Government Shutdown Impacts – Will Social Security Benefits, Contractor and Federal Employee Pay Checks Stop?

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[Updated October 2013] A short term deal has been reached and the government shutdown is over. The debt ceiling has also been raised, which will allow the nation to pay its bills and service new debt/payment obligations. But the deal legislation includes a few interesting provisions which are summarized below

  • The latest deal would finance the federal government until Jan. 15, keeping existing “sequester” spending levels. The borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, would be raised until Feb. 7.
  • A bipartisan congressional committee would be setup and required by Dec. 13 to hammer out a long-term budget plan. This committee would be led by Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, and Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. The two chair their chambers’ respective budget committees.
  • Pay for members of Congress ($174,000 per year) will be frozen through October 2014, the current government fiscal year. This is the sixth year in a row lawmakers have opted not to get the annual cost-of-living pay increase they are legally allowed to receive.

Still a lot more twists and turns,  but I’ll post updates and encourage you to stay connected via RSSEmailFacebook or Twitter.

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[Updated September 2013] It’s like the same horror movie keeps playing again and again as we face the prospect of another government shutdown at the end of the 2013 fiscal year and sit on the edge of yet another fiscal cliff as the government reaches its mandated borrowing limit. Stock markets are already getting spooked with the prospect of a national default on our debt payments with the mainstream media fueling the conflict between the House Republicans and the President. But unlike the past 2 years (whose events are detailed in the updates below) this time it looks like a near certainty that a default will occur as the high stakes political standoff looks like it is going to fully play out as both sides feel they are more aligned to public sentiment.

As an investor I am nervous about the impacts to the stock market and a still fragile economy. As a citizen I am annoyed at our dysfunctional government and its seeming inability to work together on anything of substance. The only good thing about this whole mess is that we will forced to enact some level of change.

Here’s how various groups could be hit with the impending shutdown:

- Federal workers – About 800,000 federal workers (50% of workforce) would be furloughed because there would be insufficient funds to pay them. Current GS Pay scales may also be reduced or continue to remain frozen at current levels for an indefinite period.

Social security, Medicare and disability recipients – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are a top priority for the current administration and would be amongst the last groups to have their benefits cut. However new recipients may not be able to enroll in and start receiving benefits from these programs. Further SSA offices will likely be closed for inquiries since they are staffed by federal employees who would be furloughed if government funding is not available.

Government Departments -  According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, by the end of August there will be no funding left for major departments like the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Education, and Housing and Urban Development. Only essential workers and mandatory programs will continue until additional funding is made available. Further the Internal Revenue Service will stop issuing business or personal refunds (you still have to pay taxes though!).

Military personnel payments would likely continue for at least a few more months since national defense is always a top priority.  In fact the house and senate unanimously passed a bill guaranteeing military and defense contractor payments for the foreseeable future. While the nation could survive by not paying some groups thereby giving the Congress more time to resolve the budget impasse, it is highly unlikely that they would let military funding ever stop.

Congress (Representatives and Senators) - Many have argued that if our nations politicians cannot resolve the current issues they should be the first to stop getting paid. However this is unlikely since Congress and the President’s administration are considered an essential, top priority function so would be amongst the last groups to stop receiving payments

Unemployment recipients Unemployment insurance will also stop being paid out to over 10 million Americans who are currently looking for a job. Also newly unemployed eligible Americans will not be able to file for benefits.

I will provide further updates on this story and encourage you to stay connected via RSSEmailFacebook or Twitter.

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[Update September 2012 -No Government Shutdown in 2012-2013 But Tax Hikes and Spending Cuts Likely As Fiscal Cliff Looms]

Congress is set to extend government funding through the presidential election to avoid last year’s fiasco (see update below), but is unlikely to reach a deal to address spending cuts and the expiration of Bush era tax cuts. Off course both parties blamed it on each other and the lack of leadership from the administration. The fiscal cliff refers to $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts and the expiration of tax cuts that would take effect in January 2013 if no government action is taken. No talks to avoid the fiscal cliff are under way in Congress, and lawmakers in both parties have said they don’t expect negotiations to begin in earnest until after the Nov. 6 election.

Congress did agree in principle to keep the government functioning though 2012 and into early 2013. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House is scheduled to vote Sept. 13 on a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating past the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. Obama and congressional leaders have tentatively agreed to a six-month stopgap.

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[Update August 2011] The Debt Ceiling debate has been resolved following a last minute bipartisan compromise which will raise the debt ceiling $2.1 trillion and cut the federal deficit by as much as $2.5 trillion over a decade. There will be no tax increases or entitlement programs cuts in the near term. However there are still a number of strings attached to the deal and it is more likely than not we could be in a similar situation next year.

Will a failure to raise the national debt ceiling mean millions of Americans miss out on benefits and paychecks? As discussed in this article covering the debt ceiling increase debate, a number of parties will be adversely affected if Congress cannot agree on a bill that raises the allowable national debt ceiling. The main sticking point is how the raise in the debt ceiling will be offset – cutting spending (entitlements) and/or raising taxes (increase revenue). Here’s how key groups could be affected if the government cannot fund itself or its obligations: (see above for latest impacts).

The government faces a $125 billion deficit (revenue – expected payments) in early August if the debt ceiling is not raised. This will mean some hard choices will have to be made around who gets paid and who doesn’t.  Hopefully Congress can reach a resolution before it comes to this. 

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[May 2011] A final budget bill has now been passed to keep the government functioning. Lawmakers from both parties reached a last minute $38 billion deal to cut spending this year while jettisoning a number of proposals to defund things like Planned Parenthood and the EPA. The deal came together after days of negotiations led by Boehner (Republicans), Reid (Democrats) and Obama over how much spending to cut and from which programs, as well as over so-called policy riders Republicans proposed to direct how federal money could be used. The final compromise slashes about $38 billion in spending – about $23 billion less than Republicans had initially sought, yet tens of billions more than Democrats originally said they could accept

It’s been a grueling process. We didn’t do it at this late hour for drama; we did it because it’s been very hard to arrive at this point,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said on the Senate floor with less than an hour to go before the midnight deadline for a shutdown. “Both sides have had to make tough choices.”

House Speaker John Boehner, said he was “pleased” with the outcome of what he called a “long fight” over the 2011 budget. “We fought to keep government spending down, because it really will affect and help create a better environment for job creators in our country.”

“Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions,” President Obama said. “Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business.”

The accord clears the way for potentially even tougher battles over the government’s finances. A spending plan for the 2012 fiscal year prepared by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, and scheduled for a vote in the chamber next week would phase out the traditional Medicare program — a proposal Democrats have denounced. It also would cut spending by $6 trillion over a decade and reduce the top tax rate to 25 percent.

Also looming is a fight over raising the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit, expected to be breached by May 16. Many Republicans are demanding that the Obama administration commit to deep spending cuts as the price for their votes to raise the limit. (source : Bloomberg)

Will Social Security Benefits, Veteran, Military, Contractor, and Federal Employee Pay Checks Stop if the government shuts down?

Not initially for current recipients, though there maybe some delays in payments being made. Non-essential federal workers may be furloughed (i.e a few days off work without pay), and Congress won’t be able to pass any new appropriations bills.  Salaried employees will likely see no interruption in their payments, though hourly or contract workers may see temporary pay freezes since they will not be working.

During the mid-90′s shutdown Federal employees didn’t get paid,though they did get their back-pay checks later. The first shutdown, from Nov. 13-19, 1995, resulted in the furlough of about 800,000 employees (which is a similar number to today). During the second, from Dec. 15, 1995-Jan. 6, 1996, about 759,000 were either furloughed or worked without pay, according to the Congressional Research Service. If a shutdown occurred it would probably only affect 40% of federal employees, who are funded by the appropriations legislation that Congress is trying to renew.

Social Security benefits would remain largely unaffected as they are held in a separate trust fund called GAS (Government Account Series) which is funded by FICA payroll taxes. New retirees applying for social security or those applying for disability might not get benefits, because federal agency employees won’t be working during a government shutdown.

A shutdown would close veterans’ benefits offices, including claims processing, and could lead to delays in non-emergency or new appointments. Since disability and pension checks and GI Bill benefits are paid at the beginning of the month, no impacts would for recipients would be felt till May.

For the most part, military personnel remain on the job and continue to be paid. Civilian, contract and consulting workers would have to stop working and hence would not be paid

Contractors – Your employment and pay depends on which agency you are working for. Some agencies have told contractors that they could be locked out of their offices or forced to cut short any government-funded travel or RFPs. If contract jobs are suspended, contracting firms may ask employees to complete overdue training programs, take vacations (paid/unpaid). Worst case, some firms may need to furlough employees.

Excepted or essential workers would also continue working and receive their paychecks. This includes federal employees involved in national security as well as the military, FBI officials, and border and coastal protection personnel.

Interestingly, Congress and the President are also exempt from the funding cuts and will continue to be paid despite the fact that other services are suspended

Other government and military services potentially impacted by the shutdown: (source CBS news)

- Social Security administration: Checks for seniors, those with disabilities, and survivors would go out as usual. But Social Security Administration employees could face furloughs, but the agency is still finalizing its plan.

- Homeland Security: Critical functions, like border control, would continue.

- Mail delivery: The U.S. Postal Service is owned by the government but self-funded – so operations would continue uninterrupted.

- Air traffic control: As a function of maintaining public safety, Air traffic control would be exempt from a shutdown.

- National parks and monuments: As the New York Times puts it, “The National Zoo would close, but the lions and tigers would get fed.” National parks and museums, including those on the National Mall, like the Smithsonian, would shut down – just in time for spring break.

- Passport operations: All operations would be likely suspended, except for in cases of emergency.

- International Revenue Services (IRS): The IRs would close, but the April tax deadline would stay in place – so Americans would still have to pay their taxes on time. But according to the senior administration official, the processing of paper tax returns (which accounts for about 30 percent of all returns) would be suspended – as would refunds associated with those returns.

- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA, which is dedicated to supporting small businesses, would suspend approval of applications for business loan guarantees, as well as direct loans to small businesses.

The Federal Housing Association (FHA): The FHA would be forced to suspend approvals for new loan guarantees during peak home-buying season, according to the administration official.

Medicare: According to the administration official, Medicare is funded for the short-term – and would likely remain unaffected unless the government were to remain closed for a period of months or more. NIH, however, will not be able to accept new patients or begin new clinical trials.

Uniformed military personnel would continue to serve, but they would not get paid for their work until the government reopened. (Troops would get one week, not two weeks, pay in their next check, as the shutdown would go into effect in the middle of a pay cycle.) And a number of Pentagon civilians, State Department officials and USAID staff would likely be furloughed.

Veterans Administration receives its yearly appropriation in advance and thus has the money to fund services for the rest of the year.

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[Updated - Mar 2011] The Republican controlled housed passed a stop-gap bill in the house that will extend government funding for three more weeks (following the earlier 2 week extension) until early April. This temporary bill will continue provisions that cut federal spending by $2 billion per week and is expected to be approved by the Senate and President shortly. This temporary extension does not resolve the issues discussed below and a permanent resolution is still not clear as new Republican members from the tea party push for deeper cuts that Democrats are unwilling to support.

“Our expectation is we should be able to get this [funding issue] completed,” President Obama said. “I think neither Democrats nor Republicans were in the mood to compromise until their 100% maximal position was voted down in the Senate, we have probably lost some time….which means that there may be potentially one more short-term extension.”

While Obama appeared willing to compromise in support of another short-term measure, he drew a few lines in the sand on the longer-term funding bill. He called some of the proposed Republican cuts — such as those to Pell grants and Head Start — non-starters. And he warned, once again, that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should remove controversial policy riders, some of which would defund Planned Parenthood and the president’s signature health care law, from the legislative language. House Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and White House find themselves with little common ground beyond a chunk of cuts that the Obama administration has already conceded. House Republicans have set themselves what seems to be a goal that is either mathematically impossible or political suicide, as Democrats see it: They must cut the budget deficit in the near term without taking significant amounts from defense or entitlements and without increasing government revenue through higher taxes.

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[Previous Update - Feb 2011] House Republicans passed legislation that would slash over $60 billion in government spending between now and the end of September, setting up a showdown with President Barack Obama and the Democratic controlled Senate who oppose many of the cuts. After more than 90 hours of debate and many round-the-clock sessions, the House decided 235-189 to send the measure to the Senate. No democrats voted for the bill. The bill contains spending cuts and also the funds required to keep the government funded. If a bill (continuing resolution) is not approved by Congress and the President by March 4th March 18th (see update above), the government’s non-essential services will lose their funding and be forced to shut-down.

Republicans argue that they will not approve government funding unless the proposed spending cuts are approved. The cuts (more than 100 in total) are aimed at cutting entitlement programs but also at big government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency($3.08 billion in cuts), the Securities and Exchange Commission ($131 million), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It also contains provisions to de-fund health care. Senate Democrats already have said they won’t accept the cuts in the $1.2 trillion spending bill, and Obama’s budget office has threatened a presidential veto.

Notable quotes from key players:

“I am not going to move any kind of short term CR at current levels. Read my lips: We’re going to cut spending,” House Speaker John Boehner, told reporters this past week when announcing he won’t accept a short-term extension without some spending reductions.

“Now that House Republicans have gotten this vote out of their system, I hope they will drop the threats of shutting down the government and work with the Senate on responsible cuts that allow our nation’s economic recovery to continue,” (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said a shutdown would halt military pay, veterans’ benefits, Social Security checks and government functions such as food- safety inspections. Last night she introduced a temporary spending measure to keep government agencies running through March 31 and buy time for talks

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{ 121 comments… read them below or add one }

cookie September 29, 2013 at 3:37 am

all of the elected officials no longer work for us and i think they should be fired by the the people who put them in office. the voters and the non voters just keep giving these blood sucking fat rats more power and our income that we the people should have in our own pockets.
as Americans we still have rights the right to hire and fire paid polititians who are not representing the people of these United States with loyalty to its citizens,

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Walter Tippie October 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

Agreed!!!

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GARR September 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Fk your polls.
fk your government
fk your churckes
and fk your hypocritical ideals.

in 50 years you have not done ONE G D thing you were supposed to do, and I HAVE BEEN IN AT THE FEDERAL OFFICES AND ATTEMPTED TO REPORT.

GET YOUR G D meathooks OUT of me, and give me 100 percent of my money back with a ton of interest.

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GARR September 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

some things will never change.
WE will be the ones left short.

We WILL STILL provide for:
Government employed parasites
Government incarcerated parasites
Government protected immigrants
Government denials of rights

YOu already owe me not only for a catastrophic injury, but you ALSO owe me for non performance, at a federal, state, and local level and there was NO shutdown. Shut 100 percent of it down, you dont do ANYTHING your supposed to do here, except feed immigrants. You nearly killed me in a factory, and THEN you detained and attacked me for attempting to sue over it. This government is contemptable here, and has a proven record of dumping their big issues on churches to handle and suppress. I have scars on my body, because I tried to get public information to sue locality. THis would have never happened IF my complaints had not been ignored in a state building administering a federal program. CLOSE IT ALL. TURN IT ALL OFF, and GIVE ME MY ENTIRE INVESTMENT BACK WITH INTEREST.

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John November 29, 2011 at 3:18 am

Stop the pensions and the hoardes will just smash in and take want they want from the shops as they please.

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LifeIsCruel September 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

All of the most recent posts on this thread are from August 2011, I would like to read something more current. Any updates? My dilemma is the fact that i live in a low income housing complex, and Affordable housing here in Los Angeles is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I predict i will be forced out soon, and the current rents that everybody is charging and with me being on a fixed income there is no way i can maintain an apartment. The voucher choice housing program is in jeopardy as is ssi payments. Most of us want to work but are disabled, and my disability will not get any better if i am running from place to place in a homeless situation. I foresee my future as being a horrible one and truthfully speaking i would much rather be dead than to suffer. But i am not going to commit suicide although the thought to do so is so very tempting. One thing i am proud of is the fact that i never had any children because i always knew life would be like this one struggle after the next with no relief in sight.

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KC August 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I have worked since I was 16 and now that I got hurt on the job I wander that the money I paid in for thirty three years will be cacelled when the republicans take over. Will I have to start all over again?

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clare August 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

What the hell is wrong with you….? You are okay with treating a human being like property? My bigger concern than getting rid of “the N****** who r draining our economy to an electric bench” is getting rid of bigot, uneducated assholes like you…No wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans are stupid.

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tina August 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Okey hold up and stop for a minute here people. Look at how many people are blaming the goverment. now lets take and face the truth, goverment officials are elected by who, oh yah the american people, so are the fat cats on capital hill all to blame no, its people that put them there so the american people need to step up and share the blame.

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cheri holder September 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

It’s amazing how our society never takes the fall for themselves. It’s always someone else that does it. Ok I voted for some canidates that I thought were going to be good for “WE THE PEOPLE” I had no idea that once they were elected there altered ego would take over. I’m sick of the bashing between canidates anymore….let’s get back to the Constitution of the United States and quit this bickering. I think that most canidates have been shoveling manure so long that they have forgotten the small people….all the people…and for the people. We are all different colors of the rainbow….And if you chose not to vote then don’t bitch. You get what you didn’t vote for!

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u idiot August 11, 2011 at 7:10 am

WHy don;t you just say your lazy and didnt complete high school. Even if we got rid of them, they’d still tax…if your complaining so much about money, maybe you should look for a better job than Burger King.

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Craig Bradbury October 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

I am 52 . Iv’e been working since I was 14. I now have hart problems and cancer. So F YOU !YOU PIECE OF S&@T. It’not my idea to be on disability. And it took al of mine and my wife’s life savings because of my medical bills. here is my address 103 N. center St . , Bremen , in 46506. You want to bring your canary ass here , i’ll be glade to beat you stupid !

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jessica August 4, 2011 at 1:19 am

I think people who get help are not lazy maybe they just have or had a rough life and are trying to make it on there own so if you never been on food stamp its not nice to judge on people who are getting it like myself I’am not lazy i have a medical condition and i have 5 kids my husbands works and we get ssi Because of my daughter she had a heart surgery when she was 4 months and at that time i apply for food stamps not thing wrong with that.

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deaf&MS August 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

This is the most shameful country we live in. Our forefathers fought for what we have today, to be ruin by idiots in our government today. My hearing loss is created by the government and then all of sudden to be hit with MS to whom our so call smart college idiots who have no idea where the mess comes from. But to survive in the United States with our greedy pathetic government who waste money, feed their greedy selves and spit on the american pubic for their hard work to build it, they don’t do a damn thing but sit on their asses and collect our taxes to live in fancy houses drive fancy cars, and have spoiled unappreciative brats who care nothing about the american people who sweat, bleed to keep the rich fed and spoiled. I think its about time the government collects money from the rich!! I didnt ask for this kind of life but its time some of us here, who beat ourselves up trying to figured out what our place in this world is, I find out we are here to be heckled to death by the government idioitity ways of greed. You might want to say its the devil in disguise. Cause thats what it amounts to, we are living in hell. I will be glad when god comes to rescue all the good people who are appreciative and caring of others. It would be funny to see all them who work in the government left behind in hell for their idiot ways. God bless them, I really miss what america really was. Glad my ancestors did not live to see this!

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Kimiq August 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I agree with you, but my deepest oppinion is that Obahma is the main one pocketing the money. I believe that he and all those involved are pocketing the money cuz when the time comes, they will wipe out those who do not have the money to stand with them. So in the long run, they will take the money, n then kill all those who oppose them. OBAHMA AND THE REPUBLICANS/DEMOCRATS ARE ALL TO BLAME. The GOVERNMENT is to blame, becuz their greed is more important than others.

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Marie July 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I agree with most of the comments above. I was born in the 40′s started to work in the 60′s. I have worked and paid into social security and medicare for 45 years. I have never collected unemployment, welfare, food stamps or medicaid. I retired a year ago because my diabetes was getting worse. I can hardly walk. I get $743 per month. I am struggling on this amount. If they take it entirely away, or take a portion of it, that will be signing my death warrent. There are many, many thousands like me. To know that every politician will not get their checks stopped is horrible to someone like me. To know that our government has stolen my hard earned money is sickning. Maybe we should move to another country so we can get foreign aid. They give that out quicker than taking care of the ones who have already paid into the system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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jim April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

i totally agree with you marie and you did speak the truth that the democrats and republicans give monet to foreignors and say americans that pay our wages have to wait it is very very wrong

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andys2i July 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Here is an update on the status of SSI……

White House spokesman Jay Carney said ” Some recipients, new retirees, new applicants might not receive their checks. If retirees have questions about their checks, if they didn’t get their check in the mail, if they had a change of address, all those things could prevent them from getting their checks”

Andrew Biggs, deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration during the George W. Bush presidency, says SSI payments will be made. This is because what’s paid out in Social Security benefits comes from payroll taxes, not congressional appropriations. Biggs says that money won’t be affected by a shutdown, even though the jobs of some Social Security employees could be. He is 100 percent confident the checks will go out. But you could see in a government shutdown that people would have a harder time applying for benefits or doing other things that – where they would interact with the Social Security Administration’s offices.

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andys2i July 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Q: Will I get my Social Security check?

A: It depends on how the Treasury prioritizes its spending. The government will have $306.7 billion worth of bills to pay between Aug 3. and Aug. 31 and is expected to bring in just $172.4 billion in revenue, according to an analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center. Some or all of the bills could go unpaid.

A big test will come Wednesday, when $23 billion in Social Security payments are to go out.

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Dean Fitzpatrick July 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Are we ready to stand and fight? Is it not time that we let the rich know that they have also pay their fair share or get the hell out of this country. It is time that we send the rich to the same place were they sent all the jobs. What are the rich really doing for us? They refuse to serve in the Arm forces. They are refusing to create more jobs. They are refusing to pay more taxes. They are killing the unions so that they can go back to running sweat shops without fear. Is it not time that we who are not rich stand together just like the rich and force them to realize that we are not their slaves. Come on people is it not time we grown a back bone? All we have to do is refuse to work and have a massive march on Washington and refuse to leave until our demands are meet.
Is it not time that we stand our ground and fight?

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Trina Barker July 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

How are we expected to move forward, if we are moving backwards. Are we on the brink of becoming a third world country.

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Ked July 31, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Explain how the republicans kept the stimulus from helping turn the economy around. Democrats controlled how big the stimulus was and where it was spent. By increasing the debt to its current levels, it has actually done the opposite. This debt is an 800 lb albatross around the neck of this economy and the lack of clear leadership and a clear roadmap of how we are going to get out of this mess is keeping business, both large and small, from hiring. Ask any businessman why aren’t hiring and they will tell you that it is the unknown threat of more taxes and regulations that is keeping them from spending on jobs. Reducing regulation and corporate taxes, even if temporarily, would help stimulate economic growth. Notice I didn’t say eliminating regulation, just reducing the over-regulation that is prevalent in Washington right now. Both the Democrats and Republicans in Washington are trying to increase their power while reducing ours. This country was created with the power in our hands, not governments.

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Razamataz September 20, 2011 at 12:38 am

I agree with Dean, its about time we all took a stand and go on strike against the government. I mean think about it if all the middle class went on strike, for just one day nothing would get done, b/c who does all the work in this country and is way underpaid, the middle class. The middle class work their asses of and the rich reap all the rewards. I say all us middle class stop working until our needs are met, Im with Dean. The government doesnt realize how important the middle class is, they need to stop catering to the rich, and stop treating us like slaves. Why dont they tax the people who can afford the tax hike? Enough is enough dont the people who are middle class deserve to live a good life too? These people who are rich have beyond what they need meanwhile we cannot even afford the bare minimum to live. I have a disability, now I dont plan on staying on disability forever, just till I get back on my feet. They are trying to take it away, now I have worked all my life, just recently I needed to fall back on this b/c I was struggling with my health, if they take this away I dont know what I will do, I need it for my medications and such, just 2 more years and I would be back on my feet. I had brain surgery for epilepsy, my point is I struggled throughout life and worked even though I had this disorder, now when I need help I cant even get it, so what is the government really here for? Just to take our money and never really help us out, we are all just numbers, they dont care as long as their pockets are full. Come on people lets take a stand we deserve to enjoy our lives as much as the rich do. Enough of the rat race!

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kitty Kat July 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

So I have been recieving disability for a year now and I am still due a back payment in nov 2011, will this be affected? and will my monthly checks be affected?

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andys2i July 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

You should get the checks till at least Sep 30. After that it depends on how the treasury prioritizes payments. Though I think a debt deal will eventually be reached by then.

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elva wright July 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

I want to know if federal retirees will get their annuity check on august first?

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CONNIE July 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I am the primary caretaker for my mom. We live together and unfortunately we too depend on SSI and Food Stamps. She needs my help 24/7 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Her medications keep her alive, ie.. insulin, to name a few. Believe me, we do not live outside our means, we can’t.
All we can do his Pray to GOD to please give our government officials guidance and to put their priorities where they should be, on the people that elected them. They need to take a good long look at people like my Mom, now, who does nothing but worry. At 85 years old, She shouldn’t have to be worrying about something like this.

So, instead of everyone trying to place blame, ask GOD to please step in and make this right.

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Lynda August 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Yes, I agree– we need to stop placing blame and worrying and pray for those in control the the Lord will give them the wisdom to make the right decision and help those in need as I am doing, members of my family also depend on those benefits.

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LVN85 July 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

THE REPUCLICANS HAS A PROBLEM WITH OBAMA BECAUSE HES BLACK AND IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THEY NEED TO TAKE IT UP WITH HIM, AND LEAVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT OF IT,AND GIVE THOSE PEOPLE THIER CHECKS

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LAR July 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm

No one care’s that he is black! It is the black’s who are angry he is in, now they can’t use being black as an excuse.

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katamaran August 1, 2011 at 8:40 am

Wow what an ignorant comment….I’m pretty sure you did not conduct a survey before you posted this crap.

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jim April 2, 2013 at 9:13 am

wrong lvn85 the republicans are no against obama becasue of his skin color they are against his changes that have hurt the american people ,how he does something wrong and hten blames the republicans for his own mistakes is he not responsible for his own misatakes?? is he worse them jimmy carter one that screws up and gets american soldiers killed in benzi attack and refuses to take the blame for it

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sharon brooks July 25, 2011 at 3:33 am

If they stop our ssi checks and va checks ,just how are we suppose to pay our bills? My husband and I are on va and ssI. Would we loose our home and everything else? And I thought there was a law passed back in the late 1990′s that they couldn’t touch the payments of those on disibility. That that money would always be there for those on this.And if you do stop them, what are we going to do? Welfare? You rep., and democ., need to get it together! We put you in the place you are and now as far as I am concerned ,you need to stop this bickering back and forth to see who can out do the other.You need to find a solution and fast, even if it is temperary.This is redicilous!I vote and I think we deserve the best. We are the united states of america!And we have let ourselfs go! Why don’t you all stop your checks and benifits? See how long that last!Take all of your checks and put it toward thos that need to pay there bills and feed there family! Do away with your 2,3,4 homes and expensive cars! Oh no you can’t do that! Well gyuess what! I as many others have only one car and one home! I want our check and our benifits too.

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LVN85 July 26, 2011 at 8:37 am

GOD WILL PROVIDE, YOU WILL SEE, HE IS GETTING READY TO TAKE FROM THE RICH, AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND KEEP PRAYING

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Phillip B July 23, 2011 at 2:35 am

I remember when the federal gov. paid $900.00 for a hammer back in the mid 80′s…You people don’t need to complain at each other and hope that this person and that person loses their paychecks. Actually everyone needs to pray that our good Lord will pass judgement on the IRRESPONSIBLE people in the Federal Gov. that is embezzling and over spending so that these certain individuals can write it off and get the kick backs from the above mentioned ie; $900.00 hammer… This is the stupid stuff that is ruining our country…Not Social Security, Not Food Stamps, Not Retirement etc… Its the OVERSPENDING on say, wars that we stick our noses into that have nothing to do with us, its the responding to every major disaster in OTHER countries that put us into spiraling debt and over hiring and too many different Gov. Agencies that are totally unneccessary to have. I bet we must have over 50 different FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMNET TYPE Agencies…>>>WHY!!!!?????!!!! This is ludicris! IRS, U.S. TREASURY, FBI, CIA, HOMELAND SECURITY, TSA, DEA, U.S. BORDER and the list will go on & on. These are the problems with our country and why we are in debt. …Remember this people, our federal gov. cares too much about showing off to the rest of the world about how much money we have that we can spend to give to this country and that country that they are totally forgetting about their OWN FAMILY…THE UNITED STATES.. .We have more homeless & hungry people here in our on COUNTRY that they should be looking after them instead of worring about the rest of the world. I don’t want that to sound INHUMANE!, But fact is fact. Our federal gov. is helping too many other countries with AID here and AID there that they are totally neglecting their own child>>>THE UNITED STATES.. I REST MY CASE.

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katamaran August 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

Bravo…..well said

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jm August 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I can not agree with you more Phillip B. I recently found myself with disability in the last two years and only 54 years old. If the government takes away any portion of my benefits, I will be homeless and hungry on the streets. We no longer have the ability to take care of every other country and not our own. I too, don’t want to sound inhumane however, how can they justify the very aid the government helps other countries but yet we are in horrible need here I have neighbors that worry and twist their hands in torment about being hungry and in the streets. The disable need all the benefits they can get. Even with that, you can’t make ends meet. It still comes down to the rich not wanting to give up their live styles to help their own. I pray everyday on God’s help and mercy and as you stated, God’s judgement on the irresponssible of people, wether it be the government and the citizens that have or has abused the welfare systems. I can assure citizens out there, I an not one of those that abuse the system. I need what I have. I have worked since I was 13 years old, even before the legal age to work. I have no place to go or live if my benefits are cut. Bring our troops home and guard our borders. I ask my doctors all the time to get me back to work. They tell me I will probably never work again. If there is a way to get to work, I will. If as a citizen in the US, we did the things our Federal Gov. does, we would be in the Federal jail. It is embezzling. The President should be ashamed. Maybe he thinks he is getting the job done but, I think he is making it worse. I don’t have the answer. If I did have the answers, I would have a job and not on Social Security. I wish there would be a way to weed out the people who abuse the system but, again I don’t have the answer. Thank you for putting into works what I feel and can’t say because of my medical issues. I can not always put into words what is so deeply felt in my heart and I am sure thousands of others. Keep up the go work. I need somebody that can say what I can not get across. Bravo….and may God bless us all.

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crazylikeafox October 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

yes i agree w/1 more thing. those in our country who want to work the system instead of adding to the system! welfare was created to help get back on your feet. i live around so many on welfare & live together.they have new carS fancy living (for this part) they all get food stamps for each individual family & most of the kids run rampid while the grown ups drug up drink up whore up ect… i like others have worked since aqe 15 or so. i got hurt at work & now i am disabled on a diabilty pay. i just had #4 surgy & while i try to recover i have to worry if i wii be able to pay bills & have a roof over my head. i am to old to have any kids so i can go on welfare get housing & food stamps. all i am allowed is 850$ a mth & that is after they took a chunck out.$ amount is dif.from state to state. so we need jobs & we need to quit paying males & females(not quit men & woman these are mouchers) so take the children to care for in homes that will give jobs it will make baby makers to stop cause we no longer support them (we will only have homes for the inocent children) then we can teach values to those who werent nothing but a meal ticket we can give them love & since we now have so many w/jobs we can help keep them off the streets & out a jail which will also save us money & so on then those of us truly n need on disabilty r retired will get what we worked for & paid into. i want you to know i mean those who abuse our country & our benafits. yes our $ should stay n USA but those here should respectg it not just for them but for all!!!!! ALL FOR 1 .1 FOR ALL

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lisa July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

OK….. I want to know one question? Why isn’t the government cutting where cutting needs to be? First of all, I have worked since I was 15 yrs old. I am now 38. I raised my 2 kids without any help from the government EXCEPT medicaid, for my job didn’t offer health benefits. I did not receive food stamps or any kind of WELFARE check. WHY don’t we cut the WELFARE checks, for those who are too lazy to work? AND DON’T SAY THERE AREN’T ANY JOBS, THAT MAY BE THE CASE NOW, BUT NOT FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS! All of these people having 5 or 6 kids just so that they can MOOCH off the government and get about 600-700 dollars a month in FOOD STAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIDICULOUS!!! Get off your ass if your gonna have that many kids, and quit laying down to have them!!!! BIRTH CONTROL PEOPLE… If you cannot afford 1 or 2 kids and work and be able to support them, why are you having more and more kids and depending on the government to pull YOUR weight as a parent. Those of you who are reading this, don’t bitch and gripe because YOU KNOW I’m telling the truth. Say whatever you want but get off your lazy butts and quit depending on the government to take care of you and all of your 3, 4, 5, 6 kids!!!! And also talking about cuts for the disabled and elderly????? NO WAY, NO CHANCE. They cannot get away with this, as their will be a major war that will occur. These people have worked all their lives and put into social security and your telling me they are taking UR OWN MONEY from you? It’s bullshit

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lady j July 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

A tru nut,jus because u been working since u was 15 don’t mean nothing to these ppl n the white house,they can stop ur shit to,some ppl can’t work n don’t have no kids,this don’t have nothing to do with the amount of kids somebody have…one day u gon be n dat warefare line,one day u gon be looking for more work,one day u gon b asking for help,n one day u will come to ur sinces…..

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teresa lamb July 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I do not agree with everybody getting cut off welfare checks cause after my husband passed away i had no choice but to sign up for welfare,and even though they have taken the check away from me i still can not find a job i have searched everywhere and i have an 8 year old girl to take care of and no way to do that,so no one can tell me i am lazy and just wanting to mooch off the government cause i have tried to find a job and cant.

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LAR July 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Have you applied to McDonalds? Offered Babysitting services? etc…

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Monica August 3, 2011 at 12:18 am

@Lisa

I do not agree with people laying around collecting snaps (food stamps) because they are lazy. I also would like to say, what about the millions of people that are getting laid off from their high education careers and have no choice but to collect aid from the government. Don’t bash everyone research the statistics first. As far as having kids most of the time it cant be helped even with birth control and sure do not condone abortion but some people do need to at least try and re-frame from unprotected sex.

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crazylikeafox October 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

huray for you u tel it! i did

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jim April 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

to be honest with you lisa where are the jobs?? that would help people on welfare make ends meet?? most are gone out of this god forsaken country,i have watched the news for more then twenty years hearing how these plants and shops are layig off indefinate workers nd the jobs vbeing shipped to other countries the ones that people that used to work dont work any more becasue they are gone and are you one that voted?? most people cnat afford to buy a decent meal becasue your own govnorment lifted the freeze on prices nbow the rich store owners and other owners took avantage of that like glens grocery stores and others like walmart and big coperate grocery stores and since there is a few health nuts out there trying to get people to eat healthy stores jacked up their food prices drastically on health foods and so did resturants and when our govnorment and others are pushing hte obese game on people they need to stop complaing and pushing the blame becaue when a burger ata fast food sells for 99 cents anda salad for 4.99 poor and middle class people are going to buy that 99 cent burger before spending 4.99 on that salad if you wnat you can go to the resturants nf grocery stores and demand they drop hteir food prices see if that will help if not dont complain about pewople on welfare if our govnorment can feed foreignors on americans tax payers dollars then they can feed their own on americans tax dollars

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jonathanredd July 18, 2011 at 12:58 am

i think that poeple should stop pointing the fingger and deal with the raw issue it just bothers me that poeple rather spend 100,000 on a watch rather help the us get out of this problem just to be honest im slowly dieing doto bad jugement on my part and i am highly diabled and i will likely die faster if they cut my medicade and or ssi i think that poepleshould come together a a poeple. and on the jobs here in the us they keep say low taxties for the rich y thay are not the ones how hire i wnet to try and get a simple job flipen burgers and they told me thati was too old there lokking for teen agers thats the problem

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Jim July 16, 2011 at 4:25 am

When it comes to fiscal responsibility, this administration has come up with the worst performance I’ve seen in my life. In other words, the worst since before 1935. Presidential candidate Obama promised “change.” That promise got him elected. Well, we’ve got change, alright. Obama preached against debt. Since he came into office our debt has become an anvil chained around our necks and the necks of our children and grandchildren. What a mess!

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Dan July 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

He also promised compromise, promised to reach across the isle…promised not to be a divider…so many broken promises by this president that history will be quick to score him sooner rather than years later.

He never submitted, as required by LAW, a balanced budget…and he has all of the tools to do so…it’s like sitting there waiting for his review…they agencies send in their separate budgets annually like clockwork. The back up data is there but Obama has not handed out his 5 year plan to project a budget so OMB can’t crunch the bloody numbers.

Obama is a failure at being el presidente…massive epic failure…and people voted for him to fix it???????????? Sheesh

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melissa cumpian July 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

president obama is not to blame for all this, we were already facing this crisis long before. I believe that there have been too many people just free-loading off of the government and there really has to be more demanding rules for people who want to get benefits from the government. handicapped and elderly should not be brought into these cuts because most of the people that are in this category have worked in the past and are entitled to there benefits. and i leave with this in mind…the rich get richer, but maybe it is because they knew how to save up for this situation that has arisen.

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Karen Griffin August 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I do not agree that the rich just know’s how to save… If they did not get all sort’s of tax cut’s let alone not having to pay income tax that is their savings is that right to be able to save in that sort of way? The elderly and disabled have no choice but to depend on the checks that are rightfully theirs.. We did not ask the government to spend our social security money and now we have to suffer for their spending and not repaying the social security back…If you borrow money you expect to get paid back…It is like being ripped off when we did not vote to have our money removed from what was suppose to be safe from greedy hands The Government need’s to let go of their pay checks and all the luxuries of their good health care expensive car’s, home’s and the best food , that we have to depend on food stamp’s and food pantry’s let alone not a lot of people only recieving $30.00 or less for food stamps a month we can get healthy on that…I could go on and on but the bottom line to this is that we as people of the United States should not have to suffer for the top 2%.

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jim April 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

wrong mellisa very wrong

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Michelle July 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

They act like they don’t have money and that’s bull.First they want to close schools down and now they want to cut checks.What are we suppose to do,it’s not like there are jobs out here because now a days it’s hard to find one and how about the criminals that can’t get one.I believe that if this goes down that the world would become very ugly and will would probably have a WWIII this year.That’s way I’m very tired of voting for people that say that they are going to make a change to this world,but all you’re doing is hurting the people of this world.I wished that bill clinton was still president because he was one of the best presidents that served us well!!!..

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Inez James July 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I believe that if these cuts accord that the whole world would be done. Us people that has worked for these programs should beable to recieve them. Start cutting back on these people that are up on the high ladder parts of companies, city boards, churches that are getting money and aren’t preaching what they should. Taxes in the working fields yes, not the disability, or social security. Those people that are working could pay in more but, we all are paying in on the crimnals in prison that is another cut. Make those people work for their stay. Everyone of them.

Thanks again.

Inez James

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Lia Ritchie July 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm

“Many have argued that if our nations politicians cannot resolve the debt ceiling issue they should be the first to stop getting paid. However this is unlikely since Congress and the President’s administration are considered an essential, top priority function so would be amongst the last groups to stop receiving payments”
Translation: They are the elitists who need to stay rich and ride around in jet setting and they cannot maintain their lavish lifestyles at the expense of millions of average Americans if payments stop. STOP PAYING THESE FAT CAT POLITICIANS TO ROB AMERICA!!!

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Barbara April 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Renamed the reverse Robin-hood budget. This budget is nothing more than a tea party checklist targeting programs that help the most vulnerable – cuts off food aid for the poor, grants to local police departments and help for children of inmates. It’s shameful, a moral disgrace!

The bill cuts $600 million from community health programs, $414 million from grants for state and local police departments, and $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. Community development block grants, a favorite with mayors of both political parties, take a $950 million cut. And construction and repair projects for federal buildings would absorb an almost $1 billion cut.

High-speed rail grants would be cut back by $2.9 billion, while liberals decried cuts to a program that provides food aid to poor women and their children.

Obama, however, was able to ease cuts to favored programs like medical research, family planning programs and education, while largely ridding the bill of conservative policy initiatives to block last year’s health care law and new environmental regulations.

But the measure would have little direct impact on the deficit through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, since about $8 billion in immediate domestic program cuts are more than outweighed by increases for the Pentagon and ongoing war costs.

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Just Me April 9, 2011 at 2:39 am

First of all those illegal immigrants that are here work under false names and then never file their taxes due to the fear of being caught. Second of all I have six kids and a husband, we live off of 2,500.00 a month. So those of you who are complaining about having to make it on that for just you, well you are very selfish and not grateful for what you have! Maybe you should figure out where your money is going, because if you are receiving Social Security, SSI or disability then most of your prescriptions can be covered by several companies that offer prescription benefits for little cost or FYI Wal-mart has a prescription plan that you can also sign up for and United gives some prescriptions away for free. We live a decent life because we know how to make the money go further by saving money where we can. We buy winter clothes in the summer for the following winter and summer clothes in the winter for the following summer. Clip coupons and buy things when they are for sale!! If you feel as if you have to drive a nice car or live in a nice house so that you can keep your friends. GET A CLUE they are not your friends anyways!! Stop gripping about what you had to do to get where you are and be grateful for what you have because there is always someone less fortunate then yourself!! To me it seems that several people are to busy feeling sorry for themselves to be grateful for what they have!! Welcome to the real world everyone does not do what you think they should or what you want them to!!

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Just Me April 9, 2011 at 2:43 am

Added Note:
If the illegal immigrants do not file taxes then that means that they are paying in money that they never get back!! So those of you who file false claims to get SSI can get a check from those taxes that where never paid back to the illegal immigrants.

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Kadi July 15, 2011 at 12:40 am

You appear to be incredibly undereducated on the subject & should consider not posting to avoid embarrassment for all of us!

First off Illegals do NOT pay into the tax system as they are paid under the table (cash) they can’t get a SS# unless they ARE legal, therefore can not file taxes! They can however in many states receive social services regardless of their legal status…

Second… SSD & SSI are NOT the same thing. People who are PREEMINENTLY disabled receive SSD, the monthly amount they receive is based on their earnings & is only 60% of their earnings… So, what that means is that if you’re woking & earning an estimated 60K a year & you become disabled your income from SSD will pay out to aprox 35-40K before Medicare is taken out of it. So now your down 20K a year, 2 kids in college, locked in an upside down mortgage & earning to much to qualify for any assistance. Think about it & consider that you’re 55, 10 years off retirement & you’ve been working since you were 15 years old. DON’T BE AN ASS & start judging people when you have no idea what you’re talking about, not everyone is a free loader… They worked hard & paid into the system, just like you.

SSI is for people with low incomes, usually the only people who receive SSI are the elderly & disabled who do not have an income over $800 a month… & yes they can & probably do, sign up for prescription assistance programs but you’re insane for thinking that clipping coupons would offset the burden these people are under, there not driving flashy cars or owning homes… there is group homes, senior center & places you would never consider acceptable for your self.

So when you get your head out of your ass & realize there’s a lot more to the situation you may attempt to educate yourself to formulate a quality response to my challenge, anything short of consideration for other people is not worth the continued effort…

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lady j July 22, 2011 at 12:35 am

Ikr,they come here n stiil other ppl info,but we paying for their bs,its sad dat ppl feel they don’t want to vote no more because nothing is changing,I myself never voted for no one n never will,but barak is really trying hard to make things better for us….c they don’t care cause they r set for life,they have built underground homes,they will b down there eatin up shit while we up here beating the shit out of one another.n probally hVe cameras down there to watch…MY TRUST IS ONLY N GOD.

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deaf April 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I cant believe this. This goverment shutdown. What going happen to us? We had better pray to God help us. For I know, these Army men need be home without paid or half. That kind nuts..
All those has taken away or cut down. The world is upside down. There no one out there to control it. I know God can control and no body cant. What a mess..

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gaetano July 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

Maybe our soldiers should just say, No pay,then we won’t fight, so lets go home .boys.screw the government.

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"Jo" April 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Get rid of all of the white haired grey mares as Congressmans and Senators and the cry baby House Speaker

All white headed gray haired men that call themselves in the
Government need to gooooooooooooo!

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andys2i April 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

According to administration documentation: “Congress will sort out who gets paid for time worked during a shutdown and those employees will be paid when Congress passes and the president signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution.” Executive Branch ethics regulations governing whether federal employees can take jobs elsewhere during a shutdown still apply, and paid vacation time cannot be taken during a government shutdown. If an “essential” or “excepted” employee does not report for work as ordered, they will be deemed AWOL and be subject to “subsequent consequences.”

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Inez James April 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Well, If you ask me. Our government wasn’t as good as they thought they were in budgetting. We should have been watching this way long ago. We were to free with the spending not the budgetting. Spending money on things that didn’t need spending. This goes for city and country. The government saying we need to spend money on lights or decorate fire hydrates. To me we didn’t take care of our own. In stand we were busy take care of others. Now we have dug us in a ditch that only God can get us out. So I believe we better be praying to God for help.

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naomi April 1, 2011 at 1:56 am

wheres my money obama? i havent gotten my disability check my bank is overwithdrawing are you going to pay for the overdraft fees also if your late on paying me my disability checks? please give us a stimulus check food and gas and meds and rent all went up how the heck can you say the cost of living didnt go up i guess we are all screwed and euthinized as we well die on the streets with no source of income i am too sick too work it is because of a disease the shotty government invented.. there should be a mass lawsuit against the governemnt for making it impossible for me to get my health back or get treatment instead i am made forced to suffer and die young thanks for ruining and betraying the american people.

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ReDDs April 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

@ naomi only a stupid WHITE BITCH like yourself can think Obama is not the one creating the hold up them nasty ass Republicans its just another trick to make Obama look bad

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Steve April 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

@ReDD You’re a prejudiced piece of shit who I wish I knew so I could put a couple hole’s in you big mouth. You’re a punk, and obviously are an uneducated piece of crap! How do you know if Naomi isn’t black? The only reason you voted for Obama was because he’s black! You need to shut the fuck up!

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Mrs. Mitchell April 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm

.@ ReDD- I understand what you are saying about Republicans wanting to make Obama look like the bad guy. It make’s bush look like he was a better President although we all know he was not, with that said, it does not always need to come down to racism. There are minorities that believe Obama was a big mistake while there are many white Americans that believe he is the greatest thing that ever happened to our country. We just don’t need to bring it to a racial issue:)

@ Steve WOW obviously you know Naomi personally so you are in defense mode but you just called him “uneducated” and said “The only reason you voted for Obama was because he was black”. Well not only did you sound “uneducated” but you also resorted to racism. You could have handled that situation a little better or expressed yourself differently since you are the educated one:)

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Kadi July 15, 2011 at 12:44 am

@ Mrs. Mitchell… WELL SAID!
We all have our points of view & this is a charged topic, but attacking the values & views of others does NOT get your point heard… You guys should consider articulating your thoughts in a way that others will hear them.

Amina March 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

One thing I never hear people suggest when it comes to debt or the dwindling economy is cutting back. My husband and I have both agreed that when times get tough, the first thing we will do is cut off our cable and internet. That right there puts $200 a month in our pockets. I think one of the biggest problems Americans have is living outside of their means. There is a huge difference between what a person needs to survive and what a person wants to live comfortably. Unfortunately, our society makes us think we need things to survive: High tech cell phones that can access the internet and start our cars from two states away; On-Star in our cars in the event of an accident; bottled water and Pur filters for drinking water (I drank out of the faucet growing up and it didn’t kill me). I remember reading somewhere that Warren Buffet doesn’t even own a cell phone… and the man has money coming out of his ears!! Just start cutting back on things and see how much money you can save. You would be suprised the things you can do without in this world.

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Jeff April 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Well said, well said. Cutting back in any way possible is just that. There are a lot of ways that everyone can do it. You brought up a good point, drinking faucet water, as a point. I really think that depends on where you live. I live in Colorado, so I don’t even drink bottled water, and we drink from our faucet anyhow. People can definitely save money by thinking about their utility bills too. Don’t go overboard in your homes. Turn off the lights and the TV’s. Send your kids outside and enjoy the outdoors. Take walks, don’t drive. Use the bus. Heck, get a bike! Research cheap recipes online too; kids don’t care what they are eating, as long as it tastes decent and they get full. Do you?

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C.A.L.M. March 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I agree with Bill, Susan, and Elizabeth. for most of my life, I was a federal employee, full time under the Veterans Admiistration division. I have worked since I was 16 years old, going to college and living on my own and holding down my federal job full time and a part time professional job for private hospitals under short term contracts, at the same time. In 2005, I had accomplished one of many goals to recieve a promotion to a GS 6 with the federal government, and keep in mind I was still working a part time job as well and raising my daughter without any Wic, food stamps, state housing, welfare, etc. I raised my daughter on my own paychecks and provided all our needs. In 2005 after going through rigorous training for 6 weeks that should have been for 8-10 weeks, my new promotional job, new car, new first time husband, home etc., due to the extensive stress of the job, I became disabled with two disablities, one that is family genetic and was like a cancer waiting to come out, and the other, another chronic 24/7 joint and muscle disease, both have no cure. The federal gov. claimed they could not find or create a job for me based on my disabilities and therefore the
federal government put me out on federal retirement disability annuitant. I was told to apply for my social security that I had worked for and paid into for 38years of my life. I applied the first time and was denied, and then per my attorney from the federal government, instead of appealing 3x and being turned down by the samed review board, I chose the last and final resort which was to have my case reviewed by the Social Security Administrative Judge, and his review board of doctors . For 16 months, I went through hell, I had not starting receiving my annuity for at least several months, I had to go to food banks that gave you whatever, say thank you humbly and leave. I went to Social Services to receive food stamps, and help with my rent and because I had a 401K that I had forgotten about, ( I didn’t know that when they put me on disability my health, life insurance and 401K followed me as well), the audacity of these clerks from social security told me I was rich, real funny to them but not to me; and that I had to take out my 401K and close it and then when it ran out to come back. Now here I am seeing 3 specialist doctors, being bombarded with 10 prescription medications, that did all sorts of reactions to me mentally and physically, and I’m looking very angry at all of these Illegal immigrants and their 4-5 kids in buggies and toddlers and seeing this other race of people driving up in Escalade SUV’s and new trucks and cars etc. I did snap on the state employee, of how these illegal people have lived off of my taxes for almost 40 years and I never asked the state for any help, and now I’m in drastic need of help and I can’t get a dime of anything, because my prior income was $1000.00 above the poverty level to them ;and to me literally, if it was not for my church and my Sunday School teacher and her Deacon husband, paying my rent to keep me from being thrown out on the street, it was turning real depressing, bitter, and angry
for me. I was literally losing the will to live for myself, and there was no light that I could see at the end of the tunnel. My husband and I divorced because he could not deal with both of my disabilities, ( don’t get it wrong: he was a good man and loved me sincerely, but as a human being when a spouse is faced with so many other challenges in their lives when it comes down to another spouse being totally disabled, it is so true, not everybody is strong enough to have to deal with other major physical disabilities, marriage is hard enough to deal with and both working at a prosperous married life.) If it was hard enough for me to deal with and accept the first two years of being disabled and trying to work 3 different jobs, against medical advise from my three specialist private doctors that irritated both disabilities to the maximum, I don’t fault my ex-husband for not being able to deal with everything we were facing and also our first 3 years of marriage. Before being totally disabled with two incurable diseases, I was making $50,000.00 a year on my own, I had bankrupt my savings, my 401K, went through a divorce and lost many friends and church family. I’s the old truth that smacked me in the face, as long as you have something in your life that gives you respect and status and money, you will have more friends and acquaintances than you can count on 2 hands, but once you are down and without you soon find out who your true allies are and you will see them help you and support you through your tragedy that was dealt to you like a deck of cards, that you have to learn to play the new hand of cards and survive the best way you can to try to stay afloat. After my Social Security finally came through and was approved from the Social Security Administrative Judge, I received my first back pay check that was taxed of course and I began paying back my former church, and each and every person and doctors that were there for me in this new world that I was facing alone. Then get this, the federal government paid me too much money with my disability retirement annuity checks: $10,000.00 too much and now I have to pay back all of it, because someone made a mistake and they are not being held responsible for their mistake, not my mistake, but I have to pay for someone else’s mistake, before I even got my Social Security. Oh believe me I wrote appeal letters and finally they decided they would deduct $50.00 a month due to my financial hardship instead of the almost $200.00 they were taking out of my federal disabiity annuity check. Now, it’s funny the state of Colorado feels like I’m rich financially from my Social Security Monthly check that I worked for and paid into and my Federal Disability annuity check I get every month, and what makes it a shame and laughable at the same time is that I am not recieving anywhere near the $50,000.00 when I was working, and now on my taxes for, 2010 both checks gross together is $20,598.00. Keep in mind I still have to see 3 specialist private medical doctor’s, and my apartment is a pharmeutical of all of my medications I have to have in order to live day by day, month to month, and there have been times that I might have had to leave a medication at the pharmacy because I didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Actually, I’ve had to resort to eating vegetables, soups, and salads because the meats I used to purchase for dinner meals, I can no longer afford at the grocery store anymore.
And to be honest about it, my two monthly checks I get every month are literally gone before I get to the bank to get my money to pay for my doctors, medications, rent, utilities, buspass to ride public transportatin, and the rest is left for food less that $100.00 a month and laundry.
So, those people that are narrowed minded and think everybody is out for a handout, and have never contributed their life to working an honest job or two all their lives, you need to grow up and pray that your perfect world will not end up like my and Bill’s(2-28-2011) perfect world was
destroyed in a blink of an eye. Bill and I and millions of other people like us have done our contributions to working all of our lives, paying taxes for illegal immigrants that live off of our taxes and they don’t even have to pay taxes , and claim they have more right’s than we do, bullcrap, and if it isn’t enough that many of us are not senior citizens, that worked all of our lives and we depend on our Social Security Checks and Annuity Checks to make it through to receive our money that we paid into our Social Security with our names on record. We didn’t ask to be disabled, we didn’t ask for our lives and marriages to belly up, we are not asking for anything that is not due to us, especially since it’s our own money, and our livelihood that is being put into jeopardy, not somebody else’s. As far as I’m concerned if our American Government would stop trying to take care of every other countries problems and focus on our country and the people that were born and raised here legally on American soil and have worked ourselves to death, and now our own money is in jeopardy, no wonder the American world is in financial trouble.Take care of your own country first and every other country second, and stop allowing all of these illegal immigrants, Mexicans, Hispanics, Russians, Africans, Haitians, Ethiopians, Latin Americans, etc. etc. etc. to live off of our hard earned money, we’ve worked for and paid into. As well as stop supporting all of the idol human sports people making more money than the average worker will ever see in a lifetime, the movie stars, people like Oprah, filthy rich but yet she is no GOD, she puts her undies on like any other woman, these prople want your money and you give it to them freely, I don’t see any of these idols giving me or Bill anything. We just want what is ours that we are entitled to. And until you’ve been through what Bill and I have been through people please stop categorizing everyone in the same category. I’m sure Bill and I would love to have our lives back and the hands of time turned back to our lives when we were vibant employees, making our money the honest way and our perfect or almost perfect world was what we lived for; for us, and our families. I am not trying to be crask or crude, or rude or arrogant or pompous, but this is my story of my life now and the last 5 years, and I don;t appreciate it when people assume that everyone on Social Security is getting a hand out. Some people don’t know that there ared 2 types of disability: Social Security Disability is for people that have worked nearly all of their lives on a job or any job and we have paid into the Social Security disability and that is our money. Social Security Insurance is what people get which is like welfare, for those people that have never worked a job or jobs long enough to get social security disability, now these are the people you need to be raising hell to and not those of us that have paid our debt to society and have to pay it again to illegal immigrants. This is my story and my feelings; now can you feel me and where I am coming from !

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Robert April 7, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Now can you feel where I’m coming from? *

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steve April 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hi, I know how you feel. unfortunately everything going on is people validating their
existance. I didnt have health insurance and found myself into a one months stay
in the hospital. I had to sign over my home to medical so that when I die some of
the costs will be frayed after I die. You basically get kicked to the curb by friends, family.
I am now in a wheelchair as I cant afford the thereapy needed to enable me to walk.
I am an american citizen, born in california contributed to all taxes all my life
not sure its a blessing but am greatful for it I get disability. I worked almost 42 years
contributing to all funds, I feel like ive been kicked to the corner.

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ets April 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

CALM I am sorry for your troubles. I thought I was the only one with this complaint. After working 2 or more jobs for most of my life, I became disabled when I was 55. My husband had a stroke a few years prior and the stress of caring for him and keeping my business and my management job going was more than I can handle. We each take 10 or more meds a month. We have medicare. We do have SSD payments. We do not make more than 23,000 combined each YEAR. I have several chronic diseases and qualified for SSD on about 5 different criteria-however no increase in years in money and it is supposed to be bankrupt in 2 years-so what then? Folks are ok to a point- they ask how you are but do not know what to do with the answer- it overwhelms them to hear what I am dealing with- they want you to be positive- do this- do that- etc…some are so afraid that you are going to lean on them and have so much fear about what you want if you call them. It is hard I suppose to get it, unless you live it. My daughter even acts like we brought it on ourselves, or I should do things differently. I started an online business- it is slow going. I am back in school full time -online- now the government may cut Pell Grants….great! My school is mostly folks trying to retrain for new careers because of the unemployment rate or military personnel trying to earn life skills for future careers. That would cut us off at the knees. It almost sounds like Nazi Germany was more humane-they took the folks into concentration camps owned the fact that they were trying to eliminate them, and went about killing them off because they were expendable to their culture and belief system. I feel as though those who have maintained their lives through the grace of God, safe investments, inheritances, family money-and good health have no clue what it is like to cash in your savings,your 401k, your life -because you are ill and cannot keep up with what it takes to maintain bills. Five years into this I continue to fight the foreclosure on my home, I try to keep my husband safe, fed, medicated, and treated by appropriate medical staff. For myself I have an abiding faith in God that often times needs to be boosted and today you boosted me by sharing your story. Thank you. Keep your faith- We will persevere!
What can we do? Rise up. write letters- I already do- I believe it is like the great guy who hands out twenty dollar bills at the bar cus a friend needs a drink, buys rounds for everyone and then goes home to a family that is starving and needs a crust of bread to eat….when no one is looking- the things you do not see-the things you wish to avoid- those are the things that need your attendtion folks- help your fellow Americans-not other nations-not your inflated egos, not your pocketbooks and if you have millions of dollars of your own money to spend on campaigning then refuse a salary and make it your civil duty to serve-because you grew up entitled and this is how you are going to pay it forward….

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Blessed July 14, 2011 at 4:30 am

Very well said….

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lessgovnow March 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I’ve already seen hiring freezes in place where I work, but management is not using this as an excuse to do lay-offs (and I don’t think they will hire these people back!). Worrying times, but perhaps it is the conservatives way of getting a smaller govt.

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Donny March 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

You got to give it to republicans for their hell of a game plan. There are using the same game plan they used to protect the rich and wall street. They blamed and convinced many that average americans were responsible for the financial meltdown and not wall street or the banks. Now the are using the same strategy to convince many that union workers are responsible for all state budgets woes. All the while never making the rich pay their fair share. I wonder how many voters now regret voting for republicans?

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John March 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I agree with you Donny. Lets see how the Republican vets react when they start losing some of their benefits they worked so hard for. I am a retired vet and a family who happens to be unemployed. So I have to rely on my retired military pay in order to make my mortgage payments. If that stops I lose my house. Then I’ll have to punch Boehner in the face.

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ets April 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

punch him!!!!!

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jim April 2, 2013 at 9:50 am

democrats are just as much to blame as republicans there donny and john are you to sleepy to wake up and see the true facts like obama putthe blame on some one else and not all of who really is to blame yup you are

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BILL February 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

SO BOEHNER SAYS READ HIS LIPS THAT SPENDING WILL BE CUT HUH…… WELL ON HIS WEBPAGE HE ANNOUNCES HE IS SPENDING MORE GOV’T MONEY TO ADD STAFF TO ONE OF HIS OFFICES…… “Boehner Announces New Staff Hires for Congressional Office
Feb 28, 2011 – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today announced the following staff additions in his congressional office.”
SO WHAT IS IT? EVERYBODY POOR & MIDDLE CLASS & LAWMAKERS KEEP THE STATUS QUO, ESPECIALLY THE REPUBLICANS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE PEOPLE SAID IN THE LAST ELECTION. MAYBE THEY SHOULD START WITH A PAY CUT, LOSS OF HOUSING STIPEND, START TO PAY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, NO 100% PENSION UNLESS THEY HAVE SERVED IN OFFICE FOR 30 YEARS JUST TO START THIS “SACRIFICE” OUT RIGHT

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Donny February 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

It’s looking like the government may not be shutting down after all, at least not on March 4. House Republicans today unveiled their bill to extend government funding for two weeks, and the response from Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid’s office is considerably more positive than what we’ve been hearing lately. The bill would cut a little more than $4 billion from the current funding level over a two week period and it does not include any of the controversial language that the Republicans included in their full-year funding bill, like defunding Planned Parenthood or blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

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mad!!!!!!!!! February 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Ok, this is what I think about it if they do shut down then that will make the problem worse than what it already is because if the people dont got no money to spend then how will the government get enough money to get what they need. Another thing we need to do is stop letting other country make some are things that we could make in the USA and I think that would also make more jobs in the USA also. I hope and pray that this dont happen because I have 2 little kids and they look for me take care of them as they should because I am their mom, and if the government stopped caring caring about their self and the American people then we should come out of this I hope that we do for all the kids sake in the USA.

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joe February 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Bank of America paid zero in taxes. How much did you pay? Dirty tax cheats!!

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Bill cowart February 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

Well here it is in a nutshell. We have over half the country supporting the other half in one way or another.List every person receiving gov’t funds in some way or another. All the military,retired and active,all the fed employees,retired and active. Public Health Service, Indian Health Service,Park Service,Veterans Admin and so on. What they all have in common is that they don’t produce anything that we can sell to another country,thus keeping the dollar here. Supply side
economics revisited.Don’t forget the border patrol,embassies,etc.We have 40 thousand soldiers in Germany of all places. Maybe Hitler will rise from the grave. Forget health care because their is not enough capitol in this country to give everyone the same level of health care. It will only get worse. As a retired Pa i see this first hand. Just go to the ER when things hurt. How about the fifteen million illegals?Maybe this is a joke to some of you but think about it. And we must not forget all the State Employees, Municipal employees, City employees and the list goes on. So we really need insurance for the other 15 million that are in need of health care. Is it a right or it it elective. Lawsuits, Lawyers, malpractice, suit happy is not a notion but a fact. Good luck Amercia in the future. It is still the best health care system in the world. Just stop smoking, drinking too much, chewing and it might help.

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Nora February 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

A government shutdown would damage our already fragile economy and would set back our economic recovery/job creation efforts. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysis released yesterday said the House-passed plan to cut $61 billion in spending would shave between 1.5 and 2 percentage points off U.S. economic growth during the second and third quarters of this year. Ouch.

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Reason Says February 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I see a lot of crying all over the internet and the news from people that are upset about the possibility of their government entitlement not coming through soon, if the government shuts down.

The worst seems to be those drawing social security. What comes to mind, immediately to me, is that, perhaps you people should have thought about your retirement well ahead of time instead of depending on the government to do it for you. What could you have done with the money you paid into social security? Did you honestly think the federal government would make it work better for you? Granted, few people qualify to opt-out of the social security tax…and I agree, what you paid into it at least (plus a reasonable interest) belongs to you. But most people who depend on social security will easily draw more than they ever put in, even including interest.

But if you depend on social security as a primary, or at least significant source of income, then you obviously did not prepare properly for retirement. Whining about it now won’t solve anything. Put yourself in the shoes of those in younger generations. They still have to pay the tax, and many will never see much benefit from it, if at all, according to many studies done on the system. An intelligent person takes care of themselves, and looks to their own future…not leaving it up to the government to do it for them, who will inevitably screw it up. It’s like that old story about the grasshopper and the ants. The ants invested by storing food, while the grasshopper didn’t, and so when winter came he went cold and hungry, while they feasted.

Look, reality is smacking everyone in the face right now, and as time goes on, it will start flat-out punching us. The government is out of money and deeply in debt. They do not get near enough tax revenue to make up for it…cuts HAVE to be made. Everyone has to get that into their heads. It’s ok not to like it…but nobody likes making necessary cuts. Just about anyone in the country who isn’t ridiculously wealthy has had to tighten the belt a bit and make do. Why do we expect the government to do any less? It simply must be done. And in many cases, the cuts must be permanent, or we will head right back into this down the line.

The federal government is there to protect your rights, enforce and legislate law, defend our sovereignty, and represent us as a people through diplomacy and other means on the world stage. They are not, and were never intended to fulfill the role of taking care of your every needs. Once upon a time, people who did not look out for their own interests went hungry. Now, most people are content to trade their dignity and freedoms for the crumbs their government is willing to toss to them.

Even I understand that if a shutdown happens, I’ll lose my veteran benefits for a while. It won’t be fun, but then, I have planned ahead for such things. I’ll take whatever the government is willing to give me…but I’ll not cry about it when the gravy train inevitably comes to a screeching halt.

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andys2i February 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Some great comments. Very balanced and I agree with a number of points. It is unfortunate thought that the people who will suffer the most are the ones who have the least influence on the decisions being made.

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Reason Says February 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

People have more influence on the decisions being made than they think. The unfortunate part is that many of them trade that power for handouts. How many people do you think are willing to give up their slice of the entitlement pie to take back the “keys to their country”? Few, I am afraid. Instead, they listen to the ridiculous advertisements each election season and believe the tripe they hear instead of rolling their eyes like they should. And far too many vote based on an “R” or a “D”.

I did my taxes recently. I make an income slightly above the national average. I also am going to college to expand my education. I am married and have two children. Because of all these things, when comparing what I paid for taxes out of my paycheck and my refund, I am actually making a profit off of the government tax system. Sure, I like getting free money as much as the next guy…but I also knew immediately that this was wrong. That money came out of someone else’s pocket. Those people that the money is coming from make a lot more than me. So who really is more powerful here? We, the less fortunate are the more entitled. We, who make less income, are getting extra, paid for by those who make more.

Who are those who make more than we? The majority “we”? They are the business owners, small to large. The investors. The supervisors who hire us. The people who run things in the private sector, as well as the private. And they are the ones who actually pay the taxes, whilst the rest of us leech off of them in the current tax system. Forget how that benefits us…how is that right? How does that help the economy? If a small business owner has to dread each tax season, how does that help him or her hire more people?

I wonder, often, what the true unemployment rate is. They determine the reported rates based off of unemployment claims, and that is bad enough. But that is not a number that represents the actual amount of people who qualify as “workforce” status, who are out of work. I really believe that the actual unemployment rate has hit the 20+% mark. This is partially because of the strain put on businesses, especially small businesses, due to both regulations and taxation. But there is another issue at work here. The “entitlement” syndrome.

For example, a friend of mine wanted to install a new roof on his home. He had trouble finding a contractor to do the work. Why? Because the contractor had to lay off most of his employees to make ends meet. But he couldn’t hire them back as demands for work started to increase because those potential workers enjoyed their free unemployment checks too much. And he didn’t have the time to train new workers. So what did my friend do in the end? He hired Amish craftsmen to do the job…a group that is not taxed (although they can be a bit pricey).

Not only does taxation directly effect an economy, but so does social programs such as unemployment. Why does the government handle unemployment? What is wrong with a private sector system such as unemployment insurance? When the government runs such a program, they are motivated to keep funding it because they earn voters that way. Don’t forget…the primary goal of most every politician is to stay in office. Don’t kid yourselves and think that “your” guy is there to make a difference. Certain type of people make it into office, and almost every time it is not the “heroes” we are looking to put there. The only difference between a car salesman and a politician is that the politician will lie to far more people in his lifetime than the car salesman ever could, and not for lack of trying. Never forget that…

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Elizabeth February 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I hardly call all the money people have been paying into SS over the years, crumbs. And there are more people who make little money than there are people who make alot of money to be able to save much, on top of what they pay for mismanaged SS. People with money will pay way too much to sports figures, movie stars, etc and think that poor people choose to be poor, or they don’t deserve a better life because they aren’t smart enough to earn more money. Is your lifetime worth more than someone else’s just because you’ve been blessed with more opportunities and earnings. Everyone can’t be a CEO, or the Star quarterback or the rock star that makes millions on the backs of others. Our economy is as out of skew as our Pay systems. The rich get richer yes, and the greedy get greedier. Everyone always dreamed of growing up to be poor, did they? People who make enough money don’t worry about how or where to fund their nice retirement fund but those that the rich make their money off of worry about where their next meal is coming from let alone any money for the future. Your comments are the kind intended to steal diginity because perhaps you think yourself superior. Is it because you have been blessed with a comfortable means of income? Tradegy happens everyday and in many ways to rob people of what means they may have saved and it’s not for anyone to say until you’ve walked in their shoes – ALL of them! So you go ahead and pat yourself on the back while you see other people “cry”, but when our politicians realize they are there for ALL of us and start working together then we’ll ALL get somewhere and maybe we’ll be too busy helping each other with and through life to worry about crumbs. When you are poor and you are already have your belt so tight it could cut you in half – what can you cut? No money for doctors, no extra gas to get to the store to get a few groceries, don’t even think about purchasing a new coat – the one you’ve had for 10 years will do. Most people didn’t ask for Enron, or Wall Street, or housing bubbles to burst or anything that has practically wiped out their nest egg- so don’t lump everyone in your category of “didn’t” properly save for retirement. Like I said the greedy get greedier. Now i’ll get off my soapbox, and remember to count my blessings and pray for intelligent, caring people to make wise decisions in congress that will benefit us ALL as much as possible as a nation and as individuals.

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Debi February 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Excellent job, Elizabeth! I was fuming when I read Reason Says comments but you certainly nailed his arrogant attitude. I could have never put it into words as well as you did!

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Kent February 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

Are you kidding me? Reason is right, dead right! I once saw a move that Jack Nickleson was in and he said, the differnce between a man and women was “a woman lacks logic and reason.” Boy, was he right! Here two ladies here are lamebasting Reason comment that makes all the sense in the world. Primal instincts dictate who is right and who is wrong, you know fit of survival and I’ll bet you a wooden nickle that depending on others or the government isn’t a solution to any problem; love nor money! It is too bad that we don’t live in a time again that survival of the fittest is still alive and works, we could weed out these folks that cry and ask for hand-out like free loaders. I was so poor growing up that it made a hobo look like Bill Gates. My 15 brothers and sisters and I would sit around the table and pretend we were eating (true story), that is how poor we were. I had to wait for my brother to get home in the winter, so I could use his shoes to go outside. Reason was right and the last presidental election proves that as a society were a bunch of numbskulls! We elected a commnity organizer to run the greatest nation in history and now it is run to the ground and ruined, whie everyone is running around arguing who is right and wrong? I planned, I saved, I invested, I educated, I worked, I earned, I read, I asked, I failed, I succeeded, I wondered, I thought, I suffered, I volunteered, I served, I needed, I wanted, I fathered, I married, I learned and most of all “I,” and not you and not governement and not mommy and daddy, it ws me (I). I am glad there is no “I” in team! A friend of mine is in school and as I have heard this so many times before. His class requires a team effort to get a lesson completed and as you may guess, the hard-worker in the group worked the hardest while the slugs of the groups as defined by social correctness, well they feed off his labor and in order for this guy to get an “A” in class he carried all the inept, lazy students. This also happens in religion as well. They say an it is so true, 20% of the baptist congregation give 80% of all the tithes and contributions and do 80% of all the work, while the 80% of the others sit around on their hands, waiting for someone else to take care of them! This is the same as our society. I talked to a lady with three children, all under 10 years of age. She said her husband passed away and that she and each of her children will get social security compensation for years although her husband only paid four years into SS. That means these children 1, 4, 8 will get SS payments each until 21 years of age (or longer if in college) and the spouse will be a receipent of monies as well. Now, my sympathes go to her family, but her making 100K annually and doing the math, these children will exceed the contributions their father made in just a year, what about the next 20 years? How can this be fair and how can we sustain this massive payout? We have to move away from the tears and heartache if we are going to survive and not pass on a bankrupt society to our children. We have to erase the entitlements and start over. Retool our tax system, reinvest in infrastructure and promote growth, so on and so forth.

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suzan February 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

dear kent… 2 sentences in you made a sexist comment that made my jaw drop, and BTW you aren’t very good at math either!

Spankee August 31, 2011 at 4:28 am

If men are so “logical” and so much better than women, kindly explain how they managed to bury our country neck-deep in debt. LOL

The very issue being discussed here, is due to the irresponsibility of men. Last time I checked, our President has a penis (which has been the case since the birth of this nation).

suzan February 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

you are my current hero…fantastic post, well done elizabeth!

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BILL February 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm

@ REASON SAYS

I HOPE AND PRAY YOU NEVER GET SICK WITH SOMETHING THAT IS INCURABLE AND HAVE TO DEPEND ON YOUR SAVINGS AFTER LOSING YOUR JOB. IN MY OWN PERSONAL CASE I TRIED WORKING 7 YEARS LONGER AFTER I GOT SICK THANKS TO FMLA. I STILL MISSED A AVERAGE OF 4-6 MONTHS A YEAR DUE TO MEDICAL ISSUES, ABOUT 3 MINI-STROKES AT THAT TIME, MULTIPLE FALLS & INJURIES DUE TO THE MOVEMENT DISORDER AS WELL INCLUDING SEVERE INJURIES MY LAST YEAR OF WORK WHICH HAD ME IN HOSPITAL & MEDICAL REHAB 4 STRAIGHT MONTHS AND NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR FMLA. I HAD STARTED WORKING PAYING TAXES AT AGE 15 AND HERE I WAS 47 YRS OLD READY TO LOSE MY HOME THAT I BOUGHT, PAYING 500.00 A MONTH TO HAVE MEDICAL INSURANCE, AND TRYING TO LIVE. GUESS WHAT FOOL? I HAD TO START USING MY SAVINGS AS I APPLIED FOR SSDI BUT EVEN TRYING TO GET HIRED AT WAL-MART AS A GREETER AND LIVE A LIFE PAYING BILLS. I GOT DENIED FOR SSDI NOT BECAUSE I WAS NOT SICK BUT BECAUSE I HAD A MASTERS LEVEL EDUCATION, HAD WORKED THE LAST 2 JOBS A TOTAL OF 10 YRS A PIECE, AND WAS 47. THEY DID NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT I ONLY KEPT LAST JOB WITH FMLA FOR 7 YRS. NEXT WAS FILING THE APPEAL AND STILL SPENDING MY SAVINGS…… FINALLY TRYING TO KEEP MY HOME AND PAYING COBRA AND NOW ALSO HAVING 3 MORE MINI-STROKES PUT THE APPEAL ON HOLD 3 MONTHS AND I FINALLY LOST EVERYTHING AND BECAME HOMELESS FOR 8 MONTHS BEFORE I GOT APPROVED. THE SMALL AMOUNT OF BACKPAY PAID DEPOSITS FOR AN APT AND UTILITIES AND BOUGHT FURNITURE THRU CRAIGSLIST. I NOW LIVE A SUBPAR LIFE ON 125% OF THE POVERTY LEVEL AND HAD TO WAIT 2 MORE YEARS FOR MEDICARE OF WHICH IN THE 1ST 4 MONTHS I ALREADY OWE THE EQUILIVENT OF 1 MONTH OF BENEFITS THAT I AM PAYING ON.
SO BEFORE YOU RUN YOUR MOUTH WALK A MILE IN THE OTHER PERSON’S SHOES. I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU MORE. I WILL SAY I CANNOT AFFORD A CAR, HAVE NEVER SMOKED, DON’T DRINK AND PAY MY BILLS EVEN IF IT MEANS GOING WITHOUT FOOD. OH YES I DO GET FOOD STAMPS 16.00 A MONTH. I CANNOT GET TO FOOD BANKS LIKE SOME DO SINCE I CAN’T DRIVE……..
AS FOR SENIORS THAT EARLY RETIRE DUE TO MEDICAL ISSUES AND HAVE TO PAY COBRA OR OUT OF POCKET TIL MEDICARE STARTS AT 65 AND THEY ARE SAY 6O ….. SO 5 YEARS OF SPENDING SAVINGS.

SPEAK OF WHAT YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU THINK U KNOW.

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ets April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Oh Kent- you cannot blame this on the last 3 years- and what do you propose we do with those on entitlements- survival of the fittest? mass graves?

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ets April 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Hurray Bill! Your story rings true with me. I am sorry for your troubles but becoming ill should not make us second class citizens.

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Amina March 29, 2011 at 10:05 am

I know a lot of people who thought the same way you do, and did the same things you did. Suddenly, all it took was cancer or a near fatal car wreck to take every single penny they had saved up and they were upside down. I know people who had hundreds of thousands invested in stocks and CD’s… all gone when the market crashed. I am not saying that you are wrong, I am just saying that when it comes down to it, there is nothing in this world that is concrete. Not one. So yes, save up where you can, do not depend on government money to hold you up in a time of crisis, but don’t you dare think that just because you are prepared for an emergency that things will go in your favor.

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Funny about Money April 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

I find this sort of thinking deeply offensive.

I never planned to “depend” on Social Security to live. I had a good job until the Bush economy crashed and my employer shut down my department and canned me and all of five of my staff. This happened just as I was turning 65 (I planned to work until age 70).

When you get to be 65, you also will find that employers are not interested in hiring workers much over the age of 45, and that if people in their 20s and 30s are having a hard time getting work during a recession, senior citizens cannot get work at all. I couldn’t even get hired to drive the tourist train at the zoo!

My savings are approximately 3.5 times the average Baby Boomer’s savings. I have immediate relatives who lived into their mid-nineties. If I draw down enough from savings to live on, the money will not last the length of my probable lifetime, and I will spend my advanced old age in deep poverty. If we have a period of double-digit inflation, as we did in the 1970s, the money will not even last me until I reach advanced old age. Therefore, I am not in a position to depend on my savings to live, at least not at this point in my life.

I finally landed part-time work as an adjunct community college instructor (oh, horrors! ANOTHER GOVERNMENT JOB!!!!!!!). It pays a grandiose $2,400 per section for 16 weeks of work, no benefits, no sick leave, no nothin’. And no pay over the summer, when, in my part of the country, utility and water costs are at their highest.

So, yes. I depend on Social Security to live. I’m not ashamed of it: I worked hard all my life and paid my dues to Social Security, and if you think that’s “entitlement” thinking and somehow lache, so be it. I also “planned ahead for such things.” But you know, my son, not everything works out according to plan.

And I believe my situation is typical of tens of thousands of elderly Americans. Someday it’s likely to be your situation.

The predicament we’re in is the direct result of ill-advised strategies engaged by doctrinaire fools who were elected into office by people who apparently did not know any better. Their theory is flawed and it has been flawed from the beginning, but they’re so addicted to their way of thinking they can’t see the forest for the proverbial trees. If the government shuts down for more than a few hours, millions of Americans will suffer, and the people who are making that happen will actually think this is a good thing.

It’s past time the voters of this country wised up.

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ets April 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Funny about money- well said!

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We have to make hard decisions! February 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm

We the people want jobs, the debt lowered, the housing market to inprove, the stock market to keep going up etc. That said, most just want this as long as it does not come into our individual back yards. We can not get out of this mess without it hitting all of us. Wake up and smell the roses……….. We all have to take a hit in order to fix this mess that has happen over the past thirty years. Bush may have made mistakes, but give it up. He did not make this situation all by himself. We are spoiled and want to remain spoiled. There is no easy, fast answer. If shutting down the government gets the deficit spending down so be it.

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Susan February 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I bet you people would not like it if you loose your pay!!!! Because you don’t give a rats ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Terrie February 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm

This nonsense about the closing down the government sucks!!!! It looks like the clueless people we have in the congress in the White House talking about delaying social security checks are bulls—!!!! We have paid in our money so DON’T DELAY OUR FUNDS THAT WE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE PAID OUR MONEY!!!! All it boils down to is that our money has been misused. How about taking everyones pay alway from the rich workers in the White House. THIS GOES FOR THE PRESIDENT AS WELL. You people could give a crap about the working people and retired individuals!!!

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Terrie February 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Also, we need The President to give our last two raises that we the people on Social Security deserve…..All Congress knows how to do is take the most important things away from the Americans and misusing funds where they don’t belong!!!

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ugracegiven February 22, 2011 at 12:49 am

One major “entitlement” the Republican party is after IS Social Security restructuring/privatization/reduction. They do not care if you receive this benefit. So the likelihood of any shutdown only being ‘five’ or so days is not realistic. Brace yourself.

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Gail February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

The last time the federal government shuttered its doors was for five days in Nov ’95 and another 21 days, ending in January 1996, during the Clinton administration. As a result, the government closed 368 National Park Service sites, along with national museums and monuments, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

In addition, 200,000 passport applications went unprocessed, and toxic waste cleanup work at 609 sites stopped, according to the same report. The National Institutes of Health stopped accepting new clinical research patients, and services for veterans, including health care, were curtailed

But – all federal employees were still paid. Contractors – not so much.

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victor February 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

gov . sucks no stimluls check to pay bills or meds 2 more years with obama going down

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susiehill February 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm

OBAMA IS NOT WANTING TO SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN. THIS IS STRICTLY REPUBLICANS THAT WANT TO DO THIS. THEY WANT THEIR GREEDY DEED TO BE DONE. YOU NEED TO READ AND GET IT STRAIGHT.

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susiehill February 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

OBAMA IS NOT WANTING TO SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN. REPUBLICANS WANT TO DO THIS. YOU NEED TO READ AND GET IT STRAIGHT.

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gaetano July 26, 2011 at 8:43 am

Why don’t you wake up? Obama has had 3 years ,under full control of you idiot democrats to raise and set the dept limits, but he was to busy passing a constituional law breaking heath bill. But he forgot that without the money to run the healthbill it would fail,so now the republicans got him by the balls and thats just what is needed to get rid of this clown that you voted for.

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Trey February 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm

The think the real truth of the matter for the U.S. government spending cuts that must get done by March 4, 2011 is that those huge BUSH tax refunds for the wealthy aristocrats must be sent out soon. In Dec. 2010, the Republicans demanded that the BUSH tax cuts on the wealthy be extended. So now the wealthy aristocrats must get their tax refunds for the 2011 income tax filing season and spending must be cut IMMEDIATELY to send out those refunds to Donald Trump, former jail bird Martha Stewart, former jail bird and hotel czar Leona Helmsley, Zsa Zsa Gabor, monopolist Bill Gates, super star Britney Spears. Martha Stewart wants her new yacht for her Bar Harbor, Maine, mansion, on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Donald Trump is using his tax refund to buy his girlfriend the HOPE diamond. Britney Spears needs her huge tax refund to pay for the new $ 19 million mansion she just bought in California. The rest of us just get a few crumbs as a tax refund.

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MarcusN February 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Government should be operated as a fiscally responsible social enterprise. Since the Great Depression of the 1930’s when tax income was insufficient governments have tried to keep its services, and select businesses operated by their citizens, robust by borrowing to purchase goods and services, or to subsidize in some way. The services operated and provided by the government, and the select businesses were those the political leaders thought would create the most jobs and would provide services and products the citizens would most need simply to assure the re-election of the politicians. Of course the politicians have chosen and will continue to choose which services will be operated and provided by the government, and which businesses will be the select businesses subsidized by the government primarily based on anticipated political results rather than real economic results. One should realize that many of the economic improvements since the 1930’s would not have occurred in a real capitalistic economy because they were financed using a loan the government never intends to repay. Thus, a capitalistic economy will only exist if the constitution demands that the elected government be a fiscally responsible social enterprise.

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ugracegiven February 22, 2011 at 12:46 am

And this fiscal responsibility just happened now?

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Steven-H February 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

No, our gov’t has been fiscally IRresposible since 1913 when the Federal Reserve act was voted in.

Our Constitution grants our gov’t power to make our money.
The Fed is a private banking cartel. The Fed pays Treasury pennies on a dollar to print money. The Fed then loans it to our gov’t which must be repaid Including interest.
Look at it like this:
You make me something for $0.04 each.
Then I loan it back to you for $1.00 each. You then must pay $1.00 each back plus interest.
Sweet deal for me isn’t it.???

This is how the Fed rapes the U.S. taxpayer.
And all with the blessings of our gov’t.!
If that isn’t fiscal irresponsibility then nothing is.!!

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MarcusN February 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

SHUTDOWN THOSE SCUMS ON CAPITAL HILL! Then no more damage can be done. Cut the out all foreign aid, subsidies, and a 40% cut in the Military Industrial Complex. Enough of the False Dichotomy of the Duopoly fleecing taxpayers with their Left/Right paradigm. Take away their money, then the prostitute and their lobbyists lose their powers and control.

You take the money out of the hands of these Charlatans and Scam Artists called Government, put it back in the people’s pockets, and the economy and country will flourish.

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Jenny February 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm

FYI. The Republicans who opposed the spending package were Representatives John Campbell of California and Jeff Flake of Arizona (both of whom who wanted bigger reductions) and Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, who often disagrees with his party. Here we go on the merry-go-round of Congress. Reality TV at it’s best.

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Garth February 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

My two cents – the House is going to get crapped all over its proverbial nose when the Senate and President get done with their rantings, although they certainly could close down the government. I actually hope the GOP shuts the government down. This would be the best thing for the Progressives, when people stop getting their checks. I love it! That’s how we got rid of Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America” dweebs. Face it, the 87 freshmen in the House are a bunch of clueless idiots, and they will fail miserably.

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mad as hell February 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I hope you loss your pay check. The crooks on capital hill should loss thier paychecks, not someone who payed into a system for 40 some years and then be told they should lose thier payckeck.

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Cassie February 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I hope you lose your paycheck too! I am a federal employee and I don’t find that it is fair to shut down the government and furlough hundreds of thousands of federal employees that TRY to make a living by paycheck to paycheck. If you think that the thousand of federal government employees are a result of this budget crisis, think again. Yes, it may be the idiots on Capital Hill, but not the innocent, worker-bees in the federal government. Keep in mind – we pay taxes too. If the federal government shuts down and the employees don’t get paid, we don’t pay anything in to taxes. So, 800,000 or more federal employees that don’t get paid and don’t pay taxes…. hmmm… you do the calculation! EVERYONE will be affected by this – from the private entities and businesses to the senior citizens and those living off welfare. Guess what… no taxes mean the government isn’t getting funding from anywhere, which will in turn hurt private businesses.

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