Mind Your Business

Mind Your Business Week of 10-23-2013

It was great to see the powers that be get together and finally reach a bipartisan agreement to end the government shutdown, returning hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work and raising the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt limit. However, in a few months, they will be right back fighting over something else. The agreement expires January 15, 2014. That’s right. It only funds the federal government through mid-January. Federal agencies would be funded through Jan. 15, when they might shut down again unless lawmakers resolve a continuing dispute over deep automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. So while we are happy now, I hope this will not be an issue in January. But as long as we have a Black President, I think it will be. Another sad part is how they affected so many lives by not having an income. While they fought, the inconvenience cost the economy and taxpayers plenty. Reports say it cost almost $1.6 billon. Even the Internal Revenue Service had to cut back and suspend all audits. They were not processing any tax refunds during the shutdown. That left individuals who were counting on refund checks to spend or invest out of luck. Shutdown has to hurt working people in those areas. I just sat around and wondered how much would it affect me if I was in that position. Would the gas company understand I am laid off and continue the supply to my home? Could I pull up to Shell gas station and say fill it up I will pay you after the government shutdown. With the shutdown, I hear my mother’s voice ringing in my head, “Jimmy you better save something for a rainy day.” This is a lesson that most of us must realize is very important to have some back up funds in case of a job lay off or emergency. I’ve seen myself, at one time, like the powers to be, still living at home and under 18. I worked but did not have to pay any bills, I partied and blew my money each week. To me I had no cares, or no worries, because my money was not assigned to pay anything but clothes and fun. My government shutdown came at 16, when my father put his foot down and said, “Son you need to open a bank account and start saving some money.” Now I guess I had that concern look on my face because he told me whatever I saved, he would match it. Back then, we had passbook accounts. Each pay I deposited money, would show him the passbook, and yes he did match it. The bank account, for most people, may be the first step in saving for something. By designating a specific place to house your funds, it becomes easier to manage the money you saved. You’ll be able to keep track of what you’re putting away and how close you’re coming to your goal. Plus, keeping money in the bank can mean less temptation to spend it. Another thing was taught to me was coming home each night putting my loose change in a jar. Each month I would roll up the coins and add this to my savings account, you may be laughing but trust me it adds up. Saving for a rainy day prepares you for any shutdown in your life financially. Back in the day, you did not have to put up with as much mess on a job as you do today. You can tell them you quit and find another the same day. Now you have to deal with attitudes, cliques and friendships that has no bearing on running a business. We all have to worry about something and, this day and age, a job is one. If I didn’t need to work trust me I would not wake up everyday and go. Having the basic things you need just to survive comes from the paycheck you get each payday, no matter how big or small. One thing for sure Supreme Court justices and federal judges received their paychecks no matter how long the shutdown lasts. Make you think, did you choose the right career? I am glad it’s over. To me, I felt like they went on strike against the president because of Obamacare. The health care law isn’t directly tied to funding the government but it’s was used as a bargaining chip. A group of Republicans, led by freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, believe the president’s signature domestic policy achievement is so bad for the country that it is worth disrupting government funding to undercut it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the actual name of the law, requires all Americans to have health insurance. Opponents say it’ll hurt employers and amounts to overreach by the federal government. Some have also criticized the medical device tax that’s part of the law, saying that by imposing such a tax. It’s basically sending jobs overseas. Next time I hope they think of the people they affect when making decisions that are probably their issues in the first place.

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Write Wade at the Call & Post, 11800 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH, 44120, or e-mail him at jwade@call-post.com.