventually bridges fall, closed airports, no military, air unsafe to breathe, lack of clean water, no tax refunds, no social security payments, gas pumps that drastically short you on fills;  these things would be noticed.    As someone else said- the reason we aren't noticing vital services disappearing is people are being forced to work without pay. How long do you think that should continue?

Well said. And if the shutdown lasts much longer, problems are going to start stacking up. Here's one I didn't see mentioned yet: federal courts will start shutting down, which means that if you have cause for a lawsuit, you won't be able to get justice.

Quote

I was just sent the paperwork for an injury to a random person caused by the property of my agency.  I can do nothing with this new paperwork  because while I am working the person in DC I need to send this paperwork to in order to start the negotiating process is not.  (Injury expense is about $10,000 injured person is asking for $450,000 though he lawyer.) 

Khaetra

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2019, 11:46:16 AM »
And if it lasts a few weeks beyond that, people will stop receiving food stamps. That's a lot of people, including children, the elderly and single parents:

Quote
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits in 2017. More than 68 percent of participants were in families with children, and more than 44 percent were in working families.

So, pretty much a Republican wet dream then right?  Finally, getting rid of the moocher class.  They can pull themselves up by eating their own boot straps or die trying.  Amirite guys?  :P

"But he not hurting the ones he NEEDS to hurt", as quoted from a supporter of his.  I feel sorry for the ones who didn't ask for this and yes Stv there will be those who will be happy that happens, but I have to wonder how his supporters who might get SNAP are gonna feel if/when it's cut off.

It's okay when it happens to those people, but I bet there will be some serious bitching when it hits them.  And I won't feel sorry for them either.

Hunny156

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2019, 12:31:59 PM »
One more side effect is that the Section 8 program will send out the payments for February, but if the shutdown continues, March payments will be withheld.  Tenants could be affected if their Landlord attempts eviction, Landlords will be affected b/c they will have to either go into their own pocket to make mortgage, tax, utility, etc., payments, or if they can't cover the gap, then they will run the risk of default.  Not to mention the cost of less money flowing into the economy on other purchases, lots of consequences far beyond some delayed rent checks.

I have a few tenants on Sec 8.  I can only imagine the stress they will feel once we get into February if this shutdown continues.  I won't evict them, and I won't charge late fees either, unless they also don't pay their portion.  My other rentals will cover the gap until things are rectified, but during that time, I won't be spending on anything but vital repairs.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2019, 12:58:04 PM »
One more side effect is that the Section 8 program will send out the payments for February, but if the shutdown continues, March payments will be withheld.  Tenants could be affected if their Landlord attempts eviction, Landlords will be affected b/c they will have to either go into their own pocket to make mortgage, tax, utility, etc., payments, or if they can't cover the gap, then they will run the risk of default.  Not to mention the cost of less money flowing into the economy on other purchases, lots of consequences far beyond some delayed rent checks.

I have a few tenants on Sec 8.  I can only imagine the stress they will feel once we get into February if this shutdown continues.  I won't evict them, and I won't charge late fees either, unless they also don't pay their portion.  My other rentals will cover the gap until things are rectified, but during that time, I won't be spending on anything but vital repairs.

Is eviction of section 8 something state courts can do? Or since it is a federal program, does it go through that system?  (If it's federal- at least there won't be anyone to process the eviction.  But yeah, the landlord is going to get screwed...)

Hunny156

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2019, 01:41:26 PM »
One more side effect is that the Section 8 program will send out the payments for February, but if the shutdown continues, March payments will be withheld.  Tenants could be affected if their Landlord attempts eviction, Landlords will be affected b/c they will have to either go into their own pocket to make mortgage, tax, utility, etc., payments, or if they can't cover the gap, then they will run the risk of default.  Not to mention the cost of less money flowing into the economy on other purchases, lots of consequences far beyond some delayed rent checks.

I have a few tenants on Sec 8.  I can only imagine the stress they will feel once we get into February if this shutdown continues.  I won't evict them, and I won't charge late fees either, unless they also don't pay their portion.  My other rentals will cover the gap until things are rectified, but during that time, I won't be spending on anything but vital repairs.

Is eviction of section 8 something state courts can do? Or since it is a federal program, does it go through that system?  (If it's federal- at least there won't be anyone to process the eviction.  But yeah, the landlord is going to get screwed...)

In the states where I do business, how they pay is largely irrelevant, and the eviction courts are state, not federal, so evictions should be able to proceed.  However, I don't know how the judges will react to the (very valid) defense of the government shutdown being the cause of said eviction.

Some judges may choose to postpone the eviction.  I once had a judge postpone an eviction until mid January, b/c he didn't want to evict the tenant during the holidays.  It was early November, and the tenant hadn't paid rent for nearly 3 months by the time the court date arrived.  I wasn't pleased with his generosity at my expense, not like my mortgage company was going to be so charitable!  Cost of doing business in a tenant friendly state...

marty998

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2019, 01:52:30 PM »
And if it lasts a few weeks beyond that, people will stop receiving food stamps. That's a lot of people, including children, the elderly and single parents:

Quote
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits in 2017. More than 68 percent of participants were in families with children, and more than 44 percent were in working families.

So, pretty much a Republican wet dream then right?  Finally, getting rid of the moocher class.  They can pull themselves up by eating their own boot straps or die trying.  Amirite guys?  :P

"But he not hurting the ones he NEEDS to hurt", as quoted from a supporter of his.  I feel sorry for the ones who didn't ask for this and yes Stv there will be those who will be happy that happens, but I have to wonder how his supporters who might get SNAP are gonna feel if/when it's cut off.

It's okay when it happens to those people, but I bet there will be some serious bitching when it hits them.  And I won't feel sorry for them either.

When people start talking about a president "needing" to hurt certain groups of citizens, this starts to venture very quickly into autocrat / dictator territory.

If a tinpot Middle Eastern or African warlord started acting like this you guys would be all over it saying they must have the shit bombed out of them.

OtherJen

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2019, 02:07:01 PM »
And if it lasts a few weeks beyond that, people will stop receiving food stamps. That's a lot of people, including children, the elderly and single parents:

Quote
According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 42 million Americans received SNAP benefits in 2017. More than 68 percent of participants were in families with children, and more than 44 percent were in working families.

So, pretty much a Republican wet dream then right?  Finally, getting rid of the moocher class.  They can pull themselves up by eating their own boot straps or die trying.  Amirite guys?  :P

"But he not hurting the ones he NEEDS to hurt", as quoted from a supporter of his.  I feel sorry for the ones who didn't ask for this and yes Stv there will be those who will be happy that happens, but I have to wonder how his supporters who might get SNAP are gonna feel if/when it's cut off.

It's okay when it happens to those people, but I bet there will be some serious bitching when it hits them.  And I won't feel sorry for them either.

When people start talking about a president "needing" to hurt certain groups of citizens, this starts to venture very quickly into autocrat / dictator territory.

If a tinpot Middle Eastern or African warlord started acting like this you guys would be all over it saying they must have the shit bombed out of them.

The quote is from the last paragraph of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/us/florida-government-shutdown-marianna.html

And yes, too many people in this country would be very happy with a dictator if it meant that they were in the favored class. It's scary for those of us who live here and saw the possibility of this 3 years ago when the giant orange toddler was running in the GOP primary.

Cassie

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2019, 02:38:45 PM »
They need to vote in the senate and reopen the government. McConnell is making a big mistake and people will remember this at election time. This is hurting so many people.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2019, 02:44:00 PM »
They need to vote in the senate and reopen the government. McConnell is making a big mistake and people will remember this at election time. This is hurting so many people.

Unfortunately, unless the shutdown were to occur practically on top of an election, past history shows that short term blame doesn't translate to election results.  The GOP was blamed by most of the public during 2013 shutdown (I think Ted Cruz instigated that one), and they still had a terrific midterm in 2014.  The news cycle is just too fast for any given event to stick in peoples' minds and override their party allegiance.  However, I could see if this shutdown marked the beginning of a cascade of bad news (either relating to the Mueller investigation, or to the economy in general), that might make a difference in the next election.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2019, 03:00:52 PM »
When you are all talking about paying for daycare during the shutdown, keep in mind that many people use dependent care accounts and they cannot access their FSA or dependent care accounts at this time as there is no one there to process the paperwork. This is a disaster for so many people.

I also think it is going to have a major effect on our economy.  Even the people that have slush funds are spending on just the bare necessities right now.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #70 on: January 17, 2019, 05:30:04 PM »

I also think it is going to have a major effect on our economy.  Even the people that have slush funds are spending on just the bare necessities right now.

I have a decent slush fund but now I'm on bare necessities.  I spent normally for the first week or so but this week I spent $20 on fresh produce and $60 on Ice Melt and that is it.  Next week I will allow my grocery spend to go to $30 because I need to buy coffee otherwise my goal is $20 a week and eat the pantry.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #71 on: January 17, 2019, 05:38:59 PM »
When you are all talking about paying for daycare during the shutdown, keep in mind that many people use dependent care accounts and they cannot access their FSA or dependent care accounts at this time as there is no one there to process the paperwork. This is a disaster for so many people.

I also think it is going to have a major effect on our economy.  Even the people that have slush funds are spending on just the bare necessities right now.

Which mean daycares are also not being paid... Which will eventually mean THEIR employees are not paid, and their mortgages, and utilities, and insurance.

A shutdown of this length, with no end in sight, has horrific ramifications. The senate should be ashamed they haven't even considered a bill sent to them.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2019, 07:55:53 PM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

Yes, if you don't care about losing your pension, and aren't invested in going back to your job.  Personally, I'm 4 years away from vesting,and have almost 10 years of building my reputation and specialized skills in a job that fits me almost perfectly.  We are about two weeks away from sending a technical reference to editing that I've been working on for six years.  I'm paid well due to the specialized skills unique to my agency's needs and would probably take a 50% pay cut to go to something that I'm not as good a fit for.  Where I could normally get commensurate pay, those companies are probably not hiring now due to the shutdown.

So it's not as easy as just hopping out and finding a new job.

Not to mention, this could end any day.  How long do you hang on, with the carrot of bring fully reimbursed for back pay.  What if you quit one day too early?

gooki

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #73 on: January 24, 2019, 12:27:28 AM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 02:20:05 AM by gooki »

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #74 on: January 24, 2019, 07:45:52 AM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

Gooki - I really struggle with this.  I'm 100% pro-union and pro-strike normally.  It just gets really dicey when you have law enforcement personnel (the majority of Homeland Security that is shutdown), that have pledged oaths to protect people, fail to show up.  I agree that it would finally get the public's attention though!

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2019, 07:53:40 AM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

Gooki - I really struggle with this.  I'm 100% pro-union and pro-strike normally.  It just gets really dicey when you have law enforcement personnel (the majority of Homeland Security that is shutdown), that have pledged oaths to protect people, fail to show up.  I agree that it would finally get the public's attention though!

I believe that it is also illegal for, say, the Coast Guard to strike (sworn oaths as service people).

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2019, 08:14:45 AM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

Gooki - I really struggle with this.  I'm 100% pro-union and pro-strike normally.  It just gets really dicey when you have law enforcement personnel (the majority of Homeland Security that is shutdown), that have pledged oaths to protect people, fail to show up.  I agree that it would finally get the public's attention though!

I believe that it is also illegal for, say, the Coast Guard to strike (sworn oaths as service people).

It's illegal for all US government employees to strike, per the Taft-Hartley act of 1947. Taft-Hartley also allows the President to intervene in strikes that create a national emergency, so entities such as TSA have a double whammy prohibiting any strike.

That being said, a government's laws are not natural laws of the universe. I prove the lack of natural law every time I successfully drive over the speed limit. However, if TSA workers strike, they'll by definition be doing it outside the auspices of their union, which is a bit like being the sole antelope that decides to look different from the herd.

I've got oh so many words about what life is currently like for AD Coast Guard, but right now silence is prudence.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2019, 08:17:05 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry

Thanks for reassessing and understanding. I do have an emergency fund and I'm thankful, but yea I have a coworker who is sole income for a family of 5.... and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last fall. Suddenly instead of savings they have out of pocket max for copays, missed work, etc.

Yes, even good planners who value emergency funds run into crunch periods where their cash flexibility is depleted.  DH and I have had minimal debt and a 6 month minimum emergency fund for the past 18 years or so. However, if something like this shutdown had happened during 2008 we would have been rapidly screwed b/c of an extreme temporary cash crunch we experienced that lasted about a year.  During that time, for reasons related to caring for parents, we in short order went from...

no debt except one small mortgage, a full 6 month emergency fund, and a flexible cash stream,

...to extra bills related to moving a parent cross country; a home equity loan used for a down payment on a second house; a loan for a second car (needed so that parent could have one of ours); a second mortgage (for the house for said parent); all the utilities and expenses being paid for parent, who had no income.  We consumed our emergency fund during this time as well.

From 2008 to 2010, we were in 'panic mode' trying to pay off this new mountain of debt while simultaneously rebuilding our emergency fund and fund retirement accounts.  We spent almost no fun money at all.  It absolutely sucked and I was in a constant state of anxiety.

Now keep in mind that this happened to coincide with the Great Recession!  My income is erratic (b/c I'm a private contractor), but DH is a federal scientist, so at the very least we knew we could count on his income during an otherwise chaotic period.  But we were still often paycheck to paycheck during that period, not b/c of any lack of planning or stupid blowing of money.  Just b/c  Life Happens Sometimes.  Had this kind of shutdown occurred then, we would have been in complete panic mode.  We would have rapidly had to run up credit card debt (something we never do) or tap into retirement funds.

Ever since then, I've wanted a bigger emergency fund than conventional wisdom recommends.  What if one of us had had a medical crisis during that time also? Or a car accident that totaled one of our cars (such as just happened a few months ago)?  Or if I had not been able to get contracts to supplement his steady income stream (b/c it was a recession)? 

Shit happens, and even for those of us who plan and save and generally are very responsible with money, there are times when we are all much closer to the brink than we like to think about. 

I am so thankful this current shutdown is happening when we have more than a year's worth of slush funds available.  I can't imagine what this would be like for us in 2008-2010, or when we were first starting out in the first few years post college.

I agree.  This time last year, I was a little bummed that my agency was funded and we weren't getting some free time off.  This year?  I'd have had to make some hard decisions because 2018 was a hell of a year for us. 

horsepoor

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2019, 08:20:17 AM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm non-essential, so I'm not going to work.  Hard to strike when you're not allowed to go to work if you want to.  I was pointing out why many federal employees are unlikely to quit, even after months of no pay.  I work with several researchers, many of whom are eligible to retire, but they aren't going to just walk away from their life's work under these circumstances.  That doesn't mean it's not a financial hardship, and that some might be forced to walk away eventually, or do something extreme to hang in there (draw equity out of their houses, etc.).  AFAIK, there is no mechanism to get TSP loans during a shutdown (not something I'm considering, but I imagine others would).

My husband works for an agency that is funded, but the agency that processes his payroll is not funded, so we wonder if there will eventually be problems with his paychecks as well.

Cellista

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2019, 11:22:11 AM »
They say there are two types of countries: those where the government is afraid of the people and those where the people are afraid of the government.  France is in the first category - street protests got Macron to back down on new taxes. In the U.S., government workers are afraid of losing their jobs if they strike illegally.  Even protesting is risky since it may lead to an arrest record, or your managers may see you on video and retaliate.  Federal workers have few rights, even the ones with unions.

GuitarStv

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2019, 11:29:01 AM »
They say there are two types of countries: those where the government is afraid of the people and those where the people are afraid of the government.  France is in the first category - street protests got Macron to back down on new taxes. In the U.S., government workers are afraid of losing their jobs if they strike illegally.  Even protesting is risky since it may lead to an arrest record, or your managers may see you on video and retaliate.  Federal workers have few rights, even the ones with unions.

It's almost like easy access to guns doesn't make a government afraid of people at all.  :P

Cassie

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2019, 11:55:04 AM »
Reagan fires all the striking air controllers and trump would fire anyone he could.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2019, 01:07:01 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm non-essential, so I'm not going to work.  Hard to strike when you're not allowed to go to work if you want to.  I was pointing out why many federal employees are unlikely to quit, even after months of no pay.  I work with several researchers, many of whom are eligible to retire, but they aren't going to just walk away from their life's work under these circumstances.  That doesn't mean it's not a financial hardship, and that some might be forced to walk away eventually, or do something extreme to hang in there (draw equity out of their houses, etc.).  AFAIK, there is no mechanism to get TSP loans during a shutdown (not something I'm considering, but I imagine others would).

My husband works for an agency that is funded, but the agency that processes his payroll is not funded, so we wonder if there will eventually be problems with his paychecks as well.

In case you need it, the FBI put out a shutdown guidance for employees that suggests there is a way to get TSP loans.
https://www.fbi.gov/about/commonly-asked-questions-for-government-shutdown

horsepoor

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2019, 02:13:45 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm non-essential, so I'm not going to work.  Hard to strike when you're not allowed to go to work if you want to.  I was pointing out why many federal employees are unlikely to quit, even after months of no pay.  I work with several researchers, many of whom are eligible to retire, but they aren't going to just walk away from their life's work under these circumstances.  That doesn't mean it's not a financial hardship, and that some might be forced to walk away eventually, or do something extreme to hang in there (draw equity out of their houses, etc.).  AFAIK, there is no mechanism to get TSP loans during a shutdown (not something I'm considering, but I imagine others would).

My husband works for an agency that is funded, but the agency that processes his payroll is not funded, so we wonder if there will eventually be problems with his paychecks as well.

In case you need it, the FBI put out a shutdown guidance for employees that suggests there is a way to get TSP loans.
https://www.fbi.gov/about/commonly-asked-questions-for-government-shutdown

Thanks, not something I'm planning on, but I did look into it out of curiosity this morning.  It's possible to get a loan if you "believe" that you'll be back at work in 30 days, and able to start repaying in 60 days.  Which is weird.

I also had another thought this morning - as I understand the bill that's been signed for our backpay, it's contingent upon passage of a spending bill.  If we were brought back to work under a CR, it seems possible that we wouldn't see this pay until a 2020 spending bill is passed sometime well into that FY.  So people could end up in debt for a long time, and paying a lot of interest as a result.  The language is "when the lapse in appropriations" ends, which seems a little unclear, and could be interpreted to mean that a current spending bill must be in place.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 02:25:26 PM by horsepoor »

gooki

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2019, 04:12:55 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

Gooki - I really struggle with this.  I'm 100% pro-union and pro-strike normally.  It just gets really dicey when you have law enforcement personnel (the majority of Homeland Security that is shutdown), that have pledged oaths to protect people, fail to show up.  I agree that it would finally get the public's attention though!

I believe that it is also illegal for, say, the Coast Guard to strike (sworn oaths as service people).

It’s also illegal for your employer to fail to complete their end of the contract.

You can either work together to collectively force their hand, or you can keep taking it up the ass every other year.

gooki

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2019, 04:16:10 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm non-essential, so I'm not going to work.  Hard to strike when you're not allowed to go to work if you want to.  I was pointing out why many federal employees are unlikely to quit, even after months of no pay.  I work with several researchers, many of whom are eligible to retire, but they aren't going to just walk away from their life's work under these circumstances.  That doesn't mean it's not a financial hardship, and that some might be forced to walk away eventually, or do something extreme to hang in there (draw equity out of their houses, etc.).  AFAIK, there is no mechanism to get TSP loans during a shutdown (not something I'm considering, but I imagine others would).

My husband works for an agency that is funded, but the agency that processes his payroll is not funded, so we wonder if there will eventually be problems with his paychecks as well.

Which is why I said collectively. If you and the majority of other federal employees no longer want to be treated this way, then you’ll have to start working together on a plan.

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2019, 07:34:56 PM »
For clarification purposes: nobody really expects politicians to be leaders. They're professional office-seekers who devote most of their time to managing their public image and to getting ready for the next election. Doing the job they've been elected to do isn't mandatory, and there are no real consequences to not doing it.

The winner, in politics, is the person who puts the most people at risk but still gets away with it. Think of it like a school bus driver who is rewarded for getting as near as possible to the edge of the cliff (be it nuclear war, government shutdown, ecological collapse, or whatever) without actually going over it. The end result is school bus drivers who drive as quickly as possible toward the nearest cliff, hoping to brake at the last second. The bigger the drama, the more famous the politician. The more famous the politician, the more readily he or she can obtain grease from various special interest groups. Some pretend that their sudden wealth comes from book sales or bookings on the duckspeaker circuit. Others pretend they were always wealthy and they just don't know how they came by all the extras they now enjoy.

I'd like to change the budgeting process. Suppose legislation requires Congress, the Senate, and the President to pass a budget on or before a specific deadline each year. This will be well before the year end when the money runs out. Up to that point, they can grandstand and feint all they like, and they can be as hardcore and polarized as they wanna be. But if they are unwilling to work together well enough to pass a budget of some kind, then every one of them loses his or her job and will be replaced by the runner-up, which may be of a different party. If the replacements are unable or unwilling to pass a budget, then the budget for the year will automatically be whatever last year's budget was, minus any one-year windfalls and riders from the previous year that have been funded.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2019, 07:52:55 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm essential.  There is a reason why my job is categorized as essential.  If I don't show up for work people can die.  It's not as easy as just not "going into work."   

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2019, 07:59:56 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm essential.  There is a reason why my job is categorized as essential.  If I don't show up for work people can die.  It's not as easy as just not "going into work."

Exactly. Sadly, politicians know this.

I greatly fear that they're going to continue to play their games and to behave irresponsibly until they, personally, experience consequences. Consequences for us little people just aren't a blip on their radar screens.

nnls

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2019, 08:04:14 PM »
Then don't quit.

If you want to send a message that you won't tolerate this behavior by your leaders,  then collectively all federal employees should strike (refuse to turn up to work), even essential staff.

I'm essential.  There is a reason why my job is categorized as essential.  If I don't show up for work people can die.  It's not as easy as just not "going into work."

Exactly. Sadly, politicians know this.

I greatly fear that they're going to continue to play their games and to behave irresponsibly until they, personally, experience consequences. Consequences for us little people just aren't a blip on their radar screens.

Isnt it also illegal for federal government workers to strike in the USA?

Federal employees are governed chiefly by the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Act of 1978. That statute prohibits strikes by federal workers

kimmarg

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2019, 12:39:43 PM »
The pension is another reason for not seeking other employment.

If I stay until minimum retirement age (MRA), my pension will be about 1/3 of my final salary.  But if I leave before MRA, I will lose 5% of my pension for each year not served. In my case that would be 15%.

They call it the "golden handcuffs" for a reason.

So this is only partially true. I'm assuming you're a FERS federal employee.  Yes, if you leave early *and try to claim the pension immediately* you loose 5% for each year BUT if you leave early and do a 'deferred retirement' and do not claim your pension until your MRA you don't loose anything. (although you don't gain the additional 1% for the intervening years since they are not years of service)