As you know by now, I’m not always on top of current events – I rely on my community to alert me when something is going on and otherwise, I fill my days with doing what I can to earn my own keep…
(Those of you who take your citizenship responsibilities seriously, please forgive me. If I keep track of everything my government is doing or not doing, pretty soon, I’m so depressed, I cannot contemplate getting out of bed in the morning – therefore, if the world is to benefit from my existence at all, probably best I’m not well informed…)
I, buried in writing and such, was unaware of the impending government shutdown until a chat with a friend this morning informed me it has arrived. I dutifully opened my browswer and read the news stories from a variety of sources and while I admit, I’m not armed well enough to engage in a battle of wits with someone who lives and breathes this stuff, I will say this…
If the shutdown requires thousands of employees to be furloughed and lose out on paychecks, then why on earth are Congress salaries not on the chopping block as well?
I cannot get past the fact that all but the most basic functionality of the government can be shut down, but those who are at the source of government wheels grinding to a halt get their paycheck no matter what happens…
How, I ask, is this a logical system? Those who create havoc do not have to suffer the consequences of their stalemate – or at least not until their next election bid.
Would they work somewhat harder at doing the job they were hired to do, if they knew they, too, would not be drawing a paycheck until they got things running?
According to one news scoop, the shutdown of 1995-1996, which I remember well, cost taxpayers 1.4 billion dollars.
Why does it cost us? I don’t remember anyone calling me and saying, “Hey! If you don’t decide to get something fixed, it’s going to cost you and your fellow taxpayers 1.4 billion dollars – so, what are you going to do?”
Had they called, I would have raced over to the office, fixed a 50 gallon urn of truck stop style coffee, locked me and other committee members in and said, “No one leaves until we have a solution – nope, not even to use the bathroom – WE ARE NOT WASTING THIS MUCH MONEY”.
But, I didn’t get the call.
Shame – I probably could still go 20 hours or so at a time, if the need called for it…
As with most of my political commentaries, I have little hope this rant will accomplish much or anything at all…
But I do question why those I’ve talked to do not feel the sense of outrage I do. So far, the most commentary I’ve gleaned is,
“Well, it’s just a political stunt – It’ll be fine – They’ll get it worked out. It’s just sad it’s come to this.”
I will disclose, those I’ve talked to are not among the furloughed employees.
Had I pulled these kind of stunts during my working career, I’d have gotten fired… And not 2 to 4 years from now, either – –
My departure would not have required a costly re-call election process either….
My boss would’ve simply said, “Tamrah, you’ve steadfastly refused to do the job we hired you to do. Here’s your pay through today, security is here to escort you from the building.”
Firing and escorting from the building is a feasible plan, logistically speaking – I’m fairly certain those charged with protecting our Congress and on-site to remove dead-weights from the building were not among those furloughed.
Adding links to others writing on this subject, as well as the link to sign the petition demanding Pay Freezes for Congress when they choose this route:
The Petition Site – Demand A Pay Freeze for Congress
IPledgeafallegiance blog – The Villains, Thieves and Scoundrels