Friday, April 01, 2011

Government shutdown; one local consequence

If Congress doesn't pass a budget by next Friday, and doesn't pass another Continuing Resolution, the government will "shut down."    Apparently, some of the Teabilly, Teahidist, Tealiban, Teabagger, Teatards, whatever term you prefer, Tea Party aficionados, are actually rooting for such an outcome.

Well, if it does "shut down," here's one local effect.  The Idaho National Guard drills on the weekend of April 9-10.  If the shut down happens, drill is cancelled, and rescheduled for some time after a budget is passed.  Not a huge deal, I guess, unless the soldiers and airmen and Marines have plans for the weekend to which the drill will be moved. 

A bigger deal is the soldiers here going through the training program on Gowen Field.  These guys are from out of town, going through a set program of instruction.  Well, their instructors can't work on the weekend if government is shut down.  So the student will either have to go home, or wait out the shut down.  But, can they wait it out?  They're not in a pay status, either, so they're waiting on their own dime. 

Can they go home?  Not sure.  Doubtful that they can legally incur the cost of a plane ticket, since the spending won't be authorized.

And, since the classes are pretty rigidly programmed, missing a day, and especially a few days, means they won't complete the training, and thus won't get the appropriate certification or credential.  Which means the training already completed is pretty much wasted.  And means they'll have to come back at some other time.  Since the schools are 2-3 weeks, depending, they'll have to work with their civilian employer to get even more time off the job.  And last, a good many of the soldiers require the training before getting promoted.  So advancement will be delayed.

Yep, that'll show us. Refuse to compromise and shut the government down to make a political point.  Exactly the right thing to do.  And if some soldiers get screwed as collateral damage, well, so be it.


fortboise said...

Nice Tea* list, hard to pick a favorite.

I don't know how much of the blowback from the Newt Gingrich-era shutdown was the result of direct consequences, but I suppose quite a bit of it.

Congresscritters, whether Teabilly or good old boys (and girls) of either party imagine they have cover, where "everyone" is responsible no one is. So the game of chicken continues, and the best to hope for is that one or the other side blinks (and they don't steer into each other at the last second) and we dodge the collision.

Here's a legislative solution: budget has to be done at the start of the FY. If it's not done, it snaps to "same as last year," and they can get an early start on the next one.

I don't imagine it's brilliant, but I do think it's a good bit smarter than the system we have now.

Alan said...

You propose a good solution. The current method of CRAs doesn't work all that well. It doesn't limit spending to last year's number, but to 80% of last year's number. And that's pretty limiting.

My Guard unit has been tasked with a new mission, and was authorized funding this year for it. However, due to the limit, we're now doing the mission without the funding for it. We won't be able to sustain that.

ericn1300 said...

I wish Obama could target Michelle Bachmans state since she's the leader of the tea party and shut down all the federal services including farm subsides and the airports for a week to show the nation what could happen. I know it would never happen, just a wet dream I had.

fortboise said...

"...80% of last year's number."

As arbitrary numbers go, that one's a doozy. I have NEVER been in an organization--and thanks for that--that was collectively so incompetent as to be 20% wrong in its budgeting.

Such a provision amounts to either admission of wrongdoing, or insane, unfounded accusation. Since Congress has no provision for the former, we're left with only the latter.

Some things do need drastic cuts, or elimination from time to time. That calls for a decision, not an idiotic double-decimation rule.

alan said...

Eric, indeed. That would be such sweet schadenfreud.

Tara A. Rowe said...

You're doing excellent work here, Alan.

Alan said...

Thanks, Tara.