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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the cold-turkey-is-delicious dept.

United States 1144

The partial government shut-down that the U.S. is experiencing right now is about to enter its second week. Various government functions and services have been disrupted (including some web sites, whether it's a good idea or not), and lots of workers on the Federal payroll have been furloughed. But since the U.S. government is involved in so many aspects of modern American life, you don't have to work for the government to be affected by the budget politics at play. So, whether or not you work for the government in any capacity, the question we'd like to hear your answer to is this: What does the shutdown mean to you, in practical terms, whether the effects are good, bad, or indifferent?

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How I see it... (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 10 months ago | (#45053883)

I work at McChord AFB (Joint Base Lewis McChord). The last âoefurloughâ, I did not work and so was not paid. They spread the days out such that you could not get unemployment. As well, we could not use earned leave (even though that's my leave which they must pay me for anyway).

This time around, I was classified as a âoemission essentialâ employee, so I have to work or lose my job. But I will be paid retroactively, and not until the budget is passed. So again, no pay and because I am working, no unemployment or other low income services.

The thing is, for some reason a lot of people think that Federal employees all make six figures. It isn't so. The vast majority make $50,000 or less. I'm not complaining about my pay scale. But having lost around $2500 in savings with the last âoefurloughâ, my accounts are a bit thin.

I wonder if my landlord and the electric company will take âoeretroactiveâ payments? I suspect not. As my wife has MS, we are a single income family. And again, I'm not complaining about my pay rate, I took this job, no one twisted my arm. Fortunatly for me, I have a large family that will pitch in and help me out. Others are not so fortunate, this will hurt a lot of worker bees.

The only good thing out of this is that the Republicans â" most of whom would vote to end this if Boehner would allow a vote â" are slitting their own throats because they are scared of a minority of Tea Baggers. Next election, the House will belong to the Democrats, and the Tea Baggers will return home frothing at the mouth. Good for them.

The republicans have *always* relied on the votes of the stupid, by telling them that they (the Republicans - the greedy business elite) are just like them and are on their side. Now their dupes are the govt-haters who don't want to pay their taxes. Not long ago it was the bible thumpers and Jesus lovers, who hoped the "moral" Republicans would put down those pinko atheist Democrats. Before that, before they changed their name, the Republicans were âoeSouthern Democratsâ who yelled "The niggers are taking over and want to marry your lily-white daughter." The Republican politicians are just careerists who take money from the elite in order to remain in office. *Their* goal is power and the perks.

Re:How I see it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053949)

So your thesis is that by slitting their throats, the Republicans will get all the power and the perks.

Someone should let the Democrats know the way to win is to suicide faster than their opponents.

Liberal strategy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053969)

What you are seeing is the liberal's strategy for staying in power. Get as many people as possible dependent on the government. Then nobody dare oppose them or they will threaten to take away the government teat like what is happening right now. Obamacare is their attempt to get the majority of the population dependent on government for medical care. Imagine the power they will wield when they can threaten to shut down the government and take away your health care.

Re: Liberal strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054281)

Well put.

Re:Liberal strategy (1, Flamebait)

Ferretman (224859) | about 10 months ago | (#45054313)

This man isn't a troll; he's spot on accurate.

Ferret

Re: Liberal strategy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054315)

So government that helps people is evil?
I don't want your government.

Re:How I see it... (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 10 months ago | (#45053999)

This time around, I was classified as a "mission essential" employee, so I have to work or lose my job. But I will be paid retroactively, and not until the budget is passed. So again, no pay and because I am working, no unemployment or other low income services.

My sister works at Madigan Hospital (which is part of JBLM), and is in the same situation - working with the promise of retroactive pay. If the shutdown is short, it's not a huge deal... but if it drags on, I wonder if her bank will defer her mortgage payments? Likely not...

The son of a friend is a civilian helicopter mechanic attached to the base. He isn't "essential", so he's currently not working and not bringing in income.

Long story short - it doesn't affect me directly, but it is having significant negative impact on people I care about.

Re:How I see it... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054075)

FYI, the Republicans in the house passed FOUR funding bills before the shutdown, which allocated more money than was spent last year. The ball's in the democrat's court.

Re:How I see it... (2, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45054293)

One turd, four turds, what's the difference?

Re:How I see it... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054305)

FYI, the Republicans in the house passed FOUR funding bills before the shutdown, which allocated more money than was spent last year. The ball's in the democrat's court.

The Republicans rejected 18 requests to discuss the budget. The Democrats compromised to fund the govt. at sequester levels. Shutting down the government or making it default is not the way to fight a constitutional law. Back to you Republicans.

Re:How I see it... (2, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about 10 months ago | (#45054185)

and the democrats are also feeding the fat cats. Medicare actuaries say "obamacare" will RAISE the health care costs for average family of four by over $7K from 2014 to 2022. quite a bit different from Honest Obe's lie of saving $2500 per year, isn't it?

Therefore, I have no problem with some theatrics, so it is clear who supported this healthcare fiasco which will go down in flames. the Republicans are going down in flames for their past actions, now let's let the Democrats self-destruct. we need a reset

Re:How I see it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054235)

and the democrats are also feeding the fat cats. Medicare actuaries say "obamacare" will RAISE the health care costs for average family of four by over $7K from 2014 to 2022. quite a bit different from Honest Obe's lie of saving $2500 per year, isn't it?

Therefore, I have no problem with some theatrics, so it is clear who supported this healthcare fiasco which will go down in flames. the Republicans are going down in flames for their past actions, now let's let the Democrats self-destruct. we need a reset

[Citation Needed]

Re:How I see it... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054359)

Citation [wikipedia.org]

Re:How I see it... (1)

epl692 (1441065) | about 10 months ago | (#45054261)

and the democrats are also feeding the fat cats. Medicare actuaries say "obamacare" will RAISE the health care costs for average family of four by over $7K from 2014 to 2022. quite a bit different from Honest Obe's lie of saving $2500 per year, isn't it?

Therefore, I have no problem with some theatrics, so it is clear who supported this healthcare fiasco which will go down in flames. the Republicans are going down in flames for their past actions, now let's let the Democrats self-destruct. we need a reset

Hey guys, I have a great idea... lets not compromise with anyone, run the budget over a cliff, and then blame the other guys! also, I am looking forward to the higher rates, I ALWAYS love paying more for healthcare. *eyeroll*

Re:How I see it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054297)

You are kidding right. The Trustees report on Medicare say nothing about ACA.

http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/index.html?redirect=/reportstrustfunds/

Re:How I see it... (-1, Flamebait)

jp_452 (2886149) | about 10 months ago | (#45054247)

The republicans have *always* relied on the votes of the stupid, by telling them that they (the Republicans - the greedy business elite) are just like them and are on their side.

Way to demonize the voting base (employed white males) who pay for your fucking salary and medical care.

You need to be fired immediately. I hope your wife suffers while she dies shitting herself.

Re:How I see it... (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 10 months ago | (#45054277)

Hang in there and hope you (and the others) get through it ok.

Re:How I see it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054285)

So this has affected you before, and you still weren't smart enough to set some money aside? I don't think you have anyone to blame but yourself.

More mods as censors (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45054289)

It looks like biased mods are acting as censors again. Why was the PP rated down? Some mod didn't like his opinion? What else could explain it.

As a non-American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053895)

... it only affects me by having too many stories about it on /.

Re: As a non-American... (1)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 10 months ago | (#45053935)

As an American is see too much also.

Indifferent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053899)

Life goes on in the rest of the world...

Telemarketers (5, Interesting)

Chris Dodd (1868704) | about 10 months ago | (#45053903)

Well, I've subjectively seen one effect -- a huge spike in the number of telemarker calls I've received in the past week, apparently due to no longer being able to report them to the DO NOT CALL registry (which is shutdown due to the gov't shutdown).

It's terrible here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053907)

I did not receive my government cheese and hot grits ration.

What exactly is the point of the furlough anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053911)

Since congress already voted to pay all furloughed workers for the days they missed, what is exactly the point of not having them come into work anymore? Now they basically get a free paid vacation. If the taxpayer is on the hook for their salaries, they should be doing their jobs.

Re:What exactly is the point of the furlough anymo (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 10 months ago | (#45053939)

Well, paid-vacation with the chance of not being able to pay your bills and maybe losing your apartment or home or car or other things which will seriously mess with their lives and well-being, if their full paychecks are delayed long enough. Just because they'll eventually get paid doesn't mean that they wouldn't be negatively impacted in the meantime, if they are in a position that forces them to live paycheck to paycheck.

Of course, I would fucking hope the average person has saved enough money to cover one month's worth of expenses just for an emergency.

Re:What exactly is the point of the furlough anymo (4, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | about 10 months ago | (#45054339)

"Of course, I would fucking hope the average person has saved enough money to cover one month's worth of expenses just for an emergency."

ROFL. You seem to be seriously out of touch with "average". The AVERAGE person lives paycheck to paycheck and can't pay every bill every month, the AVERAGE person knows how far behind you have to be with company x before they shut off service.

Re: What exactly is the point of the furlough anym (1)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 10 months ago | (#45053955)

They get paid later, time/money thing. Seriously, it is just more posturing like the other times.

Re:What exactly is the point of the furlough anymo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054029)

All us contractors who are also furloughed will not be getting our pay when a budget is eventually passed. Same with all the cafeteria workeers, etc at those agencies. At some agencies, us contractors outnumber the government employees.

the Dems (Senate) and pres refused that, only hous (0, Troll)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45054045)

"Congress" did not vote to do that, any more than Congress passed a budget. The republican controlled house voted to do that, but they also passed a full budget, voted to re-open parks, etc. The Senate democrats and refused to consider any of those bills and the president said he'd veto it anyway

The president has said he won't so much as discuss anything until he gets exactly the bill he wants, with only his changes to Obamacare, so everything that's been voted on is only by the house republicans, it's not law. (Except paying military troops.)

Re:the Dems (Senate) and pres refused that, only h (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#45054101)

The president has said he won't so much as discuss anything until he gets exactly the bill he wants, with only his changes to Obamacare...

So what you're saying is, the entire shutdown is his decision and his responsibility. I hope everybody who voted for him remembers this when the 2014 elections come around.

to be clear, Obama "I will not negotiate", then (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45054141)

I should be 100% clear about exactly what Obama said and when.
Three days ago he said "I will not negotiate". When that polled very badly, it changed to I am willing to negotiate after they pass a "clean" bill - one with no changes other than the ones Obama asked for. In other words, "give me everything I want, then I'll take your phone call".

Re:to be clear, Obama "I will not negotiate", then (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054207)

In other words, 'we had a year to come up with a budget and you decided to wait until the last minute and blackmail the rest of the government to get your way. If I give in to that, this crap will never end...guess I can't negotiate." Your POV is a little skewed.

Re:to be clear, Obama "I will not negotiate", then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054341)

Who didn't take the call the 18 times this year when the Dems asked the Reps to discuss the budget? The Dems already agreed to a lower budget than they originally wanted.

Re:What exactly is the point of the furlough anymo (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#45054215)

Since congress already voted to pay all furloughed workers for the days they missed, what is exactly the point of not having them come into work anymore?

Er... have you been reading the news haven't you? OK, I'll explain.

It's never been about saving money. The GOP wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but doesn't have the votes in the Senate to do it, much less override the veto that would inevitably provoke.

So plan B was to take funding for implementing ACA out of the budget. But they don't have the votes to do that either.

Now when you are arguing over the budget, you still have to keep things running; soldiers and air traffic controllers have to be paid. But the president doesn't have the constitutional power to spend money; he has to spend what Congress tells him to spend, neither more nor less (a lot of Americans don't seem to understand this). He has a lot of influence over the budget, but ultimately Congress has the power of the purse.

So what Congress does when it can't resolve its budget differences on time is pass something called a "continuing resolution". It pretty much says "continue on as you were under the last budget for so many days or until we hash this out." Congress is behind on its budget work so, it's time for a continuing resolution.

What the House Republicans tried to do was slip the budget stuff they didn't have the votes to pass into the continuing resolution. When the Senate stripped that stuff out and sent the CR back to the House, the Republican leadership refused to bring the CR to a vote until their demands were met. Those demands have been a moving target, running from a long laundry list of priorities (including stuff like the Keystone pipeline), to anything that will allow them to claim victory. Boehner has also floated a cut of a certain size to yet-to-be-named budget items as a condition, but this was precisely the gambit that was tried in 2011. Those cuts never materialized, triggering the sequestration cuts across the board this year, including defense. That's not very credible. So the only way the House Republicans come out of this with something that looks like a victory would be to get ACA de-funded, which is not going to happen.

The House Republicans are technically within their rights not to bring an continuing resolution to the floor, but they're using it to undermine the Constitution. They don't have the votes to get what they want, nor have they anything offer in exchange that will persuade anyone else to vote with them, so they're trying to *compel* the Senate to vote the way they want by shutting down the government.

Honestly, it feels like final years of the Roman Republic, when wealthy, ambitious men competed to carve power bases for themselves out of what had been offices of service to the Republic. Crassus Boehner, anyone?

Now they basically get a free paid vacation. If the taxpayer is on the hook for their salaries, they should be doing their jobs.

I agree with you. They should be back at their jobs, and being paid on payday as usual (you do know that essential employees aren't getting paid). But that's not going to happen until one side or another cracks under the political pressure. Already the US Chamber of Commerce is wading in with promises of primary support to Republicans who vote for a clean CR.

What does the shutdown mean to ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053913)

It means that I come to /. reading political rants rather than IT stories.

Only partial shut down at this point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053917)

about half the the people directly affected are already back to work on Monday. most the people still not working are those jobs that affect the everyday american. parks and rec, science and technology, education. the military industrial complex has been protected. So.. ummm. my point.

The Killing will continue until moral improves.

Distracting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053919)

The news is harder to have sex to when they start talking in that low drone and saying things like debt cieling 11 days away from the world exploding

Aspirational terms. (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 10 months ago | (#45053927)

In aspirational terms, the time the government is shut down is money in my tax-payer pocket.

In actual terms, the time the government is shut down is time that the people not working during it will be back-payed for it and -- at best -- my tax-payer pocket will be pilfered just as much. At worst, all the sensational bullshit of this event will be used to justify taking even *more* out of my tax-payer pocket.

So, really, the only way it impacts me is that either absolutely nothing changes or things get slightly financially worse, but they were headed that way anyway, so whatever.

Re:Aspirational terms. (1, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45053981)

Or we could just shut down government entirely, looters will take ALL the money out of your "tax-payer pocket", long-term (i.e. high risk) research will come to a stand-still, and America will reach the Somalian dream.

Re:Aspirational terms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054081)

So, like France. Or California.

Re:Aspirational terms. (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45054171)

Wait... are you saying that living in France/California is like living in Somalia? Is this how religious people really think?

Re:Aspirational terms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054257)

Learn to read.

What he said is that America is on a path in general to be like California or France, both of which are icons of his purported Somali dream.

Re:Aspirational terms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053987)

Huh?

Speaking as a non-American... (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45053943)

...I've been affected by the way that the "leader of the free world" has once again demonstrated its disdain for democracy: if the right wing don't like something passed by representatives of the people, it seems they can just deny everything else. If I can't keep a few million of you in desperation, FUCK YOU I'M TAKING MY BALL HOME, &c.

I look forward to my country following this awful example.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (0, Troll)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 10 months ago | (#45054017)

Please note that the "right-wingers" got into congress by BEING ELECTED, by voters who support what they're doing. And even the left-wingers who are trying to bankrupt the country weren't elected by much more than 52% of whatever minor fraction of the population turned out to vote.

I realize that SlashDot is predominantly peopled by lefties who believe that the Federal Government SHOULD exercise the sorts of imperial power by decree that Barack Obama is doing - but the population of the American people is split pretty much right down the middle on this.

Obama is trying mightily to make everybody feel the pain of his displeasure - but that's not how a representative republic works.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (3, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45054069)

Please note that the "right-wingers" got into congress by BEING ELECTED

Yeah. And I've never seen a functional representative democracy in which a majority vote can be overridden by simply putting the whole government on hold until the minority gets its way. It's a childish, undemocratic waste of resources.

And even the left-wingers who are trying to bankrupt the country

Yes yes selling off government to the military-industrial complex and short-term profiteering form the long-term solution to medium-term budget problems. The problem is quite simply that the government currently belongs to the private sector, rather than working on behalf of the people. This should be a problem whether you're on the left or the right.

I realize that SlashDot is predominantly peopled by lefties who believe that the Federal Government SHOULD exercise the sorts of imperial power by decree

You misspelled "democratic" as "imperial".

Obama is trying mightily to make everybody feel the pain of his displeasure

Yeah, this one guy hates you alllll and wants to make you feel bad because.. because... oh he's just PURE EVIL :'(.

Christ, I couldn't stand GWB (and don't like Obama that much more), but I didn't invent sadistic fantasies that he just wanted to "make everybody feel the pain of his displeasure". And I can even grin and bear admitting that GWB was almost democratically elected.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (3, Insightful)

OhPlz (168413) | about 10 months ago | (#45054245)

Yeah. And I've never seen a functional representative democracy in which a majority vote can be overridden by simply putting the whole government on hold until the minority gets its way. It's a childish, undemocratic waste of resources.

Have you already forgotten how the "affordable" healthcare act got voted into law? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't a shining example of democracy in action. There was blatant bribery where one state was gifted special benefits to purchase a yea vote on the bill. Others were pushed out of congress through scandals which may or may not have been fabricated. The legislation itself was never fully available so that we could even know what was up for vote. The vote itself was pushed time and time again until the outcome was assured. Heck, they even kept the legislature in DC during the winter break so that legislators wouldn't go home and hear directly from the people. A major bill like this, getting voted through with not one vote from the opposite party all but ensured something like this would happen. What the GOP is doing is no worse than what the dems had to do to pass it in the first place.

Yeah, this one guy hates you alllll and wants to make you feel bad because.. because... oh he's just PURE EVIL :'(.

Worse, I think he truly believes he's doing the best thing for us.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (3, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45054301)

There was blatant bribery where one state was gifted special benefits to purchase a yea vote on the bill.

Evidence beyond reasonable doubt - e.g. conviction in court of law, please. Evidence that your allegations, if true, would have made a difference.

Others were pushed out of congress through scandals which may or may not have been fabricated.

"Something bad may have happened but I have no evidence for it."

The legislation itself was never fully available so that we could even know what was up for vote.

Sorry, what? Are you claiming that your representatives didn't have the full text of primary legislation available, or that secondary legislation is left to the executive (which is standard for all lawmaking)?

The vote itself was pushed time and time again until the outcome was assured.

What do you mean by this? That the legislation was modified until enough people were happy with it? IOW standard legislative process?

Heck, they even kept the legislature in DC during the winter break so that legislators wouldn't go home and hear directly from the people.

What do you actually mean by this? Define "kept".

A major bill like this, getting voted through with not one vote from the opposite party all but ensured something like this would happen.

"The opposite party". Way to declare your enjoyment for two-party politics. It was passed. Nobody forced people to vote Democrat, and nobody forced the elected Congresscritters to vote in favour of the bill.

What the GOP is doing is no worse than what the dems had to do to pass it in the first place.

"HE STARTED IT!" Grow the fuck up.

Here's your problem: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054299)

"Yeah. And I've never seen a functional representative democracy in which a majority vote can be overridden....

The United States was very explicitly NOT created as a Democracy. It's not designed to be a democracy. Many decades of pushing by Democrats has made it closer and closer to a democracy, but it is not one and hopefully never will be one. A Democracy is just formalized mob rule (the results of all arguments are exactly the same as with a mob: the majority gets its absolute will over the minority and whatever the majority wants is "right"). The United States was designed as a Republic with Democratic elections; The American government is designed to get all jammed-up whenever a majority tries to run rough-shod over a minority and part of this design is that a President must go to the house of the people to get the money he wants to spend. The American government is designed to only run smoothly when an overwhelming majority of the population agrees on something (Like WWII or building an interstate highway system). The Democrats put maximum strain into the system when they used a pure party-line action to force the takeover of 1/6th of the economy even though about half of the population did not want it. They Locked their opponents out of the rooms with physical locks so that, to this very day, we do not know what was said in the negotiations over the health INSURANCE take-over, and we do not even know the names and affiliations of the lobbyists, lawyers, staffers, and campaign contributors who were in the room. When Republicans have asked for even a list of names of negotiators, the Democrats have said "Sorry, we don't remember"

Barack Obama seems to think he is above the Constitution. He tried declaring the Senate in Recess and appointing people without confirmations (The courts ruled he violated the Constitution and invalidated his appointments, he is ignoring the courts on this and his behavior is now in another court) and Now he is claiming that he has no need to talk to or negotiate with congress for the money he wants to borrow and spend. He is quite simply WRONG. Obamabots who disagree and want to rage in favor of this tyrant, ought to try actually READING the Constitution first...

In 1787 as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

His Response? “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

 

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054345)

I hope you realize as soon as you say "military-industrial complex" readers interpret your statements as those of a certified nutjob.

Which given your other comments is likely true.

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Re:Speaking as a non-American... (5, Insightful)

Ygorl (688307) | about 10 months ago | (#45054085)

Please note that many of the "right-wingers" got elected by GERRYMANDERING THEIR DISTRICTS, which is why there's a hefty Republican majority in the House despite the fact that a respectable majority of overall House votes went to Democrats. The American people are pretty much split right down the middle in terms of ideology (that respectably majority was respectable, not overwhelming). We are overwhelmingly in favor, however, of not shutting down government, of not having a dysfunctional congress, and of not playing childish hostage games with real consequences just to demonstrate displeasure with a passed law.

Re: Speaking as a non-American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054129)

Demos halved the budget to 998billion at the request of the house speaker all ready. The continuing resolution was a short term funding measure as Republicans have been asked to go to budget conference 19 times since O and the Senate published their budget. To their credit, those republican kids were probably too busy trying to defund ACA 42 times.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (5, Insightful)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 10 months ago | (#45054027)

In US terminology, it's the "left wing" that's voting down the proposed budgets to continue funding the Federal government. But even then, that's really a misnomer.

The Constitution only allows the House to originate bills for spending and taxing - and under the control of the Republican party, they're only originating bills that don't fund Obamacare. The Democrat-controlled Senate and White House are voting down and threatening to veto these budgets, and thus the partial government "shutdown".

I don't like the omnibus budgets, just 30 years ago Congress used to fund the government by "legislation by appropriation", many individual bills voted on individually, instead of all or nothing. But besides this, I rather enjoy the fact that all the arms of government must agree, before money can be taxed and spent, or before someone can be thrown in prison, etc.

Re: Speaking as a non-American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054137)

You win the award for most uninformed vomit on slashdot today. Congrats!

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (3, Informative)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45054153)

Obamacare was already voted by the representatives of the people. Refusing to fund it is ignoring the will of the people.

The monopoly on origination of spending&taxing bills has also been recently abused in the UK by the Commons to stop measures which the one house doesn't like. It's a corruption which could ultimately be used to override nearly any law, because 1) Nearly every measure costs money; 2) the House could just refuse to budget for *anything* in particular until *any* law it doesn't like is repealed.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054283)

At least in the US, that's the intention. And if the House continues to refuse to fund Obamacare, then they'll be voted out just as well as the Senate and the President for failing to fund everything other than Obamacare. Well, that's the theory behind it, anyways. The truth is that (1) most Americans won't vote for a third party candidate, (2) most Americans don't really pay attention to what their own representative actually does, and (3) even if they do bother to act, whoever gets elected in has 2, 4, or 6 years to be a complete fuck-up without any real consequence since there's no process to dissolve Congress and hold new elections and the President is virtually immune to being expelled because no matter what he does, there's invariably too many people in his party in Congress who would be unwilling to kick him out.

At least in the UK there's a process to deal with these issues. Though I think the whole PM role is a bad idea.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 10 months ago | (#45054357)

This looks a bit like Chile. First infiltration. Then parties start abusing the laws and ignoring the social norms that usually restrain them. They will arrest and slowly suspend the other parties candidates from participating, until they get house control. But it all ended in a military coup for some reason.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (1)

issicus (2031176) | about 10 months ago | (#45054077)

As an American the only logical reason I have found for this phenomenon is that if you look at a bell curve of a population's IQ half are stupider then the other half...

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054219)

You blame right-wing but yet they were the ones that agreed to everything else so long as obamacare does not pass which is a ridiculous bill to pass (it will finish off the country once and for all and become a third world nation, no joke), but the liberals don't want to hear about it because they're the ones benefiting from it, not the american people. An American family of 4 has to pay over $1400/mo. for health insurance alone, and if they don't pay that, they pay the fine which is 10% of their salary. There's nothing constitutional about this but yet the liberals forced it into pretending that it is. The majority of Americans do not want obamacare and yet there's this dispute about it. So the "right-wing" have a good reason to be telling them no, and they speak for the majority of the American people.

Re:Speaking as a non-American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054273)

If I can't keep a few million of you in desperation, FUCK YOU I'M TAKING MY BALL HOME

(looks confused) You guys have that kid on your playground, too?

The markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053945)

Stocks and commodities have to be watched closely. The broad market; but especially silver and gold, which have had remarkably low volatility so far.

Otherwise, not a damned thing! I don't depend directly on any Federal thing. I feel sorry for the people that depend on park tourism around here, and all the poor people that *are* directly affected. I'm just happy not to be one of them.

What It Means To Me? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45053959)

Mainly what it means to me is an excellent illustration of how Federal government has gotten WAY too big.

Generally speaking, considering the way our Union was designed, except for foreign trade and defense the Federal government should be able to pretty much shut down for a year, and I would barely even notice.

The fact that it's NOT that way is the whole problem.

Re:What It Means To Me? (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45053997)

The whole problem?

I'd love to send some of these small government fetishists back to the start of the 19th century to see what it really felt like for the average man (or, worse, woman).

Re:What It Means To Me? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45054071)

"I'd love to send some of these small government fetishists back to the start of the 19th century to see what it really felt like for the average man (or, worse, woman)."

Reducing the size of government isn't "turning back the clock". It isn't the 19th Century, and I didn't say anything about reversing laws. My comment was on the size of government, period.

Objective data show a strong correlation between the size of the Federal government and amount of regulation, with an increasingly weakened economy.

Re:What It Means To Me? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 10 months ago | (#45054183)

So you want to maintain laws but not the means needed to implement them?

Wait, no... in the next paragraph you complain about regulation, which is a type of law. What is it you really want?

Re:What It Means To Me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054123)

probably much the same as now - people go on with their lives and earn a living as much as possible while remaining apathetic to politics.

Cheaper gas! (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 10 months ago | (#45053963)

Gas prices are down 30 cents a gallon since the shutdown. I don't care if those lying motherfuckers ever come back.

Re:Cheaper gas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054059)

You seem to think that's a direct result, silly little thing aren't you?

Re:Cheaper gas! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054233)

You seem to think it's not [csmonitor.com] . Ignorant little dumbass, aren't you?

Re:Cheaper gas! (2)

tibman (623933) | about 10 months ago | (#45054351)

It's down because demand is down. As in, a large group of people stopped buying fuel.

The only effect is to take money out of my pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45053989)

Seriously. There is no effect other than the huge waste of money when we pay all these people for not working.

Pointless, wasteful, that's the way we do things in America!

Not much for me except... (1)

mwn3d (2750695) | about 10 months ago | (#45053991)

The only effect it has had on me so far is that I a lot angrier reading my facebook news feed. Misinformation and blaming from both sides. I guess it's a break from freaking baby pictures.

No Ham Radio License (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054007)

I spent a few weeks studying to take a test to obtain an Amateur Radio License. I paid my testing fees and took my test. I passed and ordered a radio. The government shutdown and I won't receive my license until they start back up. It isn't a huge deal just aggravating.

Gas has gotten cheaper (1)

CajunArson (465943) | about 10 months ago | (#45054011)

Re:Gas has gotten cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054155)

As the article explains, that's in part because demand is expected to go down because fewer people are getting paid wages to spend on gas. While it may be nice to have lower prices, it comes at the cost of a significant negative impact on the economy. It's a rather pyrrhic victory if you have to tank the economy to lower prices, but I guess there's a silver lining in every cloud.

Random homicidal moments (5, Insightful)

Orp (6583) | about 10 months ago | (#45054013)

Honestly, the most this whole mess has affected me, a college professor at a state university, is to fill my head with thoughts of taking my bare hands and strangle the life out of some of these yahoos in Washington. I know of many people who have been furloughed, as I am involved in federally funded research and have many colleagues who work under the umbrella of the federal gov't, some of whom have been furloughed, some of whom have not. My thoughts lately are about the looming debt ceiling "crisis" and how perhaps we are truly approaching the moment with the United States of America goes the way of every other superpower the world has ever seen... only we still have nukes and billions of guns. Sadly, if this happens, it will have come from within, not the result of a worthy enemy. And make no mistake about it: Pull away the curtain and this is all the doings of the ultra-rich who are pulling the strings. These people have nothing but pure disdain for the commoners and the poors and do not care that they are playing roulette, since all chambers are loaded and the gun is not pointing at them.

Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054015)

..is what I feel from all this, considering the asshats who are stubbornly causing it are some of the few still getting paid.

Doesn't Affect Me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054051)

My life has been 100% the same. If I didn't hear about it, I wouldn't have noticed a difference whatsoever.

If anything this shutdown has exposed one fact, most of government is "non-essential".

Fire all of the non-essential workers!

Double slap! (1)

DaBombDotCom (1587833) | about 10 months ago | (#45054063)

I work for the government half time and am a graduate student the other half. Of course I am furloughed, but on top of that, all the data for my research comes from NOAA which has shut down all its websites! Basically I am stuck doing diagnostics on data I happen to already have. Just loving my gov't right now....

Re:Double slap! (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 10 months ago | (#45054249)

News to me. [weather.gov] that particular site is a subdomain of the NOAA, seems to be working fine....

Lenny Bruce is not afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054065)

It's the end of the government as we know it
And I feel fine

It crowds out more important news (1, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 10 months ago | (#45054073)

Like which orifice Miley Cyrus is sticking her foam finger up that day.

It should be fine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054083)

I expect nothing to change in my personal life. But I expect that like in the 90s, it will force the president to cut spending.

Deficit driven spending has never proved positive for the US, except in wartime. Mr. Obama needs to recognize his weak hand, and that House Republicans can block him for the rest of his term.

Not at all... YET... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054087)

For the present it doesn't affect me at all. However, tomorrow I start a programming job as a California state ink pisser and it might affect me personally eventually since all states rely upon federal funds although the department I will be working for doesn't receive them.

Popcorn (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#45054089)

I just sit watching the stories eating popcorn seeing another try to power grab at the government. It won't have a happy ending (that would be default in 10 days), so no matter how much noise and blame they spill everywhere, nor the government care about it (the 5 billons they spent the night before [foreignpolicy.com] show how much they really care), nor the opposition, and while that circus happens still more will be invested in what affects me more, like snooping/infiltrating/sabotaging everyone/everything through internet.

And there is just no risk of default (unless they intend to reach it to do an even bigger power grab) because the legislators that don't agree yet will, or else some delicate information around him be disclosed, spying on everyone, even in legislators, have this kind of consequences.

it doesn't affect me... at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054099)

I doubt the politicians will let it go on much longer. They'll soon start to worry that the common morons will figure out how little they actually need most of the government.

It Hasn't (1)

Epicaxia (2773451) | about 10 months ago | (#45054125)

The shutdown has not yet affected me, save to the extent that we can get a heck of a lot more work done without the government contractors constantly throwing spears and interfering with forward movement for the sake of satisfying their own egos. The rest of my industry's getting hammered--NASA in particular--so I know how fortunate I am. Still, I can't help feeling that the shutdown as a whole is experiencing a great deal of hype, and I'm tremendously disappointed in the way which so many officials are doing their best to exaggerate and exacerbate [wikipedia.org] the impacts ("shut down" Twitter feeds, websites, and parks being the three best examples).

The effect has been deleterious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054133)

As a contractor, unlike those civilians who have been promised (and when's the last time congress backpedaled on a promise?) back pay, every day that congress delays in funding the agency that I work for is money out of my pocket. I'm being forced to use what paid vacation time I'd saved thus far (meaning no holiday trips this year, for one thing) and, if I should run out and spend a week without pay, I have the dubious honor of being allowed to claim unemployment. On the plus side, though, I do have jury duty this coming week, and as that's not paid via the contract but through corporate's overhead, I might actually get paid for it--probably the first time anyone's ever treated jury selection like a job interview.

It's effected me about as much as the sequester (2, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#45054143)

It's affected me about as much as the sequester did. Meaning, not at all. And I work for a heavily federally regulated and subsidized industry. My best friends wife works for the the VA and she was told that she was "Critical" and would have to work without pay until the budget was passed. She suggested she felt the flu coming on and suddenly she was getting a paycheck again.

This is all for show. The government quite literally prints money. They don't need a budget, they don't need dept. All of the money they bailed out the banks with was quite literally created out of thin air. We're once again being distracted from the real news. Enjoy the show.

35%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054189)

I work as a land surveyor at a civil engineering firm. NGS is down, which means all the CORS are down, and OPUS is down, and the benchmark locator is down, and VERTCON is down. That's a noticable chunk of my "toolbox" so to speak. Fortunately FEMA is still up, so I can access FIRMettes.

Also, we're working on a project that recieves funding from USDA... the funding is allocated and in the bank already, but right now there's no one in the office to write the checks, so a small rural community has a torn-up road and several holes in the ground just sitting there.

Meh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054195)

the shutdown makes no difference in my life, other than having to listen to a bunch of unemployed gov employees. While I sympathize with them due to the stresses that unemployment can cause, I also believe that 1) If you have been a gov employee long enough, you know that this can happen and could have been prepared for it, and 2) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! that's what you get for choosing to work for a bunch of inept morons who have no interest in your well-being nor a good firm grasp on reality. Seriously, if you are still under the delusion that the folks in DC really give a flying fuck about you, your family or your mortgage, well, enjoy the furlough. Everyone else, move to the private sector.

NSF not writing checks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054221)

Those of us who are funded at least partly by NSF grants are potentially in trouble. For people who have money in their account from an active grant that will last a few months - all the better. For those whose paycheck depends on the next installment from a grant, tough luck. The worst affected will be folks who had payments and grant reviews in progress.

More info @ http://www.nsf.gov./ [www.nsf.gov] The most relevant portions:

Payments: No payments will be made during the shutdown.
Issuance of New Grants and Cooperative Agreements: No new grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded.

Keep it shut down (0, Troll)

hessian (467078) | about 10 months ago | (#45054237)

I need the military.

The rest of government appears to be do-gooder Marxist social programs parasitically piggybacked onto what were originally good ideas.

Let local communities do those now. Cut taxes, cut government, and get us back to Wild West America; it worked better.

Re:Keep it shut down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054307)

> it worked better
Sure, for the tiny minority of folks like you.

NOAA data down (1)

gargeug (1712454) | about 10 months ago | (#45054251)

Attempting to do some basic research for a contract and I need access to geomagnetic data from NOAA and their websites are down. Now I have to wait to see if a fitting function based on historical data works on current real-time data.

Loosing all my NSA friends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054259)

I was talking on the phone and somebody broke in to the phone conversation. It was the NSA surveillance guy and he wanted to borrow some money to pay his rent.

Not me personally... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 10 months ago | (#45054329)

It hasn't affected me personally, but it's hit a lot of my friends who either work for PSNS or are contractors at PSNS, Keyport, or Bangor. The place my wife works has a lot of military/DoD civilian/contractor customers.... so, it'll hit home for us sooner or later. (Thank $DIETY their busy season is over, else it could be even worse.)

It doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45054335)

83% of government is still functioning. The "shutdown" does not affect me because it is not a "shutdown." Some very public services have been shuttered by the Obama administration even though they have funding, just to create as much hardship as possible to whip up hate for Republicans, but even the few Democrats I know see through this (which is why Obama's numbers are plummeting despite the media's transparent attempts to deflect blame).

Clinton was called "slick willie" because he was successful at deflecting blame. Obama, on the other hand, is as sticky as his velcro hairdo.

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