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DEVELOPING STORY — Federal Shutdown Could Have “Severe Impact” on N. Virginia

by ARLnow.com — April 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm 2,371 157 Comments

On a conference call today, Rep. Jim Moran (D) said he believe the odds of a federal shutdown at the end of the week is about 50/50 — a dark omen for Arlington and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions whose economies rely heavily on federal employment.

If such a shutdown were to happen, Moran says he believes that furloughed federal employees would not be reimbursed for their time off due to Republican opposition to such a move. A shutdown could last several weeks and have a “severe impact” on the local economy, Moran warned.

“This is very, very, serious,” Moran said. “Federal employees need to understand that this is not 1995, when we closed down… and [employees] were fully reimbursed.”

“About a million federal employees will not be working, and it is highly unlikely they will ever be reimbursed,” Moran continued. “Not only is this going to hurt the overall economy in the metropolitan Washington area that I represent, but it is going to have a very severe impact on employee’s abilities to make their mortgage payments, their car payments, etc.”

“Every private sector element in my district’s economy is going to be adversely affected,” Moran added.

Others on the conference call pegged the number of federal employees who would be furloughed during a shut down at around 800,000 nationwide, including Department of Defense civilians. Moran said the impact would likely to extend to government contractors.

“If this continues I think there’s going to be a number of smaller contractors that will simply go out of business because the [federal agencies] aren’t giving them the kind of cash flow they need to survive,” he said. Backing up that suggestion, Moran’s office pointed out that 20 percent of government contracts in the D.C. area were adversely affected during the 1995 shutdown.

For Arlington, the impact could be especially severe. There are just over 60,000 federal jobs based in Arlington, according to figures provided by the county’s economic development office earlier this year. And that’s not including the number of Arlington residents who work for federal agencies outside the county. Based on past census data, the number of federal employees living in Arlington is likely around 26,000.

Despite the ominous warnings, Karen Vasquez, spokeswoman for Arlington Economic Development, said the lasting effects of a shutdown on the local economy would be relatively mild.

“Certainly there’s impact, there’s no question,” she said. “But I think we saw last time around that there were no major lasting effects. Although it does prove to be a hardship in a variety of capacities, the economy is able to right itself again. Especially in a location like Arlington where — while certainly we are very dependent on the federal government, we are not wholly dependent on the federal government.”

“We do have a fairly diversified economy,” Vasquez said. “I think people and their businesses should be fine, even if there is a shutdown.”

Moran said a shutdown could be avoided if Democrats and Republicans come together to pass a “clean” bill that continues funding the federal government at current levels. He said the odds of that happening, in his view, are about 50 percent. Once a new federal government is passed, however, there could be more pain for the region.

Moran said the current Republican budget proposal would freeze federal pay for five years, cut the federal workforce by 10 percent and require increased retirement contributions from federal employees. The long-term impact of such cuts would likely ripple through the local economy.

On Thursday Moran will hold an “emergency town hall meeting” to discuss the proposed federal shutdown. The meeting will be held at Francis Hammond Middle School (4646 Seminary Road) in Alexandria from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • charlie

    traffic will be good.

    • ClizzleDizzle

      Indeed, I also have a feeling that will all those federalo’s gone, traffic will be politer as well.

    • kroc

      LIKE! :)

  • charlie

    people fail to understand that those who work for federal contractors bill their time regardless of funding. at the federal contractor where i worked we had to work all but a handful of “federal holidays” and we billed the government for those days.

    • Abe Froman

      @ Charlie, thats not accurate. Contractors on fixed price contracts will still have the same deliverables so they need to get their work done, whether the gov’t is open. And the contracts that are time and materials may or may not be able to bill if they can actually produce work for those days and even then I am not sure they will be able to bill while the gov’t is closed.

      Perhaps some of these govies can take some of their generous leave to get paid for the time the gov’t is closed.

      • V Dizzle

        We, government employees, are forbidden from using leave. We will not be paid during the furlough.

      • charlie

        we weren’t on fixed price contracts. i can assure you of that. we only made money because of the overages and change of scope.

      • Contractor

        Also depends on whether your contract is funded as an indefinite or multi-year appropriation or an annual appropriation. Notices are going out all over the country to contractors to prepare for shutdown. We are allowed to take vacation though so we can at least get paid for some period of time.

    • Mick Way

      Really? Then explain the e-mail notice I just received telling me that if the Government shuts down I’ll be charging to my vacation account starting Monday?

      • Mandy

        Check out http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011/

        “Employees whose salaries are funded through annual appropriations will not be able to work and will be furloughed…Any paid leave (annual, sick, court, etc.) approved for use during the furlough period must be cancelled.”

        • South Arlington

          I think he is a contractor.

    • OX4

      They fail to understand that because it’s not true. Time and material contract work will stop.

      • R.Griffon

        +1 You only get to keep working if your work is deemed “essential.” So it really depends on your contract/position.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    Had the previous Congress (with a Dem controlled House & Senate) done their jobs last year and passed a budget, we would not be facing this now.

    • Southeast Jerome

      and if the 8 congresses before them had done their job, we wouldnt have trillions of dollars in unfunded entitlement programs. Hindsight is always 20/20 my friend.

      • brian

        and if we continue to let this congress spend and spend we will be trillions trillions more in debt.

        tarp was a 1 time thing. why is it in the budget?

        why the squabble over 66 billion of 1.5 trillion.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Exactly, Wayne Kubicki. Now the problem is that between the House and Senate there is a stalemate and neither side wants to compromise as they’ll the thought of as “traitors” by the extremists on both sides. So the congress critters of both parties pontificate, posture, and argue like three year olds in a sandbox that don’t want to share their toys. I pretty much gave up some time ago on both political parties and the endless budget (and other) shenanigans of the previous Congress and the current Congress have only confirmed my thoughts from 2008 – its a shame they both can’t loose.

      Now if we had a President who would go over the heads of the Congress critters directly to the people and say “until Congress can get their act together and agree like adults, this stalemate will continue” and get the public ticked off enough to fry the phone and email lines to their “representatives” and “senators” offices….then the fools on Capitol Hill might just get the message to stop the shuck and jive, both sides compromise, pass a budget, and get of the freakin’ pot already!

      • Aaron

        Stop blaming the extremists for everything!!!!

        Leftist Dems want to balance the budget by taxing the rich and rightwing Republicans want to balance the budget by slashing spending.

        It’s only the wishy-washy moderate/centrist scum of both parties who insist on spending trillions they don’t have and refusing to pay for any of it. They’re the ones who got us into this trouble.

        • Westover

          The wishy-washy moderate/centrist scum are not the ones running up the debt with pet programs or tax cuts to small constituencies. It is the moederates who see a need/requirement to operate within our means. It is the centrists who understand that government still has a role, just not as big as some think. It is the centrists that are willing to have slightly higher taxes and slightly lowers services and work to keep things in balance. Only the far left and the far right think that chaos is good.

        • Ken

          So call me a leftist. Giving tax cuts to billionaires and cutting middle and lower class Medicaid is insane, IMO.

          • Klug

            Not only is it insane, it’s downright mean.

        • brian

          you mean taxing everyone.

    • BoredHouseWife

      Divide and conquer

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Hey, Congressman, the real “severe impact,” comes as a result of the fact that you keep spending money you don’t have.

    • brendan

      Defense spending alone takes up more than half of all discretionary spending – maybe we should start there?

      Military personnel costs alone are close to $300 billion a year, perhaps you’d like to offer to help cut that?

      • V Dizzle

        Oh, snap! Don’t make people look at real numbers and create informed opinions. No you din’t.

      • GOB

        All branches of the military have either completed or initiated personnel cuts. Like other government agencies, DoD is trying to rely heavily on attrition, but until the economy fully rebounds, people are going to hold on to their jobs with both hands, teeth, and even feet if necessary.

        • Southeast Jerome

          the stock markets have doubled and GDP has expanded for 8 straight quarters. I’d say the economy is doing very well. Dont let the media scare machine influence your thinking so much

          • AllenB

            Tell that to the millions still out of work. The stock market is only one indicator of how the economy is doing.

        • mehoo

          Personnel cuts aren’t the same thing as overall spending cuts. There is room for defense cuts. Some defense spending is just pork, for unneeded, unwanted weapons programs, etc. At least the House had the cajones to kill Boehner’s pork fighter engine.

      • Sgt. Hartman

        These are suggestions very worthy of consideration.  Everything should be open to debate.  Congress has a spending problem and must be reined in by those asked to pay for their compulsive shopping habits.

      • R.Griffon

        Haven’t you heard? If we take an objective look at defense spending, then the terrorists win (as if they haven’t already). Why do you hate America?

  • roquer

    wooohoooo!!!!!! Not a bill passed by Congress every day they are off! Traffic is good. I wonder how many BILLIONS are saved every day that nothing happens by the Federal Gov’t? The only REAL problem is that Congress/Senate/President still gets paid. If they didn’t get paid, this would be done in an hour.

    • Arl Now Reader

      Right now, Mr. Polis of Colorado is trying to offer an amendment to the Rule which allows for S. 388 – To prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns – to be considered. Congressman Moran supports this amendment.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        “Right now, Mr. Polis of Colorado is trying to offer an amendment to the Rule which allows for S. 388 – To prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns – to be considered. Congressman Moran supports this amendment.”

        Is this serious? If so, this is the first time I’ve agreed with Rep. Moran on anything.

        • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

          Yes, he talked about that in the conference call.

        • GOB

          Good for CM Polis (even though he’s a multi-millionaire who probably pays the equivalent of his Congressional salary in taxes each year). To use a term favored by Republicans, it would be “BEYOND THE PALE” for anyone on the Hill (with few exceptions) to collect a paycheck when their incompetence threatens to adversely impact millions of constituents/taxpayers.

          • Westover

            Polis pays way more in taxes than his Congressional salary. But why should staffers who will have to work not get paid? If someone asked a union employee to work with out pay Polis and the rest of the Left would be up in arms. I agree, Members should not receive a pay check while the shutdown is going on, but they should be compensated for their time after things are worked out.

      • CrystalMikey

        That’s what I’m talking about.

      • ChrisG

        I agree with Congressman Moran on this. I’d still like a better explanation of his vote to raise congressional pay last year, though.

      • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

        It’s a silly stunt. Wouldn’t cause even a small hiccup for 99% of Members to go w/o a paycheck for a month or two. Staffers, on the other hand (and I have to say, that’s not an entirely bad idea . . .).

    • Ken

      Congress will not be off.

      • Westover

        Most Legislative Branch employees will not be working.

  • http://arlingtondirt.blogspot.com/ TGEoA

    I hope to God that if a furlogh happens that no one gets back pay.

    • brendan

      why?

      • RK

        I was wondering that too, brendan.

      • http://arlingtondirt.blogspot.com/ TGEoA

        Why should our tax dollars pay for a free vacation?

        • brendan

          So the poor schmuck who has been going to work cleaning up toxic waste at Superfund sites for the past 15 years, supporting his wife and kids on 74k a year and completely disengaged from all things political, is supposed to suffer while Boehner attempts to extract a pound of flesh?

          • http://arlingtondirt.blogspot.com/ TGEoA

            Last time a furlough occured all the government workers got back pay, while contractors didn’t.

            Its a big poop sandwhich and everyones gotta take a bite.

          • V Dizzle

            Hey big guy, we didn’t exactly volunteer for the furlough. I would prefer to work and be paid for it, but politics are more powerful than reason. I don’t think we’ll get backpay, but can’t see why your god would have a vested interest in feds being basically docked wages. Is this a way to create jobs and spur on the economy?

          • Arrrrrlington

            74K/year? Where do I sign up for that job? I’m an engineer at a defense contractor and I would LOVE to earn that much by the time I’m 30.

          • CW

            Most engineers at defense contractors that I know make close to that at the entry level…

          • bob

            GS12, baby.

          • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

            It all depends what kind of engineer you are. Civil is more modest in pay while other disciplines such as Electrical, Chemical, or Aerospace make good money.

          • GOB

            Didn’t sound right to me either. I was a defense contractor at 26 and started out with $65K. Two years later, I was making $81K. I’d imagine that someone with an engineering degree has way more earning potential (EP)…

          • V Dizzle

            You’re an engineer and think that’s a high salary for a 30 year old? You may want to look up some facts and figures and either ask for a raise or get a new job dude.

          • Arrrrrlington

            I used to work for one of the Big Guys (Starts with L ends with ockheed Martin), but chose to go with a much smaller contractor (<300 people) because all I saw working for the Big Guy was waste and laziness. I took a pay cut at my current position, but the work is far more interesting than sitting in a cube farm as a spread sheet jockey.

            The smaller contractors will suffer most if the government shuts down. Unfortunately, I think the Big Guys caused the defense budget to inflate out of control to help contribute to this budget mess.

          • South Arlington

            So you quit a job that paid more and then complain about not making $74K a year as an engineer? Seriously, $74K is low for an engineer with 3 years of experience, especially at the larger contractors. If you have a clearance, boost the salary by $10-15K.

            Agreed on the small contractors though. They don’t have the cash flow to survive too long of a shutdown. A lot of times, they need to get letters of credit just to float expenses while they wait for invoices to come in. Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics will be fine, and just dip into their billions of cash reserves.

          • CW

            Surprised it’s that much of a difference in salary at one of the small firms anyhow. Usually, if a small guy can stay in business, it’s because they’ve got some niche carved out that no one else can master. In that case, they name their price.

          • Southeast Jerome

            yeah 74K a year isnt that much if you want to ever own a home, you will need double that. Get off Arlnow and go get a graduate degree bro!

          • SamsontheCat

            He said $74/k for working a superfund site for 15 years. Unless you started working as an engineer at 15 you probably have a few more years to go until you can complain about not making $74/k.

        • BoredHouseWife

          epic

    • PCity

      because?

      If all federal employees are slackers and don’t do anything to begin with, what’s the problem with paying us for what we already don’t do? :-D

    • Burger

      My issue with no back pay is that some people can’t get another job because of numerous federal regulations which is unlike any other furlough. Some won’t get unemployment. So if you prevent them from working – guess what you have to pay them and if you have to pay one, you have to pay them all.

      • Westover

        This +1

    • Ken

      May the same happen to you, bub.

  • The Middle

    Hey, Sarge, the real problem is people refusing to fund the services that you need/want. Can fix bridges, fight wars, and provide a social safety net for the elderly without paying for it. Yes, God forbid, we will have to raise taxes.

    • Southeast Jerome

      raise taxes???? What???? pay for what I demand??? You mean I cant have free health care and eat mcdonalds everyday?!?!?!! what kind of country is this?

      I cant have a 800,000 house and 3 cars!?!?! Whats an adjustable rate mortgage?

      Sorry, I am just thinking like your typical ignorant American

    • V Dizzle

      amen

    • Sgt. Hartman

      It’s really not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem. It can’t be repeated enough….

      • Westover

        It is both, we have severly cut taxes over the last 15 years while not cutting expenditures. Are tax rate is low, of course as a tax payer I would love to payless, but as a citizen I realize there are things that need to be done and we need to pay for them. Cutting spending alone will not reduce the debt that continues to grow due to interest owed. We need to, at a minimum, balance the budget with spending cuts, and if need be targeted tax increases, until the economy improves to a point where revenue raises on its own. Not enough spending could be cut safely, in real and political terms, to cut the debt on its own.

      • V Dizzle

        I agreed 100%. Our military/defense spending is out of control and needs to be cut severely.

      • brendan

        maybe if you repeat it enough it’ll become true???

        you clearly haven’t looked at any tables… We’ve seen a massive decrease in revenue as a percentage of GDP in the last ten years.

        • Sgt. Hartman

          Actually, revenues as a percentage of GDP are up. It just depends upon what time period you inspect.

          Of course, this entire debate boils down to one’s philosophy and understanding of the purpose and scope of government, and the limitations on it as enshrined by the U.S. Constitution. Some say smaller, others say bigger. Let’s have that debate. Now that the bills are coming due for the massively out-of-balance spending habits of our legislators, and more and more Americans are conveniently pushed into progressive income tax brackets meant as a mechanism of wealth transfer from the “rich,” I think greater numbers of people are engaged and interested in these fundamental questions than at any other point in my lifetime.

          • V Dizzle

            Again, I agree. We’re spending on three wars, 1000′s of non-combat troops stationed in dozens of outposts overseas, huge no-compete contracts that never end for DOD contractors, a politicized BRAC process that seems to accomplish little, a 12 carrier fleet (plus or minus 1), an obscenely large ICBM stockpile (yes, even after years of reductions..and I know it costs money to decommision)…I could go on. I won’t even touch on nat. security.

  • LyonSteve

    “…but it is going to have a very severe impact on employee’s abilities to make their mortgage payments, their car payments, etc.”

    What ever happened to personal responsibility?

    Sure, if the shutdown occurs and lasts for months, not weeks, this may be a problem. Every family should have at least a 6 month emergency fund for situations like this.

    And what about all the people that have been without a job for years? What’s the real unemployment number (U6?)

    • GOB

      You’re a jerk. The economic meltdown in 2008/2009 decimated my 6 months emergency fund after I found myself out of a job, but still responsible for paying my rent, car payment, and other bills. I DID NOT collect unemployment insurance from the time because the great Commonwealth of Virginia kept giving me the runaround and I could rely on my savings. I finally secured a federal job a few months later and I’ve spent the past year plus trying to replinish my savings/pay down credit card debt.

      I love how people reserve their most hateful comments for anonymous government workers, yet they refuse to hold politicians responsible for doing THEIR jobs. Do you honestly think a government shutdown is some sort of accomplishment for Congress–which has had several months to come to an agreement on a budget? It shows a complete lack of respect for the American people, whether they’re in the private or the public sectors. One group won’t be able to utilize services they’re entitled to as taxpayers and the other group will be hemmoraging money meant for food, bills, and other expenses every day the government is shutdown.

      And FYI…even though TGEoA seems to be taking glee in the fact that me and hundreds of thousands of others are wondering what we’re going to do if we get furloughed, I actually agree that back pay would be inappropriate. I don’t want money for hours I didn’t work; however, I want to be working unless i’m on leave. I seriously hope that everything is resolved before midnight on April 8th.

      • http://arlingtondirt.blogspot.com/ TGEoA

        Don’t blame others because you didn’t follow the procedure for getting your unemployment. And there is no shame in taking it. You paid for the insurance after all.

        And btw, I certainly hope a shutdown does not occur.

        • bennynojets

          I see your point, but even had GOB taken unemployment benefits it would have been a drain on savings. The amounts paid out wouldn’t cover rent in most places in Arlington.

        • Burger

          Some positions are not eligible for unemployment and some are not eligible to go find another job because of arcane federal regulations.

        • mehoo

          He didn’t say he didn’t follow the procedures, he said he was denied.

      • ChrisG

        FY11′s budget should have been passed 8 months ago and been in effect for 6 months already. The House didn’t even offer a budget until after the elections when the gov. was already running on CRs. If there is a shut down we’ll feel a few minimal effects from the great recession the rest of our nation has been going through for a couple of years now.

        It’s nice that Moran is concerned about this now, but it’s 8 months too late.

      • LyonSteve

        Re-read my comment. My comment about a 6-month emergency fund was in response to the comments by our representative saying that Fed’s and Contractors would not be able to pay their mortgages and car payments if the gov’t shuts down.

    • Erin

      I would LOVE to have 6 months in savings. As it stands, I MAYBE have 1. As a recent college grad with student loan bills, I haven’t had the time to save much money yet–the fact I even have 1 month of savings after not even a year at a job is actually pretty good. My rent, loan payments, and basic groceries will drive me to begging my unemployed parents for money very quickly if this happens–and something tells me that will not go well.

      • Southeast Jerome

        Thats a very tough situation….. you might be able to pick up a job at night or something to hold you over…

        • Erin

          agency memo that went out today said we need prior approval before taking on any work or we risk violating the ethics code… but yes, that is exactly what I am thinking I will be forced to do if the shutdown is longer than a few days :(

          • gringo

            Wow, save that memo, that’s rich. “You can’t work here, and you can’t work anywhere else either, unless it’s approved, but of course we can’t approve it because we’ll be closed.”

          • PCB

            And now you realize why this sucks for us!

          • Cate

            Good luck.

            I have my BA and I’ve been searching for a consistent job since the summer. I couldn’t get anything in retail because I had experience/a degree, so if you fall under that category…good luck, seriously (no sarcasm whatsoever).

      • LyonSteve

        Thank you Obama?

        What about the summer of recovery? Anyone remember that?

        • ChrisG

          Yeah when our Congress should have passed a budget.

      • Westover

        McDonald’s is hiring….
        Personally, I will be taking a part time job for the duration just to keep from having the wife give me a Honey Do list. And I have a year and a half of coverage in the emergency fund.

        • Burger

          Which would be a ethical and potential legal violation for many government workers to do.

          • Cate

            I’d say it’s more of an ethical violation for Congress to be refusing to sit down and talk things out and do their jobs.

          • ChrisG

            Like when they didn’t do their job last year passing a budget for this year? You know why they did that, right?

          • Westover

            Can’t just take any job, but for most employees, there are jobs that they can take. For a bunch though, they will be prohibited from taking anything. Then, from the employers’ stand point, why hire someone that might only be there a few days? Hope everyone else who can, has something lined up.

    • Ken

      Well, I’ve been working since I was 15. And yeah, I have 6 months of savings I can draw on, but the point here is Fed Employees are actually PROHIBITED from taking on outside work unless previously approved (see opm.gov). How is that my fault?

      • ChrisG

        It’s not a matter of it being your fault. It’s just the reality of the employment situation in which you chose to enter.

        • Ken

          Yes, I chose to serve the public rather than take a higher salary with a beltway bandit. Still unsure how the snarky comments about “personal responsibility” apply…

    • BoredHouseWife

      Divide and conquer again

    • LBSki

      My favorite part of this statement is that it implys we need the government to continue into deeper debt so that we individuals can continue our habit of debt!

  • imissTX

    My politics are right down the middle, but this “developing story” is just a democrat trying to say his side of the aisle is better and to scare the general public about what the Republicans will do with their money.

    “Moran says he believes that furloughed federal employees would not be reimbursed for their time off due to Republican opposition to such a move.”

    “Moran said a shutdown could be avoided if Democrats and Republicans come together to pass a “clean” bill that continues funding the federal government at current levels.”

    “Moran said the current Republican budget proposal would freeze federal pay for five years, cut the federal workforce by 10 percent and require increased retirement contributions from federal employees.”

    I know he’s a local rep, but there is more to the story than one man’s (or one party’s) point of view.

    • Lou

      Well, it is still “developing”. Maybe we will get Chris Zimmerman’s side of the story later.

  • rossl

    Um, so furloughed employees won’t have to work and may not get paid BUT shouldn’t the bigger issue be the troops not getting paid?

    • imissTX

      I’m pretty sure they’re exempt from this. They’ll get paid regardless.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com
      • imissTX

        “Military personnel will be paid eventually but not until Congress appropriates money to the Department of Defense”

        So they’ll get paid, but perhaps not on time.

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

      Not especially bigger. The poorest among them will live in gov’t paid housing and eat gov’t paid meals. Can’t say the same for other similarly junior gov’t workers.

  • LyonSteve

    Republicans promised upon taking control of the house for the 112th Congress to publish bills three days before voting of them. I would expect that they abide by this as well with regard to any bill, either a budget or CR to avoid a shutdown.

    http://www.gop.gov/pledge/readthebill

    • brendan

      If they broke their own rules for something as trivial as gutting npr – i doubt they’ll have any problems doing so on this, tho it does change the dynamic of finding the coalition necessary for passing a last minute CR in the House.

  • TuesdaysChild

    Moran is part of the problem in Congress. Not the solution. If he wants to help, he should resign ASAP.

  • BiArlington

    Does this mean the April 15th tax deadline will get extended? I know all IRS audits will stop. Always looking for the silver lining.

    • GOB

      Tax Day isn’t on the 15th this year. It was extended to the 18th and filers are still expected to have their mailed tax forms postmarked by that day. If you’re looking for a silver lining:

      It will take longer to process refunds…good news for people who owe the IRS, right?

  • KalashniKEV

    “Moran said a shutdown could be avoided if Democrats and Republicans come together to pass a “clean” bill that continues funding the federal government at current levels.”

    How can it be “clean” and still have all that filth?

    We need to cut 40%

    • South Arlington

      Says the Government contractor getting fat and happy off of Uncle Sam’s teet.

      • KalashniKEV

        I’m an American first, and this will effect our revenue streams as well. The simple fact is that the pig has gotten too fat. It’s time to SHUT IT DOWN.

        • mehoo

          You don’t make a pig lose weight by shooting it dead.

  • Arrrrrlington

    What really rubs me the wrong way about both Republicans and Dems in congress is how they both think there ONE solution tot he problem of growing government debt. Either we reduce government spending (generally thought of as the Republican point of view) or increase taxes (generally thought of as the Dems point of view). Why are there never discussions of both? The biggest failure of our politicians is not the fact this country has such horrendous debt, but the failure of both sides to compromise in any sort of manner.

    In this situation, the Republicans want to make SMALL spending cuts (~$60 billion) that will have a tiny effect of on a $13 TRILLION BUDGET. I admire their attempts to reign in discretionary spending by starting small. I also am glad the Dems realize we need to raise revenue generation. I think the Dems need to concede spending cuts must be made and the Repubs need to admit that revenue generation must increase, specifically for the SUPER RICH (before you start ballyhooing about taking away the hard earned money of good people who happen to be successful, read this article:http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph).

    Unfortunately, politicians are people. And people are easily corruptible and short sighted. Moran hasn’t been our rep forever because he does what’s good for the long term future of the country. He has taken actions that guarantee his reelection. He is not alone in this. 90% of congressional members who run for additional terms, win their reelections (http://books.google.com/books?id=NSFntwPRYmUC&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=congress%3F+re-election%3F+statistic%3F+(%2290%25%22+or+%2290+percent%22)&q=&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false).

    Simply put – we are f—-d cause we keep idiots in power. Don’t blame the government shut down on Reps or Dems. Blame it on ourselves for putting up with the same BS for so long. Government spending has been out of control in the last ten years because of medicare/medicaid and an aging population plus the actions taken by Uncle Sam after 9/11. Stop bitching and start a revolution already or we will continue down this complete unsustainable path. I truly fear what it will be like to be an American, in America, 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

    • AllenB

      You’re wrong in one basic respect. The dems are offering up spending cuts but they want revenue increases as well. The republicans are the ones basically saying no to any new revenue. In fact, Ryan is proposing tax cuts for the top earners.

      Nearly every economist out there is saying that we can’t get out of this mess soley with spending cuts.

      • PghBigDog

        +3 trillion

      • CW

        +An amount equal to the number of dollars in taxes that GE and other multinational, U.S.-based corporations are evading.

    • brian

      the national debt is 14 trillion.

      the budget under question is 1.5 trillion? (not 13 trillion..maybe you meant 1.3 trillion?, maybe that’s what i mean)

      the question I have is when does taxing become enough?

      how much more do we spend? how much more do we need to tax?

      why not have a $2-3 trillion budget?

  • Deebo

    Liberals are so funny when they talk.

    • JusticeForall

      @deebo
      Why don’t you shock the world and listen for once?

  • Rebecca

    SHUT DOWN FOR THE WIN. Those interested, my co-workers and I (along with other govies) are going to drink all day and follow food trucks on Monday. But wait, how do you spend money with no incoming cash flow? Egh, we’ll deal with that later.

    • Balldizzle

      Where does the party start?!

    • V Dizzle

      Very funny. My plan is to live out my dream of being an alcoholic. First time I’ve been unemployed since college.

      • Ken

        Me too. I was a contractor during the Gingrich shut downs… we ewre paid, but the company wasn’t able to bill for those days (Charlies is simply wrong about that). Now I’m a Fed. To add insult to injury, I see on the OPM website we’re unable to take on other work unless approved (and people who approve outside work will be furloughed; nice Catch 22). So we are screwed. Because of course, to righties WE are the problem, not our insane military spending.

    • SamsontheCat

      “…my co-workers and I (along with other govies) are going to drink all day and follow food trucks on Monday. But wait, how do you spend money with no incoming cash flow? Egh, we’ll deal with that later.”

      You can always pay for it by taking out a loan, then drink and eat a few more days until that money is gone, but just get another loan, then drink and eat again, continue over and over until you are fat, drunk, broke, and horribly in debt. Congratulations! You get a govie gold star and are an expert in running the country.

  • Anon

    If federal employees have trouble paying their mortgages as a result of the shutdown, perhaps Moran can get them some of those cushy mortgages he got when he “coincidentally” voted with the mortgage company interests……

  • annoyed

    It’s all so funny, isn’t it? Except my family of 5 essentially lives hand to mouth and going without my husband’s paycheck will hurt us. Do we have 6 months worth of savings? Hah! Believe it or not many of us here in N. Arlington aren’t rich and we will be adversely affected by a shut down that is completely avoidable. If we don’t get paid I certainly don’t see why our officials should. If a non-government employer pulled this crap, he/she would be sued. Don’t forget that Gov’t employees are already under a pay freeze for 3 years. I have 3 kids who need to eat and a mortgage to pay. I do agree that getting paid when one doesn’t work seems unfair, but no more unfair than keeping people from the work in the first place.

    • brian

      sounds like you paid too much for your home.

      try something smaller and cheaper.

      • BoredHouseWife

        Divide and conquer. the zombies are coming for yours!

    • Westover

      Why would you have had three children without first having a minimum of six months expences saved? Sorry, but you are not helping the cause with your story.

      • annoyed

        Wow. Really? I did not get the memo that I should not bring my children into the world without a specific amount of money set aside. That was truly rude. I am sure you are very proud and Bully for you that you have a year and a half emergency fund. I think you are the exception, not the rule.

        • Westover

          Your kidding right? You really were brought up to believe that it was fine and dandy to have kids without a reserve to support them should something happen to you job? I guess as the anti-poverty folks say, the circle continues….

          • annoyed

            Holy Crow, you are high and mighty. If only our whole country were full of kind hearted people like you. We’d all have lots of money. And those who didn’t would surely be shown much compassion.

            We have a trust to draw from in emergencies and a couple months salary in savings, not that it’s any of your business.

            The point I originally wanted to make was that an employer should not have the right to withhold a promised salary to his/her employee because that employer did not do his/her job. Done.

      • mehoo

        Um, you have 3 kids, then you lose your job for six months?

  • Cate

    The Republicans in Congress are so disgustingly selfish. They don’t realize that if government workers aren’t getting paid, they aren’t spending money, particularly on the small business they claim to love and want to see succeed.

    I swear, the Capitol’s just one giant kindergarten classroom with the way this lot of politicians act.

    • ChrisG

      I would bet that at least in the short term if there’s a shutdown Arlington’s restaurants and stores see a spike in business.

      Let’s not forget we’ve been isolated in most regard from the pressure the rest of this country is under and the chickens may be coming home to roost. Obama and Reid need to realize not only do elections have consequences but also that it was their own arrogance (not passing a FY11 budget) prior to the election that got them into this mess.

      • Cate

        Obama needs to stop playing nice, since the Republicans sure as hell aren’t.

        And I’m just sick of all this talk about cutting taxes right now, frankly I would love to HAVE an income for them to tax. I know a lot of people would. I don’t think that Congress is remotely in touch with the real world, particularly those members who claim to be Joe or Josephine Regular Person.

        • ChrisG

          You realize the majority of the country despises the bureaucracy in DC, right?

          Does it really make sense for money to leave localities; get sent to DC where we spend a large portion of it on “administration” before turning around and sending it back? Elections have consequences and I suspect this is only the begining.

  • Cate

    With good reason, believe me, I have a great deal of contempt for politicians. I think what we’re facing right now is that the country is too big, with too many different interests with little in common, and it’s just not manageable.

    While I consider myself extremely liberal – maybe even *gasp* socialist – the way our government is run right now needs some work. I think we can have strong government without it being so…clunky and ineffective.

    • Cate

      agh. that was supposed to be a reply to ChrisG.

    • Westover

      We don’t need a strong government in all parts of our lives the way this administration would like. We only need a strong government in the essential roles of the FEDERAL government. National Defense, Foreign Policy, interstate trade, these are the things that the federal government should cover. Social Security and Medicare exist, and folks have paid into it too long for it to disappear, but they should become far more efficient.

  • Arlington 17

    The budget is 3.6 trillion, actually. US govt revenue was 2.2 trillion. Ergo the 1.4 trillion defecit. National debt is 14 trillion on which we pay 200 billion in interest per year alone!
    Taxes shouldn’t get any lower, should not have extended the cuts.
    However, that would only increase revenue by less than 200billion.
    Could gather a few hundred billion more by ending corporate tax breaks and the mortgage tax break. Course you would have to leash the homebuilders/ bankers/ realtors lobby along w most of the chamber of commerce.
    That would leave about 700 billion to be cut from medicaid entitlement and defense and
    other discretionary. AARP. Won’t let anyone near Medicare. SS is fine if we invest it elsewhere but the treasury.
    Those steps will just balance spending with revenues per year. The 14 trl total will need to be chipped away. In order to keep year to year inline we must put limits on Medicare (8% annual growth) and we must wall off ss payroll taxes.

    • Westover

      We really need to make sure that spending is held where it is at a minimum across the board, and cut where it can be. We need to be VERY careful with tax increases, although we do need some. The key is to be ready to take advantage of the moment that the economy truely recovers and pay down the debt when the rising tide means increased revenue. The tax rebate of the 2001 surplus should have gone to pay down the debt and the 2008 tax rebate and other stimulus/bailout should never have happaned.

    • Burger

      At least someone with good perspective on the issue.

      I disagree with a point or two but that is really within the ballpark of what needs to be done.

      I’m not a big believer in balance budgets but I do think the US can manage to run small 1-2% GDP type debts year over year.

  • mehoo

    People, the recent and near future deficits are caused by a weak economy. It is necessary, and prudent, to have deficits in a weak economy. The last thing you want to do is cut spending now. Wait until the economy is healthy, then cut spending and raise taxes and reduce that debt. That’s the real problem – when times are good, we forget about the bad times. We should have kept going with the Clinton surpluses (and yes, they were entirely real).

    • Westover

      You could also call those the Gingrich/Hastert surpluses….

      • mehoo

        Sure you could. And we could call the enormous projected FY2012 deficit the “Boehner deficit” too. We could do this all day.

  • anon2

    This is a given for Moran, but where is GOP cheerleader frank wolfe on all this? He’s certain to have a considerable amount of Federal employees and contractors in his district.

  • Deb

    If this shutout goes more than a week, I wonder how the States of VA and Maryland, and the city of DC pay for all of us unemployed Feds? Never had to apply for unemployment before, a new experience. Also, I will not be spending money carelessly. We have two children in college AND a mortgage. So I told them it is time to tighten the belt and basically stay home. Of course summer job availability has already been affected by Congress’ inability to do their job…so even my children will have a hard time finding employment.

  • Kristina Blakely

    so theres not going to be a shutdown now or are they still talking about it??

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