With talk of an impending government shutdown on Friday, the talking heads are having a field day on television, advancing one theory after another of how we got to this point, and what it will take to avoid the threatened shutdown. And, of course, our elected officials on both sides of the aisle are blaming the other guys, when it really comes down to the fact that none of them are doing their jobs.

I was reading about what a federal government shutdown actually means, and what will happen if the government does shut down. A lot of federal employees will be furloughed, but not all of them. The FBI, air traffic controllers, and other security agencies would continue to operate, the post office will still deliver mail, and Social Security checks will still go out on schedule.

The IRS will close down until the “crisis” is over, and tax refunds may be delayed. But you still have to file and pay your taxes on time. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? :(  National Parks and Monuments will close, as will the Smithsonian Museum, and services to veterans, including health care services, may be cut back. Of course, a government shutdown here won’t affect the wars we’re fighting all over the place, except that the  troops will not be paid. However, the President, and members of the Congress, and Senate will still get paid.

Huh? We can’t pay our troops, but the idiots responsible for the mess will still get paid? Does that offend you as much as it does me? It should! Remember, these clowns are supposed to work for us. If they aren’t doing their jobs, why should we pay them? What a rip off!

I ran small town newspapers for much of my working life, and one thing I learned early on was that once you run somebody’s advertisement, you have nothing to take back if they don’t pay you. I had a lot of small businesses stiff me over the years. Some did it just because they were broke and had no choice, and others did it because they were sleazy folks who just didn’t care.

Over time I learned that the honest small businessman was willing to resolve the problem, and I ate a lot of restaurant dinners, and took a lot of merchandise in trade to settle outstanding accounts. I also discovered a way to get most of the deadbeats to pay up.

I had a tool shop that owed me about $500 for their ads, and kept giving me one excuse after another, always swearing that “the check’s in the mail.” Finally, I went into the shop and picked up the most expensive chainsaw they had, along with some other power tools, worth about $1500, and put them in the back of my pickup and drove off.

By the time I got back to my office, the shop’s owner had called twice asking why I hadn’t paid for the items. I told him that I was trading them for his outstanding bill. “But I only owe you $500,” he said. “That stuff is worth $1500!” “It’s worth $1500 to you,” I told him. “I’m dangerous with tools, so they’re only worth $500 to me. Want to buy them back for $500 cash?”

Well, he screamed and hollered a while, and even threatened to call the cops. I urged him to please do so, and promised that I would have a front page photo of me being arrested, and a story about why I had to go to such extremes to get paid by him. He finally stopped yelling, and drove to my office with five crisp $100 bills.

You see, it all comes down to that old saying, “Money talks and bullshit walks.” If we stopped paying our elected officials until they started doing their jobs to our satisfaction, I bet you the government would keep right on working come Friday, and a lot of other issues would be resolved too!   

But of course, the problem there is, they write their own paychecks, don’t they?

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20 Comments on Money Talks

  1. George says:

    It just kills me how some people think the Republicans are trying to save us from the Democrats and Vice-Versa. You are so correct. Neither side is doing their job at all.

  2. Rick says:

    I couldn’t have said it better! Well done, Nick.

    I’ve had a big field trip planned with my students and their parents planned for over a year to a national park. If the shut down occurs and the parks close, it is kinda hard to explain why. Bad Nick explained it very well. I hope I don’t have to cancel their trip.

  3. Pam says:

    When Boehner announced to a meeting of his fellow repubs that they were headed for a shutdown, he was greeted with applause. What does that tell you? This is the same group that insisted that billionaires should have their tax cuts extended, despite the deficit, but are now so concerned about the deficit that they want to cut Medicaid and Medicare. They don’t care about the elderly or the middle class and they sure don’t care about our troops. But you can bet they’ll take care of their rich friends.

  4. Fred Hammer says:

    Many of those so-called rich guys include the very same business people who are being squeezed by the demo-socialists who are taxing them to the point that their businesses cannot expand — or even get started in some cases.

    And, who is hired by these business people, but the middle class. Would you go to a poor guy for a job? Look carefully at our tax code. It is designed to make being rich almost impossible. The more you earn, the more you are taxed.

    When a typical businessman needs “bailed out,” he will generally find a way to survive by his own merits. When the half of the population that pays no taxes gets in trouble, many will cry to Uncle Sam to bail them out — and blame those who are successful for their woeful state.

    I think the Democrat party is counting on that attitude.

  5. Frank Serrao says:

    The bottom line is we can’t go on spending what we don’t have and we have to quit living off of our grandchildren’s future. Years of big spending, giving away everything to everybody, and irresponsible people in Congress have brought us to this point. Either we’re going to live within our budgets or we’re going to be the next Greece or Portugal. It’s not a matter of not caring about the elderly or anybody else. Its about responsibility and living within our means. Everybody wants something for nothing and the Democrats in Congress have pretty much given away the farm. You can’t keep spending and spending just because you think you have a good reason to. We have too much government and people are getting sick and tired of the “nanny” country we have become. We need people in there who can say No and mean it.

  6. Ken H says:

    Gee Pam, what planet was your last residence? The democratic party was in charge of all three branches of governement last year. The budget was due in October. They could not ram it through like they did the obamacare? I wonder why? Pelosi is now screaming about 6 million elderly not getting meals because the republicans are going to cut them off. All the Social Security is going to be cut off? Neither of those statements are true. The rich friends you are talking about are the small businessmen and women that are working 20 hours a day to make ends meet, but they handle over the magical number of money. They have to pay staff, pay building rent or mortgage, pay insurance and all the other costs. The amount of money left is their income, which is mostly used to improve the business. Lets don’t even mention obama’s rich friend Immelt, CEO of GE. He made sure he hid all of GE profit off-shore, but he still got appointed to a gov’t post.
    The Repubs you mention were in the minority for the last couple of years, the Dems couldn’t face their voters with a stinky budget like they proposed, so they did not try to bring it to a vote in the house or senate. My budget does not have deficit spending built into it. Spending 1.6 trillion more than you take in is just plain stupid.

  7. Dennis M says:

    Sorry Ken, Pam has it right. the Republicans and their wealthy supporters put us in this mess in the first place! We had a surplus when Clinton left office, then George and his buddies took over and threw it down a rathole!

    Income inequality explains a lot of what is going on in this country and why we seem to be helpless to change it.

    Go read this article for an explanation of how we got in this fix:

    Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    http://www.vanityfair.com/soci.....ent-201105

    BTW, it’s called an Oligarchy.

  8. Dan C says:

    Hey Ken, you’re right. Bush started us on the path toward bankruptcy, and deserves some of the criticism for the mess we’re now in. However, the deficits that started to accumulate under Bush, were nothing compared to the irresponsibility of the last 2 years under Obama, and a Democratic Congress. A 1.6 trillion dollar deficit this fiscal year is beyond explanation. When you say that “income inequality” in this country is part of the problem, what is your alternative? If our leaders in D.C. don’t change direction soon, and control spending, we’re getting real close to falling off the financial cliff. If that happens, life as we know it will change forever!

  9. Paul J Stough says:

    Dan- The alternative to the “income equality” is to get the millions of illegal aliens out of the country, and limit those entities who have First Amendment rights to individual human beings.

    If we as a country would do just those two things, most of the rest of the problems would go away or be greatly reduced.

    Paul

  10. Dave B. says:

    Dan, does the 1.6 trillion deficit include all the bail out money ? It seems to me that Obama walked into a mess that was already begun. Why is it that when we spend money for the little guys it is a waste but if we spend the same or more for bailing out HUGE companies, that’s OK? And is it OK that their CEO’s then get million dollar bonus? How about we start thinking to benefit the little guys and instead of a “trickle down” theory we have a “trickle up” theory for a change!

  11. Jim M says:

    More complaining like small children on both sides.

    But if you are liberal everything is the other guys fault because Bush started it.

    If you are conservative everything is the other guys fault because Obama made it worse.

    Maybe we should assign blame based on your age. Since the older you are the more involved you were in allowing these guys (both sides) to screw it up.

    So if you are 50 then you are 50% responsible, if you are 25 then you are 25% responsible.

    Everyone has to realize that unless you just moved here you bear some of the blame, my way is as good as any to assess that blame (if it even matters).

    Now stop blaming each other and start fixing the problem. We need to either stop spending or get another revenue source. Since more taxes don’t work I would suggest we stop spending. Remember corporations don’t pay taxes, all they do is pass it on the consumer. So if we want a particular consumer group to pay more in taxes without knowing it then we should tax those corporations that sell to them (look at the gas tax as an example).

    Just my 2 cents.

    Jim

  12. Sid Dudley says:

    The system put in place by our forefathers is broken… I doubt there are enough whole pieces left to but it back together ! There are far too many I’s and far to few We’s…

  13. Paul JStough says:

    The system put together by our forefathers is not broken, it has just been changed. Our forefathers never considered that millions of people would be allowed to come into this country illegally. Our forefathers never considered that businesses and corporations would ever be considered “persons” Our forefather never considered that our federal government would be financed by income taxes.

    Paul

  14. Linda says:

    Loved your deadbeat solution. We do something similar here at the library. Someone owes a fine or needs to pay for a destroyed/damaged item and doesn’t pay up we cut off service to the whole family. No checkouts, no computer use. Sooner or later they need to use the computers and come in with cash in hand, or if not, we show them the door. Always cures the problem.

  15. Tom V says:

    Its way past time for finger pointing about who got us into this mess. When I was a department director and a problem arose, I got all of the parties concerned, laid out the problem and decided what needed done to fix it and what steps to be put into place to make certain the problem did not happen again. I do not subscribe to the “blame game” to much time and energy is pissed away on it. I always reminded my staff we were a team to serve the clients to the very best of our abilities. As we can see, so much time and effort are being placed on whose at fault, that nothing at all is being done.

    Lastly, if there is a shut down of the government and our brave men and women in uniform do not get paid while the politicians do receive there pay, shameful, very very shameful.

  16. Paul Stough says:

    I have to disagree with your premise, Nick. Other than the fact that virtually all politicians are owned by the moneyed interests of the country, the two major parties are so far apart there is little if any common ground to find.

    The Democrats in Congress and President Obama were elected by the leftist part of the party. Of the 50 some percent who opposed Obamacare, about 14% of those were leftist Democrats who opposed it, because they didnt believe that it went FAR enough in socializing medicine.

    The Repbulicans in Congress were elected largely by the support of the Tea Party, who have precious little in common with the Democrat leftists.

    So it isnt that the Congress is not doing its’ job, it is just that neither side sees any acceptable compromise, but both are representing those who elected them.

    Paul

  17. Carol says:

    Term limits … term limits … term limits. An elected office should not be a career, it should be a public service.

  18. Rob Fox says:

    I resisted for so long……..

    The more I see of the “working machinery” of the USA, the more shocked I become. Your political and moneyed elite have the populace very well under control. Any time they have an awkward situation, they kick up a false rukus and get you arguing amongst yourselves. It’s enlightening to see how effective it is. But also very, very sad.

    Understand what is really happening here (and it’s been happening since the 80’s). The global economic opportunity for the USA has shifted. For the years after the war, the USA was the only show left in town. The money and talented people came here and quite frankly, once JFK had faced down the USSR threat, you couldn’t have failed. The place boomed and became a land of legend.

    Meanwhile, Europe settled most of it’s political differences (the money and power left the building) and the people have settled into a level of historic peace. Economically, the region has adjusted to its place in the new world order. It is still adjusting and as the turmoil in the finance markets of the last few years has shown, it is not a master of it’s own destiny. However, it’s where they are and they have to make the best of it.

    The USA finds itself is this period of transition. Real growth has stopped. There is no longer overwhelming advantage here. The money is flooding away to the new opportunities in the East where returns are, for the present time, greater. The issue for the men of capital, is that they have to maximise the amount of capital that they can collect in order to invest in the “new opportunity”. There was a time that the major proportion of family wealth was locked up safely in mortgages and the “boring” savings and loans. The moment the investment bankers were able to get their hands on that pot, the game was on. US assets have been liquidated and, along with good jobs, shipped out ever since. This is the global world of Adam Smith.

    Whilst change is an inevitable part of life, man should have pride and not submit to servitude. The struggle for freedom and a democratic way of life has been long and hard. When the going is good and there is lots to share around, the working man gets collective amnesia. After a few reminders, things may become obvious again.

    What I just can’t get my head around is this idea that the average Joe should be in awe of the “rich guy”. Serfs and kings come to mind. I thought you had a revolution to free yourselves of that. I thought that you turned your backs on slavery and fought a bitter civil war for freedom. Remember that rich men become rich on the backs of poorer men. Fine and dandy if they are providing good conditions and a fair wage. We all make trades in life. Don’t sleepwalk back to fields of your masters!

    Rob

  19. Bucky says:

    I agree with you Nick, The pay for all our so called represenatives should be cut off, as well as their other perks.
    I got an email from my neice who is a Lt. Cornell in the Army who has served in Iraq, Korea,and Bosnia. She indicated that there will only be three military people in her office if the shut down happens and that she would only be paid to April 08.. and does not know how she will pay her house payment if this takes place. She said she feels even worse for our young soliders who are in the combat areas, as they will be even worse off.. This is how we treat the young people who may have to give their lives for this country ??????????????

  20. T & R Martin says:

    “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” It looks like the far-left Dems have hijacked their own party since those words were spoken back in the 60’s. The Blue Dogs have disappeared!

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