In this diary I wrote, kosack indubitably makes the case for why s/he is pleased with the 2011 Budget compromise reached. Since s/he is having a computer problem with DK4, I thought to highlight the comment because it is a word from an ordinary American that must be shared:
I'm a federal employee. I was preparing for a shutdown. For me, preparing for the shutdown meant withdrawing funds from my measly retirement in order to pay federal taxes which are already set to be automatically debited from my bank account on April 18.
I had to make those preparations because the IRS was requiring payment, no matter what.
The consequences would have been financially devastating for me.
I am also paying back federal student loans. Sure, I could ask for a forebearance, but I would still have to pay back all that interest because, once again, even though they're federal student loans, these agencies, like the IRS were still going to require payment, no matter what.
We already have a large swathe of the country in economic crisis. The shut down would have added another substantial swathe to that.
So what to do because it's a classic damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
Now, granted, from what I've read, the majority of posters on Daily Kos 4 are not federal employees and would not have suffered directly as a consequence of a shutdown. But they would have eventually suffered indirectly, unless, of course, they're relatively affluent, which as we know, the majority of Daily Kos posters are indeed relatively affluent.
Therefore, they're free to ignore the damned if you do damned if you don't dilemma.
But I wasn't. Neither are many, many, many people.
There are many ordinery American stories like this that would be affected by a Government shutdown. We gave in $33 Billion in compromise out of some $3.7 billion budget. I say it would have been nice to have that $33 billion but we don't control the House. May be we will work hard to gain the majority in House in 2012 so that we won't face such a challenge.
Forest fires, airplane crashes, vehicle accident, cardiac arrest, and more life endangering aspects could be drastically affected if the government shuts down. It is more than money at stake.
Sure, mission essential personnel will still be employed, so to speak. The question is their support personnel will not be in most cases.
Case in point: Who is going to make sure our emergency personnel get fuel in their trucks? Who is going to make sure that there is fuel to put in their trucks? Fuel delivery is not mission essential in most cases.
Another aspect of this is money related. These mission essential individuals, in cases outside of military missions, will work with no pay. They get up, get to work, and no monetary benefits for their families.
It is not just the government worker being penalized. Their families, their communities, and everyone in conjunction to them will be drastically affected. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. All one has to do is look to the cities where massive layoffs occurred from big corporations such as aircraft workers, automotive workers, and others. A dollar lost affects the person who lost the dollar, but also all those individuals that dollar could have employed. The aircraft worker touches at least ten people with every dollar earned. Utilities, mortgages and rentals, food, gas, clothing and other items will all be affected. You lose one dollar it is not much, but the implications of what the dollar stimulates is drastic. Now multiply that dollar by the hundreds of people that will be unable to help stimulate the economy because they have no dollar to spend.
It is more than money for government workers. It is trying to live without income. Nothing coming in means nothing is going out.
In our family, we have worried about private sector shutdowns as well as government shutdowns. Now that both of us are government, we are in the bubble of double trouble. One of us is mission essential and will have to work without pay. The other will be at home trying to make sure that our personal budget can be stretched enough to cover the necessities such as rent and food. I know that we won't be able to do much, but we can survive. I am not so sure other families will be as lucky.
If the government decides to shutdown, the first people to get the pay cut should be those in charge. I am sorry, but pulling a paycheck and benefits while those who have no control of government budgetary needs go without is ludicrous. Maybe that might get those idiots at the top the fire under their feet to get the job done. We, the American people, are struggling to in this economy and the actions of those in power just keep dumping on us as soon as we start to pull ourselves up. Make those in power go live in their cars the same way so many Americans had to do when they lost their jobs and their homes. Let them look in the eyes of their children who have clothes that are falling apart or outgrown and are hungry due to their mothers' and fathers' loss of employment.
Can you feel the pain of regular Americans who would be at a disadvantage had the Government was shutdown? I hope you do and if you don't feel it, I hope you try to put yourselves in their shoes.