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Feds Prep For E-Gov Shutdown

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the down-and-out-on-capitol-hill dept.

Government 290

dcblogs writes "If the federal government is shutdown midnight Friday, the feds plan to stop updating government Web sites that aren't delivering essential services. 'Most Web sites will not continue, only those Web sites that are part of these accepted activities would continue to operate,' the senior White House official said Tuesday. 'Accepted activities,' refers to essential, life and safety-related government services. The IRS, however, will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and to process payments. 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' the official said. Paper-based returns won't be processed."

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So ... (3)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743196)

Electronic tax returns will be processed but paper ones won't? Don't they need the money whether it shows up electronically or as a check?

Re:So ... (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743228)

Most returns will expecting refunds. The government already has their money. Those that owe money should withhold payment until the store reopens. Heh..I wish...

Re:So ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743416)

Maybe.

One might expect that those expecting a refund in excess of what they pay would be quick to file, e.g., they'd've filed already to get their money back. Conversely, those who expect to owe something in net would wait as long as possible in order that they gain the use of the money and interest and everything to the greatest extent they can.

Re:So ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743442)

You'd expect that, but a human being is generally not what economists would call a "rational actor". Even people expecting a refund often put off filing until the last few days, because doing your taxes is a huge pain in the ass and "expecting a refund" usually means "makes very little money and therefore can't afford to hire a tax preparer".

No, they won't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743236)

Those e-file servers won't last thirty goddamn minutes if the IT staff is sent home from the shutdown.

Re:So ... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743290)

They cash the checks independent of processing paper. At one time, they even had you send the check to a different mailing address.

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743448)

NO, the IRS will take in most taxes because they are taken from payrolls by companies. On tax returns most working people will receive some refund if not a larger tax refund then they payed in.(Maybe no more then their share of payroll tax, Which is an insane tax. punish companies for paying their employees cash*) most people who receive more don't even realize their getting it.(Welfare for people who don't want it) People who work for themselves or really small companies that don't withhold taxes will pay on their returns if they don't have more deductions the taxes. The IRS doesn't want to waste man power(money) on entering tax returns into the computer. Also the IRS doesn't allow paper returns without an excuse.(Being old and not having a computer is one of them I believe.) I would say that 90% of the tax returns for those who actually pay taxes are going to be electronic since figuring out your own taxes without a Computer program or tax Preparer for someone who runs a really small business is very difficult.

*BTW, this is why businesses like to give out car payments, jets, housing, and other perks. instead of giving more cash to management because it turns into a deduction and not a higher tax. Think about the amount of Big SUVs sold because the managers have car allowance of $1500 or more. I think at least some of them would have bought more efficient sedan if they got the cash in hand and not the $500 or less left over after $1500 dollar added to the payroll. Actually know a banker who owns a Rover and a small classic car because the Rover is free from the bank. It also helps hide how much a Manger is actually taking from the company and hides how much tax a person is really paying to the government since they don't see the payroll taxes.

Re:So ... (3, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743582)

Actually no, they will not be taking paper returns. And if you have already filed by paper but don't have your return yet, it's not likely you'll get it any time soon. The problems the IRS will have because of the shutdown will probably be the most disruptive to the government.

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743832)

Thank God for that.

Government will not shut down (0, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743200)

Your congress people will receive their checks regardless of the outcome of events. Only us lowlifes are being targeted by this. It's like targeting civilians in warfare.

Either way.... (1)

guisar (69737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743342)

Whether or not it shuts down I'm sure the Active Duty military and civilian employees will be paid. As I recall that's the way it worked the last time.

Re:Either way.... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743458)

Whether or not it shuts down I'm sure the Active Duty military and civilian employees will be paid. As I recall that's the way it worked the last time.

A lot of the articles I've read have said that even military personnel may have a problem getting their paychecks. I think that pretty much every federal employee is at risk of not getting paid if the government shuts down. Oh, except for the politicians of course. They're making sure they still get paid, while the people who actually try to make this country better might not.

Re:Either way.... (4, Informative)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744000)

Officially, civilians don't get paid. Not sure about the military. Last time, when they finally passed the resolution they opted to retroactively restore pay for those days (even though no work got done) as a good faith measure. they also realize what a paltry sum federal employee wages are when compared to the actual debt total, so it was a relatively cheap form of goodwill from the guys that just finished pissing off most of the country.

Re:Either way.... (4, Informative)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743468)

This is true only if Congress agrees to make it so after the fact. It would be political suicide to not pay active duty. Civilian employees might be a toss up depending upon whether they get lumped into the same bill as the active duty.

Re:Either way.... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743576)

It would certainly be political suicide, unless carefully phrased(you can do a lot of crazy stuff to the troops in the name of supporting them, if your spin-fu is good); but, arguably, not paying the civilians might actually present more of a practical problem.

The more heavily active-duty a soldier is, the greater the degree, and likelihood, that some or all of his basic logistical necessities(food, housing, some degree of medical care) will be being taken care of by Uncle Sam. They might not like not being paid; but they won't be starving in the street(and, because it's the military, just leaving qualifies as desertion...)

Civilian employees, by contrast, with a few possible exceptions in isolated bases or research facilities or the like, are generally only seeing wages+benefits, and are responsible for turning those into food, housing, etc. on the local market. You won't have to go too far down the pay grade before you start running into civilian employees who are not too many weeks away from being unable to make minor little payments like 'rent' and 'groceries'. Quitting wouldn't necessarily be a good career move; but it isn't something their employer can do anything about, and they won't have much of a choice about at least moonlighting elsewhere, if not quitting entirely and job-hunting, if they can't keep food on the table.

Re:Either way.... (4, Insightful)

ICLKennyG (899257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743470)

As the budget situation now is significantly worse than 15 years ago, it seems unlikely that Civilian employees will be made whole after the fact. I love the republicans talking about 'where are the jobs' and then deciding to furlough close to 4 times the number of workers that were added in the latest jobs report over the sum of ~$7B. If the government is closed for a week, that's less than the interest on the National Debt.

The Active Duty military people will be forced to remain, even those that fulfill office type jobs, and will be unpaid until a resolution comes.

This is worse than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. This is arguing deck chair arrangement theory.

Re:Either way.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743766)

yes, you may be right... But if the folks back in 2009 actually did their job and passed the 2010 budget back then, we wouldn't be here, would we? So this is the the deck chair arguing arrangements after the captain and crew silently slips into a yacht and the rest of the ship is left to sink while the passengers try and figure out what to do. This is a DEMOCRAT congress/President made problem because they didn't want to argue the budget before the election back in 2009!!!!! This is for the 2010 budget! HELLO!!! Does anyone see how really screwed up the politics are! We haven't even gotten to the 2011 part yet!

WE ARE BROKE! Someone needs to figure it out and come up with a viable EMERGENCY plan NOW!

In My House, when I don't have money and fail to pay the bank & CC corps, I get cut off.... Sure I can still find pennies under cushions or return cans and copper for cash, but I don't take the money and then turn around and give it to a stranger in another town. We have to get a handle on the give-aways.

Re:Either way.... (2)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744262)

Just be careful when you're returning copper for cash that you don't accidentally cut Armenia's fiber internet line.

Re:Either way.... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743588)

Only essential services will continue working. That means emergency workers, military, most defense jobs. The post office will remain operational as they are technically an independent agency. Parks, and museums close. So not all civilian employees will be paid.

Re:Either way.... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744036)

remember the size of the group referred to as 'defense jobs'. lots of civilians in the 'defense jobs' category aren't necessarily going to find themselves considered essential this time around.

Re:Either way.... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743934)

Actually Gates just said any shutdown will mean half the pay will be lost on the next paycheck and a delay of longer than a few days will mean no paycheck. They will most likely be paid with a makeup check at some point (I believe they always have) but for people living paycheck to paycheck (basically everyone below an E5 and most enlisted people) it will be a significant impact.

Re:Government will not shut down (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743562)

When government shuts down, Congress and the President should have to work sans pay until a budget is hammered out. (Not their aides, mind you, but the actual Senators/Representatives/President.) After the budget is passed, they can resume collecting pay but lose out on any back pay. This would ensure that any shut downs are as shortlived as possible.

Not that it'll ever happen though, apart from one or two Congressfolk publicly rejecting their salary as a "show of support"/upcoming election ploy.

Re:Government will not shut down (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743774)

Over a period of about 2 months, Obama draws a salary of something like $66,000. He has millions of dollars of personal wealth. Not paying him isn't much of a threat.

It would likely have more impact on Representatives and Senators, but even there, there are hundreds of them with large personal fortunes.

Re:Government will not shut down (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744164)

See above, the congress cannot by law change their own salaries for the current session.

Also, their staffs, if they want them to keep working, have to be declared "essential personnel" which they have some sort of special prerogative to do.

Re:Government will not shut down (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744140)

There was a bill proposed to not pay congress for as long as there was a shutdown. It was just posturing of course, because Congress cannot change their own wages for the current session, by law. Also it was ridiculous to think it would pass because it was proposed by a D when the R controls the house.

So basically, yes, congress will get payed, but there's no legal way for congress to change that, even if they really wanted to.

onoz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743214)

You mean the over-the-top multi million dollar contracts for wordpress, drupal etc is not sustainable?!

What about FY2012? (3, Interesting)

Nameisyoung007 (1009935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743230)

If lawmakers can't agree to a budget for the time period starting 7 MONTHS AGO, how are they going to get a FY2012 budget done?

Federal managers aren't spending more than the Continuing Resolution levels, and should be saving some money in case of cuts. Funding them over the CR level would just lead to waste spending in the 'use it or lose it' model (They have until September to spend it all).

They need to pass a status quo budget for FY2011, and get started on FY2012. That is where the problem lies, and where a solution can take place.

Welcome to the real truth (3, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743312)

The real truth of the matter is, the Democrats while in power refused to pass a budget for this fiscal year. Worse they refused to even submit one to the floor all because they were afraid of the ramifications of doing so before the election. In other words, if they had submitted their budget they would have had to campaign with that large deficit number hanging over their heads.

I am all for a government shut down, the problem I have is the press is still giving Obama a free pass. When the press decides to come back to the side of the public and keep Obama honest we might see some progress. Right now they are making this all out to be a Republican anti-(insert minority group/poor here) issue instead of pointing out that if Pelosi had not purposefully ignored her duty we would be fighting over the FY2012 now instead of fighting over something that should have been in place before the election.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (3, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743376)

The real truth of the matter is, the Democrats while in power refused to pass a budget for this fiscal year. Worse they refused to even submit one to the floor all because they were afraid of the ramifications of doing so before the election. In other words, if they had submitted their budget they would have had to campaign with that large deficit number hanging over their heads.

I note the new Congress has yet to pass a budget either. What's their excuse?

Re:Welcome to the real truth (2)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743414)

Congress won't bother sending a bill to the president's desk unless he indicates he will sign it. So far, he has indicated he won't due to several programs being defunded. Myself, I think all these programs are merely an exercise in sunk cost fallacy, but I'm not in Congress, so...

Re:Welcome to the real truth (4, Interesting)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743496)

You conveniently left out that Obama tried to negotiate a budget and the Republicans decided to change their goal from $33 billion in cuts to $40 billion, just a few days ago. Note, I'm an independent, I hate both parties, but really the Tea Party Republicans are being idiots here...and at least some of the non-Tea Party Republicans seem to agree with that sentiment. It's called negotiating; what we instead have is "I'm taking my ball and going home!!"

Furthermore, it's all really idiotic, because that $40 billion or whatever in cuts doesn't apply to this year's budget only. It applies to this year and the next several years! The actual cuts in any given year are relatively small, but they multiply them out over several years to make the numbers look bigger so we're all impressed by how Congress is cracking the whip. And it's moot, since Congress passes a new budget every year (roughly), because next year they could change what's funded/cut anyway; there's nothing forcing them to uphold the cuts/spending made in a previous year.

In short, as usual, the politicians are lying. They could cut $1 out of this year's budget, the remainder out of the next 9 years, and all we'd hear is how they saved $40 billion.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743948)

Well that's just bullshit. Because they seem content enough sending other crap to the president's desk that they know the president will veto (remember their move to abolish the Health care stuff). It is more likely that they are not doing it for other reasons.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743444)

The Republicans only control the House; the Democrat-controlled Senate isn't exactly being cooperative.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743488)

On the other side of the coin, saying that the only compromise is if you agree to all my demands isn't necessarily being very cooperative in the House.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743552)

That's true. But from what I understand, the Democrats aren't offering up anything for cuts, and are just trying to continue overspending at their current levels. If the media's wrong, I'm open to correction. :)

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743702)

The Democrats conceded to the Republican's demands for $33 billion in cuts, so now the Republicans are demanding $40 billion in cuts.

So now the two are going to play "chicken" with each other like a bunch of retarded teenagers.

You know, I take that back; that's offensive. If everyone in Congress had Down's Syndrome we'd be better off than we are now.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744068)

Huh, they've agreed to $30 of the $33B with the complete defunding of a few organizations being unacceptable, the teaparty then tried to get the goal moved to $60B and Boehner "compromised" on $40B with additional program defundings and the original defundings still in place.

Sort of off topic but I couldn't believe the Republican proposed budget, let's shift profits to private insurance company, shift cost to the poor and retired, and reduce the marginal tax rate on the top 1% to 25%, the lowest level since 1931 which coincidentally failed to bring us out of the great depression and did nothing to spur job growth.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743622)

When you say it like that, it almost sounds as if they've formed a public labor union.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743822)

It isn't October 1 yet, when it's actually due.

Re:Welcome to the real truth (1)

MirthScout (247854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744024)

It is well past October 2010. It is way overdue.

They haven't done any real work on the budget that is due October 2011.

Re:What about FY2012? (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743320)

FY 2012 starts in October, and the House budget committee proposed a budget this past Tuesday.

Re:What about FY2012? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743706)

The crazy thing: Everyone will forget that the democrats controlled the house, senate, and presidents office and didn't draft and pass a budget. So this entire mess is their fault.

What is the meaning of 'shut-down?' (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743234)

The IRS, however, will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and to process payments. 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' the official said.

So will the government shut-down or not? From some online dictionary, shut-down refers to: "ceasing operations or cause to cease operating."

Now if the IRS will still be working in some capacity, the government will not be shut-down. It's that simple.

Heck, this whole thing reminds me of our ISPs' 'unlimited' data plans which turn out to be capped to a ceiling. It's the same thing with our neighbours to the north...Canada.

My advice: get a better word, for example, 'slow-down.'

Re:What is the meaning of 'shut-down?' (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743264)

What is the meaning of 'shut-down?'

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Re:What is the meaning of 'shut-down?' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743270)

Technically, it is a "lapse in appropriations."
http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011/

Re:What is the meaning of 'shut-down?' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743508)

Maybe the IRS isn't really a part of the government after all.

Re:What is the meaning of 'shut-down?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743656)

Maybe the IRS isn't really a part of the government after all.

They're not. They're the collection agency for the Federal Reserve (also not part of the government).

This whole IRS topic is under the heading of "Don't Get Me Started...." ;-)

CAPTCHA: "Abetted"

I only wish... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743256)

it was permanent. This shutdown only brings a temporary respite to the oppression the American people suffer at the hands of it's own government.

Re:I only wish... (5, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743310)

it was permanent. This shutdown only brings a temporary respite to the oppression the American people suffer at the hands of it's own government.

Yes, my work on automation software flight plan management for the FAA is very oppressive to you. Douchebag.

Re:I only wish... (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743378)

If the FAA is shut down then twitter could be used to transmit ICAO messages (FPL, CHG, APR, etc) and mobile pbone use on aircraft could be made compulsory.

Re:I only wish... (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743848)

BigWingzDaddy: I'm in ur airspace, landing on ur runways (JFK #7) #jfk

TehFlyinator: Hai guise you know what my altitude is in feet? IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAND! #lolz

CommercialCeilingCat: Now taking off my zig (JFK #2) #jfk

LearJetGangsta: Sorry I nearly hit u CCC, was holding the damn iPhone wrong #nearcollision #holdingitwrong

CommercialCeilingCat: np

Re:I only wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743426)

Well your plan helps planes, which helps airports, which helps the government's Pedophile Brigade molest people at security checkpoints. So yeah, your work is oppressive.

Re:I only wish... (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743432)

Isn't most software for the government written by contractors? As such, isn't that money already allocated? I would expect you would continue to get paid. Now, the air traffic controllers, on the other hand...

Re:I only wish... (2)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743516)

Isn't most software for the government written by contractors? As such, isn't that money already allocated? I would expect you would continue to get paid. Now, the air traffic controllers, on the other hand...

It depends on the project. The particular project I work on is a mixed team of contractors and feds, and I happen to be a fed. Regardless, the contractors are being furloughed along with the feds, since the contracting companies won't be able to bill the government during the shutdown. And no, I will not be getting paid unless Congress decides to back-pay. And with the Republicans in power, I doubt that's going to happen.

Re:I only wish... (2, Funny)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743464)

Yes, my work on automation software flight plan management for the FAA is very oppressive to you. Douchebag.

This function could just as well be performed by the private sector, more efficiently, and by people who do not regard their paymasters as douchebags. Welcome to the real world.

Re:I only wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743578)

Yes, all airspace should have multiple air traffic control systems that airplanes can choose between in real time, rather than this statist, authoritarian "Federal Aviation Administration". That sounds like a recipe for efficiency and success!

Re:I only wish... (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743646)

Yes, my work on automation software flight plan management for the FAA is very oppressive to you. Douchebag.

This function could just as well be performed by the private sector, more efficiently, and by people who do not regard their paymasters as douchebags. Welcome to the real world.

No, not really. Basically there are two ways this goes down in government:
1.) Pay Oracle, Boeing, Lockheed, etc. to build it for millions and millions of dollars, then millions more to maintain the godawful piece of VB garbage, or
2.) Retain control of the project with competent leaders, do it right, and save money both on the initial product, as well as on the support that's likely to last decades

Believe it or not, feds are generally the people who used to work in the private sector on the contract side, but were deemed too important to lose and thus offered a federal position.

Also, I do not regard my paymaster (my boss) as a douchebag. I regard you specifically as a douchebag.

Re:I only wish... (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743886)

You think your DMV of the sky is so great only because you are not capable of imagining an alternative.

As a taxpayer, I am paying you. I am your boss. Call me a douchebag if you wish.

Re:I only wish... (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744242)

You think your DMV of the sky is so great only because you are not capable of imagining an alternative.

As a taxpayer, I am paying you. I am your boss. Call me a douchebag if you wish.

Imagining a thing does not make it so

Re:I only wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743958)

Glad to see the government will be giving you exactly what you deserve, then. If you need a hand however, I may have a couple bags of bottles and cans you could take to recycling.

Re:I only wish... (1)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744264)

Hold on a sec, is the FAA shutting down if they don't figure this out? My grandfather has to fly home to Massachusetts from Texas on Saturday. Would he be stuck there? Serious question, because he really can't support himself if he gets stuck out there.....

Re:I only wish... (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743490)

Here's a handy little tip for you. As long as you are able to complain about being oppressed by a government in a public forum, you aren't.

Re:I only wish... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744070)

Why would a totalitarian government need to do anything about people complaining, when no-one cares?

Re:I only wish... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743586)

it was permanent. This shutdown only brings a temporary respite to the oppression the American people suffer at the hands of it's own government.

Oh, yes, the American people are so oppressed. Maybe you should go live in the Middle East, or China, or Nigeria or any other place that the people really are oppressed. The sad thing is that the American people are so narcissistic that they think they are oppressed when they have more freedom and autonomy than most anywhere else on the planet.

The threat is way overblown... (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743280)

The federal shutdown is only affecting 800,000 employees out of a few million uniformed servicemen, civilian employees and contractors. I would be surprised if it's even 25% of the federal workforce.

What this shutdown means is that until the budget goes through, the feds aren't buying any new toys and those considered "non-essential" to the mission of their agency (or department, in some cases) will be treated like dead weight.

Ironically, this would be an excellent time for an audit of the federal labor force and contracts to see who should be permanently let go and/or have their contract torn up.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (2)

stoat (125788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743328)

This, out of the 30 something federal workers I work with 1 will be furloughed. I guess you could call us mission critical, we work on an airfield that supports 0 aircraft. I would lowball half of federal workers could be eliminated with 0 consequences to the government (probably more like 80%).

Re:The threat is way overblown... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743666)

That explains why you have time to post on slashdot ;-)

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743846)

This, out of the 30 something federal workers I work with 1 will be furloughed. I guess you could call us mission critical, we work on an airfield that supports 0 aircraft.

I would lowball half of federal workers could be eliminated with 0 consequences to the government (probably more like 80%).

So, you willing accept a federal subsidy for doing no work? At least poor people admit they are on government welfare.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744266)

Bullshit.

This stems from the mentality that the military is our #1 priority and we can't let any of them go.

I work at a federal agency with about 500 employees, and there are only 6 classified as "essential" with another 5 listed as "intermittent/as needed" meaning about 1 hour of work a day.

Break out your number to federal-military and federal-non-military. Civilian employees and contractors to the DoD being classified as federal-military, whether or not they wear a uniform.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743354)

FYI - Those of us who have to work (including warfighters in harms way) will stop getting pay checks until appropriations are made again. (http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011/) Feds who have to work will get back pay. Congress will have to decide if the non-exempted Feds will.

Also, most contractors will not be paid. It depends on the type of contract, but the vast majority will go home without hope of a pay check until this is over.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743374)

Also those millions of uniformed service members, including those in war zones, won't get paid until congress agrees to some form of budget or continuing resolution. It's generally not a good idea, in any form of government, to not pay your large standing army while asking them to continue to fight. Do that long enough and they'll solve "what needs to be cut" from your budget real quick.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (2)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743438)

It's generally a good idea, in any form of government, to not have large standing army.

Fixed that for you.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (4, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743500)

Essential reading:

http://www.constitution.org/afp/brutus10.htm [constitution.org]

The liberties of a people are in danger from a large standing army, not only because the rulers may employ them for the purposes of supporting themselves in any usurpations of power, which they may see proper to exercise, but there is great hazard, that an army will subvert the forms of the government, under whose authority, they are raised, and establish one, according to the pleasure of their leader.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (4, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743420)

800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?

Re:The threat is way overblown... (-1, Troll)

JD770 (1227350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743570)

800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?

Actually? No, it is not a serious issue. 800,000 GOVT employees *not working* is status quo, is it not?

Re:The threat is way overblown... (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743640)

Actually? No, it is not a serious issue. 800,000 GOVT employees *not working* is status quo, is it not?

I know plenty of federal workers, and believe me, most of them are not like your local DMV stereotype. You may disagree about the government doing certain kinds of work, but the majority of federal workers I know seem to work at least as hard as their private industry counterparts.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744002)

Actually? No, it is not a serious issue. 800,000 GOVT employees *not working* is status quo, is it not?

I know plenty of federal workers, and believe me, most of them are not like your local DMV stereotype.

Do people say stuff like the GP to federal workers?

I work for the British government, and we don't have anything like the "DMV stereotype" here. It would be quite dispiriting if there was a general assumption that I was lazy, incompetent and a leech on the rest of society.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (4, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743682)

Actually? No, it is not a serious issue. 800,000 GOVT employees *not working* is status quo, is it not?

You know, I get really fucking sick of this attitude. I can't tell if you're joking or not, but [rant mode on].

I used to be a Fed working for an Inspector's General office (as an IT guy), which recovered funds to the tune of FOUR TIMES our operating expenses/budget by performing financial criminal fraud/audit investigations. Yes, we paid for ourselves 3 times over. I went to the office every day and WORKED like any other private worker. So did my auditor and investigator co-workers.

Hell, I do LESS work/have more downtime now as a programmer at a small, privately-held IT company than I did as a Fed.

I still have friends at that office (6 years later) and they'll pretty much ALL be furloughed due to a shutdown. So yeah, this does affect real, normal people with families and bills to pay.

You obviously don't get it (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744072)

800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?

They're on unpaid leave, likely for a few weeks. I know this may come as a shock to a lot of slashdotters, but federal employees and contractors are substantially better paid than the national average. If they can't survive for a few weeks while Congress sorts this mess out, then they deserve it.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (5, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743826)

The federal shutdown is only affecting 800,000 employees out of a few million uniformed servicemen, civilian employees and contractors. I would be surprised if it's even 25% of the federal workforce.

What this shutdown means is that until the budget goes through, the feds aren't buying any new toys and those considered "non-essential" to the mission of their agency (or department, in some cases) will be treated like dead weight.

Ironically, this would be an excellent time for an audit of the federal labor force and contracts to see who should be permanently let go and/or have their contract torn up.

Of course such an audit would be performed by the same "non-essential" employees that just got furloughed. Also a shutdown has nothing to do with the fed buying new toys. The military and homeland security are the ones that gets all of those new toys and their budgets are still in place. No, what it means is that the government lays off a bunch of employees, quits paying contractors, quits making transfers to state budgets for federal grants, quits accepting new people into social security, quits processing passport requests and stuff like that. All of those things combined are just a fraction of the budget, but impact real people's lives.. The forced shutdown is a symbolic gesture, made by those who won't be impacted by it.

Congress has one main job right now -- to come up with a budget for a fiscal year that are half way through. If they can't do it, then maybe they should look towards themself with regards to non-essential personnel.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (2)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743852)

Even if the shutdown was only a week, that would mean all armed services personnel would see only half their regular pay on their next paycheck. While it's true that the US government has always covered back pay after a shut down, that won't do anything to help the individuals and families that are counting on their normal amount of income this month to pay current bills and for everyday needs.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743856)

>considered "non-essential" to the mission of their agency
uhm, somehow I doubt you're a federal employee. At my location, we have 80+ people, only 3 are required to be here without pay. Also if the government is shutdown, employees on travel status, must immediately return (once a budget is passed, generally they are immediately sent back)

you should see this table: http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp

currently there are 2x more civilian employees(2,774,000 total) than there are military; probably 95% or better will be told to not show up on Monday.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744112)

That depends on what you mean by "affecting". Every one of those "few million uniformed servicemen" will be getting half pay for the duration. The civilian employees and contrators will be getting no pay for their work.

All of them can hope to get back pay when the shutdowns ends (if the teabaggers don't block it), but I doubt their mortgage and utility companies shut down their billing during the interim.

Anyone who thinks this is no big deal wasn't paying attention the last time the Republicans pulled this stunt.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744146)

consider the fact that a Fed shutdown will also necessarily shut down certain services like ICE prosecuting attorney offices (like the DAs for immigration) and the Immigration Courts themselves. that's major. a shutdown prevents the immigration system from doing its job, identifying people who should not be present in the US and deporting them, and also identifying those who have genuine claims to asylum or other valid reasons for being allowed to stay.

or the fact that without the EPA, a good number of Fed construction projects will have to be put on hold. like that new courthouse downtown that's so desperately needed to handle additional cases. or that highway maintenance and expansion needed in the face of additional traffic and/or crumbling infrastructure.

it's not "just 800,000 employees". thinking such reflects simplistic binary thinking to a much more complex problem.

Re:The threat is way overblown... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744208)

I know someone about to be furloughed who works for the DoD. He does auditing. A non-essential position apparently.

chosen ones, royals; holycost profitseize revealed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743300)

reviled? whatever? it's going to cost us (our lives?)? for failing to believe, again, & again.... the book plays out badly for everyone involved, except for the top royals & minions, who get to rule over whoever survives the 'judgement day' (looks like years/decades of 'days' fraught with anguish, death, debt & despair), as it was written, by them. .5billion, here we come. yikes?

spys like us?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDVt_hSo_EU&NR=1

do not dismay. the genuine native american elders rising bird of prey leadership initiative (teepeeleaks etchings) has anticipated our plight, & are willing (for their own sake) to participate in our reclamation.

if we disarmed, & gathered closer to home, then could not egov.gov continue to service us unimpeded?

not too late to avoid becoming unproven/dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743594)

there's always hope, in this case hope, & the truth, are being fatally challenged by fear & deception, so even fear of getting hurt/killed doesn't really help. survival is instinctive. fear is a manufactured & contagious WMD (body, mind & spirit).

Not Midnight Friday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743390)

They mean at the end of the day Friday which is midnight Saturday. Midnight is the first moment of a new day. That is why it it 12:00 *am* or *00:00* hours.

Re:Not Midnight Friday (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743756)

They mean at the end of the day Friday which is midnight Saturday. Midnight is the first moment of a new day. That is why it it 12:00 *am* or *00:00* hours.

I'm sure you can cite an official standard telling to which day midnight belongs?

Re:Not Midnight Friday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744104)

He can't, but I can. ISO 8601 states that midnight may be used either way: in this case, the shutdown begins at "2011-04-08T24:00-04" or at "2011-04-09T00:00-04" (assuming that they mean DC's time zone).

These are two different representations of the same moment in time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601

Shutdown my ass (0)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743518)

If there's a shutdown, why are we all still be paying taxes? It's kind of laughable how there are so many services deemed "essential" that will continue to be working. I wonder if people will even notice this shutdown. Somehow I really doubt this will cause the end of the world.

Re:Shutdown my ass (0)

Raven_Stark (747360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743836)

Do you at least get paid for being a Koch sucker or are you just in it for the humiliation and smegma?

Re:Shutdown my ass (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743972)

Nice website, bro.

Do your Government masters pay you to make snide comments? Or are you the one who is really employed by them, trying out a bit of reverse psychology? I await your insightful response.

What is the news here again? (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743544)

Given that a shutdown means that work deemed non-essential will not go on, I'm struggling to see how a story about how web sites delivering non-essential services won't be updated is a headline of note.

Re:What is the news here again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743780)

Wait, we send non-essential workers home and we don't pay them? This sounds like a wonderful idea. This should be the permanent state of government.

Can i get an explanation...? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743748)

I want to know, did something happen that the government wants to shut down all internet website.....is this like a getting ready for something type move....like some reason why they do not want to be stuck with websites all together....???
If anyone has links or info on why this would be their move...please share.

Approved Budgets? (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743918)

From TFA:

"Herndon, Va.-based Xceedium counts numerous federal agencies among its customers, and Ammon said, 'We have customers that are prohibited from purchasing anything until they get an approved budget.'"

What a horrible thing to have happen! Getting an approved budget before you purchase something? What is our government putting its poor employees through!

Re:Approved Budgets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743942)

Poor, poor, pitiful Democrats. Can't figure out how to buy votes without a budget anymore, can they?

IRS is NOT a govt. agency!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743932)

The IRS is a private company that collects taxes for the US govt. It is just like the Federal Reserve, which is a private company that prints money for the US govt. They are no more federal than Federal Express, even though the red, white & blue trucks fool alot of people. This article implies (be it by design or ignorance) that the IRS is part of the govt. NOT TRUE! They're just a big, powerful "collection agency" that constantly garnishes your wages.

Ok, stop paying taxes... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744122)

Instead, begin gather volunteers to fulfill a mission of the government you fell qualified to fill and begin to accept donations. Optionally in bitcoins
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