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Thread: Proposed Government Shut-Down and the National Fire Academy

  1. #41
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    I guess we'll just have to disagree. Couple of points:
    You say the interaction between firefighters from different states is priceless. I disagree. It has a very real price attached. Members may enjoy the interaction. They may learn from the interaction. But it is NOT critical to the fire service that they do this.
    Departments all over the country have been able to manage and administer themselves for hundreds of years in some cases. I disagree that they'd be unable to do it w/o a federal academy or fire administration.
    I have to repeat my point about learning by doing. There are way too many people running around teaching each other and not enough actually doing anything. I get tired of hearing from the so called experts. Some of them shouldn't be allowed within a mile of a classroom, not even as a student.


  2. #42
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    When the fire service starts to agree on National standards of fire service...I'll consider the NFA something that matters.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    It is not smaller unless everything that was shut-down was surplused and sold and everyone who was furloughed was RIF'ed. That is reducing the size of government.

    Owning 10 shirts and only wearing two (2) of them is not reducing the amount of clothes you wear - it is underutilizing 80% of what you already own.
    In your opinion. Fewer people making rules and enforcing them is making government smaller in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    I think you meant "qualify" - not "quantify". "Quantifying" something involves units of measurement (i.e. mathematics). I will, however, be happy to "qualify" it for you. On the application to attend a NFA or EMI course (both of which are housed at the NETC in Emmitsburg, Maryland), the Equal Opportunity Statement is listed on the second page and states the following:

    "NFA and EMI are Equal Opportunity institutions. They do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religious belief, national origin, or disability in their admissions and student-related procedures. Both schools make every effort to ensure equitable representation of minorities and women in their student bodies. Qualified minority and women candidates are encouraged to apply for all courses."
    No. I meant quantify.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Apparently I am. Please elaborate and explain your point.
    The NFA is not an essential service.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Training emergency responders is, as you say, an essential service. You assert that the shutdown of the NFA "only shows that it is not essential". I counter that with a request for you to qualify your statement. Could it be that the training and networking opportunities the NFA has provided since it's inception in the 1970's has paid untold dividends (both tangible and intangible) to both our nation's communities and the responders that protect them?
    Only if you believe that training wouldn't occur if the NFA didn't exist. Which isn't the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Regarding the "NFA going away tomorrow and no one outside of the fire service would notice", I counter that assertion with the following:

    1) The NFA is co-located with FEMA's EMI at the NETC. This means that the NETC trains emergency responders from many backgrounds, such as local, state, and Federal government as well as responders from both the private industry as well as foreign countries. By co-locating these institutions at the same location, it reduces the need to duplicate efforts such as housing, feeding, and training personnel. That is an example of responsible and responsive government.

    2) Many of the "industry standards" of emergency response are created, modified, and implemented through the NFA. Why? Where else can you benefit from such as diverse group of people from all aspects of emergency response? This includes both the faculty and the students. An example is the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Many people from varied backgrounds were able to provide input to the creation and implementation of NIMS. Better yet, as issues are identified with it, these groups can recommend changes for implementation.
    So what? Did the fire service manage to do those things before the creation of the NFA?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    I am not sure where you are going with your last statement regarding people benefiting financially from the NFA. Folks do, in fact, benefit from the NFA's existence.
    Folks like LAFE who get paid to teach.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Once example I can think of is the cafeteria. One of the logistical issues of operating the NETC is feeding three (3) meals per day to each student. To accomplish this task, the Federal government outsources this task to a vendor. Does the vendor benefit financially from it? Absolutely. If not, why else would the vendor do it?
    There you go. A collateral benefactor.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Another example is the instructors. While the NFA does have a core group of full-time personnel, the bulk of the instructional staff are "contractors" of the Federal government. They submit a bid to instruct a particular course that they are qualified to teach. As in most cases with the government, the lowest qualified bidder "wins" and is paid to teach the course at the NFA. Using "contract" instructors creates a diverse pool of personnel to teach courses while saving the expense of employing numerous full-time people.
    More proof of my point.
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    You know all the same arguments against NFA apply to State training as well. I mean why not leave training to individual departments, those that can will, those that can't won't.

    If the FDNY can provide adequate training for 15,000 career firefighters, then Podunk should be able to manage to train their 6.73 volunteers too.


  5. #45
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    In your opinion. Fewer people making rules and enforcing them is making government smaller in my opinion.
    Not using all of the stuff you "own", i.e. facilities, equipment, employees, and etc., is underutilizing your resources. You will save some operating expenses but you still own the capital assets. It is not making government smaller.

    If 10 people were employed by the Federal government and five (5) were furloughed due to the "shutdown", all you've accomplished is using less to do more. In this example you are wasting 50% of your assets and increasing the workload of the remaining assets by 50%. You've accomplished nothing except underutilizing the stuff you already own.

    In the case of the FEMA, if the Federal government permanently shut them down, sold all of their stuff and RIF'ed all of the employees, THAT would be making making government smaller.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    No. I meant quantify.
    How do you "quantify" the Equal Opportunity Statement on the NFA/EMI admissions application. One can easily "qualify" it as I did, but to "quantify"?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The NFA is not an essential service.
    It is NOT an essential service. Neither are most of the social programs that the taxpayers (i.e. have a job, earn a wage, and pay taxes) are usually not eligible for.

    The NFA is, however, a very useful service. It facilitates training to emergency responders of all disciplines at a very inexpensive price.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Only if you believe that training wouldn't occur if the NFA didn't exist. Which isn't the case.
    Training does occur locally, at the state level, and at the Federal level. The NFA is an example of training provided at the Federal level that augments what occurs locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    So what? Did the fire service manage to do those things before the creation of the NFA?
    It did and it continues to do so. The NFA not only provides management training to emergency responders, but it also facilitates the creation, modification, and implementation of many of the industry standards we've come to practice on a day-to-day basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Folks like LAFE who get paid to teach.
    Yes. Those who are employed by the NFA as either full-time personnel or contractors are paid for their services - be it administrative, instruction, facility management, and/or etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    There you go. A collateral benefactor.
    Again, those who provide a service are compensated for it. If a food service vendor bids for operating the cafeteria for a fiscal year and is awarded the contract, they become a contractor (hence the name) and are paid for providing their service. The same principle applies to those who bid to teach a class and are awarded the bid.

    The same principle applies to you and your job. Your employer hired you to perform a job. By virtue of accepting the job, you agreed to the terms and conditions of that employment. Your boss pays you X to perform Y. Your boss benefits from you doing the job he hired you to do. You benefit from your boss paying you the wage you agreed to when you accepted the offer of employment.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    More proof of my point.
    ...and that is?
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-10-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Not using all of the stuff you "own", i.e. facilities, equipment, employees, and etc., is underutilizing your resources. You will save some operating expenses but you still own the capital assets. It is not making government smaller.

    If 10 people were employed by the Federal government and five (5) were furloughed due to the "shutdown", all you've accomplished is using less to do more. In this example you are wasting 50% of your assets and increasing the workload of the remaining assets by 50%. You've accomplished nothing except underutilizing the stuff you already own.

    In the case of the FEMA, if the Federal government permanently shut them down, sold all of their stuff and RIF'ed all of the employees, THAT would be making making government smaller.
    I already addressed this issue in the context of how conservatives want smaller government.


    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    How do you "quantify" the Equal Opportunity Statement on the NFA/EMI admissions application. One can easily "qualify" it as I did, but to "quantify"?
    If it can't be done empirically, then its value is suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    It is NOT an essential service. Neither are most of the social programs that the taxpayers (i.e. have a job, earn a wage, and pay taxes) are usually not eligible for.
    There you said it. We're not discussing social programs. We're discussing the NFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The NFA is, however, a very useful service. It facilitates training to emergency responders of all disciplines at a very inexpensive price.
    It may very well be useful, and be inexpensive. But it isn't free. It costs tax dollars. That is the point of reducing spending and making government smaller. You already stated the NFA is not essential.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    It did and it continues to do so. The NFA not only provides management training to emergency responders, but it also facilitates the creation, modification, and implementation of many of the industry standards we've come to practice on a day-to-day basis.
    Which could easily be done without the NFA.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Yes. Those who are employed by the NFA as either full-time personnel or contractors are paid for their services - be it administrative, instruction, facility management, and/or etc.
    Agreed. All costing tax dollars for a service you admitted was not essential.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Again, those who provide a service are compensated for it. If a food service vendor bids for operating the cafeteria for a fiscal year and is awarded the contract, they become a contractor (hence the name) and are paid for providing their service. The same principle applies to those who bid to teach a class and are awarded the bid.
    See above response.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The same principle applies to you and your job. Your employer hired you to perform a job. By virtue of accepting the job, you agreed to the terms and conditions of that employment. Your boss pays you X to perform Y. Your boss benefits from you doing the job he hired you to do. You benefit from your boss paying you the wage you agreed to when you accepted the offer of employment.
    See above response.
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  7. #47
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I already addressed this issue in the context of how conservatives want smaller government.
    Please rephrase your response. I do not understand your context.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    If it can't be done empirically, then its value is suspect.
    Please elaborate on this.

    I do not understand your response in the context of proving, quantifiably, my response in regards to the NFA/EMI Admission Application's Equal Opportunity Statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    There you said it.
    Said what? That the NFA is not "essential". There are very few things that are considered "essential".

    A side-note is that is the term "essential" is relative. It depends on your perspective.

    For example, "essential" to me means something is needed for existence. One example is "air". We must have air to breathe? Why? Because it is essential. We will die without it.

    My paycheck is essential because I cannot pay my bills and provide for my family without it.

    In the context of government, what really is essential?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    We're not discussing social programs. We're discussing the NFA.
    We are discussing the NFA (of which you said it was unnecessary). I pointed out that there are many other problems - often with exponentially larger budgets - that provide far less of an impact that the NFA does. In fact, if you look at many of the social programs the Federal government provides, the NFA's operating budget is minuscule, i.e. fractions of a penny, compared to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    It may very well be useful, and be inexpensive. But it isn't free. It costs tax dollars. That is the point of reducing spending and making government smaller. You already stated the NFA is not essential.
    What do you propose the government get rid of (not underutilize by shutting downing temporarily - I mean get rid of) to truly make government smaller? By the way, "getting rid of" means to divest, sell, stop using, and etc. all assets, people, and processes to accomplish a task, or, in the context of the government, the goals and objectives a program. Truly reducing the size of government means getting rid of the entire infrastructure to support an entire program or part of the government - not just parking a car you already own in the garage and not using it.

    What is your proposal to make the size of government smaller? In the context of one of my earlier examples, this would mean getting rid of eight (8) of the 10 shirts in your closet (which would leave you with two (2). That is truly reduced - not underutilized).

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Which could easily be done without the NFA.
    How do you propose this be done?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Agreed. All costing tax dollars for a service you admitted was not essential.
    Slow down Dick Tracy. We are not unraveling clues to the JFK conspiracy. We are discussing the impact of the government "shut down" on the NFA.

    Are you proposing that those who work for the someone, i.e. the government, private industry, and etc., should not be paid for their services?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    More proof of my point.
    Please elaborate on this. I've asked this several times but you appear to be unwilling and/or unable to do so.

    To assist you in your response, my request was for you to tell me what, exactly, your point is. Also, what is this "proof" and what does it allege?
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-10-2013 at 11:47 PM.
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  8. #48
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    DFW, this is the bottom line.

    You've written extensively why the NFA is a worthwhile program that should be funded. Every government program has the same type of individuals such as yourself justifying its existence.

    The question is not whether or not they should be in existence, but how to pay for them.
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  9. #49
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    ...so why not elaborate on your positions with a response other than "see above", "proves my point", or some other 4-5 word response thats asks more questions than it answers?

    I suspect that you do not have any basis for much of your assertions. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    The original post of this thread discussed the NFA and the effects the "shutdown" may have on it. I asserted that I hope it is not permanently cut. From that point, you have attempted to turn this into a political debate. I would not even really call this a debate as you don't debate or discuss much of anything other than to "respond" by providing a 3-5 word reply.

    You opened the door; I walked through it.

    If you'd prefer to discuss this via PM instead of publicly in this thread, that is fine with me.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 10-11-2013 at 09:26 AM.
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  10. #50
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Every government program has the same type of individuals such as yourself justifying its existence.
    ...and what type of individual is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The question is not whether or not they should be in existence, but how to pay for them.
    Based on the following replies you've posted, I don't think that is the question at all:

    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Where is it written the NFA should be funded? What difference does the NFA make to my everyday life?
    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The shutdown of the NFA only shows that it is not essential.
    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I would submit it could go away tomorrow and no one outside of the fire service would notice. Except maybe those who gain financially from its existence.
    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    As far as the benefits of the NFA. So what? Why should anyone not in the fire service care about its benefits?
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    If it can't be done empirically, then its value is suspect.
    DFW -

    Since, as usual, scfire refuses to answer any questions directly asked of him (or provide more than callous, one-sentence responses for rebuttal), I'll explain what he means by "quantifying."

    Unless you can prove to him with specific data sets that the number of fires or injuries is lower in communities where their FD members have attended the NFA, than you have no way of proving to him that the NFA has any benefit at the local level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I guess we'll just have to disagree. Couple of points:
    You say the interaction between firefighters from different states is priceless. I disagree. It has a very real price attached. Members may enjoy the interaction. They may learn from the interaction. But it is NOT critical to the fire service that they do this.

    I know that personally, I have utilized information or programs acquired from members who I have attended classes with at the NFA. maybe that is the exception, but I doubt it.

    Is that critical? I guess that could be up for debate but I certainly think that at a minimum, that is a significant benefit from the NFA and is something that does have value.


    Departments all over the country have been able to manage and administer themselves for hundreds of years in some cases.

    That's true, but having a place where you can go to learn how to administer a department more effectively does have benefit.


    I disagree that they'd be unable to do it w/o a federal academy or fire administration.

    Never said that they couldn't, but following your argument the same thing can be said about state fire training agencies as well.

    Do you believe that they should not be funded as well?


    I have to repeat my point about learning by doing.

    So should teachers just "sorta learn by doing" in the classroom without education? How about tossing our firefighters and EMT's into the job without an educational process?

    I doubt that you would be in favor of that.

    So why should we expect fire department administrators to learn by doing without a facility to provide formal education regarding their job functions of planning, management and administration?


    There are way too many people running around teaching each other and not enough actually doing anything. I get tired of hearing from the so called experts. Some of them shouldn't be allowed within a mile of a classroom, not even as a student.
    That has very little to do with the NFA.

    The NFA was designed to develop and administer advanced level training to IC's, administrators and management in the areas of planning and administration.

    There quite honestly, is very little in the way of that type of training at the state level in most states.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    DFW, this is the bottom line.

    You've written extensively why the NFA is a worthwhile program that should be funded. Every government program has the same type of individuals such as yourself justifying its existence.

    The question is not whether or not they should be in existence, but how to pay for them.
    Honetly, there are very few government agencies that are essential.

    DOD, CIA, FBI, NSAA, FAA and to a limited extent the FDA are few that come to mind.

    Department of Education, EPA and most social programs including welfare, WIC, Food Stamps, unemployment insurance, Section 8 housing .... Not so much.

    In fact one could argue that social programs are not an essential government service at any level.

    The government is really only tasked with defense and safety, and one could argue that the NFA certainly falls into providing safety for the citizens.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Unless you can prove to him with specific data sets that the number of fires or injuries is lower in communities where their FD members have attended the NFA, than you have no way of proving to him that the NFA has any benefit at the local level.
    I think he confused himself in the course of his own "argument".

    The "discussion" referenced the fact that anyone can apply to the NFA regardless of race, gender, political values, and etc. He told me to "quantify" that. I replied that I could "qualify" it and provided the NFA Equal Opportunity Statement. He countered that he indeed meant "quantify" and I asked him to elaborate on how, mathematically (or otherwise using a unit of measurement), one could qualify an EO statement. To that, I receive the following reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RKUfTb88Rs
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    ...and what type of individual is that?
    Individuals who justify their program funding from the federal government. There thousands of programs the feds fund for any number of issues. I have no doubt each of them has individuals saying why they're needed and cost very little.

    The NFA is just one drop in the ocean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Department of Education, EPA and most social programs including welfare, WIC, Food Stamps, unemployment insurance, Section 8 housing .... Not so much.
    The folks who utilized those programs to get back on their feet would disagree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    In fact one could argue that social programs are not an essential government service at any level.
    I could argue that isn't the case. Especially for the children born to idiot parents.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The government is really only tasked with defense and safety, and one could argue that the NFA certainly falls into providing safety for the citizens.
    Not true. It's tasked with numerous other things besides those two. I can make the nexis to safety for many programs not on your list.

    The part that I like is the approval ratings for the House GOP's has plummetted through the floor.
    Last edited by scfire86; 10-11-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Individuals who justify their program funding from the federal government. There thousands of programs the feds fund for any number of issues. I have no doubt each of them has individuals saying why they're needed and cost very little.
    The NFA is not "my" program - it is the tax payers' program. It is used to educate our first responders of all disciplines. Furthermore I do not work for the NFA (nor any other branch of the Federal government). I've attended, as a student, several NFA course both at the NETC and off-campus.

    So, my question still stands in the context of me:

    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    ...and what type of individual is that?
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The NFA is not "my" program - it is the tax payers' program. It is used to educate our first responders of all disciplines. Furthermore I do not work for the NFA (nor any other branch of the Federal government). I've attended, as a student, several NFA course both at the NETC and off-campus.
    I never said it was your program. Your missing the point. I'm sure other programs have individuals like you who believe those programs are beneficial and should be funded by the taxpayers. That scenario is replicated thousands of times in any number of government departments.


    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    So, my question still stands in the context of me:
    I've answered. You just don't understand it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The folks who utilized those programs to get back on their feet would disagree with you.

    One could easily argue that it's simply not the responsibility of government to help get folks back on their feet or take care of their every need.

    That is the responsibility of the citizen, not the government.

    I would have no issues with reducing social spending by 50% ..... or more.



    I could argue that isn't the case. Especially for the children born to idiot parents.

    Again as a taxpayer ..... Not my problem.

    Would I support far more scaled back programs for children where the parents have no way to abscond with the $$$$$ to spend on booze, drugs and other vices ? Maybe.

    Would I be less opposed to food stamps if they couldn't buy prepared food, chips, candy and soda, or they had to show picture ID with every single purchase so they couldn't sell the card for cash ---- drugs, booze and other crap? Yup.

    The fact is it's not our responsibility but thanks to LBJ, it's become that way, and there is a significant portion of the population that is riding the wave and have no desire or no need to stand up and take friggin responsibility for their own damn lives.



    Not true. It's tasked with numerous other things besides those two. I can make the nexis to safety for many programs not on your list.

    As a liberal, I'm sure you can.

    The part that I like is the approval ratings for the House GOP's has plummetted through the floor.
    Just like Obumba's 37%?
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    Default NFA Really?

    Interestingly, if it wasn't for all the major programs being suspended, the politicians would have no reason to ever work this out. While it stinks to be effected by this (for some far more than others!) if there was no outrage, this would just be more partisan politics. Without cutting the funding to soldiers death benefits or a few other programs that set us ablaze, we'd ignore this too. Tack on another 4 years of the liberals "Robinhooding" the money away from the middle class as the Republicans have crashed the bus with their "all or nothing" push. Of course the Dems are not playing nice either but they're not getting much media attention for refusing to accept cuts or slow the ACA before it breaks us even further.

    And while I've enjoyed the NFA, I wouldn't for a second place this even on the list of "essential services" for the shut-down or forever. If you think having to miss your NFA class is a big deal try walking in a soldiers boots for a few days. The fact that this is even a topic here while soldiers families aren't being flown in to receive their bodies is a disgrace.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 10-11-2013 at 02:08 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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