Will the troops get paid on time? Probably. Maybe not. Just because Congress passed a bill and the President signed doesn’t make it so.

Military Pay during GOV SHUTDOWN?

Doctrine Man!! a popular web destination on Facebook for DoD policy and occasional nonsense asks: Translate this. Is DFAS reneging on military pay?

DFAS.mil homepage as of 2013.10.05 10:00
DFAS.mil homepage as of 2013.10.05 10:00

From the DFAS.mil website homepage as of 2013.10.05 10:00

During the government shutdown, the Department of Defense will have no legal authority to pay any personnel – military or civilian – for the days during which the government is shut down. The shutdown will not affect payments to retirees and annuitants as those funds come from a retirement trust fund. Below is the effect the government shutdown will have on active duty military, civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, and DoD contractors.

Attention: We are aware the President has signed the “Pay Our Military Act.” We are awaiting further guidance from the Department of Defense to ensure we accurately implement all elements of the Act. We will update you with additional information as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.

Military: Active, Reserve, and National Guard members will be paid on time for pay entitlements earned September 30 or earlier. Military members cannot be paid for duty performed after the expiration of the current CRA on September 30. Once another CRA or an appropriations act is signed into law, normal disbursement of military pay will resume.


Bill Golden, CEO of IntelligenceCareers.com, sez:

No, they are not reneging. They are making a simple statement of fact.

Yes, the troops will eventually get paid, and probably will get paid on time but … the U.S. government runs out of money o/a October 17th, 2013 per a letter from the Treasury to Congress … with or without there being a SHUTDOWN.

Based upon the taxes collected and expected within the pipeline, the U.S. GOV can pay only about 60% of all authorized expenditures that are on the books. So 40% of something will have to go unpaid.

Bombers, ships or paychecks? Social Security, interest payments on the national debt or ? Someone will need to send money.

The entire crux of the federal budget battle/government shutdown/national debt talks is that we have obligated far more debt than we can pay for.

Being authorized to pay something does not mean that it will be paid.

Sorry. It is what it is … and we have about 12 more days to find out what ‘it’ is …

I encourage you to contact your Congressman and Senator and ask: WTF?!

Best regards,
William “Bill” Golden

CEO, IntelligenceCareers.com
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GOV SHUTDOWN – This isn’t some damn game … umm, yes it is: Extortion and Brinkmanship

GOV SHUTDOWN – This isn’t some damn game … umm, yes it is: Extortion and Brinkmanship

On October 4th, Friday morning  at a press conference, House Speaker John Boehner said: ”This isn’t some damn game” in supposed response to Democratic utterances that they were winning the battle of public perceptions.

Yes, yes it is a game. All political maneuverings are a game. It is the very core nature of politics to create winners and losers via gaming the system to get what you want and to deny something to someone else. Upon occasion there is the pursuit of a win-win approach, but that appears to be nowhere in our shortterm future. Pursuit of win-win requires that our representatives be so balanced in their representation that both sides must seek out allies across their aisle in order to achieve their own objectives.

Both of the major parties are playing this as a game. And in my opinion they should: there are some very important principles at play and someone needs to lose to overcome unlimited stalemate.

Passing ‘GO’ without landing in trouble:

Democrats: You got what you wanted: ACA/Obamacare. You have had plenty of time to prepare for it. There are lots of tweaks that should have been made. You should have been making some allies — yes, makings friends with folks that think you are a cootie-machine isn’t easy … but there are lots of valid points of criticism that were easy to anticipate. You have let President Obama carry the water for you in using his executive authority to tweak aspects of ACA. Bad on you. However, if you let the horde at the front gate knock down the doors then you should expect unlimited mayhem and ever more challenges to everything imaginable. … You have the ability to hold your breath and to win this one. However, if you want to be taken seriously in 2014 you now need to show that you can build budgets, manage and reduce the national debt, and recognize the concerns of Main Street … else brinkmanship will return as our debt spirals ever upward. As for brinkmanship: you do have a plan if the GOP put themselves on life support and refuse to compromise? Don’t you? You do have some negotiating points upon your sleeve … don’t you?

Republicans: You say that you just want a one year delay of Obamacare so that we can discuss the law and work things out. Hardly. You want the delay so that you  have a chance to make it a 2014 election issue and hope that you can stoke the anger factor as in 2010 and take back both houses of Congress. It is a wonderfully simple plan: buy some time, grow your stock of weapons, and then prepare to bludgeon the opposition at a time of your own choosing. There is no reason to believe that the GOP reallys wants compromise. Capitulation but not compromise is your goal. … Remember ‘Repeal and Replace’? There was never a ‘Replace’ plan put out there for us to consider — or any ‘Replace’ plan that even carried the support of a simple majority of Republicans. … I know that you don’t see it this way but you are engaged in a game of extortion: give us what we want or we will shut it down. All of it. … Redistricting due to 2010’s census will make your place in the House somewhat secure in the 2014 elections but by November 2013 I seriously doubt that the great majority of Americans are going to view you as being on their side. Enough of the extortion. Do your constitutional job and pass appropriations bills that reflect what you will pay for or not. Send the individual appropriations bills forward. You only finalized four (4) FY2014 appropriations bills within the House — you are in no position to talk about fiscal responsibility and fulfilling constitutional obligations.

My expectation at this point is that the federal government shutdown will not be resolved before we get into the national debt fight, and we will essentially go into default on our national debt.

It is what it is. No telling what it will turn out to be.

Best regards,

Bill Golden

The Fiscal Cliff Aversion, Avoidance and New Arrears Act of 2013

Late at night on New Year Day of 2013, the House voted after much last minute handwringing to accept the Senate compromise bill to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

Reality is that the cliff has not been averted, just the rough edges of it.

Along the way many bargaining chips were wasted to get very little.

On December 31st the national credit card hit its limit. Treasury Secretary Geithner says that he can move some things around to pay the bills through sometime in February. Our new Fiscal Cliff Avoidance Bill of January 1st 2013 now adds almost $400 billion per year in new national debt per the CBO’s analysis.

LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

The Republicans now own Obama in the next round of negotiations over increasing the debt limit. That crisis hits within six weeks. As the Washington Post put it: “The bill avoids austerity but doesn’t tame dangers of national default, high unemployment or swelling debt.”

There is little to rejoice about in the Senate bill, now approved by the House, because it is fiscally irresponsible. It will cause much of the good that it has supposedly created to collapse in upon itself … not within years but within months.

The GOP itself has major issues and #1 among them is that its has allowed itself to be held hostage by the Tea Party mentality of talk a tough game without having any specifics. It has also allowed ideologues like Grover Norquist and the disciples of Arthur Laffer to warp the ability of the GOP to think in terms negotiating for the greater good of the country rather than the GOP just following unproven maxims that always seem to increase the debt rather than resolve it.

Back in the good ol’days of RINOs ruling the GOP, our national debt was relatively low and social policy moved forward in some sense of balance because people went to the negotiating table with the intent of getting a balanced deal of trading off benefits and finding bill payers, and cutting debt where possible — and we often did cut a lot of debt.

Back during the good ol’days of the 1950s/60s/70s/80s Dems and Reps were able to work together on many things that kept debt low or paid down the debt while accommodating social concerns.

However, what the GOP has going for it now is that it owns the House vote at the precise moment that President Obama will need agreement on a host of issues for which he does not have many bargaining chips to put on the table.

We will see the stock market’s view of this deal play out over the next week. Whether you love or hate Wall Street, the stock market is considered a fairly reliable indicator of which way the economy is going.

$400 billion of new debt per year has just got to scare investors worried that the nation’s #1 purchaser of services, goods and materials may not be able to pay its bills either on time or in some cases be able to pay them at all — forcing renegotiation.

We also have the FY2013 federal budget to complete. Our new federal year started in October and we still have no approved federal budgets. Those too must now be negotiated with many in the new Congress of a mind to to pare back spending to offset this Fiscal Cliff deal.

In our aversion to negotiating in good faith (both parties) we have avoided the Fiscal Cliff from arriving on January 1st, 2013. But in doing so we have merely bought breathing space of just 1-3 months before we must return to the negotiating table for what are perhaps even larger stakes.