Not exactly a carefree time

Furloughs during shutdown are time off for government's bad behavior

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There isn’t a lot of sympathy, at least online, for federal workers furloughed by the government shutdown.

“I might miss my trip to Italy. Boo-Hoo,” one commenter at AugustaChronicle.com mocked one area worker for lamenting in a news story.

“I suppose the financial hardship must not be too terrible if he is ‘arranging to have his house exterior painted,’ ” another commented under the story – while noting that these government workers apparently get to roll over much more vacation time than most private companies would allow.

Normally we’d be with the critics. Government workers are usually pretty insulated from the unfeeling undulations of the private sector. Their benefits are often much more generous, their retirements more secure and predictable.

But even though it’s likely most furloughed workers will receive full back pay, this shutdown is much more than a free, paid vacation. It’s forced. It’s requiring them to either empty out their vacation bucket or take no pay at all until the shutdown is resolved.

How many of us would jump to have that deal? How many of us could afford to? To take “paid vacation,” on someone else’s schedule, when the pay doesn’t flow for perhaps weeks?

Many folks live paycheck to paycheck these days. Even with the benefit of time off and back pay, how many can do without a paycheck, and for how long?

If any of our friends and neighbors who work at Savannah River Site and elsewhere in the federal system are having trouble with cash flow, let’s hope area businesses can cut them a little slack.

In the meantime, members of Congress ought to go unpaid as well until this thing is fixed.

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soldout
1280
Points
soldout 10/15/13 - 03:57 am
7
1
financial advice

The best financial advice I ever received I think would get anyone through a hard time like this. That advice was "cheerfully give the Lord 10% and save 10%". He added that if you did this you would never go to bed at night wondering how you were going to pay a bill. I got that advice and applied it 53 years ago and it has worked for all those years. God backs up His Word and says "trust me, try me and prove me". Many trust their job or the government but I will put my trust in the Word and the one who inspired each word of it. Try it and you will never regret it. The Word says the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. You will make it financially if God is leading your actions and decisions.

Riverman1
82254
Points
Riverman1 10/15/13 - 05:12 am
11
1
Trip to Italy and All That

It’s enlightening to see people who can save, invest and be insulated from the economic hardships that can come up in anyone’s life. Others with the same income spend way too much and believe they have to take the trips to Italy, the week at the beach and so on. Maybe it’s a self-image thing and some have to prove they are now “okay” after a poor upbringing or something. I learned a long time ago it’s an inner acceptance that gives me the most satisfaction. Don’t fall for the plastic world. People are where our pleasures ultimately come from. The ones who matter don’t cost you a dime and are not impressed by your vacation travels to Europe.

nofanofobama
6809
Points
nofanofobama 10/15/13 - 06:18 am
9
2
welcome to the real

welcome to the real world...when business are not fincially fit...workers are furloughed...sometimes not caled back...business fold ..everyone is hurt.it happens every day...we have a out of control govt.. that is literally broke and our greatgrandchildren wil be paying for excessess..its time to bite the bullit

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 10/15/13 - 06:33 am
8
4
AC, I don't believe it is

AC, I don't believe it is lack of sympathy some commenters have for the furloughed federal workers but the appearance of "oh poor is me, I can't take my Italy trip and guess I'll just paint my house then" attitude portrayed in the article, when most of us are struggling from paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet on a weekly bases. Most people can only dream of traveling to a foreign country someday and only wish they had the money to even buy a house, much less have the money to paint it. Yes, it is sad for anyone's lives, vacations, finances to be disrupted but it's like saying we have to eat hotdogs tonight because the store ran out of steak.....at least you can afford the hotdogs.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 10/15/13 - 08:11 am
10
4
Say what?

So people are still blaming congress for the shut-down? That false accusation comes from liberal bullies and I'm tired of hearing it. For your information, my congressman, Phil Gingrey, voluntarily stopped his own pay and is sending it towards the government debt as long as the senate keeps this shut-down going.

Recent reports say that government workers make on average 17% more than their counterparts in private industry. On top of that they get free government paid pensions and all kinds of benefits. That is just one area of government WASTE. What makes them so "special"?

I'd like to see any government employee to go for a whole year of being laid off with no job prospect in sight, no back pay, no insurance, alone, and where even your bank turns a cold shoulder towards you. Then you can write a sympathy article!

nofanofobama
6809
Points
nofanofobama 10/15/13 - 08:29 am
8
2
how many of you had columbus

how many of you had columbus day off?? whos going to help in the private sector for the lay offs and reduced hours due to obumler care..they work for US...WHY are they better off than us..that includes the obumler, and congress all should be under the same laws...

harley_52
22989
Points
harley_52 10/15/13 - 08:56 am
8
4
"In the meantime, members of Congress....

....ought to go unpaid as well until this thing is fixed."

For some reason, the ACES has adopted the totally erroneous notion that it was Congress who caused the "government shutdown" and Congress who should be punished therefor.

Only one man in the entire world has the ability to "shut down" the U.S. Government. The President. He has been offered about a dozen spending bills that would have kept the government open, but refused ALL of them as he worked in concert with the democrat Senate to insure the shut down.

The President wanted a "shut down." The democrat Senate and the democrat mainstream media has sold the American public a bill of goods in blaming the shut down on the Republicans in Congress and for some unknown reason the ACES has bought into the big lie.

What has been achieved here is the notion that the President can DEMAND whatever levels of spending he chooses and Congress is powerless to stop him, or even negotiate with him about it. Think about it....next time there's a debt ceiling discussion and/or a budget disagreement, the President can decree the solution.

Not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Bizkit
30707
Points
Bizkit 10/15/13 - 09:04 am
1
3
Well this is hurting everyone

Well this is hurting everyone and I feel for those furloughed too-they are just like all of us trying to make it through life-they have plans and family and that is some sort of crime. Gosh folks let's stop demonizing everybody (going to Italy isn't a crime nor necessarily an excess) and come together in a moment of silence or prayer to get these bozos in Washington to come to terms and end this mess (blaming parties or persons accomplishes nothing and can precipitate violence). We need a miracle it seems. I am sorry life isn't fair but I am sure with absolute impunity there isn't single poster who can't lament some great injustice in their life-take a ticket and wait in line. I am not going to judge others needs to go to Italy or paint a house-I am not in their shoes-nor would I want to be (finally quite happy in my own). I pray Obama is suddenly struck with becoming the president rather than still running for it. I have full confidence the man could do it if he would drop the offensive and be a mediator.

itsanotherday1
41997
Points
itsanotherday1 10/15/13 - 09:09 am
5
2
Thank you ICL. You summed up

Thank you ICL. You summed up my reasoning for the boo hoo comment very well. Here is a person lamenting about their lost luxury while others are fighting to shelter, feed, and clothe their families.

On that note too.... While I know they are many, many people legitimately a paycheck or two away from financial disaster; there are way too many in the situation through their own lack of self restraint.

Having a six month emergency stash is out of reach when it takes every dime for basic needs; but if you have a **big mortgage, late model car with **big payments, smart phone with unlimited data and minutes, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, eat out, etc., etc., I have ZERO empathy for your situation.

Get some self discipline for a year or two until you have a safety net.

**big meaning relative to your income.

deestafford
26328
Points
deestafford 10/15/13 - 09:13 am
7
3
There are a number of entities and people involved in this

slimdown but there is only one person RESPONSIBLE for it---Barrack Obama!! He and he alone is responsible for the pain caused because he sets the priority of what gets paid and what doesn't. His choices were to shutdown those things which would cause the most pain.

If Obama had been the chief executive of a company where he was not dealing with other peoples money like the government does, and had made the decisions he has made, the board of directors would fire him.

Of course, since he has never been the leader of anything and has no business experience, not even running a lemonade stand, he couldn't be expected to make proper decisions.

The Republicans ask for three things:

--Delay the individual mandate one year to work the bugs out.
--Eliminate the medical devices tax that is going to cost 250,000 jobs and cause companies to go out of business or move overseas.
--Make Congress participate in obamacare like everyone else is forced to and without 75% taxpayer paid subsidies.

All of these are realistic requests but Obama and Harry Reid are putting their party politics ahead of the best interest of the country.

harley_52
22989
Points
harley_52 10/15/13 - 09:32 am
5
4
The President Is The Chief Executive...

...He EXECUTES. For those of you Rio Linda, that means he is the chief Executive officer. He doesn't get to decide how much money he has to operate. His job is to take the money Congress appropriates (gives him) to pay for government expenses. If he doesn't have as much as he would like (which he shouldn't) he must prioritize and do the best he can with the funding available. That's the way our government is designed and it's designed that way on purpose....to avoid the President being a KING.

He REFUSES to do that. He'd rather be a king. Apparently, the ACES believes he IS a king and that Congress is obligated to give him 100% of what he demands.

harley_52
22989
Points
harley_52 10/15/13 - 10:05 am
4
4
Since The President Is The Chief Executive....

...it is he who decides which governmental functions will be affected by the "shut down" that he has ordered.

He decides which bills to pay, which parks to shut down, whether to pay certain people and not pay certain other people and so forth. In this particular case, Congress anticipated he'd target the military, so they passed special legislation REQUIRING he pay the military, but in an effort to thwart the intentions of Congress, the Administration decided NOT to pay death benefits and family transportation costs to meet the dead bodies of military personnel killed in action in Afghanistan. This was a totally INTENTIONAL slap at the military by the Administration.

The President's aim is to punish the citizenry and make it hurt as badly as possible in an effort to blackmail Congress into letting him have his way.

It is working.

OJP
6418
Points
OJP 10/15/13 - 10:16 am
3
5
@deestafford

No, that's not reasonable.

When you lose as badly as the GOP has on an issue (Obamacare), you don't then get to whine and shut down the government to try to force your way. An open and functioning federal government is not a negotiating "win" for the Democrats. It should be the normal course pursuant to the United States Constitution (that is, after all, the document that established the federal government).

If the GOP wants policy concessions, they should win them the proper way, not by holding the government and economy hostage. Win some elections, put your guy in the White House, and repeal Obamacare. Short of that, reopen the government and then start negotiations with the Senate Democrats and the President.

harley_52
22989
Points
harley_52 10/15/13 - 10:35 am
5
3
"Ah... this explains your warped sense of reality....

....You live in the right wing bubble."

Insults aside, can you tell me please what is the instrument the Republicans in Congress used to "shut down" the government? Did they pass a law, or what?

There is ample historical precedent for Congress refusing to fund something the President wanted. Do you remember how the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war was accomplished?

Congressmen have a responsibility to do what's best for their constituents and for the Country. Republicans did not and do not support Obamacare. It is a bad law that will kill American citizens and bankrupt others. Republicans are duty and honor bound to fight its implementation and voting "Yes" to funding it cannot be squared with opposing it.

The President's hissy-fit is the cause of the government "shut down" and his purposeful attacks on the citizenry and the families of the dead military heroes returning for burial from Afghanistan are lessons in the depravity to which he's willing to stoop in order to thwart the Constitutional processes involved in being the Chief Executive.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 10/15/13 - 10:36 am
0
0
Don't let
Unpublished

the democrats take any blame for this mess. Blame it on those white haired terrorists, the Tea Party. omama, pelosi, reid, "white cracker" rangel, boxer and crew are only looking out for, for, ------------themselves.

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 10/15/13 - 10:42 am
3
0
Bizkit, I agree everyone is

Bizkit, I agree everyone is hurting but I disagree with your terminology that those who have a different perspective on the article are demonizing everyone. No, going to Italy isn’t a crime and may not necessarily be an excess for the family taking the trip, but tell that to the family who is living from paycheck to paycheck just barely making ends meet who would love to be able to have the money to take a simple trip to the zoo with their kids. I have no issue with this commenter going to Italy and I have no issue with the man planning to paint his house, but don’t “poor pitifully me” because you’ve been furloughed and then grip because you might have to spend vacation money to support your family. What about those who can’t afford a vacation and NOTHING to fall back on. Instead of complaining, how about telling us how blessed you are that you have a “nest egg” to get you through.

OJP
6418
Points
OJP 10/15/13 - 10:43 am
3
4
@harley_52

"Insults aside, can you tell me please what is the instrument the Republicans in Congress used to 'shut down' the government? Did they pass a law, or what?"

They failed to pass a spending bill that didn't include ridiculous demands, like defunding the President's signature legislation. Again - legislation that was passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President - who was then re-elected - and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

"Congressmen have a responsibility to do what's best for their constituents and for the Country. Republicans did not and do not support Obamacare. It is a bad law that will kill American citizens and bankrupt others. Republicans are duty and honor bound to fight its implementation and voting 'Yes' to funding it cannot be squared with opposing it."

No. Elections have consequences. The GOP lost on Obamacare - at every turn. L.O.S.T. If you cannot repeal it legislatively, it is an affront to the Constitution to shut the government down to stop it. The will of the people - as expressed through the Constitution - chose Obamacare. That is the reality of the situation. If the Republicans want to change that, win some elections. That's how it works. What the GOP is doing now is a repudiation of the Constitution and its mechanisms.

"The President's hissy-fit is the cause of the government 'shut down' and his purposeful attacks on the citizenry and the families of the dead military heroes returning for burial from Afghanistan are lessons in the depravity to which he's willing to stoop in order to thwart the Constitutional processes involved in being the Chief Executive."

Well, the facts just don't support this. This is the GOP's shutdown and the American people know it.

Truth Matters
6617
Points
Truth Matters 10/15/13 - 11:09 am
3
3
"There isn’t a lot of

"There isn’t a lot of sympathy, at least online, for federal workers furloughed by the government shutdown."

I agree with the ACES on this point. Tone matters and the tone of the comments quoted from two posters does not take into account that we don't know what other sentiments may have been expressed by the subjects that the reporter did not put in print.

When I have traveled abroad, I paid down on the trip for a year in advance. To an outsider it might appear that we had no money cares when the truth is we planned and budgeted. And if we had had a leaky roof, we would have gone into our emergency fund and paid for the repairs(comparable to the man painting his house). And who should judge another for being excited and anxious about their plans as the man in the story referenced? I applaud him for being able to maintain some focus in the midst of a very difficult time.

People have made it a sport to demonize federal workers for the last 5 years, and maybe longer, with comments such as "sucking on the government teat" that they seemed to have lost sight of the fact that these are real people. I saw these negative comments as more of the same.

Thumbs up on this one ACES.

nofanofobama
6809
Points
nofanofobama 10/15/13 - 11:17 am
4
2
OJP---you got to be

OJP---you got to be kidding**how about all the laws obumler is ignoring, how about using the IRS to harass ordiniary citizens, NSA spying on citizens, falling asleep while Bengahzi burned...keeping his golf course open but NOT the pool for the kids at andrews, allowing illegals to rally whiling shunning our veterns. is this what your messiah won...the CR exist because there is no budget..another constitutional oversite by obumler ...since in the house all spending originates they control the purse...it is the house that truly is the closest to actual representing the people...by elections every 2 years and districts ...i believe trying to stop big govt is representing a lot of us who otherwise have no voice.

dichotomy
32070
Points
dichotomy 10/15/13 - 11:17 am
3
3
"start negotiations with the

"start negotiations with the Senate Democrats and the President."

They have refused to negotiate. Why bother trying? Why should the Democrats be more entitled to be stubborn than the Republicans...the Republicans who were elected in the majority to be the people's representatives once the evils of Obamacare became apparent......after Nancy let us read the bill after SHE passed the bill.

I am sorry for the people who are being hurt. I too will be hurt in several ways and will loose a lot of my income. But I refuse to put the blame on the Republicans when the Democrat president and the Democrat controlled Senate refuse to negotiate with a legitimately elected House who quite correctly have concerns about Obama's illegal implementation of the illegally changed Obamacare and the $17 trillion dollar debt. They are within their rights and responsibilities and since Obama and the Democrats have not passed a budget in 5 years the House Republicans are definitely fulfilling their LAWFUL OBLIGATIONS under the Constitution.

Please explain to me why I should be angry at the House Republicans and not be equally angry at our corrupt president who has illegally changed the Obamacare law to give exemptions and delays to his contributors and supporters and to the people who forced this abortion down our throats. Why should the American working people not get the same breaks as Obama supporters and contributors and the elite ruling class politicians? Why should I not be angry at a Democrat president and Democrat controlled Senate that has failed to do their constitutional duty to pass an annual budget in 5 (FIVE) years?

Shut down???? Hell, we should have shut it down 4 years ago until the president and the Congress came up with a budget that LIVES WITHIN OUR MEANS. When you are borrowing money every day for decades to run a day to day government....well.....YOU (WE) ARE IN BIG BIG BIG TROUBLE.

AND THAT GOES LOCALLY TOO "CITY" OF AUGUSTA.

corgimom
31226
Points
corgimom 10/15/13 - 11:19 am
5
1
People get laid off and lose

People get laid off and lose their jobs every day. There is a myth out there that everybody is going to have a job all of the time.

Yes, people get caught up in "stuff" and don't save. Then they whine when they are out of work.

corgimom
31226
Points
corgimom 10/15/13 - 11:22 am
1
3
--"Make Congress participate

--"Make Congress participate in obamacare like everyone else is forced to and without 75% taxpayer paid subsidies."

Congress is exempt from it, just like everybody else who has an employer-paid health insurance is exempt. This idea is just ridiculous. Why would anybody want to buy health insurance from a state exchange when they already have health insurance? For people to state this, it shows that they don't understand the law AT ALL.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/15/13 - 11:42 am
1
0
Those who work paycheck to

Those who work paycheck to paycheck don't consider what would happen or what they would do if the paycheck stopped. We are very in-tune with our options if said situation arose. Get out and hustle. Sell your stuff. Talk with friends and family to network and get leads for work. It's not in our nature to ask for the freebie we got coming to us.

If we lose our paycheck, we sink or swim. That simple.

Darby
25038
Points
Darby 10/15/13 - 11:45 am
4
2
"If the GOP wants policy concessions, they should win them the

proper way, not by holding the government and economy hostage."

.
If you have an open mind, you realize immediately that it's OzBama who is holding the government and economy hostage.

Having your guy in the White House doesn't make your position sacrosanct.

And how on God's green earth do you "negotiate" once you've given the other guy everything he demands? If you are a mindless drone, that might make sense.

To anyone else, that's just plain silly.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:00 pm
1
0
Comment

Speaking of living pay check to pay check, is not something that I can comprehend. I have lived ONE BOARING life, but I believe I always had money in reserve. Living a boaring life will do that for you!! People should see this as a wake-up call to put some money aside!!

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:08 pm
2
0
ICL @ 6:33 AM

"Yes, it is sad for anyone's lives, vacations, finances to be disrupted but it's like saying we have to eat hotdogs tonight because the store ran out of steak.....at least you can afford the hotdogs"

It is almost unbelievable how much more, the pay checks of federal and contractor employees, are than the private sector! It is even more insulting knowing the tax payers are the ones paying these salaries.

Bizkit
30707
Points
Bizkit 10/15/13 - 12:13 pm
2
0
When my wife and I first

When my wife and I first married we lived below the poverty level and we made it pay check to pay check. Now we are in the 1% crowd and still live pay check to pay check. House, kids, life just suck it up, and not I or my wife have fancy toys or drive nice cars either-now we do live in a nice home but we worked for it for 20yrs. I understand the vast majority of Americans have no retirement-isn't that irresponsible too. No matter our income we have always tithed 10% and saved 10%, now we can afford to give more to causes. But no matter it fritters away-a recent study found 90% of Americans have suffered a derailment of their retirement due to unforeseen causes like health issues, etc. I remember when my wife and I were first married and dreamed of our education paying off so we wouldn't have to worry about finances-yikes how naive. You always worry about finances-now my worries are more actually. Who doesn't gripe about their predicaments-I do but now I have a friend who is really suffering in all parameters of life and boy am I convicted of how silly my problems are in comparison. My wife and I are very frustrated that Obama feels the need to demonize us because of hard work and success to justify taking more of our money. I was all ready to support Obama in 08' till he stated the taxing the 250K or more crap-might as well take food out of my babies mouths. What fool would support someone taking all their earnings, and who the heck is anyone to tell me what wealth I should have or how to spend it. I guess Solomon and David were bad men because of their wealth and their earnings should have been impounded-so much for the temple.

Bizkit
30707
Points
Bizkit 10/15/13 - 12:17 pm
2
0
Tbledsoe say it isn't so-a

Tbledsoe say it isn't so-a boring life. Life is what you make of it. It ain't over either.

t3bledsoe
14250
Points
t3bledsoe 10/15/13 - 12:49 pm
1
0
Bizkit @ 12:17

"Tbledsoe say it isn't so-a boring life. Life is what you make of it. It ain't over either"

THANKS!! I didn't take LIFE 101, so that solves that!

deestafford
26328
Points
deestafford 10/15/13 - 12:46 pm
2
0
corgimom

The law as passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president required the congress and its staff to go through the exchanges; but, the president, Pelosi, and Reid sat down with the office of personnel management and came up with the decision to ignore the law and say things could continue as they had been. In essence, they determined no matter what the law explicitly stated, they were going to override the law and make their own decisions.

Ain't it funny how it ain't "settled law" when THEY want to make a change? Huummmmm.

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