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Feds Prep For E-Gov Shutdown 290

Posted by samzenpus
from the down-and-out-on-capitol-hill dept.
dcblogs writes "If the federal government is shutdown midnight Friday, the feds plan to stop updating government Web sites that aren't delivering essential services. 'Most Web sites will not continue, only those Web sites that are part of these accepted activities would continue to operate,' the senior White House official said Tuesday. 'Accepted activities,' refers to essential, life and safety-related government services. The IRS, however, will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and to process payments. 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' the official said. Paper-based returns won't be processed."
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Feds Prep For E-Gov Shutdown

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  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:14AM (#35743196)
    Electronic tax returns will be processed but paper ones won't? Don't they need the money whether it shows up electronically or as a check?
    • Most returns will expecting refunds. The government already has their money. Those that owe money should withhold payment until the store reopens. Heh..I wish...

    • They cash the checks independent of processing paper. At one time, they even had you send the check to a different mailing address.
    • Re:So ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @08:00AM (#35743582)
      Actually no, they will not be taking paper returns. And if you have already filed by paper but don't have your return yet, it's not likely you'll get it any time soon. The problems the IRS will have because of the shutdown will probably be the most disruptive to the government.
  • What about FY2012? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nameisyoung007 (1009935) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:17AM (#35743230)

    If lawmakers can't agree to a budget for the time period starting 7 MONTHS AGO, how are they going to get a FY2012 budget done?

    Federal managers aren't spending more than the Continuing Resolution levels, and should be saving some money in case of cuts. Funding them over the CR level would just lead to waste spending in the 'use it or lose it' model (They have until September to spend it all).

    They need to pass a status quo budget for FY2011, and get started on FY2012. That is where the problem lies, and where a solution can take place.

    • The real truth of the matter is, the Democrats while in power refused to pass a budget for this fiscal year. Worse they refused to even submit one to the floor all because they were afraid of the ramifications of doing so before the election. In other words, if they had submitted their budget they would have had to campaign with that large deficit number hanging over their heads.

      I am all for a government shut down, the problem I have is the press is still giving Obama a free pass. When the press decides to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Skater (41976)

        The real truth of the matter is, the Democrats while in power refused to pass a budget for this fiscal year. Worse they refused to even submit one to the floor all because they were afraid of the ramifications of doing so before the election. In other words, if they had submitted their budget they would have had to campaign with that large deficit number hanging over their heads.

        I note the new Congress has yet to pass a budget either. What's their excuse?

        • by halivar (535827)

          Congress won't bother sending a bill to the president's desk unless he indicates he will sign it. So far, he has indicated he won't due to several programs being defunded. Myself, I think all these programs are merely an exercise in sunk cost fallacy, but I'm not in Congress, so...

          • by Skater (41976) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:51AM (#35743496) Homepage Journal

            You conveniently left out that Obama tried to negotiate a budget and the Republicans decided to change their goal from $33 billion in cuts to $40 billion, just a few days ago. Note, I'm an independent, I hate both parties, but really the Tea Party Republicans are being idiots here...and at least some of the non-Tea Party Republicans seem to agree with that sentiment. It's called negotiating; what we instead have is "I'm taking my ball and going home!!"

            Furthermore, it's all really idiotic, because that $40 billion or whatever in cuts doesn't apply to this year's budget only. It applies to this year and the next several years! The actual cuts in any given year are relatively small, but they multiply them out over several years to make the numbers look bigger so we're all impressed by how Congress is cracking the whip. And it's moot, since Congress passes a new budget every year (roughly), because next year they could change what's funded/cut anyway; there's nothing forcing them to uphold the cuts/spending made in a previous year.

            In short, as usual, the politicians are lying. They could cut $1 out of this year's budget, the remainder out of the next 9 years, and all we'd hear is how they saved $40 billion.

        • The Republicans only control the House; the Democrat-controlled Senate isn't exactly being cooperative.
          • by hubie (108345)
            On the other side of the coin, saying that the only compromise is if you agree to all my demands isn't necessarily being very cooperative in the House.
            • That's true. But from what I understand, the Democrats aren't offering up anything for cuts, and are just trying to continue overspending at their current levels. If the media's wrong, I'm open to correction. :)
              • by afidel (530433)
                Huh, they've agreed to $30 of the $33B with the complete defunding of a few organizations being unacceptable, the teaparty then tried to get the goal moved to $60B and Boehner "compromised" on $40B with additional program defundings and the original defundings still in place.

                Sort of off topic but I couldn't believe the Republican proposed budget, let's shift profits to private insurance company, shift cost to the poor and retired, and reduce the marginal tax rate on the top 1% to 25%, the lowest level sinc
                • by NevarMore (248971)

                  So the current best plan on the table is to cut $60B from a budget with an annual deficit of $1400B? They've cut about 0.45% of the deficit.

                  Good job boys. If we just give up our morning coffee, we'll get that credit card paid off in no time!

              • But from what I understand, the Democrats aren't offering up anything for cuts, and are just trying to continue overspending at their current levels. If the media's wrong,

                $40 billion in cuts spread over several years when the single year deficit is close to $1 TRILLION doesn't qualify as offering anything either. That is a rounding error in a 3 Trillion dollar budget. Let's be frank, NEITHER party has offered a proposal that is meaningful in any way. The cuts being proposed by the Republican party members are insubstantial amounts designed to score political points, not to actually correct our fiscal situation. Any proposal which doesn't have some combination of tax incr

            • by OhPlz (168413)

              When you say it like that, it almost sounds as if they've formed a public labor union.

              • by geekoid (135745)

                As someone who has been in several public labor unions meeting(both sides), there is always compromise. I've never seen on side Say we want to cut X, then the other side say will meet you at the 95% mark, and then the original party say well now we want to cut X+N.

                Sometime there will be an issue a Public Union want budge on, but that budge in other areas to make up for it.
                For years public unions have been taking reduct after reduction.

      • The actual, functional process that USED to be followed for many years is as follows. Assume for definiteness that we are planning for the FY2011 budget which covers the period from Oct 1, 2010 through Sept 30, 2011.

        By Law, the president must prepare and submit his proposed budget by integrating and prioritizing inputs from all the cabinet agencies. He starts this in Sept-Dec of 2009, and sends it to Congress in Jan 2010.

        Congress receives the President's budget proposal, then holds lots of hearin
    • FY 2012 starts in October, and the House budget committee proposed a budget this past Tuesday.
  • The IRS, however, will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and to process payments. 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' the official said.

    So will the government shut-down or not? From some online dictionary, shut-down refers to: "ceasing operations or cause to cease operating."

    Now if the IRS will still be working in some capacity, the government will not be shut-down. It's that simple.

    Heck, this whole thing reminds me of our ISPs' 'unlimited' data plans which turn out to be capped to a ceiling. It's the same thing with our neighbours to the north...Canada.

    My advice: get a better word, for example, 'slow-down.'

    • by syousef (465911) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:25AM (#35743264) Journal

      What is the meaning of 'shut-down?'

      Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

    • So will the government shut-down or not? From some online dictionary, shut-down refers to: "ceasing operations or cause to cease operating."

      Sigh... Love to hear people being uselessly pedantic regarding the definition of "shutdown" which is well understood in this context by all parties involved. This has happened before and it will happen again and the word isn't going to change. Get over it.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:26AM (#35743280) Homepage

    The federal shutdown is only affecting 800,000 employees out of a few million uniformed servicemen, civilian employees and contractors. I would be surprised if it's even 25% of the federal workforce.

    What this shutdown means is that until the budget goes through, the feds aren't buying any new toys and those considered "non-essential" to the mission of their agency (or department, in some cases) will be treated like dead weight.

    Ironically, this would be an excellent time for an audit of the federal labor force and contracts to see who should be permanently let go and/or have their contract torn up.

    • by stoat (125788)
      This, out of the 30 something federal workers I work with 1 will be furloughed. I guess you could call us mission critical, we work on an airfield that supports 0 aircraft. I would lowball half of federal workers could be eliminated with 0 consequences to the government (probably more like 80%).
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        This, out of the 30 something federal workers I work with 1 will be furloughed. I guess you could call us mission critical, we work on an airfield that supports 0 aircraft.

        I would lowball half of federal workers could be eliminated with 0 consequences to the government (probably more like 80%).

        So, you willing accept a federal subsidy for doing no work? At least poor people admit they are on government welfare.

      • by chill (34294)

        Bullshit.

        This stems from the mentality that the military is our #1 priority and we can't let any of them go.

        I work at a federal agency with about 500 employees, and there are only 6 classified as "essential" with another 5 listed as "intermittent/as needed" meaning about 1 hour of work a day.

        Break out your number to federal-military and federal-non-military. Civilian employees and contractors to the DoD being classified as federal-military, whether or not they wear a uniform.

    • Also those millions of uniformed service members, including those in war zones, won't get paid until congress agrees to some form of budget or continuing resolution. It's generally not a good idea, in any form of government, to not pay your large standing army while asking them to continue to fight. Do that long enough and they'll solve "what needs to be cut" from your budget real quick.
    • by Skater (41976) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @07:41AM (#35743420) Homepage Journal
      800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?
      • 800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?

        They're on unpaid leave, likely for a few weeks. I know this may come as a shock to a lot of slashdotters, but federal employees and contractors are substantially better paid than the national average. If they can't survive for a few weeks while Congress sorts this mess out, then they deserve it.

        • by Skater (41976)
          Actually, I do get it, as a federal employee. And I can survive for months without income without a problem. That's not the point. I'll spell it out for you, using myself as an example: I'm planning to spend several thousand dollars expanding my driveway soon. If not for this issue, it probably would already be done, but I'm saving my money. That's a small negative effect on the economy. If we don't get back pay, well, that driveway expansion is going to be on hold even longer, along with the new veh
        • by Skater (41976)

          800,000 people in the US suddenly not working and not getting paychecks isn't a serious issue to you?

          They're on unpaid leave, likely for a few weeks. I know this may come as a shock to a lot of slashdotters, but federal employees and contractors are substantially better paid than the national average. If they can't survive for a few weeks while Congress sorts this mess out, then they deserve it.

          Also, your little statistic about "substantially better paid than the national average": stop drinking the Kool-Aid. It's only true if you ignore degrees and experience. I could earn more outside the government in my field; I choose not to because I love what I do and I enjoy knowing my work has a direct impact on the entire country.

      • by jnaujok (804613)
        8,000,000 people in the US not working and not getting paychecks hasn't been a serious issue to the Congress and the White House for two years, so why should I cry when 10% of the federal workers suddenly feel the pain too?
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @08:24AM (#35743826)

      The federal shutdown is only affecting 800,000 employees out of a few million uniformed servicemen, civilian employees and contractors. I would be surprised if it's even 25% of the federal workforce.

      What this shutdown means is that until the budget goes through, the feds aren't buying any new toys and those considered "non-essential" to the mission of their agency (or department, in some cases) will be treated like dead weight.

      Ironically, this would be an excellent time for an audit of the federal labor force and contracts to see who should be permanently let go and/or have their contract torn up.

      Of course such an audit would be performed by the same "non-essential" employees that just got furloughed. Also a shutdown has nothing to do with the fed buying new toys. The military and homeland security are the ones that gets all of those new toys and their budgets are still in place. No, what it means is that the government lays off a bunch of employees, quits paying contractors, quits making transfers to state budgets for federal grants, quits accepting new people into social security, quits processing passport requests and stuff like that. All of those things combined are just a fraction of the budget, but impact real people's lives.. The forced shutdown is a symbolic gesture, made by those who won't be impacted by it.

      Congress has one main job right now -- to come up with a budget for a fiscal year that are half way through. If they can't do it, then maybe they should look towards themself with regards to non-essential personnel.

    • Even if the shutdown was only a week, that would mean all armed services personnel would see only half their regular pay on their next paycheck. While it's true that the US government has always covered back pay after a shut down, that won't do anything to help the individuals and families that are counting on their normal amount of income this month to pay current bills and for everyday needs.
    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      That depends on what you mean by "affecting". Every one of those "few million uniformed servicemen" will be getting half pay for the duration. The civilian employees and contrators will be getting no pay for their work.

      All of them can hope to get back pay when the shutdowns ends (if the teabaggers don't block it), but I doubt their mortgage and utility companies shut down their billing during the interim.

      Anyone who thinks this is no big deal wasn't paying attention the last time the Republicans pulled t

      • Anyone who thinks this is no big deal wasn't paying attention the last time the Republicans pulled this stunt.

        This is for FY 2011, and should have been passed by October of 2010. Astute calendar watchers will notice that this is more than a month before Republican won in the 2010 elections, and three months before the new winners took office.

        Sorry, bro, but the Democrats should have passed this budget almost a year ago.

  • Given that a shutdown means that work deemed non-essential will not go on, I'm struggling to see how a story about how web sites delivering non-essential services won't be updated is a headline of note.
  • I want to know, did something happen that the government wants to shut down all internet website.....is this like a getting ready for something type move....like some reason why they do not want to be stuck with websites all together....???
    If anyone has links or info on why this would be their move...please share.

  • Instead, begin gather volunteers to fulfill a mission of the government you fell qualified to fill and begin to accept donations. Optionally in bitcoins

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

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