Washington impasse continues


There was little sign yesterday that Republicans and Democrats were any closer to a broad agreement over a federal funding bill that would lead to the end of the government shutdown.

However, three Republican House representatives aligned with the Tea Party are prepared to support a deal to end the closure and even raise the $16.7 debt cap and that doesn't center on Obamacare. But they do want other major changes, including to the tax code, Medicare and Social Security. Whether that will fly with the Democrats is open to question.

Still, a spot of bipartisanship has broken out on Capitol Hill, with the House voting by 407-0 to provide retroactive pay to furloughed federal workers.

Comments (87)
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1358) | Send Message
     
    In the long run none of the bickering will matter and the final agreement will not please anybody except the pundits on "both sides" who will be happy to harp endlessly about how "the other side" messed everything up and how "their side" fixed it.

     

    In the end the market will rally because the "solution" will include more "investment" into select "private sector" interests at the cost of higher taxes to be paid by future generations of tax payers.

     

    At least since the days of ancient Rome "fiscal prudence" has meant "inflation and more taxes for the commoner" to help pay for "stimulus" for government cronies. Politics has not changed in at least 2500 years, why start now?
    6 Oct 2013, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2811) | Send Message
     
    No one has noticed that 15% of the government is "shut down", while 85% continues to operate. This is a media event.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    Wrong. In some agencies as high as 94% or workers have been furloughed. These are the same federal workers who haven't seen a pay raise in 3 years because of Republicans.
    http://n.pr/1huVsYq

     

    Almost everything written by right wingers on this site is a lie.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    Jake, your comment is not necessarily exclusive of spald_fr's. There could even be some agencies with 100% of workers furloughed and that still wouldn't prove much more than 15% of the government is furloughed ...

     

    And these certainly aren't the same that haven't seen pay raises - I just saw an article where 2-3 gov employees gave their name, and a guy in the comments checked the salary of one of them. It went from around $92k to over $100k over the last 3 years.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    You should understand we are talking about federal government. Local and state government should obviously be excluded. Not sure what blogs you get your information, but all federal employees have had their pay frozen.
    6 Oct 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (821) | Send Message
     
    We need a dis-like for knucklehead, name calling, shill, know-nothing racist like YOU.
    6 Oct 2013, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (821) | Send Message
     
    Jake, Jake, Jake, please be truthfully informed that, obama went around the pay freeze by awarding bonuses and pay grade increases.
    6 Oct 2013, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Jake,
    Sorry but your wrong. Step raises have been in full effect for all federal government employees throughout the crisis.

     

    Federal government employment actually rose through the crisis. There is no comparison to federal bureaucrats and private sector employees. Federal Bureaucrats receive excellent benefits, very high levels of job security, and very generous pay packages for what they do.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    There is no pay "freeze".
    6 Oct 2013, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    Pay raise ? Their employer is broke. Why should they get a pay raise ? They are free to seek employment elsewhere...perhaps with more fiscally responsible employers.

     

    I worked for a company that hit it's "debt ceiling". Management worked night and day to fix the problem. Instead of being furloughed, I was asked to work harder but without a paycheck. Eventually, I gave up hope and moved on. I never got back pay. Unfortunately, my employer could not figure out how to print money or take more by force from taxpayers or steal it from future generations. They just went broke.

     

    Welcome to how the real world works.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (12653) | Send Message
     
    LOL so now they don't have to work and still get paid. Let the shutdown continue. Sadly people may realize there is not much change.
    7 Oct 2013, 02:27 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    What's the point of bickering about spending if then both sides agree to pay 100% retroactive wages for work not rendered?

     

    That basically shows it's all a joke. The shutdown was supposed to happen as a consequence of not being able to spend more. By promising retroactive wages they're saying "oh yes we'll spend more".
    6 Oct 2013, 05:34 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4183) | Send Message
     
    Amen Paulo, well said. Anyhow, you can't save your way out of a massive debt situation, you can only inflate your way out.
    6 Oct 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    Still, why shutdown anything if you promise to pay for the lost time later on? Might as well keep things open, as doing otherwise is a complete charade.
    6 Oct 2013, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (1212) | Send Message
     
    I'd just like to point out that the workers who were forced to take unpaid "holidays" most likely have families and bills to pay too. I'm sure if your boss just told you arbitrarily to stay home a couple of weeks without pay, wouldn't you feel the pinch? Or even better yet, you have to come into work, but we aren't going to pay you. By damning the workers for getting paid you assume nobody is effected but the budget bottom line. That is pretty narrow minded of you. It's kind of like blaming an ant hill for making a skyscraper lean slightly to the left.
    6 Oct 2013, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4276) | Send Message
     
    Might these furloughed workers be eligible for unemployment insurance and food stamps like workers in the private sector and would they be counted as unemployed in the labor statistics?
    6 Oct 2013, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    In the private sector when you're furloughed, you don't get back pay for the time you didn't work, WisPokerGuy.

     

    It makes no sense to stop services on the grounds there's no money to pay for them, and then pay for them.
    6 Oct 2013, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4183) | Send Message
     
    Congress should be furloughed FOREVER :). That would be a solution.
    6 Oct 2013, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    WisPokerGuy:

     

    Are we to really feel sorry for people who are getting paid for nothing (even if the payments are delayed)...are you serious?

     

    What would you say to an auditorium full of FORMER steelworkers in Ohio?
    6 Oct 2013, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    Paulo,

     

    Republicans never made this about "not having the money". America is the wealthiest nation on the planet, it has the money. I'm not sure what movie you've been watching, but It's always been about their radical means to defund Obamacare.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    Because it is the fair thing to do.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    Because the situation will be resolved. Your logic makes no sense to me.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    I agree. Paulo should get the hard-hearted Tea Party award.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    Paulo,

     

    That's not true. Each company makes their own decision regarding compensation.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    Jake, there is money buy it comes from debt or printing, that's the reason why the discussion is about raising the debt limit.

     

    But again, it makes no sense to stop work because of a lack of money, and then pay back for work not rendered.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    Again, it was stopped because Republican Radicals disapprove of affordable health care, which has nothing to do with the debt.

     

    A second point being made here is that there is no lack of money. Simply a lack of revenue collection.
    6 Oct 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (821) | Send Message
     
    @Wispoker, pitty the poor overpaid 800,000 Federal government workers who will get back pay, and no pity for the 11 million private sector jobs that have been lost? Cry me a river of tears.
    6 Oct 2013, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • EK1949
    , contributor
    Comments (2078) | Send Message
     
    "Jake, there is money buy it comes from debt or printing, that's the reason why the discussion is about raising the debt limit."

     

    I don't care if the money comes from the moons of Saturn you don't treat people this way. Shame on you.
    6 Oct 2013, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    That's how people are treated outside the public sector. Or perhaps those are no longer people, then?
    6 Oct 2013, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    Been there, done that. Never did get another paycheck from them. Welcome to life working for somebody who can't manage finances.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    It's a matter of law. There are limits on spending. Republicans are seeking to follow the law, Democrats want to ignore the law.

     

    Of course back in 2001-2006, Republicans controlled the government and spent money like drunken sailors.

     

    Democrats NEVER oppose spending other people's money (mine).

     

    So, the only time there is any fiscal discipline at all is when Dems are in control and Repubs try to make a point. That's where we are right now.

     

    Eventually, they will sign a deal, pay everybody for doing nothing, spend more money next year, print more, borrow more, etc. Another crisis will come along and the free market will be blamed and gov't will seize more power and control more of our lifes...etc etc.

     

    Best to just ignore and watch your own pile of money best you can.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    Jake,

     

    That's called socialism. It's not Constitutional here. Some of us are trying to keep it that way but are losing.

     

    More specifically, taking my money by force of law and giving it to others who have done nothing to earn it is not authorized in the Constitution and is socialism, pure and simple.

     

    Printing money is the same as taking it from those who have had the foresight and discipline to accumulate some.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • EK1949
    , contributor
    Comments (2078) | Send Message
     
    These people have no responsibility for Obamacare. They are hostages, the "debt and printing" excuse is entirely bogus, just flailing for an acceptable rationale. There isn't one.
    7 Oct 2013, 05:02 AM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2811) | Send Message
     
    [AiP: "Paulo should get the hard-hearted Tea Party award." ]

     

    Paulo, remember that when you're over the target, that's when you'll get the most flak.
    7 Oct 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4276) | Send Message
     
    It is no accident that the counties surrounding D.C. are among the wealthiest in the country. The Federal Government has become an all powerful OZ by systematically doling out its infinite largess to the lobbies that control it. All the while, the freedoms that Americans fought and died for have been stripped away in the name of expediency. While we were sleeping, the Federal Government has built up an enormous national paramilitary force under the banner of Homeland Security and provided funding to state and local police for such things as armored personnel carriers which has done nothing to reduce the crime rate, but can be counted on to quell the ensuing riots when government checks stop.
    6 Oct 2013, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Rationalexuberance
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    The counties surrounding DC also happen to have the highest rates of bachelor and master's degrees of any counties in the country. Maybe that has something to do with the wealth. Granted, having a s*$t load of lobbyists doesn't hurt either...
    6 Oct 2013, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • PSalerno
    , contributor
    Comments (4716) | Send Message
     
    The shooting at the White House could be caused by this problem.
    What if a worker needs money to pay a mortgage ? The President and both Democrats and Republicans are kidding playing with peoples lives.
    6 Oct 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    That reminds me of an article I saw a couple of days ago, 2 days after the whole thing started, where gov employees were supposedly having to liquidate stuff online because of it ... eheh. 2 days after it started.

     

    Obviously it made no sense -- other than to highlight that the gov employees are usually extremely well paid. A gal complaining on that article was supposedly selling $10-$15k dresses, and it turns out someone in the comments got her salary and it was something along the lines $92k, $94k, >$100k over the last 3 years. 2 days into the furlough she was supposed to be in need of selling expensive dresses. Right.
    6 Oct 2013, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • PSalerno
    , contributor
    Comments (4716) | Send Message
     
    There is some people with heavy debt. It is the American dream, when it turns out to be untrue shooting is a possible outcome.
    6 Oct 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    PSalerno,

     

    Not a single government employee has missed a paycheck. Their first missed paycheck is on October 11th.

     

    So if they want to start crying on October 12th - fine. But everything you've read about to this point is simply not truthful and done to try to sway public opinion.
    6 Oct 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    I don't understand your attitude. People are being furloughed because the Republicans refused to keep the government open. An artificial crisis.

     

    Not paying these furloughed employees simply weakens the American economy and hence is definitely the wrong thing to do.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    Disagree. Government shutdowns hurt the economy. It is that simple.

     

    Why not mitigate the impact by paying the employees not working? It is not as though they are on strike.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    I saw the same story, it said nothing about dresses. You are lying. Again. The fact that they have to sell clothing at all, shows they are underpaid. In addition, to selling items they are also posting to sites that allow people to sell their services, like typing, doing laundry, walking pets, etc...

     

    That doesn't really sound like something a government "fat cat", would have to do.
    6 Oct 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • chriff
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    @Paulos: financial planning and thinking about the future is not the strong suit of most Americans...generally more of a spend your paycheck attitude, regardless of how big said pay check is. Not to say we should feel sorry for them, but I could see that happening.
    6 Oct 2013, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Jake,
    The story is well known and was placed in the media by the liberal hate crowd.

     

    The woman in question is supposedly selling 15-20 $1000+ dresses from her wardrobe to make ends meet. Not exactly what the middle class private sector folks have in their wardrobe is it?

     

    Oh, and her salary for the past three years was found through public records and it was just south of 100K a year.

     

    Just those regular "public servants".
    6 Oct 2013, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    People are being furloughed because the Republicans refused to keep the government open.
    -----------------

     

    Making things up isn't a good thing to be doing.

     

    Four different CR's were passed by Republicans and sent to the Senate. Now I don't agree at all with the first two that were sent over - but I see nothing at all wrong with the final two.

     

    A CR that removes the presidential giveaway to Congressional staff and eliminates the $95 penalty next year for not buying Obamacare is hardly and extremist position.

     

    And I'd say removing a small part of the gravy train for some of our supposed "public servants" is a damn good thing!
    6 Oct 2013, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    Dude, stay in Paris
    6 Oct 2013, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • PSalerno
    , contributor
    Comments (4716) | Send Message
     
    The fear to have a paycheck missed could led to desperation only super-sensitive persons, I agree, but apparently there are super-sensitive persons.
    7 Oct 2013, 06:47 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    desperation only super-sensitive persons
    ----------------------...

     

    hmmm..... you want federal bureaucrats that are super-sensitive?? Like the ones that storm private homes? Like the ones that take children from their parents based on "anonymous" sources? Like the ones that seize all your property before your found guilty of anything.

     

    Even if your the loudest proponent of Obamacare and believe it will revolutionize our health care system - you should be appalled that part of your freedom and liberty has been turned over to the government. Not much of a trade IMO.
    7 Oct 2013, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    Federal employees are now on a long term FULLY paid vacation thanks to the American people.

     

    Must be nice...
    6 Oct 2013, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    And that is their fault how?

     

    lets stop the "both parties are to blame" meme that is all to indicative of our media's anti government right wing bias. The whiny brats in the GOP realized they have absolutely nothing to offer the voters, and therefore won't win a majority anytime soon, so they decided to take the country hostage and affect change unconstitutionally. It's not working.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    When a company fires workers, it's not necessarily the workers' fault, either...
    6 Oct 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    Would seem to me that North Koreans wouldn't agree that Americans are being "held hostage" by the American government.

     

    CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, New York Times, etc. display "right wing bias"?

     

    Seriously?

     

    The House has passed a CR.

     

    The Senate is the chamber that is rejecting it.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • Rationalexuberance
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    Call it a "regulation free" holiday thanks to the Tea Party...
    6 Oct 2013, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    So they can all agree to give something for nothing (pay for no work).

     

    That would sum up the entirety of our fiscal problems.
    6 Oct 2013, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    What the devil are you talking about?

     

    The employees would be working except for the Tea Party nut cases.

     

    Whine about the right wingers you helped elect. They created an artificial crisis to derail one of the most mild health care reforms I have ever encountered.

     

    What you are going to do when your system has to be converted into a modern one where the government pays? That is the inevitable destination.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    That's simply not true.

     

    The reason we have the situation we have is this.

     

    The budgeting process, especially when there is divided government, forces both sides to sit at the table and negotiate. It generally leaves the minority party not happy but also feeling that they got a few things as a result.

     

    When was the last time Obama signed a budget from Congress?

     

    Oh, why he hasn't..... EVER.

     

    Not once. That is a total failure of the legislative process. And you can't blame tea party republicans that weren't even in Congress in 2009 and 2010 - when both houses were run by Democrats.

     

    Now one would ask - why? Why wouldn't the Congress pass a budget as required by law? Well, it allows the Democrats to not have to negotiate, nor do they ever have to take a tough vote in the Senate. That leaves a situation where one party - the Democrats - are able to make changes to Obamacare through executive exemptions and orders while the other side can sit and do nothing. The House has passed a variety of changes to Obamacare (in addition to voting it down too many times to count). Not a single bill from the House containing any change to Obamacare has ever been brought forward in the Senate.

     

    Now, explain who is the nut case? The group that ignores the law and stops doing the hard work to pass a budget through both Houses of Congress? Yep. And that would be President Obama and Senator Harry Reid.

     

    So the House Republicans are left with what options - when the normal legislative process is thrown out the window?

     

    I personally don't really care about Obamacare (minus the individual mandate which I believe infringes on my liberty). Want to set health care exchanges? Great. Want to make regulatory changes to what health care must cover - fine. I don't believe its going to cut any costs from the system and it will push us to a two tiered system where those with money will pay cash for high quality access and those with insurance will be told when and where they can see a doctor. But who knows.

     

    But Obamacare or not - the destruction of our legislative process is owned entirely by the Democrats and the President.

     

    And the President continues to directly lie. Lie about the facts surrounding legislative demands for raising the debt limit. The majority of the times there were negotiations it was led by Congressional Democrats - including the one time we came closest to default - which us under the first Bush - and the argument was between two factions of Democrats - I believe we were within three or four hours of default.

     

    So go back to one of your liberal crybaby BS television stations so you can continue to live in liberal lala land.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • Rationalexuberance
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    This is just another republican attempt at screwing up the functionality of government agencies on par with defunding and not appointing heads of departments. Then, when "government isn't working", they can say, told you so!
    6 Oct 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    So American in Paris,

     

    It is okay to ignore the spending limits?

     

    It is okay to continue to run the biggest deficits in the history of the planet?

     

    Are you saying we should just keep spending and printing until the whole place collapses?

     

    If that's not true, what are you saying?
    6 Oct 2013, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Rational
    Name as many government agencies as you can without looking them up.

     

    I'll bet you can't name 75% of them.

     

    Too often - "government isn't working" involves government bureaucrats implementing their own ideology and imposing it on citizens.

     

    If you need a recent example look into the new coordinated effort between environmental groups and the EPA. The environmental groups bring a suit to add a variation of an animal to the endangered species list - think chickens but one particular variant of the chicken. The EPA "settles" the suit with the result that 1000's of acres of PRIVATE land is now off limits to oil and gas development. It has nothing to do with the chickens and everything to do with their desire to shut down fossil fuel production.

     

    Government exists to do what it is not reasonable for the individual to do. Its power and the limits to it are spelled out in the constitution. There is little correlation today between the government that exists and the limits laid out by the constitution. That should concern every American - left, right, center, totally off the wall!
    7 Oct 2013, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • hackenzac
    , contributor
    Comments (249) | Send Message
     
    If they get paid retroactively, it's not a furlough, it's a paid vacation.
    6 Oct 2013, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    It is called being smart. Why weaken the economy due to an artificial crisis created by right wing extremists?
    6 Oct 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (745) | Send Message
     
    The Federal government is operating without a budget, and has done so for the last five years. Obama does not really feel it's necessary to pass a budget, and he is the only President in history to serve his entire term(s) without a budget. What you end up with are these endless appropriations battles, because, without a real budget, you have to deal with funding the government every few months, instead of once a year. Then there is the constant debt ceiling increases that are necessary to support the sharp increase in borrowing. Each increase results in yet another fiscal showdown. What most people in government do not seem to realize is that almost half of every dollar used for the rapid expansion of social programs has to be borrowed. But as long as we can keep borrowing, the expansion feels like it's free. But more and more people outside government are worried that our children and grandchildren are going to suffer mightily so that liberal minded representatives can tell the American people, with a straight face, we really can legislate "social justice". That in order to "level the playing field", we actually can give you something for nothing. Like free healthcare, if you are among the "oppressed". Just keep voting for us. In the end, conservatives are doomed, no matter what they say, because they cannot bring themselves to promise something for nothing.
    6 Oct 2013, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    Really? How did President Obama sign a budget in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, if one hasn't been passed in 5 years?

     

    http://bit.ly/rrlsJ6
    http://bit.ly/17aqmQU
    http://bit.ly/17aqmQV
    http://bit.ly/17aqmQW

     

    This is why Fox News needs to be banned.
    6 Oct 2013, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5495) | Send Message
     
    Obama is not the problem. It is the American Right, which is extremist. I have lived all over the world and no group of conservatives acts as stupid as the boys back home.
    6 Oct 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (821) | Send Message
     
    Those weren't Budgets ya peabrained lier, those we CR's that keeps this Feral Government on autopilot to keep increasing spending.
    6 Oct 2013, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (821) | Send Message
     
    Paris France is a socialist paradise correct?
    6 Oct 2013, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4276) | Send Message
     
    Right wing, Tea Party nut jobs must not know that social programs must continually expand and new ones must be created in order to increase the power of the political class by making the populous beholden to them. This is also good for the economy because borrowing 50% of every dollar the Federal Government spends primes the economic pump. When the economy improves, taxes can be raised on those who have succeeded at the expense of others. This is only fair. If you are unable to support yourself,
    you are entitled to be
    supported by the state. No one should be able to live better than anyone else, except the political class. This is the destiny of mankind.
    6 Oct 2013, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • chriff
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    While France may be more on the socialist side than a lot of countries, anytime someone calls Obama a socialist all I can think of is: you should have to live in a real socialist place, like the old East Germany, for a year. Then you'd know that Obama is nowhere near a socialist. Reducing inequality in a capitalist society isn't automatically socialism.

     

    To be very clear about this, the definition of socialism: "an economic system characterized by the social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy."

     

    Even France barely qualifies for those terms, not a "socialist paradise" by any means.
    6 Oct 2013, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Jake,
    The president has not signed a single budget passed by both houses of congress.

     

    They have used continuing resolutions to keep the government funded.

     

    There is a huge difference between the two and it has to do with the legislative process of reconciliation - which is where you generally give a few small things to your political opponents as a trade-off for the majority of what the party in power wants. By bypassing this process you leave a situation where the opposition is left to pass legislation (as the House does), which is immediately dropped in the Senate (ie never even brought up for debate).

     

    Now if your the side in the House - and all avenues of having any of your ideas, concerns, worries, etc addressed are basically closed off - what does that leave you? In our case it leaves you the CR's and the Debt Limit. The CR's would have already been addressed in the budget reconciliation process. But Democrats and the President don't want that as it would force tough votes for individual Senators. So they stick with CR's.

     

    As things stand, President Obama will be the FIRST president (that completes a full term) to never actually signed a passed budget.

     

    It speaks loudly to his totally lack of experience - and total lack of interest in how things actually work (or don't work).
    6 Oct 2013, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    Those are Continuing Resolutions...

     

    http://bit.ly/1bNVp9w
    6 Oct 2013, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Obama is not the problem. It is the American Right, which is extremist. I have lived all over the world and no group of conservatives acts as stupid as the boys back home.
    -------------------

     

    Well I've lived all over the world too. And in a few places where they lived without liberty and freedom for decades after WWII. And folks in those places can't understand why Americans would spend and spend and spend their way into debt!!! Nor do they understand why Americans seem so ready to give up their freedoms and liberty!

     

    And Obama is the problem.

     

    Weak leadership. Openly lying to the American people. Name Calling in the place of negotiating.

     

    This whole thing demanded about 30 minutes of his attention. Meeting with Boehner and Cantor - Guys you want me to kill the Congressional subsidy for Obamacare and delay the individual mandate? Yes! Ok, I'll do both and you pass the budget and fully fund Obamacare. Deal done? Yes. Great - I'm out of here because I have to be in Asia.

     

    The exchanges are up and running. 80% of the money for Obamacare is already written into law. So he gets the other 20% in exchange for dropping giveaways for Congress and their staff and not collecting a $95 penalty for not signing up for Obamacare next year.

     

    And the fact he hasn't gotten it done is very very telling.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Scoe
    , contributor
    Comments (233) | Send Message
     
    The reason that the USA is not like East Germany is that the anti-socialist resistance is alive and well and heavily armed.

     

    Obama is a socialist. If you examine every economic decision he has made and ask "Did he side with the socialists or Capitalists?" then the answer is "socialists" every time. Every single time.

     

    By the way, capitalism is not an economic system. Capitalism is simply what happens naturally when people are allowed to be free. They buy and sell and trade and resolve rules and disputes with very little or no help from the political class.

     

    Socialism, by contrast, must be imposed by force of law and never occurs by itself.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • Regarded Solutions
    , contributor
    Comments (20283) | Send Message
     
    Paid vacation....insanity.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1687) | Send Message
     
    The retroactive pay has been voted in overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives, including the tea partymembers, who appear to be confused about what they are doing, to no ones surprise.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • Rationalexuberance
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    No one to blame but the children who don't know how to play nice... Probably would have had a staff rebellion if they didn't pay up.
    6 Oct 2013, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • steady_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    The propaganda to demonize the federal employees is very clever. Say, there was an increase in those making more than $150K a year, numbers used to show that government just keep hiring those useless overpaid bureaucrats. Of course, republicans do not mention that almost all of these higher paid hires were the surgeons hired by Veteran administration hospitals to treat soldiers wounded in Iraq war, which cost about a trillion dollars, money completely wasted. How about punishing those responsible for this waste and fraud? No, this not about to happen.
    6 Oct 2013, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • steady_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    There are 6 million millionaires in the US. And 800 thousand federal employees. If you exclude 400,000 Pentagon civilian employees, dear to Republican heart, you have very insignificant part of the population to even talk about. And Republicans cannot about tormenting these people, many of them making very little.
    6 Oct 2013, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    I'm not sure where you get your numbers. Generally I believe the OMB says there are 2.65 million federal employees - that includes the US postal service.

     

    At the state level it gets trickier since there are more part time workers - somewhere in the vicinity of 3.75 MM full time and 1.25 MM part time. Local 11 MM full time and 3 MM part time.

     

    I've seen other numbers that put the number of overall government employees at 21 million.

     

    Throw on 8.8 Million Americans on disability (last time I checked).

     

    Total number of Americans working in the country approx 144 MM - about 26 million of those are part time employees. Leaving you with about 118 million full time employees.

     

    If you took a number of 20 million government employees that means that for every 4 private sector employees there is 1 government employee - that includes the military, schoolteachers, postal service, etc.

     

    If you think that 1 government employee for every 4 people working is the right balance then you should be happy with the current situation.

     

    And in terms of you millionaires - US in 2013 - has 5.2 million "millionaire households". The top 20% of income earners are those earning more than 100K.

     

    Now think about this. The NPV of an $80K pension payment is......$2 million dollars. Think about that. The entire country has 5.2 million "millionaire households". Yet an 80K pension payment has a NPV of $2 million. 40K pension = $1 million. How many public employees have pensions between and over those two numbers????

     

    Just to help you along - California public employees retiring this year at age of 52 after 30 years of work will receive an average of $66,828... increasing every year for the rest of their lives.

     

    A million? Two million? Three million? More than the 5.2 Million Millionaire Households????

     

    Just food for thought.
    7 Oct 2013, 12:57 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (29971) | Send Message
     
    The same thing is happening in Portugal and most other places with the possible exception of Scandinavia.
    7 Oct 2013, 06:18 AM Reply Like
  • steady_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    I am talking about Federal employees, not state (California's public pensions should be of concern to CA residents) or local or citizens on disability (how did they came into discussion on federal shutdown?). I also did not count Postal Service, but even if we add them up (what was their average salary? 25K or something like that?) .

     

    This confirms my points again: they start talking about feds, then mix in all other employees of the state governments of all levels plus disability recipients and who knows who and it makes it sound like shutting down NSF or NIH is a smart idea.

     

    80% of all non-uniformed feds are civilian employees of Pentagon or related military agencies. So being really tough on this part of the budget means deep deep cuts to the military. Even if all the remaining federal agencies are closed for good and all the personnel fired (Education Department, State Department, Energy Department, Justice Department, FBI, etc.) the financial impact on this spending would be negligible. All this Republican chest beating is nothing but a demagoguery. I sort of feel for them: you have to show financial prudence, but you cannot touch the sacred cows of entitlements and military (80% of 2013 budget at least). So what's left to target? Some geologist from an Interior Department? Pathetic.

     

    Federal pensions now pay very little - only about 20% of salary or so. The old pension plan which was more generous is defunct from 1980s. State pensions are going down the toilet btw, look at Detroit for starters.
    7 Oct 2013, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Ok,
    From OPM - Federal Employment Reports - Sept 2012

     

    2.76 MM FEDERAL CIVILIAN PERSONNEL

     

    2.55 MM Are full time

     

    729 Thousand of those are DOD

     

    323 Thousand are Department of Veteran's Affairs

     

    191 Thousand are the Department of Homeland Security.

     

    So I'm not sure where you get your 80% figure from. Feel free to share.

     

    I used California example because 1. I had the data nearby. and 2. The problem of government compensation isn't solely a federal problem.

     

    But back to Federal Pensions.

     

    First FERS came into existence in 1987. Its made up of three parts - Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and Thrift Savings. The SS and Thrift can go with the employee when/if they leave the federal workforce.

     

    The Thrift Plan is straight-forward. Each agency contributes an amount equal to 1% of the employees pay each pay period into the savings account. Employees can make further contributions on their own if they wish (for which there are matching contributions - Dollar for Dollar on the first 3% and .50 on the dollar for the next 2% - so basically they can get a "free" 4% plus the 1% for a total of 5% over and above what they contribute themselves). 5% of their salary from the government.

     

    The basic benefit is an annuity. The formula for the majority of federal employees is as follows:

     

    Under age 62 when retiring or over 62 but with less than 20 years of service - 1% of your High-3 average salary times the years of service. High-3 is the average of the three best years of basic pay - it does not have to be the last three years.

     

    Over age 62 with 20 or more years of service - 1.1% for each year of service times your High-3.

     

    So a 55 year old retiring after 30 years from the EPA with a High-3 of 130,000 would receive 30% of the 130,000 from the Basic Benefit plan. That would be $39,000 from this part of their retirement package - it is in essence an annuity for life - guaranteed payouts plus COLA. The NPV of this is about $1MM.

     

    Plus they will receive SS at whatever age they choose.

     

    Plus they have the Thrift Plan - which contains an additional 5% of their salaries compounded over time courtesy of the government (assuming they have saved 5% also).

     

    Air Traffic Controllers, Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, Capitol Police, Supreme Court Police, or Nuclear Materials Couriers get their first 20 years multiplied by 1.7% - so 20 years of service yields 34% of your High-3.

     

    So There you have it - Federal Pensions. And this practical example yield you one of your 5.2 Millionaire Households. Courtesy of Uncle Sam.

     

    So your federal employee is hardly getting by on 20%.. The pension is 30% of their best three years for a 55 year old retiree with 30 years of service. PLUS they get the same SS payments as the private sector on top of that. PLUS Uncle Sam has been putting 5% of their salary into a Thrift Plan for them for thirty years (assuming they contributed 5% of their salaries).

     

    So want to amend your statement that federal pensions pay very little. Before deciding you might want to look at the distribution of social security payments and value of 401K's for the majority of the private sector.
    7 Oct 2013, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (10735) | Send Message
     
    Checkmate!!
    7 Oct 2013, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • steady_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    You are missing my point. I am not saying that getting $40K pension for life is bad (though your example of someone with $130K is not typical, average fed salary is $76,231 as of September 2010 before the freeze and therefore the average pension is about $22K or so). My point is that overall this is a wrong target for any meaningful budget discussion: the total amount of salaries and pensions feds make is negligible. Again, you can cut all their pensions and salaries and fire all these EPA inspectors and postal workers tomorrow and it will not make a damn difference in the fiscal situation.

     

    And also NPV is only a projection.A lot of people die right after they retire. 6 or so millionaire households are those with real cash, not some projections.
    7 Oct 2013, 08:48 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Steady Growth - You don't seem to understand how the pension is calculated.

     

    It is the average of your THREE HIGHEST YEAR Earnings!

     

    So the average salary you point to includes all the folks in the beginning of their careers. Because the government pays partially based on seniority your three highest years earnings are near the end of your career for 95% of the people. Thus you have to look at the distribution of salaries and the correlation to years of service.

     

    You'll find that my example is very typical. And keep in mind that any number thrown around by the public unions includes all the people that worked part time and those that worked for 5 or 7 or 9 years in government.

     

    NPV calculations are the actual value and are statistically accurate - yes, some people die next week - some will live to 105.

     

    I've provided you with the facts and a very normal example.

     

    At the very least I hope you understand that 30 years of federal government employment is no longer "public service", but rather a way of guaranteeing private enrichment.
    7 Oct 2013, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    millionaire households are those with real cash
    ----------------------...

     

    And I hate to break it to you - the federal employees with these pensions do have real cash - yours and your children's and grandchildren's.

     

    You seem to feel these 5.2 Million Millionaire households are "rich". And what I've plainly spelled out for you is that these "public servants" fit into the same category. Its just they have done a good job of hiding the details of it from folks like yourself.
    7 Oct 2013, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (462) | Send Message
     
    I hope the price of tea does not go up....
    7 Oct 2013, 12:16 AM Reply Like
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