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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy

    Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy

    By Eric Boehm / October 15, 2013 / No Comments

    Part 43 of 46 in the series Shutdown 2013

    SHOW US THE MONEY: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer holds a check that will help keep open the Grand Canyon National Park.

    By Eric Boehm |
    They’re from the government and they don’t want your help.
    Except, sometimes, when the do.
    One of the more interesting, though relatively inconsequential, aspects of the government shutdown has been the inconsistent policy from the federal government when it comes to accepting assistance from states and private donors who want to spend their own cash to keep certain things running during the shutdown.
    As reported last week, at least two states have been prevented from using a combination of state and private funds to reopen national parks closed after the federal government shutdown on October 1.
    But the federal government has accepted funds from a private donor keep a different program running.
    Head Start, a federally subsidized preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds that is run by the Department of Health and Human Services, was partially closed by the federal shutdown. Seven programs in six states — Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina — were closed, affecting about 7,000 kids.
    But then, two heroes emerged.
    John and Laura Arnold, philanthropist billionaires from Texas, announced last week they would spend $10 million to keep those Head Start programs running until the end of the month.
    The private donations were praised by the government and by groups that support Head Start.
    The Arnolds’ most generous act epitomizes what it means to be an angel investor; they have selflessly stepped up for Head Start children to ensure their path toward kindergarten readiness is not interrupted by the inability of government to get the nation’s fiscal house in order,” said Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association.
    The shutdown only affected states with programs that received a grant on Oct. 1, but if the shutdown rolls into November almost all other states will also see their Head Start programs’ subsidies cease, affecting an estimated 86,000 children.
    Joy Pullman, an education policy analyst at the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank based in Chicago, said it’s just more inconsistencies on education policy from the Obama administration.
    “It’s not kind to families to cut it in the middle of the year, but really that program should be phased out because taxpayers are not getting a return on their investment for that program,” she said.
    Since 1965, taxpayers have spent $180 billion on Head Start — more than 1,000 times the amount of the Arnolds’ gift. Despite all that cash, a 2012 HHS audit found little to no long-term benefits to children who went through the program.
    But if the Arnolds want to spend their own money on supporting Head Start for a few weeks, it’s nice of the government to let them. Other offers of assistance have not been so well received — even to the point of stubbornness.
    Those national parks — The Grand Canyon in Arizona and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota — bring enough tourists to their respective states to count as major economic drivers.
    We cannot afford to turn away this kind of revenue,” wrote Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in a letter to the National Parks Service, offering state dollars to keep the park open to tourists. “To do so will unnecessarily devastate the employment of thousands of Arizonans who depend on the Grand Canyon – especially when there is a common sense alternative.”
    On Saturday, the town of Tusayan, Ariz., presented Brewer with a check for $426,500 as a partial payment to open the park.
    Nationally, the closure of the national parks is costing $76 million per day, according to an assessment of the parks’ economic value to local communities done by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.
    And even on an individual scale, offers of help have been rudely turned aside.
    Chris Cox, a South Carolinian who took it upon himself to mow the lawn on the National Mall, was ordered to cease and desist by law enforcement in the nation’s capital.
    The whole thing seems wildly inconsistent. It’s great that private donations have been able to fill a gap in government services during the shutdown — whether you think those services should be provided by the government in the first place, or not — so why can’t states and private donors do the same with the national parks? Florida Gov. Rick Scott declined to use state money to reopen the three national parks in the Sunshine State.
    The Department of Health and Human Services did not return calls for comment. Neither did the National Park Service.
    So if you’re playing along at home, here’s how it seems to work: offer to mow the grass in front of the Lincoln Memorial, get threatened with arrest.
    Offer to spend $10 million to keep 7,000 in a federal day care program, get hailed as a hero.

    Part of 46 in the series Shutdown 2013

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Inmates Being Paid During Shutdown But Federal Prison Guards Aren't?!

    Prisoners paid, but not the guards?

    by Fox News Insider //
    Oct 14 2013 // 2:14pm As seen on America's News Headquarters

    Guards at federal prisons are not being paid during the government shutdown, but still have to show up to work, while inmates continue to receive checks for the work they do at the facility.

    "There's different funding for inmate pay, and that has been funded," explained Michele Kunkel, President of the Government Employees Union Local 4040. Both Kunkel and her husband are employed at the prison in Yankton, S.D.

    Kunkel says she "certainly hopes" they will receive back pay for the time that they did not receive checks during the shutdown.

    video at link below

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    High School Principal Cancels Pledge of Allegiance Citing Gov’t Shutdown — and Now He Could Be in Big Trouble

    Oct. 15, 2013 11:54am Oliver Darcy

    A Nebraska high school principal may face disciplinary action after he cited the government shutdown as the reason for canceling the daily pledge of allegiance one day last week.
    Alliance High School principal Patrick Jones. (Image Source:

    District superintendent Troy Unzicker told TheBlaze his office is investigating the incident and considering taking disciplinary action against Alliance High School principal Patrick Jones for his actions last Monday.
    “Yes,” Unzicker said, when asked if he is looking into reprimanding Jones. “It has to be considered.”
    Unzicker, himself a veteran, added that it is school policy to recite the pledge each day and expects his staff to carry out their duties.
    “We have board policy that says we will lead students in the pledge each day and we will be doing that,” he said.
    Jones declined comment to TheBlaze on Tuesday and his office referred all calls to Unzicker.
    According to Unzicker, Jones said his actions were aimed at inspiring conversation among the roughly 500 students in the school.

    The district superintendent added that he has received some complaints from parents over last week’s cancellation.
    Featured image courtesy of

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

    Last edited by kathyet2; 10-15-2013 at 01:57 PM.

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