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No U.S. Government Shutdown This Week 385

Posted by Roblimo
from the hooray-for-the-American-way dept.
A Reader writes "If you were hoping for a government shutdown today, you are going to be disappointed. In a last-hour cliffhanger, Democrats and Republicans managed to agree with each other enough to keep the government funded for the rest of the current fiscal year. Since the budget bill that finally passed was a compromise, no one is happy with it. So it goes. That's how things work in a representative government."
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No U.S. Government Shutdown This Week

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  • Unemployment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @09:29AM (#35766922) Journal

    I am employed by the Federal Gov't.

    The last e-mail I got on Friday was explaining how and where to file for unemployment.

    That is, the gov't was telling me how to get the gov't to pay me for NOT working because the gov't couldn't afford to pay me FOR working.

    Is this a great country or what!

  • TERM LIMITS. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Moderator (189749) * on Saturday April 09, 2011 @09:41AM (#35766976)

    If this isn't a strong case for term-limits, I don't know what is. The FY2011 budget took SO LONG to pass because IT WAS AN ELECTION YEAR and Americans were starting to worry about defaulting on their national debt. Are we really so stupid to believe that in a nation of 300 million people, it takes the same small group of elite warmongers to pass our laws year after year? Many congressmen have been there so long, they are rolling in their own shit. With term limits at least, there is the fresh flow of ideas every election cycle. There is also incentive to do well...with a 6x2 cycle for representatives (6 2-year terms, max) and a 2x6 cycle for senators with the requirement that they first served in the House, there is more incentive for aspiring first-time Representatives to appease their constituents (geographic, not party) so that they can "upgrade" to a Senate seat (and later, the presidency).

    It's okay though. Looks like we are going to default on our debt sometime within my lifetime. There's no way out at this point. In the meantime, continue to spend, spend, spend. Let's get that new infrastructure (new bridges, roads, high-speed internet) built for the NEXT government. Maybe then we'll get it right with Term Limits.

  • Re:Unemployment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chill (34294) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @10:07AM (#35767120) Journal

    Furloughed is a form of layoff, and that qualifies for unemployment. Just look at the history of manufacturing in the Midwest and all the layoffs at factories as examples.

    One of the entertaining bits of trivia is most of the people who work in Washington, DC live in either Virginia or Maryland. However, you file for unemployment where you work, not where you live. It was the DC office that was going to get crushed with the load. (THEY posted a message saying they would be accepting applications ONLINE ONLY -- no walk-ins.)

  • by 3seas (184403) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @10:20AM (#35767194) Journal

    The military industrial complex. As they are still way over funded.
    US spends 47% of all world defense spending. Over 60% if you include allies spending, leaving less than 40% divided among many small and or poor countries. So what do we really need this abusive defense spending really for? Defense against what and who?

    Are the personal domestic economies really such a national threat?
    Or are they just a threat to the military delusions of power elitism?

  • by The Snowman (116231) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @10:55AM (#35767454) Homepage

    Department of homeland security has also always been funded by deficiet spending. Cut it. Return the decision making to the civil servants that actually work. The last thing we need is another administrative layer. If the Tea Party wants small governement, this is the place to start. If we want screeners and the like, put it under the other agencies and shift administrators from other less important projects. Saving in the current budget cycle may $10B.

    I still don't understand why we need two departments for Defense and Homeland Security. Isn't that redundant? I mean except for the fact that our Defense is actually Offense. Maybe if we renamed the Department of Defense back to the Department of War and renamed the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Defense we would have an accurate picture.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @11:26AM (#35767684) Homepage

    If you really think 535 individual representatives would be anything other than a complete chaos, you haven't tried it. You would have hundreds of people who'd be voted in on local special interest issues and creating a functional government would be hell. There's a reason most European parliaments have a lower limit of 4-5%, it is because we painfully learned it in the 19th century. Besides, even if you banned formal parties informal cliques of representatives would form anyway.

    Pretty much all political systems have a left-right axis, it's just not the only axis. The problem in the US is that because everyone is either democrat or republican so it gets one-dimensional, it's very hard to have dissent across the isle. To take a recent example from Norway, the EU Data Retention Directive was up for voting. Minor parties from the left, center and right voted against it, the major left and right parties got it through. In the US, this would have been one bipartisan bill passed with little effort. Here in Norway it was a 89-80 vote, with parties from the "Socialist Left" (far left) to "The Progress Party" (far right) voting against it. These are people with radically different political views, yet in this case they were on the same side.

    Try imagine that the Democrats were split in Liberals, Greens and Democrats, the Republicans split in Tea Party, Libertarians and Republicans with proportional representation. Don't you think US politics would be a lot more interesting as people flowed between them in the polls? That it's not just one left-right battle line, but if they act like asses people go to the liberal party or the tea party? Of course you do get coalition governments and all that follow from that, but it seems there's plenty tension and negotiation going on anyway. It doesn't go away just because you call them all democrats and republicans.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09, 2011 @12:49PM (#35768284)

    Creating a functional government is not what the founders had in mind. The American government is SUPPOSED TO BE BROKEN. It's supposed to have to fight against itself so that it never turns it's guns on the people. That's why we've got checks and balances, seperations of powers. . . I.E. branches of government, so that the government can't work like a well oiled machine. The problems in our country is that it has gotten too efficient, pulling out those roadblocks one by one so that it can work as one organism against the people, rather than bickering amongst itself.

    The problem is that there is too much agreement that the people don't matter and fat cats do. Both parties aren't so devided at all. They only disagree at just how they want to implement the policy. They sell it to you differently, but it's the same policy that's put into place.

    The result is roughly the same.

    The Republicans want to kill free speech so as not to "hamper the war effort", the Democrats want to kill free speech to "combate hate speech".

    The Republicans want to treat everyone at the airport like criminals because "everyone could be a terrorist". The Democrats want to do it because it's "insensitive to profile people".

    The Republicans want a Department of Homeland Security to confiscate freedoms from the people because of scary Muslims in caves. The Democrats want it because of the scary racist militias who live in the south.

    The Republicans want over reaching regulation of private life to make sure everyone is being a good moral theist. The Democrats want over reaching regulation of private life to make sure nobody is hurting anyone else's feelings.

    The Republicans want to make it a crime to criticize religion as long as it's Christianity. The Democrats want to make it a crime to critizie religion as long as it's not Christianity.

    The Republicans call for international government to "combat terrorism" or to "increase economic relationships" via treaties. The Democrats call for it in the name of "world peace" and "equality" via the UN.

    The Republicans want to go to war to "make the world safe for democracy". The Democrats want to have a "kinetic military action", "peace keeping operation", "policing action", or "armed international response" to "make the world safe for democracy".

    The Republicans want to shut up dissenting views because it's "unpatriotic". The Democrats want to shut up dissenting views because "evil racist militias in the south are the result of ANY political discussion whatsoever".

    The Republicans believe that Al Queda terrorists are hiding under every rock, so we must be constantly afraid, so that only the government can save us. The Democrats believe that evil racist militia extremists are hiding under every rock, so we must be constantly afraid, so that only the government can save us.

    The Republicans want tyrannical border control practices to "keep out the illegals". The Democrats want tyrannical border control practices to "control the trafficking of guns".

    The Republicans want to control the repoductive process of the population because "sex is evil". The Democrats want to control the reproductive process of the population because of "overpopulation".

    The Republicans want you to be poor and dumbed down so that you'll submit to whatever they throw at you. The Democrats want you to be poor and dumbed down so that you'll be on the dole, and thus you'll submit to whatever they throw at you, lest the Republicans take away the dole.

    The Republicans want to wiretap everyone without a warrant because Al Quaeda could be plotting their next big scary attack. The Democrats want to wiretap everyone without a warrant because of the scary racist militia members who hate the government might be planning to blow up a Jewish Center or Mosque or something.

    The Republicans have FOX News to act as a de-facto propaganda wing of their party, which always agrees with Republicans, and always disagrees with Democrats regardless of the issue. The De

  • Re:Dang. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @07:38PM (#35770830) Homepage Journal

    Your military spending numbers don't include all the wars, veterans benefits, military portion of debt interest, or the other expenses that cost over a $TRILLION in 2010. And then there's the "intelligence" expenses, which are secret but probably well over $100B.

    Entirely whacking the military is not anyone's proposal. But cutting it to $300B and intel to $20B would save $780B+. Taxing banks and other corporations that don't pay taxes but consume lots of public expense would raise most of the remaining $520B. And taxing the of the richest people more of their excess income would pay the rest. While reducing much of what the government spends so much on managing with the legal system and various investigations, and too often bailing out.

    The social programs are expensive, but they are mostly investments in a peaceful and productive society. The rest is mostly waste or worse.

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