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Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Furlough

Edit: Apparently the government came to a conclusion and resolved their disagreements. I've not really read into that yet, but good for them. However that makes this blog post completely obsolete and almost worthless to read, but it might be entertaining anyway. /edit

So apparently the government has once again proven they're incapable of getting along and the Right's and the Left's can't agree on how to set our budget for the current fiscal year. The Right's wanted to cut funding for the EPA and PP (which is all kinds of stupid, but that's not what this is about) and the Left's said, "No, screw you." (so typical..) and instead of compromising they've just decided the best course of action is to have a furlough until an agreement can be made. Dumb.

I won't argue that they are not being ignorant and unwilling to see each others sides, from both points of view, because they are. I won't go into a detailed argument about which point of view I agree with, though I imagine we all already know, but that isn't important. However, this little government furlough happens to cut pay to a lot of people working for the government and put many temporarily out of work. Yeah, that's probably bad, but temporarily means what? Two? Maybe Four weeks? Okay, so that's bad, but not earth-shattering TERRIBLE, and really with a $14,000,000,000,000 (yes, 14 trillion) dollar national debt ... well ... maybe we could use a little less spending for a couple weeks anyway. Hell the Japanese just had their entire island jacked up by about 10 meters, managed, and we're going to freak out about a few weeks without pay?

However what seems to be getting all the attention is that the troops in Libiraqistania will have to go without pay for a couple weeks. Wow, that is very wrong. If you're going to be over there, working your ass off and fighting a war, you'd better be getting paid. Seriously, that would be wrong if they didn't get paid for that and would piss any loyal American off as they do have a hard job and do it well.

Well fortunately our government, as much as we all want to hate them, is a reasonable body of authority. The military is going to get paid for their service, in full. Just not next week. They'll get their paycheck a couple weeks late. Oh good, so what's the big deal then? Well you've got me. I really don't know what the big deal is. If Utah State were to tell me, "Hey Brandon, we're not going to pay you this month, but next month you'll be paid for all the work you did both months." I'd be like, "Okay, cool, thanks for letting me know." I really see no other reasonable way to respond to this. Actually as a UTF that's exactly how I get paid. For the entire semester - at the end of the semester.

If I'm going to get paid and the delay isn't significant, why should I care?

Oh, well this is where you argue that some people aren't able to go a month without pay because they just aren't paid enough to be able to subsist for a month without a static paycheck.

Well, that's their own damn fault.

That isn't a responsible argument to make at all. Here is why; Financial emergencies happen. Had we learned, what? just four years ago, during the housing crisis, that having money around for these emergencies could serve our best interests, this wouldn't be problematic for anyone who said, "Hey, maybe someday I'll end up needing an extra X number months of pay laying around - maybe purchasing a new TV or eating out thrice a week or buying the nicer car or buying the bigger house can wait." But we are American, I'm guilty of the same things. We like nice stuff now.

So basically what we get is a handful of people who believe that because they have some government position, they are privileged to living beyond their means and running their bank accounts dry month after month, then when a crisis occurs where they will have to wait a short while to get their pay they freak out because they've not planned for this. Not everyone, many have been quite responsible and won't have this problem. For them this will be a minor inconvenience, but there are a few that don't exactly understand the concept of using the words "financial" and "responsibility" in the same sentence.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely heartless and I can understand why this sucks, but it was bound to happen eventually. Whether it be because the government withheld your check, an uninsured motorist crashed into you, velociraptors wrecked your kitchen or nuclear fallout required you to spend money on a lead suit, iodine pills and laser rifles to shoot super mutants with - you were going to come across a month where finances didn't work out like they had every other month before and you went, "Oh... shit..." the difference here is that instead of blaming the velociraptors who wrecked your kitchen, you've got everyones favorite scapegoat to get pissed at, the United States government.

Grow up.

You elected them (assuming you even voted) and it's not the governments fault that you didn't plan ahead for a financial emergency. Sure a little fault is to be rested with them as they can't seem to come to an agreement, but hell - better to take time to get it right then make half baked choices right away without agreement from both sides then look back 10 years later going, "Oh wow, we really effed that up."

*cough* Bush *cough* Iraq.

Personally I think a 2-4 week suspension on pay is a far better option that just simply dropping Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency and giving a sustainable future one giant middle finger.

Now as for those government employees who are truly effected by this and won't be compensated in the future, those deemed "non-essential" employees. Well, I'm sorry and you probably do have every right to complain. Civil service or military workers, you're going to get paid, just have some patience.

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