The non-spending habits of shutdown sufferers

Politicians with a vested interest in an extended shutdown might want to call home from time to time to see how well things are not going, especially in places ...

Politicians with a vested interest in an extended government shutdown might want to call home from time to time to see how well things are not going. Forget about the pointy headed bureaucrats — check with the merchants, landlords, banks and farmers in many places where the government payroll is king.

While some people think that most of Uncle Sam’s workforce is crammed into a couple of hundred buildings in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the fact is that 84 percent of the federal workforce is elsewhere, including Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Boise; Ogden, Utah; Huntsville and Anniston, Alabama; San Antonio and San Diego; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; and Marion, Illinois.

Most of the feds in those and other areas missed a full two-week paycheck last Friday. Yesterday we asked feds to report in. You should check it out, maybe forward it on to your representative and your two senators. First off is Mike, a Federal Aviation Administration employee, who says:

“Funny that your column asked ‘Did you delay taking your pet to the vet,’ because, in fact, that was exactly one thing we did. I also cancelled a dental cleaning. A haircut is needed, but that is delayed.

“Pool maintenance items are not purchased. Added up, it is a small amount, but multiply by 800,000, it does have an effect. Time is lost, time used applying for forbearance to delay mortgage payments, time used to file for unemployment because cash flow is zero.

“I cancelled all scheduled payments for utilities, because I pay extra and pay ahead. Now I will just make the actual amount due. And, of course, this takes time. Figuring out ‘cash outflow’ and how to make NO INCOME work — this takes time. Once the cash runs out, sell some investments and incur capital gains tax. That will take time.

“Actually, I am in pretty good shape. As a 35 year-plus employee, I am eligible to retire. Of course, no one could possibly process my retirement paperwork because they are furloughed as well. I was using two weeks of use-or-lose leave at the end of the leave year, so I started a day early (Dec. 21, 2018) once President Trump declared Dec. 24, 2018, a holiday. Of course, by Dec. 22, I was already furloughed.

“This demonstrates the financial wisdom of three to six months expenses in an emergency fund. I expect Dave Ramsey to have a banner year in 2019. What is aggravating is that the design of the federal budget is excellent – Have the budget in place by May 1 for an Oct. 1 implementation. So, Congress has NOT done its job to pass a budget that the president concurs with and would sign. Nobody in media mentions that budgets should be passed by May 1 and Congress goes on summer recess, etc.”

Adding to the “What-am-I-ticked-off-about” is Tony, another shutdown non-spender:

“What am I tired and angry about list, in no particular order:

  • Angry about some, who should know better, saying that government workers are on strike,
  • Angry that politicians and leaders who have not asked me are putting words in my mouth,
  • Proud of my new representative, Elaine Luria, (D-Va.), for not taking a paycheck during this nonsense,
  • Losing patience waiting for common sense to breakout,
  • Waiting for the rank and file in Congress to break with leadership and put together a package that can go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and receive votes needed for override,
  • Tired of the my-way-or-the-highway tactics in both the House and Senate that result in gridlock and people burning down each others’ straw men.”

Congress and the White House better recheck what they are selling, or attempting to sell to the American public because a big chunk of the consumer economy doesn’t have any cash with which to consume things.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Rwanda has a national practice of compulsory community service every last Saturday of the month, called Umuganda. On this day, businesses close while the government mandates that able-bodied adults perform tasks such as picking up litter, building houses, maintaining gardens or building roads, for three hours and attend a community meeting. Those who do not are fined.

Source: AllAfrica

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