Shutdown: What if you don’t get paid this time?

With a possible governmentwide shutdown just 58 days away, survivors of previously petty, stupid and costly time-outs (did I say that out loud) are remembering how they coped. They are recalling the last one, two or three times they were ordered not to work, or to go to work without the guarantee they would ever get paid. And if they did go to work, when was the check in the mail?

During previous shutdowns everybody got paid eventually, making the exercise not only dumb, but doubly expensive. But what about the next one, will the powers that be decide to “save” money by following a no-work-no-pay policy?

While the players have changed over shutdown years, one thing is pretty clear: Republicans, whether guilty or innocent, usually get the blame from much of the public and most of the press. If there is one this time, the same is likely to occur.

Shutdown talk was ancient history until President Donald Trump tweeted that he would shut it down if Congress does not agree to fully fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. It surprised most of the Senate and House GOP leadership. While people are being told that cooler heads will prevail, the House has gone into recess for August as the Senate gave its approval to a 1.9 percent pay raise — 100 percent more than the amount proposed by the president.

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In the meantime, if you don’t know what’s going to happen on the shutdown front, welcome to the club! Most people don’t, and those who say they do don’t either.

Some workers say they’ve been through this before and they are going to treat another shutdown as a vacation. Others are polishing up their financial Plan B. The problem last time for tens of thousands was that they were paid late. The problem this time, many feel, is that they might not get paid at all even though forced labor, especially by the government, is sort of illegal.

Here’s what some people are saying:

“One question: Is this considered blackmail what Trump is saying about if he doesn’t get his [way] — I mean money for the wall — he will shut down the government? I would like to say some other things, but I am a lady!” — Rosie Josie

“I have worked for the Army for over 30 years, so I’ve been through a few shutdowns. Fortunately for me, my husband I made a decision when we got married 20 years ago to live debt free. We are both savers and do not live beyond our means.

“The last shutdown, my husband was sent home, I was excluded and ‘manned’ my branch alone for approximately four days until someone decided that [Defense Department] employees were actually exempt from the shutdown. My husband did eventually get paid and so did I.

“Who did I blame? The Republicans. I think what scares me the most with this latest threat [are] two things: One, there is a very good chance we will not get paid this time, even late. Two, the young people who have recently come on board — less than 10 years of service — to replace the folks like me who will retire, are most likely not going to stay in federal service if these shutdowns become the norm, especially if we don’t get paid. Can’t say I blame them at all, but it’s a shame that DoD will lose some extremely innovative and bright young people who really want to serve their country. Sad!”  Waiting to Retire.

“My advice: Turn the lemon into lemonade. Plan a ‘staycation’ for Oct. 1 or a medical procedure if they need something done. Or maybe spend the time for financial or retirement planning, or early Christmas shopping? Shutdowns are a glass half filled!” — Marc Harris, Orlando

“A plug for the Department of Labor Federal Credit Union and any others that offered similar terms: During the 2013 shutdown they offered loans in the form of your direct deposit paycheck, interest-free for up to two years. Once the shutdown ended they simply withheld the loan payment through direct deposit. The online application made it so easy and stress-free. I would not have been able to cover my bills had it not been for their assistance.” — KJE

Food for thought — members of Congress continue to get paid during any shutdown they or the White House authorize or allow to happen. So when and how others pay their bills is of no interest to the people who are supposed to serve the people. Does that sound right?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By: Amelia Brust

The term “heckler” comes from the Scottish textile industry. Hecklers were responsible for smoothing out flax or hemp fibers with a heckle comb and by the early 19th century, Dundee’s hecklers were considered the most belligerent in the industry’s workforce. Eventually, the tradition of verbal sparring and jeers outgrew the heckling shop and married the existing tradition of publicly challenging parliamentary candidates.

Source: QI