Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 1, 2013

On the job but not getting paid?

I’m very glad Congress and the president decided to make sure the uniformed military will get paid during the government shutdown.  That was the right thing to do.  The move averts a game-of-chicken mistake made in late 1995, when Bill Clinton was dispatching troops to Bosnia while their pay was in jeopardy.

As long as preparations are made beforehand, meanwhile, there’s enough in the trusts to make sure Social Security and veterans’ pension payments go out next month as well as this month. That’s a relief to millions of elderly who can’t just go start harvesting vegetables or sweeping floors if their checks don’t come in.  We can assume Congress will keep a sharp eye out for the potential problems, and make provision for them.

That leaves our Border Patrol, FBI, other federal law enforcement agents, federal firefighters, and air traffic controllers, some of the 80% of federal workers who will remain on the job during the shutdown.  At least some of them are reportedly being required to work without their latest-due paychecks being in the bank, until the government is “open” again.  It’s not fully clear how many or which of these workers are having to show up for work with their pay suspended.  I’ve seen reports that suggest some are being paid; other reports seem to indicate that law enforcement and essential-services people are working without pay (i.e., presumably, pay delayed, not “pay never coming”).

In any case, as happy as I am to see the EPA and other agencies off the job, I’m concerned about morale among the hard-working law enforcement and essential-services folks.  They do a tough job 24/365, and a lot is being asked of them today, and for as long as the shutdown lasts.

We can hope the shutdown will last only a couple of days.  Presumably, Congress will be looking out for these workers, and have a care for the hardships they will face if the shutdown goes longer than that.  (In extremis, much could probably be done, even within the current debt ceiling, through issuing IOUs to the Social Security trust fund.)  As with those in all professions, the younger workers – with kids, mortgage and college-loan payments, living paycheck to paycheck – will be the hardest hit.

If the shutdown does become extended, those who have the means can consider donating to organizations that provide a helping hand to these particular federal workers in their time of need.  Here are some links to get you started:

Federal Law Enforcement Foundation

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Foundation

Wildland Firefighters Foundation

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (especially for non-law enforcement personnel; air traffic controllers are members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, or NATCA, a labor union with some funding for mutual aid, as well as its own charitable foundation)

I (Heart) Public Safety Network (umbrella network coordinating various forms of assistance to public-safety programs, public-safety workers, and their families)

Note:  per the Washington Post summary at the first link, U.S. Postal Service workers should be getting paid on schedule.  Except for its annual requests for bailouts, USPS is “self-funding,” and should last through the shutdown, however long it goes.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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  1. This isn’t a goverment shutdown, it’s political theatre. And as such, most of us won’t know the ending till the final act.

  2. Someone or something hacked my email. I believe the correct term is back scatter.
    Probably the White House due to my caustic and spot on comments about our Kenyan Loser President.
    I am expecting a Hang In There from Putin at any moment.
    I will have to change email at some point.
    Could be hackers at South Bend also.
    I watched the OSU train wreck. OU D got down to business the last 12:24 of the 4th.
    Clay was brutal in the 2nd half. Led by Millard of course.
    Sultan Knish has a bullseye on the Shut Down.
    Does anyone really care any more? The correct answer is no.

  3. I could be wrong but I think things weren’t working out very well for our Dear Leader today.

    1. Did anyone successfully negotiate the Obamacare web sites today? Any one person actually signed up? Barry won’t tell us what the Glitch-o-meter read today.

    2. Barry and Harry made a big mistake in saying “we won’t negotiate with terrorists like John Boehner.” First, you can say many good and bad things about Boehner, but I just don’t think the terrorist moniker is a winner for Barry and co. Second, Barry was hurt by negotiating like a banshee with Assad, Putin and the terrorist President of Iran. Third, Barry’s best game would have been to say: “I’ve been negotiating with Boerner day after day but the b-stard just won’t give an inch.” Since Barry lies like a carpet and the MSM never calls him on anything, he’d get away with such a bald-faced lie. Instead, Barry refused to negotiate.

    BTW, just a little off topic: I love how Barry never, never makes a mistake, in the eyes of the MSM. A good example is the “no negotiation” sthick. Not one word of criticism, or questioning, from the MSM. So Barry blithely continues to say he won’t negotiate. Loser.

  4. I have been reading and trying to make some sense of all of this. It comes down to a matter of wills and in perceiving what is right and what isn’t.

    The pressure is slowly moving from the GOP – where it clearly was on Monday – to Obama and Reid. The veterans plight at the WWII monument really has shown a light on what Obama is doing and it was a mistake. Once civil disobedience gains traction – it is hard to stop. There will be other opportunities to demostrate the pettiness of Obama. Thin skinned and petty describes him pretty well – you don’t even want to know what the lawyer community in Chicago thinks about his darling bride.

    Reid once again is demonstrating how to even make his supporters in the media wince. You would think he would learn to cool his emotions but he just can’t seem too.

    I think we all realize that DC is a very insular town – and they only see and hear what is right in front of them. It would seem what has happened is that in true democrat fashion – Barry and Harry thought Boehner would blink. But he didn’t – largely because of the tea party. (King might as well shelve his presidential ambitions – not that they were great anyway.)

    So Barry and Harry are in the proverbial box which they made for themselves with no escape route. They will deal – especially because they need the debt limit raised and an extended shutdown brings the budget and debt ceiling together. Polling suggest the debt ceiling is a real negative for the democrats, which would improve the house GOP’s leverage for legitimate budget cuts. Barry and Harry need to look at if they deal now – they probably get a clean debt ceiling increase later at less cost. If they converge – ouch.

    This all assumes the dems are paying attention – watch Schumer, though I think he is evil incarnate, he is a very shrewd operator and no dummy. If he starts floating offers – or giving more to Durbin to go public with – we may be seeing the first signs of a deal.

    • maybe that pressure ain’t moving quite so much

  5. Do you think Putin will ask for Ms. Rice to appear on Sunday talk shows to clear up this whole Tripoli thing?

    • No, but the Pubbies should give some thought to hiring Putin to negotiate with Obama for them.

      • LOL !!!!!!!

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