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Author Topic: government shut down  (Read 13021 times)

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Offline Valthazar

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #150 on: October 01, 2013, 07:39:05 PM »
Selling a treasury bond requires a willing buyer.  Just because the initial seller doesn't hold it for the full term makes no difference. It's still held for the full term and the buyer must believe he'll make a profit from it.

You, errrm, you absolutely won't get less than the face value on a bond - you can see resale values here and as you see they're almost all being sold above face value.  Newly issued 30 year treasury bonds are well down but that's hardly unusual.  Other than, pretty consistently above face value.

That's my my point.  Putting money in long-term treasury bonds is risky for the average investor in this economy, because if and when economic conditions get worse, and they need to sell their investments for liquid cash, they will struggle to find buyers at that time.  If you are certain you'll only need the money 30 years from now, I suppose there isn't too much of a problem - and while these bonds are backed by the "full faith and credit" of the United States, that is far from a guarantee.  And again, that's largely speculation - regardless of yes or no - which is why I'm not focusing on that.

It is incorrect to say with complete confidence that one "absolutely won't get less than the face value on a bond."  As I described in my earlier post, if the price on commodities like food, energy, and even inflation rate increases, this will have a direct impact on market interest rates.  If the market interest rate is higher than the interest rate on the bond, then it will sell below par value.  Again, this is not an issue if one is confident in holding the bond till maturity, but I suspect that most Americans are not in a position where they can siphon away cash for such a prolonged duration of time.

Sorry for shifting the topic of this thread, but I just don't think it is wise for an average person to put a significant amount of their savings locked away in a treasury bond in this economy.  A safe, low-risk 30-year mutual fund that can be withdrawn at any time is safer for someone looking to have some stability, but also the flexibility of having immediate cash at any time due to an emergency.

Offline Kythia

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #151 on: October 01, 2013, 07:45:42 PM »
It is incorrect to say with complete confidence that one "absolutely won't get less than the face value on a bond." 

Sorry, who is this aimed at?  I'm not sure anyone has said that.  Simply that the overwhelming view at the moment, as showed in the linked list, is that you will get more than face value.  That's why, you know, people are willing to buy them at more than face value, because they believe they'll get even more.

Quote
Sorry for shifting the topic of this thread, but I just don't think it is wise for an average person to put a significant amount of their savings locked away in a treasury bond in this economy.  A safe, low-risk 30-year mutual fund that can be withdrawn at any time is safer for someone looking to have some stability, but also the flexibility of having immediate cash at any time due to an emergency.

Again, no one has said that.  We agree T-bonds are traded.  I've linked the current price list, I could hardly deny it.  T-bills are historically safer than anything else - which, yes, is no guarantee they will continue to be - but the market opinion is that they will grow in value.

Sure, the market could be wrong.  It has been before and it will be again.  But as it stands, the opinion is that the US government will be good for the money.

The sole point I'm making is that your opinion is a minority one, which we seem to agree on.  I wish you, genuinely, the best of luck with it.  Doesn't harm me and maybe in a fit of generosity/senility when you're a billionaire then you'll remember I was rooting for you and chuck me a couple of thousand.  But its not the prevailing view of people who are putting their money where their mouth is.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #152 on: October 01, 2013, 07:50:12 PM »
We can agree to disagree, that's perfectly fine.  As far as the statement you asked where I quoted from, I was responding to your post, as quoted below:

You, errrm, you absolutely won't get less than the face value on a bond

Offline Kythia

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #153 on: October 01, 2013, 07:55:49 PM »
Sorry, Valthazar, I was referring to current prices with that comment.  You can be completely confident on current prices.

I'm not entirely sure what we disagree on - I thought we agreed, but thank you for talking to me.

Offline DTW

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #154 on: October 01, 2013, 07:56:21 PM »
This is your opinion, and you are entitled to it.  But it is all a matter of perspective.  For example, I could play devil's advocate, and suggest that the Democrats are equally to blame for refusing to accept any semblance of a budget deal before a deadline.  In other words, by even allowing a government shutdown to enter their minds as an option, and not doing "something" to reach at least some sort of a budget compromise (even one they may consider inferior), they essentially betrayed their constituents - as well as the American people.  I think all of us would agree that an inferior budget (in your eyes, or anyone's eyes), is better than a shut down.

This is the reason I say that both political parties have leaders who fundamentally are out of touch with the American people when it comes to these matters.


Except the democrats   and the president were willing to sign a budget as  long as it didn't delay obamacare? The republicans didn't stop this to help the country's debt problem. The stopped it because  a small vocal minority  hate obamacare.



Offline Chris Brady

Re: government shut down
« Reply #155 on: October 01, 2013, 08:00:19 PM »
What really gets me with this Obamacare crap, it was originally a Republican idea...

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #156 on: October 01, 2013, 08:07:31 PM »

Offline ladyelizabeth

Re: government shut down
« Reply #157 on: October 01, 2013, 08:11:29 PM »

Offline Retribution

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #158 on: October 01, 2013, 08:14:35 PM »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #159 on: October 01, 2013, 08:25:16 PM »
So here's what I don't get.  Why haven't concessions been made?

It is not possible to negotiate with someone whose idea of negotiating is "you must do everything that I tell you." And it is not feasible to allow negotiation to be used to hold government hostage in a desperation ploy to negate bills which have been duly passed into law.

That's how only one side is being stubborn. One side is undertaking to break the system of government in a last-ditch bid to sink the health care bill before it takes effect, because they know perfectly well that after all the other crap they've pulled over Obamacare, once it takes effect and people actually start seeing the benefits their opposition to it is dead in the political water... and all their nonsense about it is going to haunt them in the polls.

(Of course, maybe the time to start walking away from the nonsense was before this last spectacular hissy-fit torpedoed Republicans' public image for good. But Republican strategists do not think that way -- they've made such an art form out of being constantly on the offensive no matter what that it's become an expectation of them from their base, a habit they can't break. Especially because as ideas for actual governing go, they don't have any that don't amount to "cut taxes for the rich.")

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #160 on: October 01, 2013, 08:28:31 PM »
It is not possible to negotiate with someone whose idea of negotiating is "you must do everything that I tell you." And it is not feasible to allow negotiation to be used to hold government hostage in a desperation ploy to negate bills which have been duly passed into law.

That's how only one side is being stubborn. One side is undertaking to break the system of government in a last-ditch bid to sink the health care bill before it takes effect, because they know perfectly well that after all the other crap they've pulled over Obamacare, once it takes effect and people actually start seeing the benefits their opposition to it is dead in the political water... and all their nonsense about it is going to haunt them in the polls.

(Of course, maybe the time to start walking away from the nonsense was before this last spectacular hissy-fit torpedoed Republicans' public image for good. But Republican strategists do not think that way -- they've made such an art form out of being constantly on the offensive no matter what that it's become an expectation of them from their base, a habit they can't break. Especially because as ideas for actual governing go, they don't have any that don't amount to "cut taxes for the rich.")

Which is exactly why I was totally okay with them being thought of as the "Do-Nothing Congress". At least when they were doing nothing, they weren't hurting anything. They were just sitting there being useless. As dangerous as some of their policies and stances are, I was more in favor of them being too inefficient to get anything done than actually being active. The only issue is... they get active at the WORST POSSIBLE TIMES. (like right now)

Offline Vekseid

Re: government shut down
« Reply #161 on: October 01, 2013, 09:08:45 PM »
I'm an investor, and I don't think it is objective to suggest that the US debt isn't a crucial issue.  Treasury bonds are the gold standard, and a lot of people use those interest rates as a measure of the health of the economy.  While conventional wisdom suggests that government bonds are 100% safe, and that interest and principal will be guaranteed to be paid on time, an increasing number of investors feel that the US will not be able to honor these contracts over the long-term  - due to debt obligations.  No one can predict the future, but the sterling credit rating of the US is increasingly coming under scrutiny.

Interest rates are a measure of the confidence in US debt versus confidence in the economy. If investors were not confident in American debt, they would not be buying hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US securities every month at such paltry rates. If investors were more confident in the economy, they'd stick their money somewhere they had such confidence. If what you said was true, we'd actually be in serious - and much more immediate - trouble.

Offline BCdan

Re: government shut down
« Reply #162 on: October 02, 2013, 01:33:23 AM »
I heard they left the Curiosity rover stranded on mars. Now who is going to bring it back to earth? Thanks Obama.

Online Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #163 on: October 02, 2013, 03:32:20 AM »
Especially because as ideas for actual governing go, they don't have any that don't amount to "cut taxes for the rich.")

To be fair, in most countries in Europe it's just blindly RAISE taxes for the rich, no matter the costs, which isn't completely fair in my opinion.

Online Oniya

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #164 on: October 02, 2013, 06:55:12 AM »
I heard they left the Curiosity rover stranded on mars. Now who is going to bring it back to earth? Thanks Obama.

Thank the people that voted to de-fund NASA.  And if you think what they did to Curiosity is bad, think of poor Voyager!  At least Curiosity got stranded inside the solar system, but there won't be any manned missions to Mars without someone paying for LOX. 

(Bagels would be nice, too.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #165 on: October 02, 2013, 07:34:19 AM »
Thank the people that voted to de-fund NASA.  And if you think what they did to Curiosity is bad, think of poor Voyager!  At least Curiosity got stranded inside the solar system, but there won't be any manned missions to Mars without someone paying for LOX. 

(Bagels would be nice, too.)

Mars seems to have become Dennis Tito's back yard, when it comes to going there (how many Mars bars would a four-man crew need for the journey?)

Offline kylie

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #166 on: October 02, 2013, 07:44:38 AM »
A couple things I just found amusing (among other impressions):

          As an employee of Health & Human Services posted in the Comments section of the Guardian website:
Quote
Irony Alert: There are several funding streams and shutdown does NOT effect [sic] those under the ACA, since that is already funded and separate from the annual budget and continuing resolution. ACA activity continues regardless.

          So, the Republicans claim (or seem to imply) that the House power to start funding resolutions means that they can legitimately disrupt many operations of government and some 800,000 jobs, any time the budget is up for renewal -- when they don't get any one thing they want.  In other words, they claim that the health care plan is sooo horrible that it is in the national interest to kill other public services, and to threaten the national credit rating with the upcoming debt ceiling business (probably what this is really more about), if they are not allowed to defund a policy that was central to the last whole presidential campaign, and a law that passed normally. 

...  But meanwhile, the healthcare plan goes ahead completely unaffected!  Jobs -- the things Republicans are always hollering about how they protect the sources of jobs??   Uh-huh, unless they are government jobs!  Those suffer.  They're happy to kill those anyway, unless they are their personal pork in question.  Heck, some are probably thinking in glee of how many of those jobs in some regions tend to be among the most reliable and (relatively) well-paying employers for Blacks.  Yet, Republicans have no real authority to affect the particular issue they claim this is all about, in this manner.  The White House might also consider drafting a few executive orders to keep the economy and credit situation workable on October 17 regardless of budget or no budget, just in case it's needed.  Oh, well...  Brilliant show of temper, anyway. 


          Separately, there is some small kernel of inspiration for story writing.  How is the president's staff (and sex life) these days, anyway...  Hee.   ::)
Quote
During the 1995 shutdown, unpaid interns had taken on tasks normally performed by staff who'd had to be sent home. One of those interns brought the president pizza and the two got chatting. Her name? Monica Lewinsky.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:47:02 AM by kylie »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: government shut down
« Reply #167 on: October 02, 2013, 08:12:17 AM »
Was just checking PubMed and saw this.

Quote
Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at http://www.usa.gov.

Don't you dare touch my precious NCBI you legislative bastards!

Offline Retribution

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #168 on: October 02, 2013, 09:30:25 AM »
Guys as I have said I blame the Republicans but please do not assume ACA is going to be a wonderful program I have seen on a professional bases how government does this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweep_account  Basically the budget office will not allow all of the funds that are set aside to fund program X to be spent on program X. They then send these “excess funds” to program Y. And did I mention program Y is one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfunded_mandate

Not that some of these programs are not worth wild many are, but a way to pay for it should have been incorporated. Of course see my first link if funding was incorporated –then- they steal it. Earlier in this thread I listed the example of hunting license fees. Or here is another one professionally I used to oversee an environmental cleanup program. We would only be allowed to spend about %40 of the funds set aside well for that program. Because they wanted to sweep the other %60 and then let’s say I did an efficient job and did not spend my %40 this year? I was encouraged to literally blow it and waste money because if I did not spend the %40 we would get no funds the next year.

So trust me despite the idiocy of the Republican suicidal strategy there is a government spending and inefficiency problem. And things like the ACA tend to get just plain fucked up from the get go because those trying to manage the rank and file are political appointees. And guess what they do not have a clue of what they are doing unlike the day to day civil servant who is being told what to do by an absentee and clueless boss who is a political hack.

Online icecradle

Re: government shut down
« Reply #169 on: October 02, 2013, 09:34:45 AM »
American Politics confuse my so much, but skimming this thread actually helped me understand a lot!

Yay for getting up to date on international news through E!

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #170 on: October 02, 2013, 09:42:05 AM »
Guys as I have said I blame the Republicans but please do not assume ACA is going to be a wonderful program I have seen on a professional bases how government does this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweep_account  Basically the budget office will not allow all of the funds that are set aside to fund program X to be spent on program X. They then send these “excess funds” to program Y. And did I mention program Y is one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfunded_mandate

Not that some of these programs are not worth wild many are, but a way to pay for it should have been incorporated. Of course see my first link if funding was incorporated –then- they steal it. Earlier in this thread I listed the example of hunting license fees. Or here is another one professionally I used to oversee an environmental cleanup program. We would only be allowed to spend about %40 of the funds set aside well for that program. Because they wanted to sweep the other %60 and then let’s say I did an efficient job and did not spend my %40 this year? I was encouraged to literally blow it and waste money because if I did not spend the %40 we would get no funds the next year.

So trust me despite the idiocy of the Republican suicidal strategy there is a government spending and inefficiency problem. And things like the ACA tend to get just plain fucked up from the get go because those trying to manage the rank and file are political appointees. And guess what they do not have a clue of what they are doing unlike the day to day civil servant who is being told what to do by an absentee and clueless boss who is a political hack.

Do you have any specific concerns about the ACA in particular, or are your concerns more generally applicable to every government program out there? It seems to me that there are well-run programs, and there are really badly run programs. Since the ACA is such a political hot issue, I would expect it to come under far more scrutiny than most, which should help to keep things clean for the foreseeable future.

Medicare and Medicaid, for what it's worth, are generally considered to be two of the most efficiently run government programs in existence. They are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also in charge of ACA.

Offline Retribution

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #171 on: October 02, 2013, 09:55:27 AM »
Do you have any specific concerns about the ACA in particular, or are your concerns more generally applicable to every government program out there? It seems to me that there are well-run programs, and there are really badly run programs. Since the ACA is such a political hot issue, I would expect it to come under far more scrutiny than most, which should help to keep things clean for the foreseeable future.

Medicare and Medicaid, for what it's worth, are generally considered to be two of the most efficiently run government programs in existence. They are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also in charge of ACA.

I am about to do a web search after I do this post for links but even well run government programs have a lot of what I described. When I do my last post for my RPs I will search on Medicare and Medicade -but- the government obviously does not advertise when they have their fingers in the cookie jar. For example if there were more specifics out there on the program I ran so that it could be figured out which one I am talking about I could be disciplined....transparency in government my ass but I digress. The program I ran I was held up as the finest example of government management when the behind the scenes schemes made me sick

I think health care is broken and needs fixed. I am not sure ACA does that but we will see it is the law of the land. Here is another real world example of the flaws I see in it. I have a family member who runs a small not for profit group. They have oh I am not sure how many employees 25 or so. They do work for the community, full time employers get insurance part time do not. ACA is going to make them provide more insurance and the cost is extreme. So they are going to end up paying the penalties fines, whatever you want to call them and cease providing any insurance. Now this is an extreme step but remember this is a not for profit organization and they only have so much money.

Having said all of that my concerns are probably more general because I have rarely if ever seen government do anything well. it all goes back to the old adage about military intelligence being an oxymoron.

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #172 on: October 02, 2013, 10:06:26 AM »
I would agree that our healthcare system is broken. I believe the ACA is a step in the right direction, but I'd prefer a single-payer nationwide plan. Perhaps we'll get there in time.

In the meanwhile, your family member's business shouldn't be affected badly. There's no employer mandate for companies under 50 employees, so they can just do nothing if they like. If they do want to start offering insurance, part of the ACA includes incentives for companies of that size. So it's really all upside for them, unless I'm missing something here. The program is called "SHOP" if your relative wants to look into it. (http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-smallbusiness.php)




Offline Retribution

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #173 on: October 02, 2013, 10:12:02 AM »
Alright not sure how good a source this is http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2011/08/09/is-medicare-more-efficient-than-private-insurance/  It was the one that simply seemed the best written after a plain old Google search so I am not making any claims as to it's accuracy or lack of bias. My point though is that efficiency and government really do not go together.

As for the shutdown? As I keep saying the Republicans are idiots! I just cannot get my mind around what they hope to accomplish from committing obvious political suicide. Like I said my stance on ACA is it passed, its the law deal with it.  Just like as I have often said I am a second amendment advocate and it is the law of the land upheld by the courts (I know it is more complicated than that but am paraphrasing) so deal with it. Your only other option is change the freaking constitution. *shrugs* I feel the same about Roe v Wade the courts spoke it's the law deal with it or muster the political capital to change the constitution.

But this government shutdown is economic and political suicide. Soooooooo yeah the Republicans by and large are idiots.

Offline Retribution

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #174 on: October 02, 2013, 10:18:26 AM »
*coughs* well you link has its own bias. I was on Cigna for twenty years and lets not go into all of that it was a nightmare. So we can toss this ball back and forth forever. I am not utterly against ACA I am just skeptical and well we will see. But you articulated your stance well and I like to think I did the same. Imagine if something like that happened on a national political level?