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US Government Shut Down - new elections for senate and house of rep.?


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The US public is outraged and disgruntled with the political system. Unfortunately, the voters have many pet issues that divide them into an ineffective morass. Some people focus on the abortion issue, some on illegal immigration, some on gun control, some on social policy, etc. Politicians have purposefully divided the country geographically into congressional districts to help assure incumbents will be reelected. In other words, a congressman who campaigned for abortion rights and no gun control, helps to draw his congressional district to assure there are voters who favor his campaign issues. Thus, the country has been polarized on issues, and the Tea Party subset has arisen; they seem to be insistent on their way or war. The politicians whom they elected are, I hope, merely playing the political game to assure their share reelection. However, without the money from businessmen who fund campaigns, politicians aren't likely to be reelected. Thus, I think, the politicians will play to the public a while, and then end the government shutdown and let the country get on with its business.

 

That doesn't mean that I like the way the country is being run by business men, I don't. I think the politicians and business men are doing stupid things. And, clearly the Tea Party people don't like it either. I think most people are outraged for one reason or another. We just don't have a consensus to make a voting block big enough and for long enough to force the government into doing things differently.

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Just thinking out loud here.....   If people like soldiers and policeman can be legally charged with 'Dereliction Of Duty' for not performing the required responsibilities of their job then why can'

Wish you guys would quit playing the game. Bush only had a surplus because Clinton stripped Social Security while he was in office. Man you ideologues are atrocious. I am glad I am not part of this ci

I never suggesed you were evil. I simply pointed out that as a matter of recent and easily remembered historical fact you and your fellow registered Republicans bear full and undiluted responsibility

Guys, the discussion is not about the wages of government workers, is it? I don't think that the wages of anyone is relevant to why and how the shut down happened?

 

I am still very much stuck in a total misunderstanding of how the USA works. In my opinion, this shut down is a very huge event. But the American media seem to be far more worried about the political implications than about the very practical every-day implications. And it also surprises me that I read very little anger with the politicians who caused it. The anger is similar to any other political debate - just some general disagreements.

 

So, the US are able to send 800,000 government workers home, which means that 800,000 people will somehow have to catch up with the work they were supposed to do these days, and bills may not get paid, services are unavailable... And it even may cause commercial parties to have problems too... The effects of the shut down must be felt everywhere. (Right?)

 

And yet the media seem more worried about whether Boehner and the Tea Party will be friends or not... whereas I think that the discussion should be whether you want these idiots as your government in the first place?

 

So, why are Americans not more outraged? Why are elections not an option? Is it because the effects are much smaller than I think? Or because Americans just don't see any feasible alternatives to this government?

 

 

The vast majority of the populous won't be substantially impacted. No reason to do anything rash.

 

Local government is still functioning, civil services and military. Mostly non-essentials that are offline and not even all of those either.

 

I'm sure the employees will be affected, but honestly this shouldn't come as a total surprise. Has happened 17 times before. Should keep money set aside, otherwise you really can't say you didn't have fair warning of the possibility.

 

I'm actually kind of happy, shutdown ended up pushing back my State Militia's drill date. Not sure on the fiscal logic, but I won't say no to some extra time between drills.

Edited by Endy0816
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I'm actually kind of happy, shutdown ended up pushing back my State Militia's drill date. Not sure on the fiscal logic, but I won't say no to some extra time between drills.

The "fiscal logic" is that this is costing us at least $300 Million per day, $1.6 Billion per week, and all during a time when we're still trying to dig ourselves out of a massive recession with a relatively weak and sputtering economy. Every single hour it costs us $12.5 Million.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/10/shutdown-could-cost-300-million-a-day/

Needless to say, the bigger concern right now is the shutdown’s impact on the tepid economic recovery. IHS estimates a week-long shutdown would cut the 4th quarter economic growth rate by 0.2 percentage points, bringing its forecast of 2.2 percent growth down to just 2.0 percent.

 

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/30/government-shutdown-bilks-taxpayers/

 

Even if workers aren’t given backpay, as they were in the nineties, the government will still lose out on important sources of revenue, like inspection fines and visa and licensing fees. Plus, there are back costs to re-opening. <snip>

 

At least 800,000 federal workers are expected to be furloughed if the government shuts down this week. The Pentagon alone is expected to furlough 400,000 civilian workers, according to a Defense official, who added that a shutdown would delay death benefits to the families of military who die on active duty.

The government would also lose money from revenue, fees, and fines. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, estimated that $63 million in environmental inspection fines weren’t collected in 1995-96. About 200,000 passport applications went unprocessed, as did 20,000-30,000 visa applications from foreigners every day, which meant lost application fees. Over 1,000 export licenses and their accompanying fees were also delayed, according to OMB.

In total, the OMB estimated that the 1995-96 shutdown cost a total of $1.4 billion, or about $2 billion in today’s dollars. Some of the lost revenue in fees and fines would eventually be recouped.

But the price tag also doesn’t include the indirect costs of a government shutdown. If the government shuts down on Tuesday, all 401 national parks, monuments, battlefields, and other park units would be closed. In 1995-96, the closure of those parks cost businesses and local governments $295 million by preventing 7 million park visits, as political scientist Roy Meyers points out.

Even more money could be lost every day this time around. “According to the Department of the Interior, the last government shutdown in 1995-1996 cost local businesses $14 million per day. Our analysis indicates the actual impact on businesses now could be closer to $30 million per day,” the National Parks Conservation Association said.

 

There's also the peripheral impact on all of the businesses that support the 800,000 furloughed government workers... The change in spending patterns... The impact to contractors and construction workers who are working government projects... All those NASA employees not working and not buying lunch from the vendor on the street or from the worker in the cafe... It's a multiplier effect in the worst possible way.

 

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/23/the-economic-cost-of-a-shutdown/

 

Zandi estimates that a month-long shutdown could completely wipe out any economic growth this quarter: He expects the economy to grow only 1.5% this quarter, and a lengthy shutdown would depress growth by 1 to 1.5 percentage points, according to his estimates.

And all this from "the party of business" and the group who in the past several years have been screaming about the "importance of economic growth" and the "detrimental impact of uncertainty in the markets." Nope, be damned with all that... You're trying to allow people with preexisting conditions to get health insurance and minimize bankruptcy as a result of medical costs? In that case, we're going to shut down the whole thing, and then threaten not to pay our bills and ruin the global economy in 2 more weeks... something that would likely have a worse impact than the crash of Lehman Brothers in 2009... You know, for freedom... or something.

 

 

In my opinion, this shut down is a very huge event. But the American media seem to be far more worried about the political implications than about the very practical every-day implications.

Agreed completely. Our media tends to focus on the theater of it all, not on informing the public. It's sad. We're living in an age of information and I feel almost as if people have never been more misinformed or even oblivious.

 

And it also surprises me that I read very little anger with the politicians who caused it.

This is where I disagree with you. The anger is both broad and deep, it just hasn't really expressed itself yet. I'm not sure how (or even if) it will manifest, but people are angry. Likely, it will not present itself until the next round of elections, though.

Edited by iNow
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And it also surprises me that I read very little anger with the politicians who caused it.

This is where I disagree with you. The anger is both broad and deep, it just hasn't really expressed itself yet. I'm not sure how (or even if) it will manifest, but people are angry. Likely, it will not present itself until the next round of elections, though.

 

Right, so for an outsider like myself it is barely visible as it is just simmering under the surface. From my outsider's perspective, I guess I expected some more expressions of anger.

 

Still, thanks for the reply. Especially the first bit about the costs to the economy of the Shut Down is interesting.

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So, why are Americans not more outraged? Why are elections not an option? Is it because the effects are much smaller than I think? Or because Americans just don't see any feasible alternatives to this government?

 

We're plenty outraged, but we're terrified to vote out the devils we know. A vote for a non-major party candidate could very well mean the party you hate most will win.

 

I hear extreme opinions from pundits on both sides of the conservative/liberal fence (OK, liberal for US politics rolleyes.gif ), saying things nobody I know agrees with, yet these guys always seem to grab the ratings spotlight, so people assume there are a lot of folks who agree with them. And the US media has us so divided by aping the spin given to them by professional politicians (who MUST have gotten it from the corporations they've shackled themselves to) that all they have to do is use a single word like "Immigration" or "Welfare" or "Abortion" and their audience is immediately polarized. And whether you're for or against, you don't change the channel once those words are used.

 

We need more people to stay informed from non-US news sources, imo, because the US ones are all compromised by special interests. You'll never hear about a recall of flammable children's jackets from Burlington Coat Factory or food poisoning from Burger King if you only listen to Clear Channel radio for your news, because they're all owned by Bain Capital thanks to Reagan and Clinton. If you watch US news, you're hearing what the corporation who owns that source wants you to hear, and that means you hear endlessly how poorly "fringe" candidates fare in elections. Billions of dollars goes a long way towards making independent votes seem foolish.

 

We assume politicians are supposed to be sleazy, untrustworthy liars, and we have for so long that most just roll their eyes when hearing about the latest. And the two-party system makes most jump to the defense of their choice ("Ours aren't as bad as YOURS!"), even though that party hardly represents you any more.

 

We're plenty outraged but when it comes to a solution we're poorly informed as to alternatives. "The government" has been made an entity you can't fight. We've become desensitized to the point where we're arguing about details instead of focusing on the fact that right now we've got a small group of extremists who are bypassing our democratic process. They've grabbed power they clearly aren't entitled to, holding us hostage using terror tactics that prevent healthy and productive discussion, and those very real issues are being overlooked by the very outlets we count on to inform us.

 

We're mad as hell and we have no idea what to do about it.

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The vast majority of the populous won't be substantially impacted. No reason to do anything rash.

 

Local government is still functioning, civil services and military. Mostly non-essentials that are offline and not even all of those either.

 

I'm sure the employees will be affected, but honestly this shouldn't come as a total surprise. Has happened 17 times before. Should keep money set aside, otherwise you really can't say you didn't have fair warning of the possibility.

 

I'm actually kind of happy, shutdown ended up pushing back my State Militia's drill date. Not sure on the fiscal logic, but I won't say no to some extra time between drills.

I currently receive two kinds of benefits from the Government: monthly checks from Social Security and monthly allotments of medications from the Veterans Administration. So far the actions to sequester funds or shutdown the Government have not disrupted either source of support, but one can no longer be assured that the government will honor its promises to retirees and the veterans of the military.

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Right, so for an outsider like myself it is barely visible as it is just simmering under the surface. From my outsider's perspective, I guess I expected some more expressions of anger.

 

It may not be getting media play, because of the aforementioned mischaracterization that both parties are to blame and this is run-of-the-mill gridlock.

I currently receive two kinds of benefits from the Government: monthly checks from Social Security and monthly allotments of medications from the Veterans Administration. So far the actions to sequester funds or shutdown the Government have not disrupted either source of support, but one can no longer be assured that the government will honor its promises to retirees and the veterans of the military.

 

AFAIK both social security and VA benefit funding are not from appropriations, so they are unaffected by a shutdown. It's the actions that require a spending bill (i.e. appropriations) that are affected — you need the money and the authority to spend the money.

 

IOW we have the money (until the debt ceiling runs out). We lack the authority to spend it, for many programs.

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I currently receive two kinds of benefits from the Government: monthly checks from Social Security and monthly allotments of medications from the Veterans Administration. So far the actions to sequester funds or shutdown the Government have not disrupted either source of support, but one can no longer be assured that the government will honor its promises to retirees and the veterans of the military.

 

That much is mostly automated. They know better than to risk cutting money to that which cause riots or prevent them.

 

 

The "fiscal logic" is that this is costing us at least $300 Million per day, $1.6 Billion per week, and all during a time when we're still trying to dig ourselves out of a massive recession with a relatively weak and sputtering economy. Every single hour it costs us $12.5 Million.

 

National Guard(State Militia) pay is State funded. I think some of the maintenance guys are federal though, which may have caused the issue.

 

 

We'll see how much political impact it actually has. Seems like it is becoming a regular feature though just looking at the historical record. Ironic every president back to Ford(1976) dealt with one, except for GW Bush who otherwise gets a bad rap for his lack of constraint whatsoever.

Edited by Endy0816
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well, I have been going to healthcare.gov this morning and hitting the apply button for the nation plan just gives this:

 

We have a lot of visitors on the site right now.

Please stay on this page.

We're working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line. We’ll send you to the login page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!

 

The states that have their own sites at least come up.

 

If they can't improve this soon, maybe should take the 1 year delay and ask Amazon to run this thing! Ugh.

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Stupid question here: why does the shutdown cost money?

 

To me, it is a saving for the federal government not having to pay the salaries.

And it is a loss for the private sector because the total amount of salaries will not be spend in the economy*.

So to me it is a transfer of money between the private & public sector, as if the government took money from the private sector.

Is that what everyone call "cost money"?

 

* also the same amount will not be taxed, which is a loss for the government, to be removed from the savings.

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Governments collect money during operations. Just think of getting a passport processed as a prime example. There's a fee for that that goes into the government to help us pay our bills. Think of the ticket sales at national parks and museums and monuments. Stuff like that right off the top of my head.

 

It's also because of the lost time and energy workers and bosses have spent planning for the shutdown and communicating about the shut down instead of doing their actual jobs. It's also about the backlog of work that piles up while people aren't working and how much time and energy it's going to take to try catching up once the return... That sort of thing. Even more below.

 

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/washington-area-could-lose-200-million-a-day-if-shutdown-occurs-economist-says/2013/09/29/3cf17d22-2933-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html

 

In addition to the economic impact, area residents could also see cuts in federal services: no new applications for benefits such as Medicare, Social Security and child-care subsidies, no new housing or small-business loans, no new clinical trials for research funded by the National Institutes of Health and a murky prognosis for the safety net for those most in need.

 

Child-care centers in federal agencies would close, parents said, and child-care workers, who are not employed by the federal government, likewise would be sent home.

 

<snip>

 

“The ripple effects of a shutdown can be devastating,” Connolly said. “A federal pullback may mean the difference for state and local governments on whether they can continue Meals on Wheels or hire an additional police officer or do more emergency preparedness training. All of this stuff is under the radar, but it’s very critical to the health of our communities.”

 

<snip>

 

The D.C. region could be hit hard by lost income tax revenue from tens of thousands of idled federal workers: Maryland officials estimate the state would lose $5 million a day. Prince George’s County officials say they could lose $270,000 in income tax revenue daily during a shutdown.

Oh, and kids with cancer aren't getting treatment. U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!

 

 

More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-about-how-the-government-shutdown-will-work/

Edited by iNow
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After the last federal shutdown, the government the taxpayers ended up paying the furloughed employees for their time off, so it turned out to be a paid vacation for the non-essential employees. How messed up is that? It's the seriously-burdened essential employees (armed forces, ATCs, etc) who need a vacation. At least Congress is not on vacation — but they are out to lunch.

 

Three strikes and you're out!

  1. The 2007 Global Financial Crisis
  2. The 2013 US Budget Sequestration
  3. The 2013 US Federal Shutdown

Vote the incumbents out.

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After the last federal shutdown, the government the taxpayers ended up paying the furloughed employees for their time off, so it turned out to be a paid vacation for the non-essential employees. How messed up is that? It's the seriously-burdened essential employees (armed forces, ATCs, etc) who need a vacation. At least Congress is not on vacation — but they are out to lunch.

 

Three strikes and you're out!

  1. The 2007 Global Financial Crisis
  2. The 2013 US Budget Sequestration
  3. The 2013 US Federal Shutdown

Vote the incumbents out.

I agree. Unfortunately, whoever replaces them on the ballot will more than likely be a carbon copy. And, I can see no significant change as long as the voters focus on many divisive issues.

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There is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on. Some understandable things, based on rules and laws are in play, but there are other things which are false, or manufactured or manipulated that are also in the mix, since the crash. We have pursued some untested "stategies", whose consequences are unknown. Someone still has to pay for healthcare, with or without the AHA. People can decide between bronze, and silver and gold and platnium coverage, all constructed by the same actuaries we had at the insurance companies, anyway. If you choose the lesser policies, you pay higher deductables and higher percentage of the health care costs you incur. WHO pays for your policy is you. Either through higher premiums or higher taxes, to counteract the advanced tax credits given to individuals who can prove inordinately low income. No normal indiviual will accrue any benefit, or get anything "for free". The COST of health care should be what we attempt to lower. Not structuring laws that force people to buy insurance and companies to provide insurance for their employes, which only benefits the insurance companies, and causes the unwanted condition of hurting small businesses and caused most business to hire part time employees for 39 hours a week to escape the responsibility the law creates.

So the AHA is the law of the land, but many think it is not an improvement, and causes more problems than solutions, and hurts more people than it helps. There was an election that resulted in the house going to the Republicans, many of the elected, having run on the platform of repealing the law. They are empowered by the people that put them there to try and do it.

Certainly not in the way that just played out. It is foolish and irresponsible to shut down the government, and certainly beyond the pale, to carry this particular battle into the debt ceiling date. Failure of the government to pay its debt will raise interest rates on our already unbelievable debt and many hundreds of billions of dollars are involved in every percent of interest we have to pay to service our debt. We will have no money to spend domestically if we do not keep, as a country, an extremely high credit rating. So I agree that the tea party members have an obligation to fight the battle they were sent to Washington to fight, but they must do it by reaching a compromised, sustainable budget FIRST, and work later, for a 43rd time, to repeal the AHA. Maybe even wait, till when and if the will of the people votes in a Republican Senate and a Republican President, at which time, the repeal or modification of the law would be more appropriate. In the mean time, their job is to maintain the honor and respect of the U.S. in the eyes of our debtors, internal and external. The faith and credit of the U.S. must remain beyond question. And its their job to see that responsible budget, and responsible governance is, and remains the case.

 

Perhaps we should, since this government just shut itself off, be allowed to choose a new one.

Edited by tar
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I am still very much stuck in a total misunderstanding of how the USA works. In my opinion, this shut down is a very huge event. But the American media seem to be far more worried about the political implications than about the very practical every-day implications. And it also surprises me that I read very little anger with the politicians who caused it. The anger is similar to any other political debate - just some general disagreements.

For the vast majority of Americans this shutdown will have no impact on their lives. I remember the last shutdown well. While there was lots of talk at lunch and around the water cooler but no one I worked with was impacted. IMO the greatest political impact will be that this vast majority will discover that they can live with a smaller federal government. That is why it will end soon. The government doesn't want people to discover that smaller is better.

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After the last federal shutdown, the government the taxpayers ended up paying the furloughed employees for their time off, so it turned out to be a paid vacation for the non-essential employees. How messed up is that? It's the seriously-burdened essential employees (armed forces, ATCs, etc) who need a vacation. At least Congress is not on vacation — but they are out to lunch.

 

Three strikes and you're out!

  • The 2007 Global Financial Crisis
  • The 2013 US Budget Sequestration
  • The 2013 US Federal Shutdown
Vote the incumbents out.

 

I can tell you from personal experience that a furlough feels nothing like a vacation, and my colleagues have voiced similar opinions. What's messed up is your employer suddenly deciding you shouldn't come to work — not because you've been failing to perform your duties or that you're fired or anything — but because your employer can't do his/her job*. Passing appropriations is congress's frikkin' job, one of the few things they have to do each year.

 

*Or, if you are deemed critical, that you should come to work and essentially loan the employer money by working for deferred wages.

 

There's no guarantee that furloughed workers will have their pay restored, especially with this congress. That is one bargaining issue that could conceivably be ceded by the dems.

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There are countries whose governments spend less money per capita than the US and whose citizens live longer than people in the US. Thus, I think the cost of health care in the US has in some manner gone awry. I do not know what is wrong, but suspect that there are many causes that will be difficult to pinpoint and even harder to fix. And, I think there will be blame enough to be placed on all the involved parties, the people, their doctors, the pharmaceutical companies, the medical device suppliers, the insurance industry, the fast food industry, the politicians, relevant government agencies, political power players, and industries that pollute.

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So the AHA is the law of the land, but many think it is not an improvement, and causes more problems than solutions, and hurts more people than it helps. There was an election that resulted in the house going to the Republicans, many of the elected, having run on the platform of repealing the law. They are empowered by the people that put them there to try and do it.

 

 

They lost the popular vote. The reason they won more seats is they gerrymandered the districts. They failed to elect the president who had promised to shut down the law.

Stupid question here: why does the shutdown cost money?

 

To me, it is a saving for the federal government not having to pay the salaries.

And it is a loss for the private sector because the total amount of salaries will not be spend in the economy*.

So to me it is a transfer of money between the private & public sector, as if the government took money from the private sector.

Is that what everyone call "cost money"?

 

* also the same amount will not be taxed, which is a loss for the government, to be removed from the savings.

 

Money not spent reduces taxes collected. There are also services the government charges for, and that revenue is not being collected. And even though those parts of government that rely on fees might pay for themselves, there is more than salary, there is overhead. e.g. buildings still require maintenance, even when not fully occupied.

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Swansont,

 

I don't disagree. Gerrymandering, has always skewed results of house seats, thus more firmly embedding the power of the party generally in power at the local level. I think through history it has worked both ways, both in favor of republicans and democrats in different situations. When I lived in a democratic district I registered as a democrat, now I live in a republican district and am registered as a republican. Being in New Jersey, as a moderate, registered republican, I would NEVER have a voice in federal government, if my district was Gerrymandered to include some population centers in my county, which are highly democrat. My father, who is a democrat, lives in a highly republican area, and rarely gets a representative that he votes for. However NJ usually sends democrats to the Senate, based on popular vote. So you can't hold the fact that the Republicans won the seats that they won based on concentrations of Republicans in the districts that they represent, against their rights and obligations to be said representatives.

 

Even if the president is elected by 60 percent of the population, there is still the other 40 percent that he is obligated to lead, and stand for. Those that disagree with his policies do not evaporate, and such honest disagreement should be worked into the conduct of his office. While the "tea party" is basically demonized, and rightly so in many ways, there are some principles and reasonable concerns underlying some of the dramatized debates, that many moderates, both democrat and republican, socialist and capitalist, would perhaps consider reasonable and important to adhere to and maintain. Enough perhaps, for many to be right in feeling "railroaded", if things go irreversably against their better judgment.

 

Regards, TAR2

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The government doesn't want people to discover that smaller is better.

 

Sorry, but that makes no sense, because there are parts of the fed that are well worth the money we pay to support it. There are also some VERY dumb parts that benefit only a few and need to be done away with.

 

More efficient is what we need, along with a national awareness about what should be handled privately and what works best funded publicly (like health insurance, imo). We don't have that and we never will as long as people stay misinformed.

 

The government doesn't want people to discover that smarter is better.

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Sorry, but that makes no sense, because there are parts of the fed that are well worth the money we pay to support it. There are also some VERY dumb parts that benefit only a few and need to be done away with.

 

More efficient is what we need, along with a national awareness about what should be handled privately and what works best funded publicly (like health insurance, imo). We don't have that and we never will as long as people stay misinformed.

 

The government doesn't want people to discover that smarter is better.

I could be a jerk and ask for sources that prove your "well worth the money" comment but I won't. I'll agree that parts are worth the money. On the other hand most people will see no impact and wonder what all the fuss is about. They may wonder what all those 800,000 people were doing if they can't notice when the doing it stopped. They may also ask why is the government doing anything that isn't essential and why they should be expected to ever pay for non-essential budget items. Those were common questions during the last shutdown.

Edited by waitforufo
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We can open threads on size of government, abortion, immigration, and a myriad of other topics, and argue them ad infinitum, as they have been and are being argued by the US public. Of course, I have my own positions, which mostly I will not state,because I am sick of the arguing. However, since this is a science forum, I will mention the issue of teaching science vs creationism in school, not because I want to argue the point, but because I think it illustrates the quality of many of the myriad of public arguments, the futility of arguing, and the importance of the issues.

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Swansont,

 

And just for the record, this summer NJ replaced departed democratic senator Laudtenburg (who I voted for) with a Republican, who questions the unfunded mandate aspects, and the unappropriated use of 20 different government agencies, in the implementation of the AHA.

 

Regards, TAR2

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