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It’s day 3 of the government shutdown and unfortunately it doesn’t look any better than day 1. Over 800,000 federal workers are still not getting paid, but members of Congress are still banking those hefty government paychecks. Many people like, author and CNN contributor Bob Greene , feel that not only is it a farce that bigwigs in Congress are still entitled to their pay, but American citizens should receive refunds of the taxes they’ve paid since the government is in shutdown status.

Greene writes:

We pay federal income tax with one solitary and bedrock expectation: We are handing our money over so that the federal government will run. Some people may not like how the government operates; some may not care for a particular president or a particular member of Congress or a particular government program. We accept that, as we pay our taxes. We pay those taxes because we have to. We know that we don’t get to withhold those taxes just because we may dislike some of the people or programs the taxes are funding. But when we are told that the government has been shut down– that it has been closed for business — that’s different. We paid for that service. We had no choice. If we had paid for an airline ticket, and in the middle of our trip the airline informed us that one leg of our journey had been canceled, we would justifiably demand a refund. If we ordered an annual subscription to 52 weeks of a magazine, and then, a few months into it, the magazine told us that its new policy was to publish only 26 issues a year, we would, with good reason, ask for half of our money back. If we paid for a one-year membership in a health club, and the club announced that it would have to close for repairs for three months, we would expect a 25% refund. So … exactly when can we expect to see our refund checks from the federal government? We have paid for it to operate.

But don’t hold your breathe for that to happen.

While you’re sitting around waiting for Congress to get their shit together, there’s the matter of the Affordable Care Act. Now if you were able to actually get to the sign-up site, kudos to you. Almost 3 million people tried to sign onto the main federal website at HealthCare.gov, but it crashed and was slow moving. Administration officials said the crashes happened because people were enthused about being able to sign up. Critics on the other hand, of course they said it was just a sign of another failed government.

“Since midnight, 2.8 million people visited HealthCare.gov. We have received more than 81,000 calls so far,” Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters on an afternoon telephone briefing. “We are making improvements as we speak.”

President Barack Obama said the crashes were not completely unexpected. “Just a couple weeks ago Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days they found a glitch, so they fixed it,” Obama said. “I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”

Clutchettes, have you signed up for the Affordable Care Act?

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  • I’m going to try and sign up in 30 days. Hopefully, things will be running smoothly.

  • I tried today but the “system was down”. I’ll try to remember to sign up for it next week or so.

  • HTown

    “We are handing our money over so that the federal government will run”

    We don’t pay taxes so that the federal government will run. We pay taxes to owe back money loaned to us from the federal reserve plus interest.

    Mr Greene is mistaken, We aren’t owed anything and the thought that the government shouldn’t expect us to pay taxes is laughable.

    • JS

      I am curious how to sign up because I am damn sure the federal government has never personally loaned me a single red cent. The Federal Reserve is essentially the government’s bank which regulates currency and financial facilities (including the banks we use as well as credit unions). Due to mismanagement of funds, etc. to help economy in times of crisis they do loan money to banks and big corporations but never to the average people. Any loans we do get from the government via education,etc are expected to be paid back ON TOP OF taxes.

      Please elaborate on your meaning cause I am lost.

    • HTown

      Although the federal government hasn’t directly loaned you anything, you are still in debt and owe taxes to cover interest on money loaned to this country. Everyone in this country is indirectly in debt to the feds (central bank) whether you made a conscious decision to or not. And yes that is on top of any educational and/or private loans. It kind of sounds like we are saying the same thing a little bit.

      My comment though was in regards to the expectation that we shouldn’t pay taxes as if that has anything to do with the government shutdown. Interest is still owed on past loans regardless.

    • Cee cee

      @htown. You have no idea what you are talking about!

    • HTown

      Oh really? Then please enlighten me. So this country is not in debt? Of course you are not going to answer no to that so my next question is who are we in debt to and who is responsible for paying that debt?
      I’ll wait……

  • mEE

    I’ve been trying to sign up for the past 3 days with no luck. the site is always timing out or just completely down.
    I have COBRA for the next 3 years from my old job, which is being paid by my new job so there’s no rush. but still it would be nice to have something a little more permanent. or at least see what my options are. hope the glitches get worked out soon

  • I signed up for affordable care act on march march 2,2013 since then have lost my job.The only thing I know so far is that on 4/1/14 my insurance kicks in. Have nor heard anything else ,no calls,email or nothing!whats up?