9:12 am, May 30, 2015

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  • FedUp
    Gov-K
    Since Federal employees are viewed as some type of parasite that feeds off the taxpayer, maybe Feds should stop giving it back. Stop spending their money in mom & pop's, local business, and etc. For the most part, every dime I have ever made with the Government has gone to the community business. The local gas station, grocery store, auto repair shop and etc. "I'm sorry your restaurant closed, and you had to lay off your employee's, but you felt I was overpaid or some type of thief that was stealing from you." "For years I supported your business, made sure your National Park was running and open - you know the one - where your family gathered for every reunion, the Federal highway you drove on to get there...When I have no money to spend, you have no business to run. Federal employee's should stay home and relax on their furlough day. You can't spend what you don't have. Who's crying now?
    Gov-K
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Fed Spending
    contrarian
    Anybody counting on my business to support them is in trouble already. Yes I will be cutting back even more. The best suggestion from yesterday was to stop TSP contributions. But, I can't recommend lowering them below 5% because of the match.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Tough Decisions No Doubt
    Rob
    It looks like ordinary citizens are faced with tough decisions on what to cut from their budget. I personally think reducing or stopping TSP contributions should be a last resort. There are many ways to afford putting food on the table, however there's only one way to pay for retirement and that's to save.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Rob and Contrarian
    Moderate
    Rob, I agree with you here. Since My pension plan is CSRS, I do not depend on TSP. It is strictly a supplement to be used if and when needed. FERS people depend on the TSP, I think. Contrarian, I know you do not like the limitations, but be careful. Make sure you have enough for a comfortable retirement. You know your needs better than anyone.
    worker
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  • Re. FedUp
    2ManyYears
    Sadly, this will become a reality for many, especially in fed-heavy cities. Fringe businesses who depend on feds patronizing their diners for breakfast and lunch, newstands, Mom & Pop convenience stores, will all feel the pinch when the foot traffic slows down. Not to mention home improvement projects (one of which I have cancelled and decided to tackle myself) and other big dollar expeditures that some of us will forego to ensure our bills remain current. These furloughs will take belt tightening to a whole new level for some!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • FedUP
    UmbratilisFed
    So let me make sure I understand. The highest and best use of a Federal employee, in your opinion, is to provide a conduit for the Federal tax dollars I pay to ensure that the private economy endures. Can you explain why I need an intermediary to accomplish what I can do myself with my tax dollars? I truly hope you can come up with a better justification for your employment. May I suggest a few; providing vital services the country needs such as defense, border protection, internal security, trade protection, patent protection and a whole raft of other vital services. These arguments make sense to the public, yours don't.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Comedian Alert
    contrarian
    Umbra is funny, nobody's saying they're not working a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. We all want to work our full 2080 hour salary year. I don't know what you do, but my thankless job keeps this country moving. There are plenty of glamorous jobs out there, but most Feds don't have them. We can't all be FBI special agents or Seal Team 6. But some of us make all that possible.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To contrarian
    Moderate
    You make good points, but I do not think Um. was saying our employment is not justified. He says we should comment about what we do. However, what he forgets is that, although the services are needed and will be denied if we work less than our allotted hours, our money is spent generally at local stores. He should know that he will lose business if we do not have the moneuy to spend.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • It's called economics
    pln
    I don't think that the concept of a conduit is the best analogy. Let's assume you own a business. Your customers may include federal employees (many of whom have college or post-grad work) who may earn more than the typical employee in your area. If their wages go down they may shift from the local mom-and-pop store to Chain X which has lower prices sometimes at the cost of lower quality. How many new employees would you have if the population demographic remains the same regardless of the decrease in federal employees? Probably none and if the income of the residents is decreased you might even lay off employees. It's not a justification of employment but the effect that it has on the local communities as well. When we face sequester we also tighten our belts and may have to patronize stores that we normally would not. As far as the federal employee, many provide vital services to the the public even if they are not seen. They not only do the things you suggest, but also program and run the computers that you never see but may depend upon if you want at tax refund, receive a social security annuity and so forth. They make sure that your food is safe and not subject to contamination. They research or provide funding for research into cures for cancer, communicable diseases and the like; to make sure that the environment is safe and not cause major disasters like what happened in London in the 1950s. Their work on behalf of the public does help keep economy both directly and indirectly. The examples I used earlier show the indirect contributions, the work may be the direct contribution.
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  • You missed the point
    UmbratilisFed
    I'm not arguing that Federal employees do not provide vital services. In fact, that is exactly what I said. I never claimed that Federal jobs were all glamorous. The examples I cite include trade folks and patent folks. Vital for sure, but not glamorous. I would prefer the argument that the tax dollars I pay are used to provide these vital services rather than the argument you make that you recirculating these tax dollars to support private business is a vital and necessary economic component. I would rather cut the taxes of the business in the first place.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • An Alternative to furloughs
    UmbratilisFed
    Everyone seems to agree that furloughs are inefficient. They hurt morale, deprive the public of services and are, at best, a short term fix to the long term problem of reducing Federal payrolls. An alternative fix would be to require Feds to work their normal week but only be paid for 4 days in 5. This would provide normal service, couldn't possibly hurt morale any worse and after the most dissaffected employees retire or seek alternative employment, provide a long term fix to the payroll problem.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Would Umbra take his own deal?
    contrarian
    Keep those punchlines coming Umbra!
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  • Would umbra take his own deal
    UmbratilisFed
    If there were no alternative, I certainly would. Many on the private side already have and are grateful they are still employed.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Umbra
    Moderate
    The problem is that you are serious about your sick comments. We have the right to a living wage. We are not slaves. We do not work for nothing. Neither do you. Perhaps your income beyond 1/2 of what you earned last year should be taxed at 100%. And if you are on pension, cut your pension by 50% and put you back to work for no pay.
    worker
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  • I say get rid of people wh do nothing critical
    bill9860
    Like Jay Carney, probably most of the White House staff or almost anyone at a desk in DC at almost any agency even Sceretrary's like Napolitano to keep the TSA people at the gates, to keep anyone in any kind of uniform on the job, the White House tours going....anything that affects us directly. We sure don't ned all those congressional staffers either. Especially the Senate since they seem unable to get a budget done but the House too. We don't need any of them in a time of sequestor.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • How about an IG for Congress
    Lifer
    Every government agency has an independent office that is assigned to watch over them to make sure they do the job they are supposed to do, and do it correctly. The IRS has the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that is always more than willing to let us know when we are doing something that they (acting for the American taxpayers) do not think we should be doing. They also offer suggestions on how they think we should correct our actions/policies/manners, etc. Does Congress have an Inspector General to watch over them? If not, shouldn't they? Is this something that American citizens should be demanding to make sure Congress does what they are supposed to be doing? There needs to be some kind of oversight of Congress and consequences for them not doing their job. And don't say "voters will show them consequences at re-election time" because we obviously have NOT done that. If the rest of us were to not do our job I can guarandamntee you that we wouldn't still have it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • But who's watching TIGTA
    Taxpayer Too
    And who's auditing TIGTA? Seems they treat the employees like common criminals. As far as they're concerned the employee is guilty and may be proven innocent at a later date but not a guarantee.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • There is an IG for Every Fed Agency
    Joe
    This was just in the news this week - not reported by CBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, CNN or MSNBS because it does not support the president's position that sequester cuts will harm poor children, vets & seniors. The various IG's have identified $67 billion a year in wasteful spending. This is more than 75% of the sequester cuts. http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/reducing-waste-and-mismanagement-implementing-agency-watchdogs-recommendations-could-save-taxpayer-billions-2/
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • There already is an IG for Congress
    FERS Fed
    AKA the Press. Important enough to be protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. ...... Used to do a pretty good job of it, too, e.g., Watergate. ..... But maybe not so much anymore.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Be careful not to play the "Chicken Little" game
    Jeremiah
    Federal agencies need to walk a very fine line here. To the extent that they try to send a message that implies that sequestration means that they cannot meet core mission requirements, they risk losing credibility in the same way the administration did when the ludicrous decision was made to announce the termination of White House tours and attribute this to the sequestration. White House spokesman Jay Carney was reduced to incoherent sputtering when asked to comment on the picture of a church group's children protesting the decision "went viral," as the saying goes, on the Internet. If agencies in essence follow a similar strategy of rushing around claiming, in effect, that the fiscal sky is falling and that any spending cuts constitute mortal blows to their functioning, they will deserve the same resulting ridicule and censure which the White House tour cancellation fiasco engendered. Necessary belt tightening is one thing, absurd assertions of the onset of fiscal Armageddon is something else again. Agencies' credibility is at stake here, as well as the commitment to deliver the services they were created to provide in the most efficient and effective manner possible within available resources. The spending cuts required by the sequester are in the low single digit percent range for the vast najority of agencies. For them to say that essential services cannot be delivered in consequence would be not only a public relations mistake but a blatant lie to the American people that can only further erode the already miniscule level of confidence and respect with which government is held. In addition, the President's decision to reject House Speaker Boehner's offer to pass legislation giving him the authority to tailor and prioritize the required spending reductions within individual agencies' functions in order to counter the inimical across-the-board cutting methodology sends the clear message that he wishes to use the "meat axe" as opposed to the "scalpel" approach in applyig the sequester in such a way as to exert maximum influence on public opinion to bring pressure to bear on congressional Republicans. In other words, another cynical example of the "let's not let a good crisis go to waste" appproach is in evidence here. Rahm Emanuel may have moved on to become Chicago's mayor, but his spirit lives on inside the Beltway.
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