Government Shutdown "Ironies of the Day": No Work, Free Vacations, No Shutdown Savings, Absurd Replies From Congress
Want to complain about the shutdown to your Senator? Make a suggestion? Tell him or her you approve of the shutdown?
Mish reader Keith did.
Here is the response Keith received:
Subject: Reply from Senator Dianne Feinstein
As a result of the Government shutdown, my office is currently unable to respond to your email. I will respond to your concerns as soon as possible.
"Free" Taxpayer-Sponsored Vacations
Feel sorry for the displaced government workers temporarily out of a job? Don't be.
House votes to approve back pay for furloughed workers
As the fifth day of the federal government shutdown began, members of the House came together in a moment of rare bipartisanship to pass a bill, by a vote of 407 to 0, approving back pay for furloughed government workers.Furlough Pay Would Negate Shutdown Savings
President Obama has expressed his support for the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid supports the measure, but said Saturday that if furloughed workers are guaranteed back pay, there’s no reason to keep them out of work.
“It’s really cruel to tell workers they’ll receive back pay once the government opens and then refuse to open the government,” Reid said on the Senate floor, suggesting that House Republicans have authorized a “paid vacation” for furloughed workers.
The Boston Globe reports Furlough pay would negate shutdown savings
The conservatives who propelled the first federal shutdown in 17 years have argued they are fighting for smaller, less costly, less-intrusive government. But a vote over the weekend to grant back pay to furloughed federal workers would negate any savings from a government shutdown and is more likely to raise net costs to taxpayers, according to government and outside estimates.Want to Complain?
The move highlights another peculiarity of shutting down the government: under Washington’s political calculus, sending employees home for an indefinite period does not save money.
Instead, if the Senate agrees and President Obama signs the legislation as expected, it will mean hundreds of thousands of workers will get what amounts to extra paid holidays — which they didn’t want — even as millions of Americans are unable to visit national monuments, process loans, or obtain other services.
But the act of shutting things down has resulted in a number of head-scratching scenarios, particularly in the nation’s capital, which is heavily dependant on federal funds.
Law enforcement officials were guarding one entrance to the National Zoo last week, because employees were not supposed to be working there and visitors were not allowed inside. Yet just a few feet away, contractors were hard at work rebuilding a second entrance.
There was also a symbolic barricade placed in the middle of a major bicycle path that did nothing but force riders to weave momentarily before resuming their unauthorized rides. Such scenes were playing out across the country.
Care to issue a complaint about this blatant stupidity?
If so, Email Senator Dianne Feinstein
You may also wish to Email House Speaker John Boehner.
Contacting Boehner is more difficult because he makes you go through a form verifying your mailing address to make sure that you live in his district.
With a little playing around, I found a couple of zipcodes that work: Springfield Ohio 45502-1307 or Springfield Ohio 45502-1311.
In any case, don't expect an intelligent answer from Feinstein or Boehner (or from anyone else in Congress).
Mike "Mish" Shedlock