Author Topic: Fed employees - shutdown stories  (Read 27742 times)

accolay

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #100 on: January 01, 2019, 08:27:00 PM »
I don't have a personal story but surprise! No supervision brings out the best in humans:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-shutdown-national-parks-transform-into-wild-west-%e2%80%94-heavily-populated-and-barely-supervised/ar-BBRGXeI?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/01/us/government-shutdown-national-parks-toilets-services/index.html

I wonder how many sites will be vandalized? I pick up enough trash when I visit The Parks already, I can't imagine how bad it's getting with nobody watching. No fucking honor. I wish the parks would all just close the gates.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 08:29:17 PM by accolay »

EnjoyIt

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #101 on: January 01, 2019, 09:51:05 PM »
A wall will not slow the flow of illegal immigrants into America, because a tiny tiny fraction of them cross the desert in the places that a wall would go.  A wall will not stop the flow of drugs, which mostly come and go via main ports of entry, or ships. 

I can attest that Sol is correct; exactly zero of the drugs and people I have interdicted would have been stopped by a wall. Because all this happened, you know, on the ocean. Perhaps what we need is ocean walls! We could call Hadrian up, and ask him how walls function. Or, maybe Qin Shi Huang. Or, Andrť Maginot. I'm sure they'd all offer sage advice.

Just curious, do you work by or on the Ocean and your experience is biased?  Your name is Sailor Sam right?

I don't understand the use of the world biased, and I'd like to ensure we're actually communicating. I'm an active duty officer for the United States Coast Guard, so my personal witnessing of illegal immigration is certainly limited to the ocean. I have NOT personally witnessed any illegal immigration across the southern border, and cannot personally testify as to the rates. Is that what what you were saying about me being biased? And by implication that I have no voice in discussing rates and origins of illegal immigration?

Assuming I'm correct, then my point wasn't that the ocean is the only way for illegal immigration to occur; rather I can attest that illegal immigration does occur, at a very nice clip, via the ocean. Which is why I was agreeing with @sol that a wall across the southern border will not stop the flow of drugs (or the assumed implication, illegals).

In medicine I see a lot of people on Medicaid having the latest headphones, iPhones, and drive nice cars. They are able bodied Americans who are cheating the system.  I know that they don't represent the entire or even most of the Medicaid population even though in my line of work they seam to be a majority.
I understand you're trying to lay out an example of your biased point above, but I'm not following. Can you clarify?

Sailor Sam, you are also one of those far left people who likes to jump out of nowhere and throw insults at those who disagree with you.  Ok, I have donned my flame retardant suit.  I'm ready for you.
Well, one can never truly know what one's fellow man thinks of them; however I've been told that my overarching forum reputation is to genuinely seek communication. However, I'm not perfect, and I like to play with language. Sometimes I let my joy over getting in a clever word slip over the edge of politeness. If you care to point out where I've insulted someone, not just disagreed but actually name called, I will certainly consider offering apologies.

Though, I'm not particularly left, I'm in the military for God's sake.

@Sailor Sam,
Yes that is what I meant by biased.  I figure since you are on the water you see things related to water.  So obviously 0 of the people you interact with have anything to do with land based borders.  I'm sure plenty of people you don't interact with are crossing over land based borders as well.  I'm not saying the wall is the answer.  Just pointing out your comment.  And my example of experiencing one thing does not mean everything is that one thing.  This was directly to your comment:
Quote
exactly zero of the drugs and people I have interdicted would have been stopped by a wall. Because all this happened, you know, on the ocean.

Which makes it seam a little misleading like your experience shows this stuff is only happening in open waters.  Maybe not your intention but how it looks.

Quote
Well, one can never truly know what one's fellow man thinks of them; however I've been told that my overarching forum reputation is to genuinely seek communication. However, I'm not perfect, and I like to play with language. Sometimes I let my joy over getting in a clever word slip over the edge of politeness. If you care to point out where I've insulted someone, not just disagreed but actually name called, I will certainly consider offering apologies.

Quote
Remember, everyone. DreamFIRE is essentially a toddler having a tantrum. Rationality and compassion have flown, and the only emotional resource he has left is to lay on the ground and scream. Best not to engage.

Seams like an insult to me.  You have also thrown some ad hominem attacks my way in the past when disagreeing. Therefor I speak of experience.

On another note. It is unfortunate the recent issues the shutdown has caused you and your crew.  It is unfortunate that those who are charged to defend us have to deal with such bullshit.

@wenchsenior
Just because I accidentally mistyped something about medicare or Medicaid and you jumped on me for it does not mean I am not a physician. Like you I am human and can make mistakes. Earlier I posted something incorrect about Congressional pensions. I puled that info from the web what I believed was a good source and posted it including the source.  You corrected my mistake with more detailed info and I thank you for that. We learn from these discussions and I am better for it as is everyone else who chooses to read.  Then you go and attack me personally and all future talk goes out the window.  Keep in mind I have never attacked you, or thrown insults in your direction.  Never!  Why is it that you can not treat me with the same courtesy?

great for riling up your own base but harms the discussion at hand. 

Pot, kettle.

Except the kettle is being reasonable and your posting is whinefest and personal accusations.

@TomTX
In regards to my comments.  I have not used a single ad hominem attack on them. I only pointed out that personal attacks or generalizations on a particular political base harm any chance of meaningful dialogue.  Unless the goal is to insult and stifle conversation, those types of remarks should ideally not be used.  In addition I complemented one of them on being intelligent and although we do disagree on specifics, in many generalities we see eye to eye.  In addition I have no political base.  I am pretty much down the middle and there is no one for me to rile up.  The goal is to have open conversation so that we can all learn from each other.  It seams like a pretty reasonable goal to me wouldn't you say?

Radagast

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #102 on: January 01, 2019, 10:06:08 PM »
There's always room for compromise, right?  Can Schumer offer him the $5b in exchange for a DACA fix and an inflation-matching pay increase for federal employees and releasing his tax returns?
I would definitely take that compromise.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #103 on: January 02, 2019, 04:49:22 AM »
Monkey Uncle, pragmatically I think we could do a much better job of avoiding shutdowns than we do currently if we just had a different definition of essential vs non-essential functions.

If air traffic controllers got sent home in the event of a shutdown (and commercial air travel shut down whenever the government got within 24 hours of a shutdown to avoid last minute disasters), I imagine congress would be under a lot more pressure to avoid shutdowns from the sorts of folks with sufficient money and power influence that they'd actually be listened to. It would also have meant that in this particular case congress would have been stranded in DC over the holidays rather than being able to go home and visit their families.

Yeah, if they truly shut down the government instead of forcing the "essential" people to work for an IOU, I think it would go a long way toward stopping these shenanigans, or at least shortening them.  But I could see some of the true extremists in Congress and the White House playing chicken with that, like they did with the threat to default on the debt.  It would be even better if we, as a nation, just said funding will continue automatically at current levels, adjusted for inflation, if our elected officials can't reach an agreement on appropriations.  That would actually be a big motivator for the parties to compromise, because if funding just continues as it currently is, no one has any chance to push their policy priorities.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #104 on: January 02, 2019, 05:04:21 AM »
In another story.  Co-worker and I had this conversation again not about bills per say but he was thinking out loud about what happens with the child support he pays.  The Friend of the Court here is not forgiving and normally his Child support comes out directly from his paycheck.  So the question he now gets to speak with the Friend of the Court is now what since I don't know when I'm going to get a paycheck next.  From what my co-worker says, the Friend of the Court does not care if there is an agreement about this issue between the ex's.

maizeman

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #105 on: January 02, 2019, 06:08:57 AM »
Yes, that is the trade off. Lower change of a shutdown, but worse outcomes when they did happen.

I think switching from a default of government shutting down to a default of government continues at prior funding levels would be a much better solution long term, but also harder to get implemented.

StarBright

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2019, 07:43:21 AM »
I work for a small company and we had a project planned in DC last week and this week. We had rearranged everyone's schedules because part of the work could only be done when Congress wasn't in session (and they wanted it done in 2018). We spent a couple of months planning for this because it was going to be a large drain on our resources right over the holidays. Half of our company went without family trips over Christmas to be available (but were also promised bonuses for working over the holiday).

Unfortunately - the group we are working with is considered non-essential. All that planning down the drain.

No one is going without pay, but I have a lot of cranky people this morning who didn't get to see their families and are unsure if they are getting the bonuses now.

x02947

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #107 on: January 02, 2019, 07:49:27 AM »
I switched from contractor to fed about 2 months ago.  Within those two months, I have had 2 "extra" federal holidays plus the knowledge that I'll most likely get back pay for any of the shutdowns.  I'm also low enough on the totem pole that I can just make up the work, rather than having it actually affect me :).  In the year previous to switching, I literally lost half my annual leave to shutdown/base closures for weather.  My contractor coworker used to tell me I was crazy for going fed- prior to the shutdown he begrudgingly told me that he could now understand. 

I'm DOD, so not affected by the shutdown, but for those who are and were planning on taking leave- why would your leave not change to the day the government reopens during your scheduled leave?  Do you have to be physically present to say "hey, y'all were not planning on having me here anyways, so I'm going to just digitally resubmit my leave form and then walk out the door"  I understand having to show back up quickly if the shutdown happened during a non-holiday time.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2019, 08:00:05 AM »
Which makes it seam a little misleading like your experience shows this stuff is only happening in open waters.  Maybe not your intention but how it looks.

Okay, sounds like we are interpreting your post the same way, to which I reply - meh. Sol noted that that illegal things enter the US through multiple routes, and a land wall only addresses one of those routes. I used my subject matter expertise to back up his argument that illegal things do indeed enter the US via the ocean. Seems well within my purview.

The post you quoted has nothing to do with my political leanings. If it was unacceptably rude or not, eh. I was trying to keep the thread from derailing into incivility. Again, perhaps I let my drive for cleverness win out, when I should have let succinctness rule the day. In the future, I'll revert to the classic don't feed the trolls.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 08:26:43 AM by Sailor Sam »

horsepoor

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2019, 08:47:55 AM »
Yes, that is the trade off. Lower change of a shutdown, but worse outcomes when they did happen.

I think switching from a default of government shutting down to a default of government continues at prior funding levels would be a much better solution long term, but also harder to get implemented.

That is how continuing resolutions (CRs) work (minus the inflation adjustment).  However, they are short-term with end dates to help force passage of an annual spending bill.  They're really disruptive to ability to use funds efficiently though, because agencies can only spend according to the proportion of the fiscal year the CR covers (e.g. if the budget was $1m the previous year, and a CR is for 3 months, only $250K can be spent under the CR).

I'm DOD, so not affected by the shutdown, but for those who are and were planning on taking leave- why would your leave not change to the day the government reopens during your scheduled leave?  Do you have to be physically present to say "hey, y'all were not planning on having me here anyways, so I'm going to just digitally resubmit my leave form and then walk out the door"  I understand having to show back up quickly if the shutdown happened during a non-holiday time.

At least for my agency, anyone with use or lose was urged to get leave requests in early this year.  It is likely, though not assured, that scheduled use or lose annual leave coinciding with the shutdown will be restored.  People on approved leave when we re-open are not expected to come back to the office until previously scheduled.

I'm not sure how they will handle the people whose retirement dates coincided with the shutdown.  Lots of feds retire right around the 1st of the year, so there are probably going to be several abandoned desks where retirees weren't able to take the time to organize and hand off their work to their supervisor or future replacement.

TomTX

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2019, 05:24:12 PM »
I don't have a personal story but surprise! No supervision brings out the best in humans:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-shutdown-national-parks-transform-into-wild-west-%e2%80%94-heavily-populated-and-barely-supervised/ar-BBRGXeI?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/01/us/government-shutdown-national-parks-toilets-services/index.html

I wonder how many sites will be vandalized? I pick up enough trash when I visit The Parks already, I can't imagine how bad it's getting with nobody watching. No fucking honor. I wish the parks would all just close the gates.

So, the actual articles are indicating the opposite of what you say. Citizens are voluntarily taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms.

The only thread of shutdown is the inability of the volunteers to empty the pit toilets. That's not a behavior issue.

NykkiC

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2019, 05:57:12 PM »
This is absolute madness from an outsider point of view. I can't imagine many kiwi staff would work for nothing. Mind you, I can't actually imagine our gov shutting down. If it did, though, I guarantee it would be treated as BBQ days. No one would be at work.

As a former Aussie public servant, I remain equally baffled - especially for the people who are told they still need to come in. I mean, work is getting paid to do something you wouldnít otherwise do. If Iím not getting paid*, then why would any employer think they could demand I work anyway? I certainly wouldnít be, not unless they have a legal order conscripting me to work for free.

*here meaning a guaranteed payment in a timely manner and as per the conditions under which I accepted my job
A lot of the jobs are considered "essential" and it would be dangerous for the public if they shutdown. Think Air Traffic Controllers, Federal prison guards and other law enforcement fields, federal medical facilities, first responders, etc. I was in the Coast Guard and went thru a few short term shutdowns and had to continue working with no pay. It was a PITA but pay was retroactive...eventually. The longest shutdown I can remember was about a month in the mid-1990s. Most others have been short lived.

I understand the mechanism (identifying the necessary employees); I donít understand how threatening peopleís jobs to work for pay they donít know for sure if, let alone when, they will receive is right or justified.

Employment is a two way street; the employee does a job and the employer pays them. If the employer (in this case the federal government) isnít keeping up its side of the deal, then why is there an obligation for the employee to do so?

Besides, itís not like the money canít be sourced, itís that various individuals and factions are refusing to do so for their own reasons. Well, not paying people has (or should have) consequences; why do politicians get to be protected from the political blowback of them at the expense of federal employees?

And thatís without considering that not paying people who still need to pay their own bills substantially increases the risk of corruption. But, hey. Itís not like those people forced to work for uncertain pay are the people in the crucial positions and who could do the most damage if their behaviour was increasingly corrupt.

Ah well, at least itís not my problem.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2019, 06:25:01 PM »
Yes, that is the trade off. Lower change of a shutdown, but worse outcomes when they did happen.

I think switching from a default of government shutting down to a default of government continues at prior funding levels would be a much better solution long term, but also harder to get implemented.

That is how continuing resolutions (CRs) work (minus the inflation adjustment).  However, they are short-term with end dates to help force passage of an annual spending bill.  They're really disruptive to ability to use funds efficiently though, because agencies can only spend according to the proportion of the fiscal year the CR covers (e.g. if the budget was $1m the previous year, and a CR is for 3 months, only $250K can be spent under the CR).

But right now CRs have to be enacted by Congress, just like regular spending bills.  I was suggesting that CRs should be automatic so that the political demagogues are deprived of the leverage that a shut down gives them in their attempts to force poison pills down the public's throat.

accolay

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #113 on: January 04, 2019, 05:29:15 PM »
So, the actual articles are indicating the opposite of what you say. Citizens are voluntarily taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms.

The only thread of shutdown is the inability of the volunteers to empty the pit toilets. That's not a behavior issue.

Yes, it's very heartening that some are donating time and money to help out with the problems facing the parks right now, so take what I wrote both sarcastically and literally. Because if you really want to dig deeper spend a minute reading about people shitting in places they shouldn't, dumping their garbage, going off trail, bringing pets where no pets are allowed, cutting down trees and etc. My experience with humans tells me that they're having fires in places they shouldn't be, camping where prohibited, probably some poaching, vandalism, stolen artifacts and fossils. Just about anything else you can think of that you're not supposed to do because "it wont hurt if it's just me doing it."

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #114 on: January 04, 2019, 05:37:32 PM »
This is absolute madness from an outsider point of view. I can't imagine many kiwi staff would work for nothing. Mind you, I can't actually imagine our gov shutting down. If it did, though, I guarantee it would be treated as BBQ days. No one would be at work.

As a former Aussie public servant, I remain equally baffled - especially for the people who are told they still need to come in. I mean, work is getting paid to do something you wouldnít otherwise do. If Iím not getting paid*, then why would any employer think they could demand I work anyway? I certainly wouldnít be, not unless they have a legal order conscripting me to work for free.

*here meaning a guaranteed payment in a timely manner and as per the conditions under which I accepted my job
A lot of the jobs are considered "essential" and it would be dangerous for the public if they shutdown. Think Air Traffic Controllers, Federal prison guards and other law enforcement fields, federal medical facilities, first responders, etc. I was in the Coast Guard and went thru a few short term shutdowns and had to continue working with no pay. It was a PITA but pay was retroactive...eventually. The longest shutdown I can remember was about a month in the mid-1990s. Most others have been short lived.

I understand the mechanism (identifying the necessary employees); I donít understand how threatening peopleís jobs to work for pay they donít know for sure if, let alone when, they will receive is right or justified.

Employment is a two way street; the employee does a job and the employer pays them. If the employer (in this case the federal government) isnít keeping up its side of the deal, then why is there an obligation for the employee to do so?

Besides, itís not like the money canít be sourced, itís that various individuals and factions are refusing to do so for their own reasons. Well, not paying people has (or should have) consequences; why do politicians get to be protected from the political blowback of them at the expense of federal employees?

And thatís without considering that not paying people who still need to pay their own bills substantially increases the risk of corruption. But, hey. Itís not like those people forced to work for uncertain pay are the people in the crucial positions and who could do the most damage if their behaviour was increasingly corrupt.

Ah well, at least itís not my problem.

I agree - employment is a transaction. If I don't get paid, I'm not working, end of story. I may offer to volunteer my services in one respect or another, but I won't be compelled to do so by some fat orange manchild on a personal crusade.

Now I hear that he's threatening to keep this shut down going for an extended period. There's something horrendously wrong with a system where one person can hold an entire country to ransom. He's not frickin Henry the Eighth.

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2019, 05:41:49 PM »
This is absolute madness from an outsider point of view. I can't imagine many kiwi staff would work for nothing. Mind you, I can't actually imagine our gov shutting down. If it did, though, I guarantee it would be treated as BBQ days. No one would be at work.

As a former Aussie public servant, I remain equally baffled - especially for the people who are told they still need to come in. I mean, work is getting paid to do something you wouldnít otherwise do. If Iím not getting paid*, then why would any employer think they could demand I work anyway? I certainly wouldnít be, not unless they have a legal order conscripting me to work for free.

*here meaning a guaranteed payment in a timely manner and as per the conditions under which I accepted my job
A lot of the jobs are considered "essential" and it would be dangerous for the public if they shutdown. Think Air Traffic Controllers, Federal prison guards and other law enforcement fields, federal medical facilities, first responders, etc. I was in the Coast Guard and went thru a few short term shutdowns and had to continue working with no pay. It was a PITA but pay was retroactive...eventually. The longest shutdown I can remember was about a month in the mid-1990s. Most others have been short lived.

I understand the mechanism (identifying the necessary employees); I donít understand how threatening peopleís jobs to work for pay they donít know for sure if, let alone when, they will receive is right or justified.

Employment is a two way street; the employee does a job and the employer pays them. If the employer (in this case the federal government) isnít keeping up its side of the deal, then why is there an obligation for the employee to do so?

Besides, itís not like the money canít be sourced, itís that various individuals and factions are refusing to do so for their own reasons. Well, not paying people has (or should have) consequences; why do politicians get to be protected from the political blowback of them at the expense of federal employees?

And thatís without considering that not paying people who still need to pay their own bills substantially increases the risk of corruption. But, hey. Itís not like those people forced to work for uncertain pay are the people in the crucial positions and who could do the most damage if their behaviour was increasingly corrupt.

Ah well, at least itís not my problem.

I agree - employment is a transaction. If I don't get paid, I'm not working, end of story. I may offer to volunteer my services in one respect or another, but I won't be compelled to do so by some fat orange manchild on a personal crusade.

Now I hear that he's threatening to keep this shut down going for an extended period. There's something horrendously wrong with a system where one person can hold an entire country to ransom. He's not frickin Henry the Eighth.
Well, it's two people. McConnel won't put the house bill to a vote.

In theory, the Congress can override a veto. It won't happen anytime soon.

maizeman

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #116 on: January 04, 2019, 05:44:26 PM »
I've often wondered what happened generally to federal worker retention and recruitment after the shutdowns in the 90s. Government jobs tend to pay less than equivalent positions in the private sector (or in my field even the public but non-federal sector) but you're supposed to make it up with better than market benefits and good job security.

It would seem the people who value job security are also going to be the people most bothered by the reminder that their paychecks can be stopped at the whim of some elected official(s).

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #117 on: January 04, 2019, 05:46:36 PM »
I've often wondered what happened generally to federal worker retention and recruitment after the shutdowns in the 90s. Government jobs tend to pay less than equivalent positions in the private sector (or in my field even the public but non-federal sector) but you're supposed to make it up with better than market benefits and good job security.

It would seem the people who value job security are also going to be the people most bothered by the reminder that their paychecks can be stopped at the whim of some elected official(s).

The threat of shutdowns was a minor factor in my decision to FIRE, but it was a factor.  If this shutdown goes on for "months and months" or even "years" as Trump has threatened, I'm guessing we'll see a lot more people bailing on federal service.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #118 on: January 04, 2019, 05:49:03 PM »
This is absolute madness from an outsider point of view. I can't imagine many kiwi staff would work for nothing. Mind you, I can't actually imagine our gov shutting down. If it did, though, I guarantee it would be treated as BBQ days. No one would be at work.

As a former Aussie public servant, I remain equally baffled - especially for the people who are told they still need to come in. I mean, work is getting paid to do something you wouldnít otherwise do. If Iím not getting paid*, then why would any employer think they could demand I work anyway? I certainly wouldnít be, not unless they have a legal order conscripting me to work for free.

*here meaning a guaranteed payment in a timely manner and as per the conditions under which I accepted my job
A lot of the jobs are considered "essential" and it would be dangerous for the public if they shutdown. Think Air Traffic Controllers, Federal prison guards and other law enforcement fields, federal medical facilities, first responders, etc. I was in the Coast Guard and went thru a few short term shutdowns and had to continue working with no pay. It was a PITA but pay was retroactive...eventually. The longest shutdown I can remember was about a month in the mid-1990s. Most others have been short lived.

I understand the mechanism (identifying the necessary employees); I donít understand how threatening peopleís jobs to work for pay they donít know for sure if, let alone when, they will receive is right or justified.

Employment is a two way street; the employee does a job and the employer pays them. If the employer (in this case the federal government) isnít keeping up its side of the deal, then why is there an obligation for the employee to do so?

Besides, itís not like the money canít be sourced, itís that various individuals and factions are refusing to do so for their own reasons. Well, not paying people has (or should have) consequences; why do politicians get to be protected from the political blowback of them at the expense of federal employees?

And thatís without considering that not paying people who still need to pay their own bills substantially increases the risk of corruption. But, hey. Itís not like those people forced to work for uncertain pay are the people in the crucial positions and who could do the most damage if their behaviour was increasingly corrupt.

Ah well, at least itís not my problem.

I agree - employment is a transaction. If I don't get paid, I'm not working, end of story. I may offer to volunteer my services in one respect or another, but I won't be compelled to do so by some fat orange manchild on a personal crusade.

Now I hear that he's threatening to keep this shut down going for an extended period. There's something horrendously wrong with a system where one person can hold an entire country to ransom. He's not frickin Henry the Eighth.
Well, it's two people. McConnel won't put the house bill to a vote.

In theory, the Congress can override a veto. It won't happen anytime soon.

Madness. You know, once upon a time the USA was an enviable place to be from. Now my American colleagues tell people they're Canadian. Maybe they'll end up re-branding themselves entirely, like how people from Iran and Iraq have become Persian. Kind of sad....

horsepoor

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #119 on: January 04, 2019, 06:05:39 PM »
The threat of shutdowns was a minor factor in my decision to FIRE, but it was a factor.  If this shutdown goes on for "months and months" or even "years" as Trump has threatened, I'm guessing we'll see a lot more people bailing on federal service.

Well, TSA employees are starting to call in sick. Who can blame them when they normally don't earn a ton, probably have child care costs each day they go to work, etc.  If this drags on and they start bailing in favor of other work, that's going to cause some problems. Nevermind the lost investment in training them, cost of hiring and training replacements, etc.

IRS is saying tax returns will be affected as well, so it seems that now the holidays are over, pressure is going to keep mounting to get back to business.

sequoia

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #120 on: January 05, 2019, 06:14:52 AM »
I would give up that and more to get a wall built.

^This

Agreed!  The wall is LONG overdue.  Americans voted for Trump, and the wall was a HUGE point of his campaign.


And it was just as big a part of his campaign that Mexico would pay for it. Why is that now glossed over?

Agree, and thank you for the reminder. It is amazing how his supporters conveniently forget this. I am totally behind building a wall if Mexico pays for it.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #121 on: January 05, 2019, 11:57:55 AM »
I would give up that and more to get a wall built.

^This

Agreed!  The wall is LONG overdue.  Americans voted for Trump, and the wall was a HUGE point of his campaign.


And it was just as big a part of his campaign that Mexico would pay for it. Why is that now glossed over?

Agree, and thank you for the reminder. It is amazing how his supporters conveniently forget this. I am totally behind building a wall if Mexico pays for it.

Yeah me too.  The day Mexico cuts the check I'll be the biggest supporter of building the wall. 

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #122 on: January 05, 2019, 12:28:26 PM »
The day Mexico cuts the check I'll be the biggest supporter of building the wall.

I think congressional democrats have become entrenched against the wall as a symbol, apart from the cost.  They've seemingly decided to oppose it on principle, as a violation of our country's founding principles, and might even vote against it even if it was free.  I agree that more wall than we already have is an ineffective deterrent to immigration, on it's own.

We already have border walls in lots of places.  I just spent a week in west Texas, and there are definitely walls in use along long stretches of the border, especially in urban areas, that are useful deterrents for keeping poor people from wandering in and out of fancy El Paso neighborhoods.  Because that's something we apparently do.  There are also hundreds of miles of desert wilderness in national parks, where it's basically impossible to build a wall without doing significant damage.  There are already border patrol stops on every country highway leading north from the border regions, equipped with roadside scanners, that are presumably designed to catch vehicles full of people who have walked across the literal border line.  No one can walk to Minnesota from Mexico, so at some point they have to get in a vehicle and head north and those vehicles have to travel on roads.  If you want to deter immigration (and I'm not even sure that we do, if you ask farmers and ranchers and restaurant owners), a border wall is not the most cost effective solution.  There are better ways to "secure the border".

And "securing the border" has always been part of the ongoing immigration reform debate, dating back to forever but definitely using identical language since the 1980s.  People who are already here need a pathway to become legal citizens, because America needs immigration to grow and prosper.  Our birth rates are too low to sustain our economy without them.  Slowing or even stopping illegal immigration is only possible if you expand the options for legal immigration, but so far democrats have been focused on the latter part and republicans have been focuses on the former.  I think it's pretty clear that you need both, and I suspect a shutdown-ending deal that allocates more funding for border security (with or without more physical barriers) is pretty easy to achieve, as long as republicans also accept an expansion of legal immigration, like a DACA fix and higher visa quotas and funding for immigration courts to deal with our current backlog.  Both sides could declare victory in that case, I think.

But that deal appears to be a long way off.  Republicans have not offered any fixes to immigration policies at all, and democrats have not offered any funding for a physical barrier. 


« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:06:45 PM by sol »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #123 on: January 05, 2019, 12:46:01 PM »
So how does this food stamps funding work? There are a bunch of stories about how it could be impacted in February, but very little indication on how the money actually gets distributed and accounted for. Will recipients get those benefits back later or are they gone if the agency can't top up the debit cards on the first of the month?

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #124 on: January 05, 2019, 01:06:50 PM »
So how does this food stamps funding work?

I don't know, and I'm not sure that anyone else does either.  There are lots of complications with an extended shutdown that are not well understood.

For example, federal employees pay biweekly insurance premiums.  When they don't get paid, their premiums aren't paid and their policies can technically lapse.  Are insurers required to provide free health insurance to millions of people? 

I used to work for a science agency that maintained long term monitoring stations with approximately 100 years of continuous measurements for things like climate change.  Do we just magically let a hole appear in that data record?  No one else is collecting these measurements, because no one else has ever been able to commit to a century-long monitoring program.  Missed measurements can never be recovered.

What about retirees who were on terminal leave before retiring on January 4th?  Do they get their unused leave restored and added to their annuity computation?  Do they have their retirements withheld until government re-opens and can process the paperwork?

What about astronauts and their support staff?  They're not "essential" employees but they can't exactly go home during the shutdown.  They all have to work.

I can give you a list of 50 different parts of the US government that are currently trying to figure out how to deal with this situation.  There is no guide book.  There is no law or precedent for how to deal with a shutdown that lasts more than a few days.  The whole idea that Trump could keep the government "closed" for "years" is insane.

At the very least, accept that these people are essential and need to be paid, and let the government go into debt in the meantime.  Making them work without pay is stupid.  It's an easy legislative fix, because there doesn't appear to be any logical reason why they have to stop paying people who are required to work.  If your government function is essential, then it's essential that you get paid.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:01:45 PM by sol »

EnjoyIt

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2019, 01:08:32 PM »
@sol,
Do you think a wall will have any affect on immigration. I would assume it would have some benefit, but in all honesty I have never looked at what the experts say so have no real opinion for or against a wall.  I am all for comprehensive immigration reform with or without a wall.

Without actually doing any research I bet I would find arguments from experts for and against this so called wall.

sequoia

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #126 on: January 05, 2019, 01:59:43 PM »
@sol,
Do you think a wall will have any affect on immigration. I would assume it would have some benefit, but in all honesty I have never looked at what the experts say so have no real opinion for or against a wall.  I am all for comprehensive immigration reform with or without a wall.

Without actually doing any research I bet I would find arguments from experts for and against this so called wall.

There is absolutely no benefit. It will have no affect on immigration.

1. There is this thing called tunnel. I think they will just keep building more of these. Then what? Are we going to build a wall deep into the ground?

2. Look at those people who cross the sea to Europe. Trying to cross miles of open water with small overloaded boats. Thousands had died and still people keep trying. Compare that to a wall. Which one is more difficult and scary to cross? Which one is more risky? When one is willing to risk his/her life and his/her family including little kid's life, there is not a lot you can do to stop them.

3. History have told us that wall is ineffective against stopping people. Look at the Great wall of China. Longer and thicker/wider (20ft) and has guard towers with guards watching the wall 24x7. This one is not even close to that and will not be guarded all the time. One must be pretty stupid to think that this smaller unguarded wall is going to be effective to do anything when the much larger ones with dedicated guards was not effective.   

4. I always wonder, how strong is this brick wall going to be? Can one with a beat up truck, a brick pressing the accelerator, aim it to the wall like a battering ram and create a hole?

Sorry for going off course. We can go back to topic at hand...


sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2019, 02:03:27 PM »
@sol,
Do you think a wall will have any affect on immigration.

Negligible at best.  For the first 100 miles (out of 2000 miles of border) of new wall, anyway, there may be good arguments where specific corridors are currently inadequately screened and monitored, but as we've already established the vast majority of people working illegally in the US came here legally, and just never left.  Anyone can visit the US on a tourist VISA.  It's not hard to cross the border as a Mexican citizen if you are going on vacation, and pay the fee, and aren't on a terrorist watch list.  Just go through the border checkpoint like everyone else.  Or if you buy a plane ticket and go through customs at the airport.  Some of those folks just don't go home afterwards.  You'll never even see the walls we currently have.

If you ask the border patrol what they want, it's money.  They want to hire more federal employees to patrol the border, to install and monitor electronic surveillance equipment, to fly drones, to man checkpoints.  In some places, they want more physical barriers.  Definitely not for 2000 miles though, that's just silly.

Lots of those places are physically impossible to build a wall anyway.  They are protected nature preserves where a wall would bisect wildlife migration routes, or interfere with floodplain evolution, or cut roads.  A wall would have to have a road along it's entire length for maintenance purposes, and there's just no way to build that much infrastructure in lots of these places, like where the border is literally a slot canyon with a 500 foot cliff on either side.  One side of the canyon is Mexico and the other is the US. 

If you want to stop drugs coming across the border, a wall is useless.  Drug smugglers are businessmen, and they need to reliably move large volumes of goods.  They can buy shipping containers, just like any other importer can.  They can fly their goods, if it's profitable enough.  They are not carrying drugs by hand across 100 miles of desert where a wall could go.  Anywhere where a vehicle can cross the border, the US border patrol is already camped 24/7.  Trump's rhetoric about "unsecured borders" is laughable. 

But IMO the larger question is not whether a wall would be an effective deterrent, it's whether we want a deterrent at all.  Remember that the US population is shrinking Japan-style without immigration.  Our farmers and ranchers employ tens of thousand of illegal immigrants because they are willing to work for super low wages, and those low wages translate into lower costs for their goods.  Whole US industries absolutely depend on workers who are currently here illegally, but would much prefer to be allowed to work legally.   I'm in favor of getting them legalized.  Please, bring your family to America and then take a low-paying hard labor shitty job that white kids from the suburbs consider beneath them.  Milk cows for 40 years and raise your family in America, pay taxes and send your kids to school and contribute to the dynamic and growing powerhouse that is the US economy.  Like you, I also hope that your kids grow up and go to college and get married and make many more hard working little brown Americans.  This has always been how our country has prospered. 

Trump's rhetoric about immigration isn't about the economy, though.  It's about racial animus and the declining power of racism in America.  It's about mobilizing voters with inane fears about caravans.  It's a useful shtick, but he's not the least bit serious about addressing immigration reform in the same that congress has been trying to do for the past 30 years.  Like with every other "deal" we've seen from this administration, other adults will have to work out a compromise and then sell Trump on the finished product by convincing him it will play well with his base.  He doesn't have the background or the attention span to actually make a deal on this or any other contentious topic. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #128 on: January 05, 2019, 02:41:33 PM »
For example, federal employees pay biweekly insurance premiums.  When they don't get paid, their premiums aren't paid and their policies can technically lapse.  Are insurers required to provide free health insurance to millions of people? 
I get your general point, but surely this isn't actually a problem, right? I assume the government, like many megacorps, doesn't actually pay premiums to insurance companies, they just pay them a fee for administering claims and retain the liability for itself.

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #129 on: January 05, 2019, 03:20:39 PM »
DH is DoD so still working, but friends working for guvmint were supposed to move today, as in move household items, leave home. Did not because they could not get guidance on what was funded. Fun times!

Re wall: I can't believe (nominally conservative) people don't express more concern about eminent domain seizures of private property to build wall. And maintenance of said wall could outstrip by many times the building costs, which, in any case have been estimated as way way waaay more than $10 million, like $30 to $70 million.

Even the CATO Institute thinks it's dumb: https://www.cato.org/blog/border-wall-impractical-expensive-ineffective-plan
The CATO Institute!

Quote
The most important question in this debate is how much illegal immigration is reduced per each additional dollar spent on a wall compared to each additional dollar spent on more manpower or other technologies. Despite the importance of this question, apparently no estimate of the impact of the current border fence on illegal immigration exists at all, let alone a comparison to other technologies. This is despite more than a decade to conduct such a study for the recent fences, and even longer to study the earlier fences. 

[...]

This analysis reveals that Trump was likely correct to initially say that a wall only makes sense if it is truly across the entire border. But it also seems to indicate that the primary fencing alone had little impact on illegal immigration. Even the secondary fence needed to be reinforced with substantial increases in the number of border agents.It also does little to answer the question of whether a fence is worth its cost relative to other uses.

Douglas Massey, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that the true measure of efficacy should be not the flow into the United States, but also the flow out of the country. He notes that until the fences and agents were deployed in the 1990s, unauthorized immigrants typically returned home at the end of the harvest, leaving the total illegal population almost the same during the 1980s. But as the costs and risks of doing so increased, they tried almost as hard to enter, while barely any tried to leave. The border security efforts essentially trapped them in and made the problem worse.

Here's a report from RAND on international border security in general.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE290.html
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 03:32:37 PM by Basenji »

EnjoyIt

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #130 on: January 05, 2019, 03:57:07 PM »
@sol,
Do you think a wall will have any affect on immigration.

Negligible at best.  For the first 100 miles (out of 2000 miles of border) of new wall, anyway, there may be good arguments where specific corridors are currently inadequately screened and monitored, but as we've already established the vast majority of people working illegally in the US came here legally, and just never left.  Anyone can visit the US on a tourist VISA.  It's not hard to cross the border as a Mexican citizen if you are going on vacation, and pay the fee, and aren't on a terrorist watch list.  Just go through the border checkpoint like everyone else.  Or if you buy a plane ticket and go through customs at the airport.  Some of those folks just don't go home afterwards.  You'll never even see the walls we currently have.

If you ask the border patrol what they want, it's money.  They want to hire more federal employees to patrol the border, to install and monitor electronic surveillance equipment, to fly drones, to man checkpoints.  In some places, they want more physical barriers.  Definitely not for 2000 miles though, that's just silly.

Lots of those places are physically impossible to build a wall anyway.  They are protected nature preserves where a wall would bisect wildlife migration routes, or interfere with floodplain evolution, or cut roads.  A wall would have to have a road along it's entire length for maintenance purposes, and there's just no way to build that much infrastructure in lots of these places, like where the border is literally a slot canyon with a 500 foot cliff on either side.  One side of the canyon is Mexico and the other is the US. 

If you want to stop drugs coming across the border, a wall is useless.  Drug smugglers are businessmen, and they need to reliably move large volumes of goods.  They can buy shipping containers, just like any other importer can.  They can fly their goods, if it's profitable enough.  They are not carrying drugs by hand across 100 miles of desert where a wall could go.  Anywhere where a vehicle can cross the border, the US border patrol is already camped 24/7.  Trump's rhetoric about "unsecured borders" is laughable. 

But IMO the larger question is not whether a wall would be an effective deterrent, it's whether we want a deterrent at all.  Remember that the US population is shrinking Japan-style without immigration.  Our farmers and ranchers employ tens of thousand of illegal immigrants because they are willing to work for super low wages, and those low wages translate into lower costs for their goods.  Whole US industries absolutely depend on workers who are currently here illegally, but would much prefer to be allowed to work legally.   I'm in favor of getting them legalized.  Please, bring your family to America and then take a low-paying hard labor shitty job that white kids from the suburbs consider beneath them.  Milk cows for 40 years and raise your family in America, pay taxes and send your kids to school and contribute to the dynamic and growing powerhouse that is the US economy.  Like you, I also hope that your kids grow up and go to college and get married and make many more hard working little brown Americans.  This has always been how our country has prospered. 

Trump's rhetoric about immigration isn't about the economy, though.  It's about racial animus and the declining power of racism in America.  It's about mobilizing voters with inane fears about caravans.  It's a useful shtick, but he's not the least bit serious about addressing immigration reform in the same that congress has been trying to do for the past 30 years.  Like with every other "deal" we've seen from this administration, other adults will have to work out a compromise and then sell Trump on the finished product by convincing him it will play well with his base.  He doesn't have the background or the attention span to actually make a deal on this or any other contentious topic.

To answer your question on should we prevent people from coming, the answer is yes and no.  We definitely can not support every impoverished person in the world inside the US borders.  We (or at least I) also don't want people to come to be free loaders on the taxpayers.  I figure a reasonable amount of people who want to come here, work, pay taxes, and be a general benefit to society is a great thing and what made the US what it is.

Being in my limited world I see people coming to the US for free healthcare all the time.  People cross the border and go straight to the hospital to get medical care for some chronic condition and then become a liability on the tax payers.  I see women crossing over while pregnant in the hopes of delivering their baby on US soil.  Hey, if people want to come to the US legally, get properly vetted that they are not criminals and looking to be a productive member of society then sure let them in within a reasonable amount of people.  Again we can't let everyone in all at once as we don't have the resources/jobs for everyone.  After all immigrants is what made America Great.

Regarding the wall, I wonder if this is one of Trump's schemes to create a frenzy.  To push the democrats to give him what he really wants which isn't a wall but something else. It is within his repertoire of tricks and I don't think he cares if it affects thousands of government workers and their clients/employers.

maizeman

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #131 on: January 05, 2019, 04:06:15 PM »
So how does this food stamps funding work? There are a bunch of stories about how it could be impacted in February, but very little indication on how the money actually gets distributed and accounted for. Will recipients get those benefits back later or are they gone if the agency can't top up the debit cards on the first of the month?

Essentially however congress wants them to work. If you look at what happens to furloughed employees, there is no rule requiring that they get back pay, but in the past congress has decided to pay them for furloughed time after the shutdown is over.

So the government could issue a special bonus/makeup food stamps allocations when the government reopens or it could just wait until the next month and issue that month's SNAP benefits as usual. In the 2013 shutdown I remember there was also talk about what might happen to food stamp benefits if it stretched out to a month or more, but it ended before it became an issue.

If the shutdown stretched to February (where food stamp payments will become an issue) we will be in completely uncharted territory. Right now the longest shutdown was less than a month (21 days). So we don't have any precedent of how it was handled in past shutdowns like we do for the backpay for federal employees.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #132 on: January 05, 2019, 06:00:13 PM »
Shutdown stories:

1 person in our group wants Trump to get the $5 billion - its just peanuts.  I offered that it seems more reasonable to get one person (POTUS) to agree to sign a bill and negotiate for wall funding later than to expect many more people (senators and representatives) to come to an agreement for giving the $5 billion.

1 person, against my advice (he DID ask me specifically to provide advice) purchased a home that is around 5x his income and is now deeply worried about making a mortgage payment since he wiped out his Emergency fund to purchase the house and has less than one month of bills saved up.

My spouse and I are not too worried at this time (with the expectation of back pay).  3 or more months, or any amount of time without any back pay will really suck.  I don't expect the shutdown to last that long...but I'd really love for our agency to run out of funding and get furloughed for a week or two and then get back pay.  That would be an amazing free vacation!

Peachtea

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #133 on: January 05, 2019, 07:03:26 PM »
1 person in our group wants Trump to get the $5 billion - its just peanuts.

Peanuts! Thatís over 200x the annual budget of my agency.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2019, 07:36:21 PM »
In my fantasy world, a shutdown-ending compromise is easy to find. 

Everyone can declare victory with the right compromise solution.  Just give Trump his $5billion for "border security" with a specific fractional allocation of that amount to go toward more fencing and steel slats with spikes on top, and pair it with a similar number of dollars for expanded capacity in immigration courts, labor law enforcement, and increasing legal immigration quotas.  Trade off some policy provisions, like include both a DACA fix and new deportation policy for criminal immigrants.  This shouldn't be hard. 

They can sit down and negotiate over the dollars, like maybe congressional democrats won't give him the full $5billion unless they get $20billion for expanding legal immigration, like immigration courts and citizenship programs to incorporate these people into the American landscape.  Maybe they need to make an uneven policy provision trade, like they can't sign off on building a big scary wall unless Trump signs off a free pass for all of the DACA kids, ends family separation, and grants seasonal green cards to anyone who asks.  Fine!  Surely there is some price they would accept, in order to give him his $5b.  Trump is so stuck on that figure, he'll give up the farm to get it.

Because right now, it's the $5b that is the sticking point.  I think democrats should just give it to him, with conditions on how it's spent, in exchange for the things that they want.  It's just a matter of how many of those things they need to see included to make it a "fair" trade.

Democrats don't really care about the wall.  A wall won't have a significant impact on immigration rates anyway, and at this point it's just a symbol of racism that the President of the United States has turned into his own personal Moby Dick.  Yes, it's a stupid waste of money, but I think it's clear that neither party gives a rat's ass about the deficit right now.  Just give him his money, and get as much or more to go along with it to actually fix our immigration system by letting people come work here legally.  Trump could truthfully declare victory on getting some wall built, and democrats could truthfully say they finally got real immigration reform passed and all they had to give up was a stupid and ineffective wall that doesn't do anything anyway. 

It's like negotiating with a toddler who won't take a bath unless he gets to play with a spoon in the tub.  Fine, just give him the spoon and then tell him he's being a very good boy for being cooperative about bath time. You haven't really lost anything, and you've achieved your real goal with minimal compromise.  You both get to feel like you've won, because the toddler is stupid and doesn't know any better.

Peanuts! Thatís over 200x the annual budget of my agency.

Don't worry, it's not real money.  That $5b would fund entire agencies, but is a drop in the bucket compared to our current military spending.  The DoD gets almost $700 billion per year, and they could completely fund the $5b for border security and a matching $5b for immigration reform by just giving the US military the same pay raise the US civil service is getting next year: zero.  The savings from that one step alone would resolve this little squabble, if it was just about finding $5billion for each side without adding to the deficit.


« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:40:15 PM by sol »

ROF Expat

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #135 on: January 06, 2019, 03:21:47 AM »
For example, federal employees pay biweekly insurance premiums.  When they don't get paid, their premiums aren't paid and their policies can technically lapse.  Are insurers required to provide free health insurance to millions of people? 
I get your general point, but surely this isn't actually a problem, right? I assume the government, like many megacorps, doesn't actually pay premiums to insurance companies, they just pay them a fee for administering claims and retain the liability for itself.

The government pays insurance premiums to insurance companies for employee health benefits just like any other employer that provides insurance, so if employees and/or government aren't making their contribution, it is a fair question as to whether (or how long) the insurer will provide services. 

You might be thinking of the fact that the U.S. Government "self insures" itself for its own liabilities.  For example, there's no insurance policy for government-owned cars. 

TomTX

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #136 on: January 06, 2019, 05:17:41 AM »

I can give you a list of 50 different parts of the US government that are currently trying to figure out how to deal with this situation.  There is not guide book.  There is no law or precedent for how to deal with a shutdown that lasts more than a few days.  The whole idea that Trump could keep the government "closed" for "years" is insane.

Congress could end this tomorrow with a 2/3 vote of both houses.

Not likely, but they do have that power.

SnackDog

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #137 on: January 06, 2019, 07:35:10 AM »
The shutdown could go on for months or even all year.  I'm curious to know how much the shutdown is saving per day in contract services not rendered (which will not be paid later since they were never rendered).  When does that savings reach $5B?

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #138 on: January 06, 2019, 08:06:41 AM »
Quote
The shutdown could go on for months or even all year.  I'm curious to know how much the shutdown is saving per day in contract services not rendered (which will not be paid later since they were never rendered).  When does that savings reach $5B?

The shutdown is saving $0. The reason being, the government is not actually shut down. Instead, only a very small slice of the government's activities are not being actively funded. These things are very public - which is the point. People will freak out because folks like the military are not being paid. That's the point of a government shutdown: only take away the services most people will notice.

Additionally, the new budget would not be for new expenses, but those expenses the government has already agreed to pay (mostly through loans, but also through salaries). The government has already said it would pay for these things, it's just not releasing the funds in an effort to gain political leverage. This is also why both the Democrats and Republicans are constantly screaming about how it is the other's fault. One or both of them will gain some sort of political victory from this without meaningfully impacting the nation (yes, some individuals will be severely impacted...but when has that mattered to politicians?)

Therefore, we're not actually saving any money during the shutdown - if anything we're loosing more due to interest on loans previously made that are not getting paid.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #139 on: January 06, 2019, 08:11:01 AM »
DH is DoD so still working, but friends working for guvmint were supposed to move today, as in move household items, leave home. Did not because they could not get guidance on what was funded. Fun times!


We just got guidance for this.  House hunting is a NO, moving to a new place is a go.

the_fixer

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #140 on: January 06, 2019, 08:19:31 AM »
So if the government or parts were to shutdown for 3 months, 6 months or a year what would happen to the employees and their jobs?

Would they eventually be let go or their jobs eliminated? Would their jobs still be there for them when their agency is funded eventually?

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #141 on: January 06, 2019, 08:27:53 AM »

I can give you a list of 50 different parts of the US government that are currently trying to figure out how to deal with this situation.  There is not guide book.  There is no law or precedent for how to deal with a shutdown that lasts more than a few days.  The whole idea that Trump could keep the government "closed" for "years" is insane.

Congress could end this tomorrow with a 2/3 vote of both houses.

Not likely, but they do have that power.


Technically they'd have to wait until the president actually vetoes the bill to enact the legislation over his objections, and he has ten days (Sundays excluded) to decide whether or not to do so. They could get the ball rolling today by passing a bill from both houses, but would have to wait as much as another 11 days to actually end the shutdown unilaterally.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #142 on: January 06, 2019, 08:29:24 AM »
I'm not exactly sure what will happen if there is an extended shut down.  And honestly I don't know at what point I'd say "f" it and just stop going to work if I wan't getting a paycheck.  (I'm exempt so I go to work but don't get paid.  I do know it will kill travel in the US because at some point with TSA the will stop working.  You can only go so far on a $35,000 income when not getting paid if you had not built up a stach.

maizeman

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #143 on: January 06, 2019, 08:34:07 AM »
The shutdown could go on for months or even all year.  I'm curious to know how much the shutdown is saving per day in contract services not rendered (which will not be paid later since they were never rendered).  When does that savings reach $5B?

An analysis by Standard and Poor suggests decreased economic activity resulting from the shutdown is likely about $6.5 billion per week.* The USA has a GDP to tax ratio of 27.1%, so we can hand wave that each week the shutdown goes on, total federal tax revenue for the year is declining by about $1.75B. There are also second order effects. For example the IRS actually generates money for the government through catching tax filing errors or fraud but 90% of their staff are not working including tax auditors. IRS tax enforcement brought in $56 billion in extra revenue in 2017** so for the sake of nice round numbers let's call that $1 billion in lost revenue per week.

So back of the envelope, each week of shutdown means $2.75 billion less revenue and $2.75 billion more in deficit spending. So in less than the two weeks the government has already been shut down more new federal deficit/debt as been added than building a $5B wall. Quite the opposite of savings.

*Source: https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/articles/With-A-US-Government-Shutdown-There-Will-Be-Blood

**Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/18/irs-tax-agency-still-bringing-big-bucks-despite-cutbacks/1345350002/

RetiredAt63

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #144 on: January 06, 2019, 08:34:33 AM »
I'm not exactly sure what will happen if there is an extended shut down.  And honestly I don't know at what point I'd say "f" it and just stop going to work if I wan't getting a paycheck.  (I'm exempt so I go to work but don't get paid.  I do know it will kill travel in the US because at some point with TSA the will stop working.  You can only go so far on a $35,000 income when not getting paid if you had not built up a stach.

It's going to kill international travel to/from the US as well.  I'm supposed to fly to the US this month and am now glad I have 4 hours to get through security.  I wonder what happens if I get to my destination but there is no TSA when it is time to leave.  If I were just booking now I would not be booking at all.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #145 on: January 06, 2019, 09:11:07 AM »
Technically they'd have to wait until the president actually vetoes the bill to enact the legislation over his objections, and he has ten days (Sundays excluded) to decide whether or not to do so. They could get the ball rolling today by passing a bill from both houses, but would have to wait as much as another 11 days to actually end the shutdown unilaterally.

This is one route to ending the shutdown that I had not considered.  Congress should already have the votes to end the shutdown over a veto, since both houses have passed the same bill by more than the required 2/3 majorities, so there's no need to negotiate any further at all.  I've been focused on what a compromise would have to look like, but you're right that no compromise is necessary at all.

The problem with this solution is that it requires Mitch McConnell to allow the Senate to vote again, and he has declared that he won't allow the Senate to consider any bill that trump will veto regardless of what the senators want.  So really, that makes it McConnell who is holding government hostage, by ceding congressional authority to trump who wants it held hostage.

This makes a mockery of the entire notion of representative government.  If more than 2/3 of our elected representatives in both houses want something, it's not supposed to matter what the president wants.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 12:51:08 PM by sol »

seattlecyclone

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #146 on: January 06, 2019, 09:18:36 AM »
Technically they'd have to wait until the president actually vetoes the bill to enact the legislation over his objections, and he has ten days (Sundays excluded) to decide whether or not to do so. They could get the ball rolling today by passing a bill from both houses, but would have to wait as much as another 11 days to actually end the shutdown unilaterally.

This is one route to ending the shutdown that I had not considered.  Congress should already have the votes to end the shutdown over a veto, since both houses have passed the same bill by more than the required 2/3 majorities, so there's no need to negotiate any further at all.  I've been focused on what a compromise would have to look like, but you're right that no compromise is necessary at all.

The problem with this solution is that it requires Mitch McConnell to allow the Senate to vote again, and he has declared that he won't poss any bill that trump will veto regardless of what the senators want.  So really, that makes it McConnell who is holding government hostage, by ceding congressional authority to trump who wants it held hostage.

This makes a mockery of the entire notion of representative government.  If more than 2/3 of our ejected representatives in both houses want something, it's not supposed to matter what the president wants.

Surely the Senate has some procedure that would allow a supermajority to force a vote on a bill over the leader's objections, right?

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #147 on: January 06, 2019, 09:26:47 AM »
Surely the Senate has some procedure that would allow a supermajority to force a vote on a bill over the leader's objections, right?

I believe that they do, though I'm fuzzy on the details.

I also don't think it matters, because McConnell can just refuse to convene the senate at all.  None of the usual procedural shenanigans can be deployed if he just keeps the senate adjourned.  During the last session, there was some quick news story about a senator who tried to force a vote on the House bill and McConnell just refused to recognize him, letting him shout while just talking right over him, and then he adjourned the session after a total of four minutes instead of dealing with it.

edit:  My partner, who is very astute, believes that this sort of situation is the inevitable consequence of political party affiliations.  McConnell has subjugated the will of the Congress to protect the individual of the Executive, because he's from the same party as the Executive.  He won't allow Congress to jam Trump up like that, making him look bad by overriding a veto even if it was 100% unanimous in both houses, because he serves the republican party first and foremost, and his branch of government second.  Her argument is that party affiliation has completely overwritten the inter-branch power balances laid out in the constitution, and that all of that hard work our framers did in structuring our three co-equal branches is irrelevant because political parties have effectively created a winner-take-all 50% majority situation in which 1 senator with 49 party members behind him controls the entire US government for the purpose of protecting their party.  What the people want doesn't matter.  What's best for country doesn't matter.  These 50 senators elect a majority leader who sets the agenda for everything, and right now their agenda is to literally CLOSE DOWN THE UNITED STATES rather than do their jobs.

I suspect history will not be kind to old Mitch.  He's spent two years letting his party affiliation interfere with a series of badly needed criminal investigations, and now he's usurped the Constitution in support of racism.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 09:41:32 AM by sol »

horsepoor

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #148 on: January 06, 2019, 09:50:28 AM »
So if the government or parts were to shutdown for 3 months, 6 months or a year what would happen to the employees and their jobs?

Would they eventually be let go or their jobs eliminated? Would their jobs still be there for them when their agency is funded eventually?

I ran into a couple co-workers at Lowe's yesterday - we're all catching up on house projects - and they said that a fair number of people are getting called back.  The work each position does becomes more essential as time goes on, or there are time-sensitivities.  For example, post-fire restoration work has to happen this time of year.  Lots of money has been spent on seeds that need to go in the ground before spring.  A lot of money is already invested, and in some cases, it's a safety issue to rehab the burned area and institute erosion-prevention measures.

HR people who are furloughed would need to come back to process seasonal firefighters.  It's not like the government just won't fight wildfires this year because no one is around to hire firefighters and support staff.  That is another example. And of course those seasonals are not going to come in and work for no pay.  At some point, the "shutdown" is meaningless as more positions become essential.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #149 on: January 06, 2019, 10:01:29 AM »
@sol, this takeover by party and merging of legislative and executive function is not unique to the US.  I read a book on the development of the Canadian system, and early in our history an MP who was nominated to Cabinet would resign, a by-election would be called in his riding, and he would ask his constituents if they wanted a representative who would be serving 2 masters - his role as legislator and his role as part of the executive.  Now it is a big deal to be in cabinet, resigning to ask your constituents what they think of it would be ludicrous.

We don't have budget crises like you do simply because of 2 things - 1 the PM whose  party has a majority is in effect a dictator*, he has the House of Commons on his side (and yes that is a scary thought), but 2 a finance bill failing is "loss of confidence" and requires an election.  So PMs tend to be fairly cautious about finance bills.

*You can find examples of unpopular legislation passed by any government, but the last HarperTM government, where he finally got a majority of seats (not overall votes), was particularly bad for this.