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Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2011

Budget standstill in Washington threatens to shut down federal government offices

April 7, 2011

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— Just when the Battle of Black Jack was getting some national buzz, the government threatens to shut down.

If Republicans and Democrats in Washington can’t reach an agreement on a budget by midnight, much of the federal government closes shop, and that means shutting down the 394 parks and historic sites run by the U.S. National Park Service.

That includes the Topeka-based Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, which currently features an exhibit on the Battle of Black Jack. The battle fought in Douglas County in 1856 is being called the first fight in the lead-up to the Civil War.

David Barna, chief spokesman for the National Park Service, said that if the government shuts down, all the national parks, monuments, war sites and preserves would close, all visitors would have to leave and 17,000 workers would be on furlough. The national parks are getting about 800,000 visitors per day.

“That’s the big impact,” he said. “They (visitors) won’t have this experience, which is really sad.” In addition, the agency’s website also would be shut down. It receives a million hits per day, mostly from school children working on class reports and adults planning their vacations.

Social Security recipients would still get monthly checks, but military troops would not receive their full paychecks, according to the federal government. The air traffic control system would continue, as would emergency response agencies and the Border Patrol.

In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback’s office was taking a wait-and-see attitude. Brownback’s spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said the office wasn’t going to answer questions about a federal shutdown until it happened because there were so many variables in what could be affected.

At Kansas University, spokesman Jack Martin said grants and additional requests by students for financial aid could be delayed.

Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug said as far as county services go, people won’t see any difference at all.

And in the agricultural sector, reports indicate that services related to law enforcement and public health, such as meat, poultry, eggs and grain inspections would continue. Funds have also been made available for nutrition programs and food stamps.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reports that a federal shutdown would have no effect on highway projects. The federal transportation funding law was extended by President Barack Obama through Sept. 30, according to KDOT spokesman Steve Swartz.

Comments

Evan Ridenour 3 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see the continued failure of our federal government to even do basic tasks.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Republicans have one goal, and one goal only-- to drive home the message that government has one function only, and that's to serve the needs of the super wealthy and the corporations they own. Part of achieving that goal is to make it fail at anything else, in any way they can. They see shutting the government down as one way to achieve that. They couldn't care less about the consequences for people who depend on the government and its programs.

booyalab 3 years, 9 months ago

One's heart strings might actually be tugged a bit after reading this, until one realizes that bozo would include government subsidies of tuna farmers in Death Valley as being an essential program. Just think how those desert tuna farmers would suffer in a government shutdown. They might have to find an actual body of water or something.

Kontum1972 3 years, 9 months ago

u know most of these politicians havent served in the armed forces ...good example...vietnam war rich kids didnt end up on the front lines....they were drivers for the field grade officers....while the rest of us stuck it out on the firebases....when i was in flight school the Chief of Army Aviations son was in my flight...they never tore up his room during inspections...plus we had a son of a marine corp bird colonel.....same deal with him....

Kontum1972 3 years, 9 months ago

hmmm..so will we see more personal attacks on the wealthy....?

mloburgio 3 years, 9 months ago

The plan would condemn millions to the ranks of the uninsured, raise health costs for seniors and renege on the obligation to keep poor children fed. It envisions lower taxes for the wealthy than even George W. Bush imagined: a permanent extension for his tax cuts, plus large permanent estate-tax cuts, a new business tax cut and a lower top income tax rate for the richest taxpayers.

Compared to current projections, spending on government programs would be cut by $4.3 trillion over 10 years, while tax revenues would go down by $4.2 trillion. So spending would be eviscerated, mainly to make room for continued tax cuts.

The deficit would be smaller, but at an unacceptable cost. Health care would be hardest hit, followed by nonsecurity discretionary spending — the sliver of the budget that encompasses annually appropriated programs. Those include education, scientific research, environmental preservation, investor protection, disease control, food safety, federal law enforcement and other areas that bear directly on the quality of Americans’ daily lives. The proposed cuts in such programs are $923 billion deeper than President Obama called for in his 2012 budget, which pushed the edge of what is politically possible.

Another big cut — $715 billion over 10 years — comes from mandatory spending other than Social Security and the big health care programs, a category that includes food stamps and federal retirement. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/opinion/06wed2.html?_r=1

booyalab 3 years, 9 months ago

Like the article says, the government shutdown only applies to "nonessential" functions, like national parks. So if that's a tragedy, it begs the question of why we need the government in charge of something that has such a high demand. We don't have national ice cream shops.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

Shut it down. If you depend on government, you get what you deserve.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

So, do you favor a "final solution" for these people, or do you think they should just be left to die on their own?

Regardless of how they die, should they be buried with public funds, or just left to rot where they die?

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I favor a final solution. Cut the budget.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"So I guess I can stop defending the nation now?"

What are you defending it from?

Nah, don't stop. Your job is constitutionally mandated, so I support you. You will get the back pay you are owed.

However, I would like to see a drawdown in troops from eurasia and an end to our current three wars.

"long range radar sites in Alaska. "

Cool. I was an IHAWK illuminator operator in germany in the early 80s. I used to watch soviet bloc jets on the screen just like you probably watch the Russian versions.

I take it by your other statements you are under the impression that law enforcement will be suspended during the shutdown and that accused criminals will be exhonerated if their trials are put off by a month or two. I'm not sure that is the case.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

I don't know if you guys see something similar, but the pilots from the two air bases we were set up to defend used to straif our tac site in F4s. Those are some pretty wicked planes when they dive from 20,000 ft and buzz you at 200 feet. We always had the last laugh though because we could stay locked on them the entire time and could have rippled two (if the launchers had been active) and taken them down with the greatest of ease. If we were outside, we always took the opportunity to flip off the colonels flying them. LOL... zoomies.

Every now and then we saw some A10s training, seeming like they were flying though the trees.

Cool days!

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

A lot of people who work for the government are educated and highly skilled. So are all you government worker haters ready for them to come compete for your job? Is your boss going to give you a raise, if the the 800,000 some people who will be furloughed decide to look for jobs elsewhere? They can just get rid of you and hire someone else. Good for their business, not so good for yours. Better get off your behind and show your boss how invaluable you are right away.

Richard Payton 3 years, 9 months ago

Trash services stop in Washington D.C. if a government shutdown occurs. This adds to the already stinking problem in D.C.

gphawk89 3 years, 9 months ago

Shut it down. How many millions of dollars per day will that save us taxpayers?

verity 3 years, 9 months ago

A number of you might look up what non-essential means, because you obviously don't know.

If it didn't hurt so many people I would say shut it down---it worked so well for Mr. Gingerich back in the nineties. Do any of you have long enough memories to remember that?

But it would hurt a lot of hard working people who can little afford to be without a paycheck. And in the long run, it will hurt all of us.

The GOP has made it very clear that the only thing they care about is making the president look bad so they can regain power. Good luck with that.

verity 3 years, 9 months ago

A clue for those who don't remember. Gingerich lost the PR battle and Clinton got a second term. Some say it was because Gingerich forced the shut down.

Clinton didn't blink---

deec 3 years, 9 months ago

My duaghter is an Americorp/VISTA volunteer in Kansas City. Because VISTA's are technically volunteers, they make $5.94 an hour, assuming they only work 40 hours a week. Often, she works more hours. By contract, they are not allowed to hold a second job. Among other tasks, she supervises a food backpack program for low income children so they will have food over the weekend. The work she performs frees up other higher-paid manhours for other tasks. She works for a faith-based organization. If a government shutdown goes on very long, she will be homeless. My aunt and cousin work for the IRS in Kasnas City, and both have done so for many years. My aunt is currently paying off her husband's final medical expenses and funeral costs with her wages. They are some of the real, actual people who make up the evil government workers some of you despise. They are Americans, and they deserve better.

verity 3 years, 9 months ago

I think people don't realize that if the government shuts down, they won't be getting their tax refunds.

Anyway, a moot point now, as they seem to have reached an agreement. Haven't read yet what it was.

deec 3 years, 9 months ago

I just briefly looked into it. 38 or 39 billion in cuts and they removed the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

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