The coolest place on the internet, according to this tagline.
AskArchiveFAQ

December 16, 2013
How dusty is the federal government’s technology? Well, some agencies, such as the Federal Register, still use floppy disks to get things done, partly due to outdated regulations.
(photo by jm3/Flickr)

How dusty is the federal government’s technology? Well, some agencies, such as the Federal Register, still use floppy disks to get things done, partly due to outdated regulations.

(photo by jm3/Flickr)

12:04 // 8 months ago
October 1, 2013
0:15 // 11 months ago
September 29, 2013
breakingnews:

House votes to avert government shutdown, delay Obamacare
AP: The U.S. House voted to delay the Affordable Care Act and repeal a tax on medical devices as part of a government funding bill.
The White House issued a veto threat on the measure and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate would reject the health care language. 
To avoid a government shutdown, Congress must agree to a spending bill before the end of Monday. 

Undeterred, House Republicans pressed ahead with their latest attempt to squeeze a concession from the White House in exchange for letting the government open for business normally on Tuesday. “Obamacare is based on a limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard of a will of the people,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which isn’t schedule to meet until Monday afternoon. 
Photo: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, walks to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (Molly Riley / AP Photo)

Passed in a time crunch after midnight Eastern time in the U.S. this morning. What’s next? They essentially ignored a not-at-all consideration call by Senate leader Reid and a veto threat by President Obama at the White House. Also, the Senate doesn’t meet until 2PM Monday, 10 hours before the deadline. Dun dun dun… duuuun. 

breakingnews:

House votes to avert government shutdown, delay Obamacare

APThe U.S. House voted to delay the Affordable Care Act and repeal a tax on medical devices as part of a government funding bill.

The White House issued a veto threat on the measure and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate would reject the health care language. 

To avoid a government shutdown, Congress must agree to a spending bill before the end of Monday. 

Undeterred, House Republicans pressed ahead with their latest attempt to squeeze a concession from the White House in exchange for letting the government open for business normally on Tuesday. “Obamacare is based on a limitless government, bureaucratic arrogance and a disregard of a will of the people,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which isn’t schedule to meet until Monday afternoon. 

Photo: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, walks to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (Molly Riley / AP Photo)

Passed in a time crunch after midnight Eastern time in the U.S. this morning. What’s next? They essentially ignored a not-at-all consideration call by Senate leader Reid and a veto threat by President Obama at the White House. Also, the Senate doesn’t meet until 2PM Monday, 10 hours before the deadline. Dun dun dun… duuuun. 

9:00 // 11 months ago
September 28, 2013

poorrichardsnews says: What happens when the government "shuts down"? Is it like the weekend when the majority of government offices shut down? Or maybe like a national holiday where pretty much everything haults? Actually no, fewer things actually close during a "shutdown" than during an average Sunday. Essential functions stay open. Air traffic control, military, border patrol, embassies... Social Security and Medicare checks go out. So, what is it we're afraid of? Yosemite won't be open?

» SFB says: Well, let’s see … 40 percent of federal employees (or about 800,000 people) will effectively go without pay, which will have an economic effect due to the sheer number of people affected. And it’s not clear that when the shutdown is over, they’ll get paid retroactively. Federal contractors, however, most certainly won’t get anything after the fact. That’s not a small part of the economy, either—roughly $300 billion is spent by the federal government on contractors each year, which is a huge infusion into the economy. Doing some back-of-the-napkin math—obviously some things will keep running, because they have to—that’s about $821 million per day.

(Military employees will be forced to work, but unless a stopgap is set, they won’t receive pay. To the House’s credit, they’re working on a stopgap for that specific case.) 

As Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) notes, unemployment benefit payments to states would be affected, meaning extra financial burdens on the state governments which will have to make up for the deficit caused—and potentially those out of work. You won’t be able to get a passport during this period, and it’s likely that you won’t be able to get a home loan guarantee or a small-business loan from the FHA and the SBA, respectively. And farmers, who receive subsidies from the federal government, wouldn’t get those subsidies.

Veterans benefits felt the pain as well during the 1995 shutdown, and though moves have been made to prevent something similar to that, Holt suggests in his list that vets could still face benefits cuts as a result.

As you point out, National Parks will be closed—and so will the Smithsonian. And good luck getting a tour of the U.S. Capitol during the shutdown. So what, you say? Well, those have ripple effects on the economy. If you can’t go on vacation to the Grand Canyon, you’re probably not going to travel there, and you won’t be spending money there at the privately-owned businesses which depend on the park being open.

The last time the government shut down in 1995, Wonkbook notes an OMB estimate that the federal government lost around $2 billion dollars (in 2013 money). What are the odds we’ll lose more than that this time around? It’s unclear what will happen next, but let’s not downplay the scale of the federal government here and the impact it has on the many parts of the economy. — Ernie @ SFB

15:49 // 11 months ago
14:46 // 11 months ago
January 13, 2012

Why Obama wants Congress to allow him to merge federal agencies

  • what President Obama plans to ask Congress for the right to merge together a number of sprawling trade and commerce agencies with somewhat similar purposes.
  • why It’s an effort to cut resources and minimize overlap, and the move would save $3 billion over 10 years. The election-year timing is also a consideration for Obama. source
10:33 // 2 years ago
December 18, 2011

So … who’s paying for the payroll tax cut, anyway? Homeowners

  • $17 per month charges on new homeowners’ mortgages source

» Those who refinance will feel the pinch, too: To help pay for the $33 billion cost of the extended-by-two-months payroll tax cut, the federal government will increase the cost for homeowners to get their homes insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who currently back nine out of ten home mortgages in the U.S. The fee, currently around 0.3 percentage points, would jump by 0.1 percentage points, which translates to roughly $17 per month for most homeowners. However, this fee would not affect current homeowners unless they refinance starting next year. Is this the best way to handle the extension?

Read ShortFormBlogFollow

11:20 // 2 years ago
September 2, 2011
16:46 // 2 years ago
April 6, 2011
11:06 // 3 years ago
February 24, 2011
18:58 // 3 years ago