Author Topic: Fed employees - shutdown stories  (Read 26144 times)

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #400 on: January 11, 2019, 08:42:27 PM »
In other news, Republicans are passing around a bill (again) that would end future govt shutdowns.  Something along the lines of an automatic continuing resolution with govt funding decreasing by 1% every 90 days

As long as it hits all military and congressional paychecks too, I would totally be in favor of this plan.

obstinate

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #401 on: January 11, 2019, 10:51:50 PM »
As long as it hits all military and congressional paychecks too, I would totally be in favor of this plan.
Dems would never pass that so it doesn’t matter.

Republicans are so funny. It seems like their idea of negotiation is “heads I win tails you lose.” Why would Democrats ever accede to a scenario where spending automatically moves in the direction conservatives prefer, even and especially if no action is taken?

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #402 on: January 11, 2019, 11:24:44 PM »
Why would Democrats ever accede to a scenario where spending automatically moves in the direction conservatives prefer, even and especially if no action is taken?

If the spending reductions were genuinely evenly distributed, I think you could find consensus on a fix.  1% reduction per 90 days is a 4% reduction per year.  4% reduction in federal salaries, military salaries, and congressional salaries.  A 4% reduction in social security checks.  A 4% reduction in all defense spending, substantiated by a 4% reduction in force.  A 4% reduction in all infrastructure like roads, internet, power grids, sewer pipes.  A 4% reduction in federal mortgage lending.  In border patrol, in space exploration, in OSHA inspections.  Everything.

This plan would be catastrophically unpopular in ever state.  No representative or senator would ever consent to this plan for more than a few moments before being flooded with hate mail. 

You know who would love it, though?  The same people who love that the US government is currently dysfunctional.  The Russians.  The Chinese.  The Iranians.  North Koreans.  Kyle Schuant.  Anybody who wants to see the United States fail would love this plan.  Leave it up to the GOP to propose such an idea, a way to make a disastrous situation even worse.

But it might backfire on Kyle and the Ruskies!  By forcing Congress to actually pass a budget, and therefore keep the government operating in a fashion consistent with the will of our elected representatives, the US might actually have a chance to function like a real first world country for a change.

Of course, it would be much easier to just pass a bill to end future shutdowns that provided a CR that extended previous funding at previous levels automatically, or even better, extended funding at last year's rate plus last year's inflation number.  When I was a federal employee I got to see first hand how a 0% agency budget increase was heralded as "not a cut" but immediately resulted in projects and programs being cancelled because expenses continue to rise even if budgets are flat.  The rents the gov pays go up every year.  Salaries go up, the cost of office stationary goes up, health insurance premiums go up, and overhead rates go up.  Ever year they got an agency budget that was lower than inflation resulted in a reduction in services.  It baffles me that anyone would propose uniformly shrinking budgets across the board, as if attrition due to inflation was insufficient.  Our government services are already being eroded away into futile nothingness, there's no need to hurry the process along.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 11:31:48 PM by sol »

ilsy

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #403 on: January 12, 2019, 12:15:19 AM »
Have a legal realistic way that legal immigrants can become citizens, including dreamers, so they are motivated to work within the system and be good citizens.

While I generally agree with the rest, this sentence got me confused. It is already pretty legal and realistic for legal immigrants (Green Card holders or permanent residents) to become naturalized citizens. Getting the US citizenship is about 5 times cheaper and 100 times easier than getting the Green Card itself (aka legally immigrating or becoming a permanent resident). I cannot attest for the dreamers, not familiar with their rules.

Also Green Card holders during the application sign a document saying that in case they commit a marriage fraud, drug crime, aggravated felony, participated in Nazi persecution, genocide, torture, severe violations of religious freedom (the list is pretty long), they become subjected to deportation. So, the motive for being a "good citizen" is the privilege of staying in the country. Plus, there is no urgency or necessity to become naturalized citizens, unless they want to vote or get SS. Green Card holders have all the rights except for voting, SS pension, and I think that's it. 

six-car-habit

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #404 on: January 12, 2019, 01:48:16 AM »
 Friend has a job with Dept of Defense, but recently applied, and was hired, for a job with GSA which he thinks will provide more + different opportunities, plus its closer to his home / shorter commute.

 Was supposed to start with GSA on Jan 7th.  Cannot start new position yet, Hiring paperwork cannot be finalized. Though he wants to start the new job, he is happy to still be attached to DOD, since that means he continues to receive paychecks instead of IOU's / promise of backpay.

ROF Expat

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #405 on: January 12, 2019, 02:27:03 AM »
As long as it hits all military and congressional paychecks too, I would totally be in favor of this plan.
Dems would never pass that so it doesn’t matter.

Republicans are so funny. It seems like their idea of negotiation is “heads I win tails you lose.” Why would Democrats ever accede to a scenario where spending automatically moves in the direction conservatives prefer, even and especially if no action is taken?

Democrats and Republicans pretty much agreed to something very much like this with the budget sequestration agreement.  They pretty much agreed that they would find cuts they could all live with, and if they couldn't, reach an agreement, there would be automatic cuts across the board, affecting both defense and medicare programs (and pretty much everything else).   The idea was that the cuts would be so bad for both parties that they'd feel pressured to make a deal.  Well, they couldn't reach an agreement and sequestration cuts were indeed painful for both parties, so they've pretty much agreed to just ignore their own legislation. 


nereo

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #406 on: January 12, 2019, 03:23:35 AM »
As long as it hits all military and congressional paychecks too, I would totally be in favor of this plan.
Dems would never pass that so it doesn’t matter.

Republicans are so funny. It seems like their idea of negotiation is “heads I win tails you lose.” Why would Democrats ever accede to a scenario where spending automatically moves in the direction conservatives prefer, even and especially if no action is taken?

Democrats and Republicans pretty much agreed to something very much like this with the budget sequestration agreement.  They pretty much agreed that they would find cuts they could all live with, and if they couldn't, reach an agreement, there would be automatic cuts across the board, affecting both defense and medicare programs (and pretty much everything else).   The idea was that the cuts would be so bad for both parties that they'd feel pressured to make a deal.  Well, they couldn't reach an agreement and sequestration cuts were indeed painful for both parties, so they've pretty much agreed to just ignore their own legislation.

Regarding the sequestration - I don't think either side anticipated just how badly the tea partiers would muck it all up.  The ones who felt it was their mission to starve the government until it withered ('until you could drown it in a bathtub'). To them the hatchet-like precision of the sequestration didn't matter, and compromise was a dirty word ('we are the party of hell no!').

Omy

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #407 on: January 12, 2019, 07:26:05 AM »
A client of mine posted the following on his FB page:

"Our biggest issue is that whenever our daughter is born - I can’t sign her up for health insurance until the shutdown is over. Wtf"

I'm starting to see a lot more discontent from furloughed workers on social media now.

SnackDog

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #408 on: January 12, 2019, 08:03:47 AM »
Trump has negotiated tough deals for decades. He always takes a firm but slightly crazy position and refuses to budge until the other side gives in. I don’t see Pelosi giving in any time soon so I expect quite a long shutdown.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #409 on: January 12, 2019, 08:34:13 AM »
Trump has negotiated tough deals for decades. He always takes a firm but slightly crazy position and refuses to budge until the other side gives in. I don’t see Pelosi giving in any time soon so I expect quite a long shutdown.

We've already established that Trump doesn't need to give in, and no further compromise is necessary.  The budget bill that Mitch McConnell worked so hard to get past the Senate unanimously WAS the compromise.  It literally had 100% support.  In case anyone is really bad at math, that's more than enough to override a presidential veto.  Congress could re-open the fully funded government tomorrow, except that Mitch won't let congress vote.

And if this thing drags on long enough, that becomes more and more likely.  It will take months, not weeks, but eventually congress will step up and perform its constitutionally-defined duty to pass a budget no matter what the Russians in the white house say.  We just have to get to the point where republican senators start to fear their home constituents more than they fear Trump giving them an insulting nickname.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #410 on: January 12, 2019, 08:50:56 AM »
Have a legal realistic way that legal immigrants can become citizens, including dreamers, so they are motivated to work within the system and be good citizens.

While I generally agree with the rest, this sentence got me confused. It is already pretty legal and realistic for legal immigrants (Green Card holders or permanent residents) to become naturalized citizens. Getting the US citizenship is about 5 times cheaper and 100 times easier than getting the Green Card itself (aka legally immigrating or becoming a permanent resident). I cannot attest for the dreamers, not familiar with their rules.

Also Green Card holders during the application sign a document saying that in case they commit a marriage fraud, drug crime, aggravated felony, participated in Nazi persecution, genocide, torture, severe violations of religious freedom (the list is pretty long), they become subjected to deportation. So, the motive for being a "good citizen" is the privilege of staying in the country. Plus, there is no urgency or necessity to become naturalized citizens, unless they want to vote or get SS. Green Card holders have all the rights except for voting, SS pension, and I think that's it.
Green card holders pay into and are eligible for Social Security benefits on the same terms as citizens.

lhamo

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #411 on: January 12, 2019, 10:12:34 AM »
It is becoming more and more frightening to me that the GOP/McConnell are not willing to stand up to Trump on this. I mean -- hasn't he made his dramatic point already?  If they stand up to him and vote and the Senate passes McConnell's bill, doesn't everyone win?  We get the government back to work and the paychecks start flowing again.  Trump has made his point that he really really wants this wall and wont back down on it.  He looks tough, they look reasonable.

I think they may be afraid that if they really upset him he will go seriously unhinged.

Travis

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #412 on: January 12, 2019, 10:17:13 AM »
Why would Democrats ever accede to a scenario where spending automatically moves in the direction conservatives prefer, even and especially if no action is taken?

...This plan would be catastrophically unpopular in ever state.  No representative or senator would ever consent to this plan for more than a few moments before being flooded with hate mail...

...Of course, it would be much easier to just pass a bill to end future shutdowns that provided a CR that extended previous funding at previous levels automatically, or even better, extended funding at last year's rate plus last year's inflation number... 

This sounds exactly like the Budget Control Act that everybody predicted Congress wouldn't permit to go the distance because of how destructive it would be. It feels to me that as a collective group our representatives will happily cut each other's throats just on the hopes that the other side will bleed out first.

Regarding your solution, that sounds like a recipe for absolving Congress of never having to pass a budget at all. They've already proven a love of kicking CRs down the road for years at a stretch rather than pass a real budget.  Allowing the CR process to do the work for them without even holding a vote just reinforces this.  I would support an automatic funding mechanism like this for the debt ceiling.  Effective debt reduction just doesn't seem possible (see BCA above), but every time we run up against the ceiling there's days of posturing, shut down threats, bills unpaid, and general chaos that wouldn't have happened if this self-imposed ceiling didn't exist which only seems to exist for each side to score a few cheap points.

Travis

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #413 on: January 12, 2019, 10:23:35 AM »
It is becoming more and more frightening to me that the GOP/McConnell are not willing to stand up to Trump on this. I mean -- hasn't he made his dramatic point already?  If they stand up to him and vote and the Senate passes McConnell's bill, doesn't everyone win?  We get the government back to work and the paychecks start flowing again.  Trump has made his point that he really really wants this wall and wont back down on it.  He looks tough, they look reasonable.

I think they may be afraid that if they really upset him he will go seriously unhinged.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mcconnell+senate+goal+obstruct+obama&docid=608045966081788725&mid=E607C3AAC5EED8176E79E607C3AAC5EED8176E79&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

If it seems that Senator McConnell is more concerned with appeasing President Trump than running an effective Congress, it's because he might be.  From my little corner of reality it seems like he's had a history of allowing to pass anything the Democrats might be happy with as "losing."  With the President having taken this situation out this far, not getting him what he wants would seem like a massive loss to the Democrats.

Khaetra

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #414 on: January 12, 2019, 10:25:27 AM »

We've already established that Trump doesn't need to give in, and no further compromise is necessary.  The budget bill that Mitch McConnell worked so hard to get past the Senate unanimously WAS the compromise.  It literally had 100% support.  In case anyone is really bad at math, that's more than enough to override a presidential veto.  Congress could re-open the fully funded government tomorrow, except that Mitch won't let congress vote.

And if this thing drags on long enough, that becomes more and more likely.  It will take months, not weeks, but eventually congress will step up and perform its constitutionally-defined duty to pass a budget no matter what the Russians in the white house say.  We just have to get to the point where republican senators start to fear their home constituents more than they fear Trump giving them an insulting nickname.

There was a deal, which included much more money for his wall in exchange for protecting DACA.  He WAS ready to sign it.  In a matter of 15 minutes he changed his mind and most speculate it was Fox News (or someone with that way of thinking) that got to him.  Mitch has the power to veto the President and I agree it will happen, when is the question.

I have friends who work for TSA and while they will be fine (they are frugal and have socked away for a rainy day), many they work with will not be.  Some have already put their cars up for sale, some have sold jewelry to the local pawn shops.  If it drags on too long some will lose their homes.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #415 on: January 12, 2019, 10:39:25 AM »
Regarding your solution, that sounds like a recipe for absolving Congress of never having to pass a budget at all. They've already proven a love of kicking CRs down the road for years at a stretch rather than pass a real budget.

I agree that they have, but I think it's only because the consequences have been too light.  They've always paid the military, even when they hold civilian federal workers over the barrel.  They've always issued tax returns, and social security and disability payments.  They've always paid congress. 

I think they'd have much more motivation to find a compromise solution (like the one that already passed the Senate that trump threatened to veto) if the consequences of doing were spread to everyone in government, rather than just civilian federal workers.  I'm not sure why this one little corner of federal spending is always the hot potato, while all those army grunts continue to get paid.  If you're going to shut it down, you shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose who gets paid and who doesn't. 

Joel

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #416 on: January 12, 2019, 11:18:30 AM »
Or better yet, pay everyone other than elected officials during a shutdown?

the_fixer

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #417 on: January 12, 2019, 12:28:24 PM »
What happens to federal employees on furlough when it hits the 30 day mark?

From what I am reading that results in a Reduction In Force where employees will be laid off or moved to a different job.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductions-in-force/

I have not heard anyone talking about it but seems like this would be a major make or break point.

It is one thing to be furloughed where you may or may not get paid but a whole new level if you lose your job after 30 days of shutdown.


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YttriumNitrate

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #418 on: January 12, 2019, 12:41:51 PM »
I think they'd have much more motivation to find a compromise solution (like the one that already passed the Senate that trump threatened to veto) if the consequences of doing were spread to everyone in government, rather than just civilian federal workers.  I'm not sure why this one little corner of federal spending is always the hot potato, while all those army grunts continue to get paid.  If you're going to shut it down, you shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose who gets paid and who doesn't.
I think the answer is politics. Since federal workers voted 2-to-1 for Clinton (and probably 3 or 4-to-1 if the DoD were excluded), Trump knows that he can apply pressure without significantly hitting his base. A good analogy would be the most recent tax overhaul where unsurprisingly the blue states got hit the hardest.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #419 on: January 12, 2019, 01:16:53 PM »
What happens to federal employees on furlough when it hits the 30 day mark?

From what I am reading that results in a Reduction In Force where employees will be laid off or moved to a different job.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductions-in-force/

That page does in fact say that 30 calendar days of furlough requires the initiation of a RIF.  Congress still has a week to convene and pass a law overriding OPM, but it looks like the law on the books right now would start a RIF window about a week from now.  We've just never had a lapse of appropriations long enough to trigger it before.

Of course, a RIF doesn't just happen by itself.  Individual federal workers from OPM and HR for every agency would be called back (without pay?) to process the paperwork to make it happen.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 01:18:28 PM by sol »

the_fixer

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #420 on: January 12, 2019, 01:50:10 PM »
What happens to federal employees on furlough when it hits the 30 day mark?

From what I am reading that results in a Reduction In Force where employees will be laid off or moved to a different job.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductions-in-force/

That page does in fact say that 30 calendar days of furlough requires the initiation of a RIF.  Congress still has a week to convene and pass a law overriding OPM, but it looks like the law on the books right now would start a RIF window about a week from now.  We've just never had a lapse of appropriations long enough to trigger it before.

Of course, a RIF doesn't just happen by itself.  Individual federal workers from OPM and HR for every agency would be called back (without pay?) to process the paperwork to make it happen.
Well that is a kick in the balls.

My wife being term and under a year would be the first to go I am assuming.

She has amazing skills so getting another job in industry should be easy for her but she really loves what she is doing now and would be heart broken.

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horsepoor

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #421 on: January 12, 2019, 02:19:19 PM »
What happens to federal employees on furlough when it hits the 30 day mark?

From what I am reading that results in a Reduction In Force where employees will be laid off or moved to a different job.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductions-in-force/

I have not heard anyone talking about it but seems like this would be a major make or break point.

It is one thing to be furloughed where you may or may not get paid but a whole new level if you lose your job after 30 days of shutdown.


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That is interesting, but I don't think the intent is to apply this to a shutdown related furlough.  It would make sense to initiate a RIF if an agency was implementing a routine furlough because it couldn't pay the existing workforce for a 40-hour work week.  Ostensibly, in the shutdown scenario, most agencies would be back to business as usual when the furlough ends, so a RIF would not make sense.  I suppose it could be invoked if a really draconian budget that wouldn't cover existing labor passes after a >30 day shutdown.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #422 on: January 12, 2019, 02:29:34 PM »
That is interesting, but I don't think the intent is to apply this to a shutdown related furlough.

I agree that it's unlikely to be the intent.  That doesn't mean it's not the law.

Peachtea

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #423 on: January 12, 2019, 02:30:38 PM »
Gah, way to make me briefly panic guys. Looks like those rules don’t apply to shutdown furlough. There’s a difference between shutdown and administrative furlough.

Quote
NOTE: Reductions in force (RIF) furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements are not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs because the ultimate duration of an emergency shutdown furlough is unknown at the outset and is dependent entirely on Congressional action, rather than agency action. The RIF furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements, on the other hand, contemplate planned, foreseeable, money-saving furloughs that, at the outset, are planned to exceed 30 days.

OPM guidance, page 29 https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf

horsepoor

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #424 on: January 12, 2019, 02:33:19 PM »
Gah, way to make me briefly panic guys. Looks like those rules don’t apply to shutdown furlough. There’s a difference between shutdown and administrative furlough.

Quote
NOTE: Reductions in force (RIF) furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements are not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs because the ultimate duration of an emergency shutdown furlough is unknown at the outset and is dependent entirely on Congressional action, rather than agency action. The RIF furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements, on the other hand, contemplate planned, foreseeable, money-saving furloughs that, at the outset, are planned to exceed 30 days.

OPM guidance, page 29 https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf

Thanks, @Peachtea  I'm glad that is clear.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #425 on: January 12, 2019, 02:33:29 PM »
Regarding your solution, that sounds like a recipe for absolving Congress of never having to pass a budget at all. They've already proven a love of kicking CRs down the road for years at a stretch rather than pass a real budget.

I agree that they have, but I think it's only because the consequences have been too light.  They've always paid the military, even when they hold civilian federal workers over the barrel.  They've always issued tax returns, and social security and disability payments.  They've always paid congress. 

I think they'd have much more motivation to find a compromise solution (like the one that already passed the Senate that trump threatened to veto) if the consequences of doing were spread to everyone in government, rather than just civilian federal workers.  I'm not sure why this one little corner of federal spending is always the hot potato, while all those army grunts continue to get paid.  If you're going to shut it down, you shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose who gets paid and who doesn't.

Personally I think congress should not get paid until they come to a solution and balance a god damn budget for once.

Apples

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #426 on: January 12, 2019, 02:37:18 PM »
In 2018, we got H-2A workers (visa for temporary non-immigrant worker, our guys came from Mexico). 

Are you saying that you support expanding visas for temporary foreign labor, or oppose it?  Because in my mind, if you can't hire Americans to do this hard work for $12/hour, then you're probably not happy about Trump reducing the supply of people who have proper paperwork to pick fruit AND the supply of people who don't have the proper paperwork to pick fruit.


Ah, my post was mostly targeted to say that wages in seasonal agriculture aren't as low as the standards most people seem to think they are.  They are low in places where people work year-round like tomatoes or other crops in Florida and California (and that is usually where all the headline-grabbing stories come from), but overall they're pretty fair for unskilled work.  Our biggest competitor for the seasonal workers outside of other fruit farms is factories with indoor work and slightly longer "seasons" which pay $1-$2 per hour less.  Many people were referencing low/slave wages in agriculture.  While there are estimates that about 50% of field workers in ag are undocumented, so that is definitely where a lot of illegal immigrants are, the wages aren't particularly low.

I, and pretty much all fruit growers, fully support expanding visas for temporary foreign labor.  The number of people brought in all over the country on visas grows by leaps and bounds every year.  (But ideally the process needs to be modernized and less costly.)  And we support a greater supply of workers in general.  There are farms in my area that will have only half the people they need in order to harvest the crop, and leave fruit on the trees.  There's just not enough people right now.  And I want to state that all of our workers show me documents that allow them to work on our farm (whether here on a visa or not).  And we pay over the table, so they pay all related taxes.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #427 on: January 12, 2019, 02:43:33 PM »
Personally I think congress should not get paid until they come to a solution and balance a god damn budget for once.

Do you see why they don't do it that way?

I agree that it would seem to make sense, on the surface.  If Congress can't do it's primary job, they shouldn't get paid, right?

The problem is that many of the folks in Congress are independently wealthy before they ever join Congress, and they continue to make vast sums of money while in office from sources other than their congressional salaries.  They won't really feel the pinch.

But some people in Congress, particularly new members who are very young, are sometimes not independently wealthy and they desperately need their congressional salaries in order to set up their congressional offices.  So if the rich folks in Congress don't like any of the newcomers, they could effectively shut down those new reps by just refusing to pass a budget, and ending congressional salaries.  They could, in effect, use their personal wealth to interfere with the fair exercise of democracy.  Senators are supposed to be equal.  Reps are supposed to each get one vote.  Money shouldn't enter into it, right?  We should allow democratically elected congresspeople participate in congress regardless of how rich they are, and withholding congressional salaries would prevent that from happening.

So it's a slightly more complicated situation than just "stop paying the bums" though I admit it does make a catchy slogan.

kimmarg

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #428 on: January 12, 2019, 02:59:12 PM »
Well I think we could safety move this thread to 'off topic' as it's solidly a political debate now.  I started it thinking more about 'overheard at work' style "cant pay my bills" from coworkers.

I'm off to transfer $ from savings to checking to cover the missed paycheck... and then I'm going to work.

Sultan58

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #429 on: January 12, 2019, 03:03:09 PM »
you seem a little obsessed with Trump?

Yep, classic Trump derangement syndrome.

Relax, kids.  This is a thread specifically devoted to discussing the shutdown, which Trump called a meeting about today.  I think discussing that is fair game in this thread. 




If you feel my contributions are insufficiently substantial on this topic, feel free to contribute something more weighty yourself.  Perhaps an analysis of the GOP compromise plan forming tonight to fund the wall in exchange for actually fixing our immigration system, including DACA and H2-B visas?  If Trump wanted funding for a wall, he probably should have gotten it when his party had full control of both houses of Congress that have the power to allocate funding.  He couldn't get it then, so I'm not sure why he thinks democrats are going to give it to him when even republicans wouldn't.  Personally, I don't think this new compromise plan is offering nearly enough to entice democrats to vote for a wall, but I'll hold off until the two of you have your say on this topic, since it seems my contributions are deemed unworthy.

I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since my observation and that of others who found you slightly obsessed.. And I was voting long before you were born. Way too much time on your hands I guess...but sadly, one of the risks of FIRE.

sol

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #430 on: January 12, 2019, 03:12:44 PM »
I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since

I was trying to give you fair chance, but I also wasn't about to let you just force me to stop posting on the forum for a week with a stray snide comment.

I still welcome your contributions to this conversation, if you have any.  The shutdown is still ongoing, you haven't missed your chance yet.  Please, offer us your insight.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #431 on: January 12, 2019, 03:30:17 PM »
Well I think we could safety move this thread to 'off topic' as it's solidly a political debate now.  I started it thinking more about 'overheard at work' style "cant pay my bills" from coworkers.

I'm off to transfer $ from savings to checking to cover the missed paycheck... and then I'm going to work.

Our state Boss sent an e-mail out from the "furlough" conference call.  In it he shared his own oops, apparently he forgot to cancel an auto debit and it "bounced".  Boss makes the non SES Max.

Apples

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #432 on: January 12, 2019, 03:34:56 PM »
Hello there, chiming in as one of those farmers many of you seem to know so much about.

Before getting in H-2A visa workers, our seasonal crew (12-20 weeks of work) make...in 2017...drumroll...$12/hour.

While costing U.S. tax payers far more than that.

https://www.heritage.org/immigration/report/the-fiscal-cost-unlawful-immigrants-and-amnesty-the-us-taxpayer

Oooh, this study.  Wonderful.  For the purposes of this response, let's assume our farm follows the national average of about 50% of the field workers being undocumented.  My response boils down to that we would have the same number of people working here for the same wages, independent of immigration status.  We need 60 people to pick apples.  They will make lowish to medium income depending on their skill and if they have dependents.  Average no high school degree U.S. households have a net deficit of over $30,000 of benefits received vs. taxes paid in.  Unlawful immigrant households have a net deficit of over $14,000.  That's right at the beginning of the study.  Seems they're not as expensive as the headline suggests.    But let's look further:

1.  A part of this argument rests on the fact that these people, by virtue of being here, mean increased costs for utilities, police coverage, fire, parks, roads, etc.  In the case of seasonal migrant workers, the same number of people reside here for that part of the year regardless of their immigration status, so these costs don't count.  The fact that a person is here illegally doesn't make a difference in our case.

2.  Same with their children, who often would be citizens.  We have several workers that move around in the U.S. with their families when they come to work for us.  Their subsidized public education (on our local level) is the same regardless of if their parents are legal or illegal - we have enough units for 8 families, and always have about 8 families.  Their immigration status is not relevant.  (There may be employees who have children elsewhere in the country adding to the population, but most of our employees are single guys, or have a girlfriend but no kids.  These people's children would count in that study.)

3.  All of our employees are paid "on the books" and pay all applicable taxes, which as this study notes brings down the deficit in taxes paid in vs. benefits received.  1 chart I looked at looks like that would increase their assumed contributions by $3,000 or almost 1/3.  Many benefits for citizen children - SNAP, WIC, etc. apply to all low income households.  Since we're hiring for lower income work, the legal status doesn't matter for this - they're making the same income and would qualify equally.

4.  There is discussion in the study (when worrying about amnesty) about subsidized medical care - which the study does admit is also something that happens with low-income households.  Well, $12/hour is low income if you're a family, so it doesn't matter if they are legal or illegal with kids here - they will be getting subsidized health care.  Most of our employees go to a local migrant health clinic due to being both low cast and fluent in Spanish.  Since they work here seasonally, they do not receive health insurance through our company.

Shutdown related:  I know a local craft beer brewer who makes seasonal beers throughout the year and is now altering their brewing schedule so they don't have a new beer made but unable to be labeled thanks to the shutdown.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #433 on: January 12, 2019, 03:41:07 PM »
Personally I think congress should not get paid until they come to a solution and balance a god damn budget for once.

Do you see why they don't do it that way?

I agree that it would seem to make sense, on the surface.  If Congress can't do it's primary job, they shouldn't get paid, right?

The problem is that many of the folks in Congress are independently wealthy before they ever join Congress, and they continue to make vast sums of money while in office from sources other than their congressional salaries.  They won't really feel the pinch.

But some people in Congress, particularly new members who are very young, are sometimes not independently wealthy and they desperately need their congressional salaries in order to set up their congressional offices.  So if the rich folks in Congress don't like any of the newcomers, they could effectively shut down those new reps by just refusing to pass a budget, and ending congressional salaries.  They could, in effect, use their personal wealth to interfere with the fair exercise of democracy.  Senators are supposed to be equal.  Reps are supposed to each get one vote.  Money shouldn't enter into it, right?  We should allow democratically elected congresspeople participate in congress regardless of how rich they are, and withholding congressional salaries would prevent that from happening.

So it's a slightly more complicated situation than just "stop paying the bums" though I admit it does make a catchy slogan.

Well, that and then add term limits for Congress.  That way they can't sit there getting richer and richer.

the_fixer

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #434 on: January 12, 2019, 04:01:09 PM »
Gah, way to make me briefly panic guys. Looks like those rules don’t apply to shutdown furlough. There’s a difference between shutdown and administrative furlough.

Quote
NOTE: Reductions in force (RIF) furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements are not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs because the ultimate duration of an emergency shutdown furlough is unknown at the outset and is dependent entirely on Congressional action, rather than agency action. The RIF furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements, on the other hand, contemplate planned, foreseeable, money-saving furloughs that, at the outset, are planned to exceed 30 days.

OPM guidance, page 29 https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/guidance-for-shutdown-furloughs.pdf
Wow thanks for finding that really made my day... Throwing a big hug you way :)

I did not mention what I had found earlier to the wife as it would crush her soul if that were the case.

We will be returning on the 30th day from our vacation and this is a huge stress relief.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


wenchsenior

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #435 on: January 12, 2019, 04:26:19 PM »
Phew.  What an epic clusterfuck that would have been.

More so than it already is, I mean.

Sultan58

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #436 on: January 12, 2019, 05:52:44 PM »
I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since

I was trying to give you fair chance, but I also wasn't about to let you just force me to stop posting on the forum for a week with a stray snide comment.

I still welcome your contributions to this conversation, if you have any.  The shutdown is still ongoing, you haven't missed your chance yet.  Please, offer us your insight.

Keep firing away....I understand now by the volume of your postings that anonymous posting is like air to you. Personally, I'm not letting the shutdown rule my thought life.  Got much more productive ways to occupy my time. I vote and go my way.

SnackDog

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #437 on: January 12, 2019, 06:47:37 PM »

Personally I think congress should not get paid until they come to a solution and balance a god damn budget for once.

I heard a better suggestion on the radio - no pay for congress if they haven't approved a budget starting Oct 1 of the previous year.

Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #438 on: January 12, 2019, 06:51:03 PM »
Hello there, chiming in as one of those farmers many of you seem to know so much about.

Before getting in H-2A visa workers, our seasonal crew (12-20 weeks of work) make...in 2017...drumroll...$12/hour. for 45-50 hour weeks  While they are here, their housing and transportation are provided for.  Yes, it's difficult to raise a family on those wages, but it's not minimum wage.  While picking fruit, and earning piece rate wages, they earn an average of $9-$20 an hour (the fittest make the most money).  We can. not. hire American citizens to do this work.  We've had people show up and leave in the middle of the afternoon because they think it's too hard.  It is hard.  There's no way around it.  You have to be in shape to do this kind of work.  Our wages are competitive for our area - no one is paying much less, because the employee information chain is solid, so they know exactly  how much people are making other places and are willing to leave for better conditions.  Sometimes those better conditions are that a crew leader will let them drink some beer on the job. *eye roll*

In 2018, we got H-2A workers (visa for temporary non-immigrant worker, our guys came from Mexico).  The U.S. government sets a wage rate* based on overall wages in the industry for that kind of work.  This applies to H-2A workers and any other workers doing the same job (so our entire seasonal crew).  The wage rate was...drumroll...$12.05.   While in theory, yes if we paid $50/hour there would be plenty of American citizens willing to do the work, on the other hand this is a job that takes skill but none you need an education or more than on-the-job training for.

In other news, I have a friend who works for the Dept. of the Interior who goes out and does those periodic weather and conditions measurements for streams around our state, and he hasn't worked in weeks.  So that data for those weeks will never have been gathered, and they are now very behind on some water quality tests.

*based on flawed survey data and analysis, but no need to go into that
This is what people don't understand about the immigration debate. I live in apple  orchard country, Right now most of the orchards hire pickers that come on agricultural worker visas from Jamaica.  They come for the season and then go home.  We changed our ag worker visa program so people from Mexico can no longer come,  pick and then go. Most ag workers used to be able to work for a season and go back to their families,  now when they come they can't go back so they bring their families here.

lhamo

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #439 on: January 12, 2019, 06:52:27 PM »
I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since

I was trying to give you fair chance, but I also wasn't about to let you just force me to stop posting on the forum for a week with a stray snide comment.

I still welcome your contributions to this conversation, if you have any.  The shutdown is still ongoing, you haven't missed your chance yet.  Please, offer us your insight.

Keep firing away....I understand now by the volume of your postings that anonymous posting is like air to you. Personally, I'm not letting the shutdown rule my thought life.  Got much more productive ways to occupy my time. I vote and go my way.

Just had to pop back in to let us all know how much wiser/more productive you are than sol though, eh?

[emoji]eye-roll[/emoji]

DaMa

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #440 on: January 12, 2019, 07:35:16 PM »
I for one certainly appreciate Sol's input to the political debates on these boards.  His points are always well-thought and researched. 
Thank you, Sol!

Sultan58

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #441 on: January 12, 2019, 08:22:07 PM »
I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since

I was trying to give you fair chance, but I also wasn't about to let you just force me to stop posting on the forum for a week with a stray snide comment.

I still welcome your contributions to this conversation, if you have any.  The shutdown is still ongoing, you haven't missed your chance yet.  Please, offer us your insight.

Keep firing away....I understand now by the volume of your postings that anonymous posting is like air to you. Personally, I'm not letting the shutdown rule my thought life.  Got much more productive ways to occupy my time. I vote and go my way.

Just had to pop back in to let us all know how much wiser/more productive you are than sol though, eh?

[emoji]eye-roll[/emoji]

Oh not wiser....just less inclined to spend much of my life shouting on the internet about things I cannot control. Keep feeding Sol though...he thrives on it. Enjoy your thread.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #442 on: January 12, 2019, 08:53:59 PM »
I see you couldnt hold off from posting another couple of dozen times since

I was trying to give you fair chance, but I also wasn't about to let you just force me to stop posting on the forum for a week with a stray snide comment.

I still welcome your contributions to this conversation, if you have any.  The shutdown is still ongoing, you haven't missed your chance yet.  Please, offer us your insight.

Keep firing away....I understand now by the volume of your postings that anonymous posting is like air to you. Personally, I'm not letting the shutdown rule my thought life.  Got much more productive ways to occupy my time. I vote and go my way.

Just had to pop back in to let us all know how much wiser/more productive you are than sol though, eh?

[emoji]eye-roll[/emoji]

Oh not wiser....just less inclined to spend much of my life shouting on the internet about things I cannot control. Keep feeding Sol though...he thrives on it. Enjoy your thread.

@Sultan58, this forum has rules. You are breaking them. You will stop, or you will move along.

FenderBender

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #443 on: January 12, 2019, 10:42:51 PM »
Venture capitalist: AI will displace 40 percent of world's jobs in as soon as 15 years
Kai-Fu Lee, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and venture capitalist based in China, tells 60 Minutes it won't just be blue collar jobs that are displaced by AI. See the full story, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venture-capitalist-kai-fu-lee-ai-will-displace-40-percent-of-worlds-jobs-in-as-soon-as-15-years-60-minutes/


Yet the US needs more low skilled labor to put even more black people out of work and increase black unemployment even higher than it is already.  Black unemployment is the highest of all ethnic groups.  Africa Americans greatly hurt by bringing yet more low skilled labor.   Those that say they care more about Africa American DO NOT CARE AT ALL.


 

FenderBender

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #444 on: January 12, 2019, 11:49:16 PM »
I'm for the wall because I have family and friends who live and work at the bottom.  I genuinely feel sorry for those at the bottom in the US.  I read the negative messages on here about the wall and ask myself if I'm on the right side of this issue, but I can't ignore what I've seen and heard from family and friends.   I'm all over the map on this topic as a witness too, I've lived in California where many immigrants live, my wife is an immigrant and has only lived in the US 10 years, and I've already mentioned many of my family and friends are working retail, construction, trucking driving jobs.  They merely want to make a living wage and live in reasonably good housing, but they compete with people willing to work for very low wages and willing to live far below US standards just to survive in the US because life in the US is orderly compared to their homeland.  Many immigrates don't have degrees and aren't working at Google, but more often not very educated (again, I'm a witness to this), when petitioned, they are allowed into the US so there is a large supply of labor at the bottom that keeps wages down.  I lived in CA for 12 years, but I'm from MD and I currently live a few minutes outside Baltimore.  Not only do I think too much immigration hurts all people at the bottom, but I think it doubly hurts blacks.  "The rate for Blacks or African Americans was 6.2 percent, down by 1.1 percentage points from the October 2017 rate. The rate for people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity was 4.4 percent in October 2018."*

The repubs were once viewed as aligning with business so bring on the immigrates to fuel corporations with cheap labor was the thinking.  That truly was how repubs were viewed and a google search could easily provide quotes from dems stating exactly that while dems spoke up for working conditions and protecting wages.  While the repub establishment can't claim they've cared much about workers, I see dems as caring a lot less than they once did.  DJT has turned the repubs upside down so it is hard to say what direction repubs will go after DJT is gone - they could double down on aligning with workers hoping to take electoral college votes from all the states DJT won in 2016 - that might be their strategy going forward. 

There are plenty of dems that made very bold anti-illegal immigrant statements prior to when DJT was elected.  I keep thinking their opposition to the wall is purely to oppose DJT no matter what he does since no matter what you think of DJT, he surely has upset the status quo in D.C. for both repubs and dems.  It is a corrupt city, corrupt to its core.
 
BTW Cesar Chavez, a labor union icon, opposed illegal immigrants and supported restricting immigration, because he thought immigrants weakened unions and kept wages low.  Illegal immigrants were used by farmers as strikebreakers.   Chavez knew a large supply of labor would weak the demand so affecting wages and more.  Chavez was a dem, dems marched and protested with him.  I can't forget this.

All of my support for the wall, is based on my support for workers at the bottom who already live in the US.  I'm for the people already here even if they are illegal.  I simply feel we need a wall or a steel barrier to slow down arrivals by making  it more difficult to cross.  Employ cameras and drones too, no problem, but I feel those things are simply identifying people who have already crossed.  Once they have crossed, it is difficult to return them it seems so first line of defense has to give those trying to enter a challenge physically. 

I want corporations to be starving for labor even if prices increase.  I want workers so powerful by there being fewer of them.  I want labor to be so low that corporations must develop their own training programs as well fund high school training programs.  I want American workers so rich that they'll decide to have more kids.  I want labor to be so strong corporations will provide free health care and onsite childcare.   I want corporations to be slaves to labor rather than labor being slaves to corporations.   

*https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/unemployment-rate-2-point-7-percent-for-people-ages-45-to-54-8-point-3-percent-for-ages-16-to-24-in-october-2018.htm

FenderBender,

I find your argument that allowing low wage labor into the country harms poor Americans by depressing wages to be rational and compelling.  I just don't think the answer is to build a wall. 

Building a wall might slow down some entry across our southern border (emphasis on might) at a cost of billions of dollars.  But it will do nothing to slow down those immigrants who came in legally with visas and decided to stay.  Right now, nobody knows the exact percentages of overstays vs illegal crossings, but older data indicates that it might be in the neighborhood of 50%.  We could make it harder to get a visa to the US, but it is already pretty difficult for most people and we don't want to discourage legitimate foreign visitors from coming here as tourists or students and spendng their money. 

More importantly, why build a wall in the hope of creating a demand for US labor when current immigration law legally brings in low skill, low wage labor under the H2 program?  Employers (including Trump) legally bring in low skill workers to do everything from agricultural work to working in hotels and resorts.  Their argument is that no Americans will fill their jobs, so they have to bring in unskilled foreign labor.  (Of course, if they paid a better wage, more Americans might be willing to do those jobs.)  If we build a wall and it actually slows down the number of illegal workers coming in, do you think those employers will raise their wages?  Or will they simply continue to insist that nobody will fill their jobs and demand more visas for foreign workers?   

As long as there are foreigners for whom moving to the US to do low-wage labor will provide a major step up in life and there are American employers who prefer to hire illegal labor rather than pay a wage that American citizens will accept, there's going to be both a supply and a demand for illegal immigration.  A wall isn't going to change that. 

If you want to break that supply and demand relationship, the effective thing would be to require that employers verify legal status of their employees and penalize them if they hire illegal immigrants.  This would cause the demand side to shrink incredibly quickly.  I also think we should eliminate visa programs for unskilled and low skilled workers.  There will be workers to do those jobs if the wages go up.  I do support H2 visas for highly skilled workers, but to me this means engineers, scientists, and eminent scholars.  It shouldn't mean fashion models (because there are no attractive Americans qualified to wear clothes?), not that I'm pointing any fingers... 

To me, this effort against illegal immigration looks a lot like our failed "war on drugs."  For all our efforts, street level cocaine prices in the US are down, not up over the years, because people will always find a way to supply what Americans will pay $100 per gram for.  If we really wanted to change that, we'd have to reduce demand.   Immigration is the same.  If you want to reduce illegal immigration, just stop employers from giving them jobs.  Don't waste time, money, and effort to build a wall to try to stop people from coming to America to take the jobs American employers continue to offer.

5 billion of 4 trillion is peanuts.  Both sides have voted in the past to spend far more on a physical barrier along with other things to support border security. 

No time to type anymore.

former player

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #445 on: January 13, 2019, 02:07:06 AM »

5 billion of 4 trillion is peanuts.  Both sides have voted in the past to spend far more on a physical barrier along with other things to support border security. 


And then haven't spent it.  Which suggests that it has no real purpose: if it did the projects would be planned and ready to go and just waiting for the money.

Also, 5 billion here and 5 billion there soon adds up to real money, don't you know.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #446 on: January 13, 2019, 07:10:52 AM »
Some people have posted on twitter photos of their $0.00 pay stub.  My stub usually appears on Sunday on the NFC website, there is nothing there.  No accounting of anything for me,

How life sucks when people try to do good things.  The local American Legion near a Coast Guard Station, offered a free Meal on Wednesdays and Saturdays (nights they have food).  Now it comes out that per those ethics rules I mentioned Friday, the Coast Guard members cannot accept the free meal because of their position. 

Dabnasty

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #447 on: January 13, 2019, 08:11:20 AM »

5 billion of 4 trillion is peanuts.  Both sides have voted in the past to spend far more on a physical barrier along with other things to support border security. 


And then haven't spent it.  Which suggests that it has no real purpose: if it did the projects would be planned and ready to go and just waiting for the money.

Also, 5 billion here and 5 billion there soon adds up to real money, don't you know.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/01/a-millionaire-is-made-ten-bucks-at-a-time/ 

And national solvency is made in somewhat larger increments :)

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #448 on: January 13, 2019, 08:38:57 AM »
This entire crisis just goes to show you that the Mustachian way is the only way to live, because people will not do the ethical or morally right thing unless they are forced to do it. There is a huge swath of Americans who see no problem with cutting off pay to hundreds of thousands of their fellow Americans over an issue that has nothing to do with those employees. The employees have done absolutely nothing wrong, yet they suffer because fuck them.

This is why people should live far below their means, invest everything they possibly can, save everything they possibly can, and produce as much as possible for their own personal use. Nobody is coming to help and nobody is coming to save you. It's up to each individual person to prepare for the absolute worst every day and create their own wealth and their own income.

I wish things were different, but this is the reality we have to live with.

FenderBender

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Re: Fed employees - shutdown stories
« Reply #449 on: January 13, 2019, 09:11:34 AM »
disgusting:

As shutdown drags on, (democrat) pols take chartered jet to Caribbean, see ‘Hamilton’