Government Shutdown?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rimrocker, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 1999
    Messages:
    19,266
    Likes Received:
    737
    So, there are technically 8 more days (next Friday) and untechnically 10 more days (8 plus the weekend) to reach and pass an agreement on another continuing resolution that funds the government.

    I'm not optimistic the House and Senate can reach such an agreement.

    If indeed the government shuts down, there will be huge impacts across the country. My immediate individual concern is obviously not getting paid for a bit, but beyond that, this could really hurt our ability to fight fire this year.

    March is the month you do lots of fire training in prep for the upcoming season. It's when you interview and hire seasonal firefighters, usually college kids that are willing to do hard work from June through September. It's when you take the engines out of mothballs, prep them, and fix stuff that needs fixing. It's when you replace worn hose and pumps and stock up on MREs and test radio communications.

    If we have a shutdown, I'll probably have to cancel the week-long course I'm scheduled to teach starting on 3/14. This is an introductory course designed to get new people qualified for certain positions within the Incident Command System. Without the training, they can't go out on fires and we probably lose that group of people until next year. (Lots of other training going on around the country as well.)

    With budget cuts that have reduced the number of employees in my office by about 25% between 2007 and the end of this fiscal year, we are already losing too many people skilled in fire operations. In fact, there is a proposal to totally change the way we operate because we no longer have the people to fill all the needed positions on incidents. To top it off, states are letting people go. The worst is CA who will hire no seasonal firefighters this year. That means non-Fed CA wildfires will have a much greater reliance on Fed fire crews than in the past, which could diminish our ability to respond on Fed lands.

    By May, we're predicted to have above normal danger for large fires in TX, NM, AZ, SoCal, and FL. If we're 2-3 weeks behind in hiring, prep, and training... well, it will be problematic.
     
  2. Johndoe804

    Johndoe804 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,232
    Likes Received:
    146
    We should get used to hearing this. Its only going to get worse in the coming years. Spending needs to decrease and revenues need to increase. If they cant get that done, then shut it down and we'll elect more competent legislators (hopefully).
     
  3. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    462
    I heard Boehner shot a 94 today. The golf game is coming around.
     
  4. bmb4516

    bmb4516 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    26
    I know you're not calling out Boehner for playing golf when your buddy Barry practically lives on the green.
     
  5. Phillyrocket

    Phillyrocket Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    7,812
    Likes Received:
    375
    WASHINGTON – Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open.

    That's the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn't shut down.

    And it won't on March 5, even if the combatants on Capitol Hill can't resolve enough differences to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government while they hash out legislation to cover the last seven months of the budget year.

    Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And that's not counting 600,000 Postal Service employees or 1.6 million uniformed military personnel exempt from a shutdown.

    So we're talking fewer than one in four federal workers staying at home. Many federal workers get paid on March 4, so it would take a two-week shutdown for them to see a delay in their paychecks.

    The rules for who works and who doesn't date back to the early 1980s and haven't been significantly modified since. The Obama administration hasn't issued new guidance.

    The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans' health care and many other essential government programs would run as usual. The Social Security Administration would not only send out benefits but would continue to take applications. The Postal Service, which is self-funded, would keep delivering the mail. Federal courts would remain open.

    The cherry blossoms in Washington would bloom as usual, and visitors to the city would be able to park and see them in all their glory around the Tidal Basin.

    But they wouldn't be able to take the elevator up the Washington Monument, visit museums along the National Mall or take a White House tour. National parks would be closed to visitors, a loss often emphasized in shutdown discussions.

    The Capitol would remain open, however. Congress is deemed essential, despite its abysmal poll ratings.

    The IRS wouldn't answer its taxpayer hotline — at the height of tax-filing season. Under IRS precedents, the agency would process tax returns that contain payments. But people getting refunds would have to wait.

    All sides say they don't want a so-called shutdown like the two separate partial government closings in 1995-1996, when President Clinton and a then-new GOP majority in Congress were at loggerheads over the budget. Republicans took most of the political blame, and the episodes gave Clinton critical momentum on his way to re-election.

    There haven't been any shutdowns since then. The politics stink.

    But from a practical perspective, shutdowns usually aren't that big a deal. They happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During President Reagan's two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically of just one or two days apiece. Deals got cut. Everybody moved on.

    In 1995-96, however, shutdowns morphed into political warfare, to the dismay of Republicans who thought they could use them to drag Clinton to the negotiating table on a balanced budget plan.

    Republicans took a big political hit, but a compendium of the other hardships experienced reads like a roster of relatively minor inconveniences for most Americans: closed parks, delays in processing passport applications, 2,400 workers cleaning up toxic waste sites being sent home, and a short delay in processing veterans' claims. A new government standard for lights and lamps was delayed.

    To be sure, furloughs can be a major hardship for federal workers. Even those in essential jobs — and required to work — could see their paychecks delayed if a stalemate dragged on.

    Lawmakers, however, typically provide back pay, even for employees who weren't required to work. A repeat of that could raise hackles with some in the tea party-backed House GOP freshman class. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wouldn't address whether furloughed federal workers would receive back pay if there is a shutdown this time.

    Regardless, federal contractors would lose out. Many contract workers could be furloughed without pay and not receive lost wages retroactively, especially in an extended shutdown.

    Under a precedent-setting memorandum by Reagan budget chief David Stockman, federal workers are exempted from furloughs if their jobs are national security-related or if they perform essential activities that "protect life and property."

    In 1995, that meant 571,000 Defense Department civilian employees, some 69 percent, remained at post, while 258,000 other Pentagon workers were furloughed. Eighty-five percent of Veterans Administration employees went to work as did 70 percent of Transportation Department workers.

    But just a handful of Environmental Protection Agency employees and only 7 percent of NASA workers were on the job, according to Clinton administration data.

    This year, NASA would face widespread furloughs that suggest a shutdown could interrupt preparation for space shuttle flights this spring — though the "life and property" rules would almost certainly be invoked so that the Space Shuttle Discovery could land as scheduled on March 7. It took off Thursday afternoon.

    Just 4 percent of employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development went to work in the 1995 shutdown, as did 11 percent of Department of Education employees. The National Archives shut down completely, as did the tiny Selective Service System.

    Then there's Social Security. Current beneficiaries need not worry; their payments wouldn't be affected. And given the most recent precedent from the Clinton administration, those eligible to apply for benefits would be able to do so.

    During the first shutdown in 1995, the Social Security Administration initially furloughed 93 percent of its workers and stopped enrolling new beneficiaries. But it reversed course in the second shutdown and kept 50,000 additional workers on the job.

    If the federal government is shut down for several days, the Census Bureau could miss its April 1 legal deadline to provide 2010 redistricting data to the states. The bureau is currently in the midst of checking its population tallies, which are broken down by race and ethnicity down to the neighborhood level, for many states.

    By the March 4 deadline, the bureau expects it will have distributed the data to about roughly half the states, with big states such as California, New York and Florida potentially left hanging if the government closes down.

    ___

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110224/ap_on_re_us/us_what_shutdown
     
  6. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1999
    Messages:
    26,195
    Likes Received:
    462
  7. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    12,619
    Likes Received:
    150
    Government shutdown? . . .
    food insurance, check
    massive water container, check
    2 dozen firearms and 1 million rounds stockpiled, check
    toilet paper,...nvm

    :cool:
     
  8. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    22,336
    Likes Received:
    870
    pics or BS
     
  9. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2000
    Messages:
    10,368
    Likes Received:
    232
    This writer should do more research, because I work for one of the major governmental agencies and we are all expecting unpaid furloughs if a budget isn't passed. And when I say we, I mean everyone who isn't deemed to be critical, which i estimate to be around 75-80% of the agency (low estimate at that).

    And the only reason givt employees received pay last time this happened is because it was written into the new budget, which no one is expecting to happen this time.
     
  10. cml750

    cml750 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Messages:
    3,018
    Likes Received:
    159
    In a government shutdown all "essential" personnel keep working. Only "nonessential" government employees will not work. While I do not want to see anyone lose their jobs, the federal government has grown to ridiculous levels. I really wish a lot of the "nonessential" government workers could be employed by the private sector thus reducing the size of the government and reducing the payroll.
     
  11. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,136
    Likes Received:
    298
    The size of government is more than a quarter of a million down from its peak, even after all the additions Bush made with DHS.

    Try again.
     
  12. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2000
    Messages:
    10,368
    Likes Received:
    232
    Essential personnel are only high ranking managers, and not the folks doing the day to day work that you need. Of course this is for agencies that don't deal with stuff like national security or other things that the country just can't do without.

    I'm not going to argue that the government isn't large or too large. You can have more govt workers go work in the private sector. Just don't complain when it takes you longer to get governmental services.
     
  13. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    22,002
    Likes Received:
    760
    How Hackers Could Exploit Federal Government Shutdown
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1731741/how-hackers-could-exploit-federal-government-shutdown
    BY NEAL UNGERLEIDERFri Feb 25, 2011
    The federal government's list of emergency network security personnel has not been updated in 15 years, putting national security at high risk if a shutdown takes place on March 4.

    The possible government shutdown scheduled for March 4, 2011 could trigger a cyberwar emergency. If non-essential government employees end up being furloughed in early March, the federal government's computer systems will be run by a shortlist of critical-need employees.

    One major problem: The federal government's list of critical-need computer security employees has not been updated in over 15 years.

    According to the influential Nextgov website, the government's emergency call-up IT security list was last updated in 1995, ahead of the last federal government shutdown.

    "In 1995, we already had that decided," said Hord Tipton, a former Interior Department chief information officer who was Bureau of Land Management assistant director for resource use and protection during the shutdown that lasted from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996. "If they haven't done it, there's going to be a mad scramble, and there's going to be a hole in the system."

    In the 1990s at Interior, the vital systems included those that monitored volcano and earthquake activity.
    "You've got a week to do this," said Tipton, now executive director of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, an association that certifies cybersecurity specialists. "If you haven't, you'd better get cracking. In this day and age, I would be surprised if they haven't.”
    While government agencies are indeed scrambling to put together lists of emergency security employees to fight potential hacker attacks from China and elsewhere, there's one problem. The federal government works at the speed of bureaucracy.

    Implementing lists of last-minute essential personnel to stay on staff during a shutdown requires considerable office jujitsu and cross-agency coordination. With only five working days remaining before the potential shutdown, there is a strong likelihood of a lapse in the federal government's network security infrastructure.

    All federal agencies are required to have emergency plans with lists of critical-need personnel. However, these emergency plans often lie unchanged for years and are written by individuals with little knowledge of security or IT needs.

    Meanwhile, furloughed federal employees with time on their hands have another problem. If the government shuts down, all office BlackBerrys could shut down too. A little-known piece of legislation called the Antideficiency Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting voluntary work to be done during government shutdowns. The law's vague wording empowers individual agencies to block access to BlackBerrys or to sanction users who access them in a shutdown.

    The government shutdown will result in a host of inconveniences, including the loss of veterans' health care and support services and the shuttering of non-emergency consular services abroad.
     
  14. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2000
    Messages:
    10,368
    Likes Received:
    232
    Each agency has their own list of critical IT personnel. Considering all of the retirements that have been occurring in my 2 years with the govt, I would be highly surprised if they emergency list hasn't been updated since 1995.

    As far as cross agency coordination, I'm not sure how big of an issue that would be since each agency uses it's own systems.
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    31,896
    Likes Received:
    780
    Really? When did this growth occur exactly?

    http://blogs.govexec.com/fedblog/2010/09/the_true_size_of_the_federal_w.php

    The bottom line? Uncle Sam's workforce is shrinking relative to the U.S. population:

    * 1962: 2.48 million feds, or 13.3 percent of a total population of 186.5 million
    * 2010: 2.65 million feds, or 8.4 percent of a total population of 310.3 million
     
  16. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    31,896
    Likes Received:
    780
    (BTW, the %'s in the article are wrong - it should be 1.33% and 0.84% of the population)
     
  17. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,493
    Likes Received:
    336
    Quit your moaning you overpaid lazy bureaucrat. I bet you have medical insurance and a pension and are also paid immorally i.e, more than your fair market value. Besides why should the government be entitled to steal MY money and give it to YOU.

    You are a parasite on the economy. If our tax money was not wasted on you bureaucrats we could invest it in the real economy and it would create all sorts of new jobs and trickle down on us.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    42,348
    Likes Received:
    1,539
    Woww...quick reply..when did this happen?

    Anyway, Repubs corporate masters will rule the day - they do very badly in a shutdown scenario as they depend on the government, far more than any fantastical welfare queen that doesn't exist.

    Sound and fury signifying nothing will be result. Tea Party = lollerskates.
     
  19. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    29,292
    Likes Received:
    1,605
    Women and children can stroll into your security perimeter, check
     
  20. pouhe

    pouhe Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    12,989
    Likes Received:
    567
    Does the claims adjuster ask to see the spoiled cabbage? Do you get retro-actively cancelled if your fridge doesn't have a crisper? Do they also sell frozen lasagna annuities?
     

Share This Page