Face it, no matter how hard we try to NOT think about it, we’re all faced with the shut down of the federal government. Probably the ones feeling it the least are the same people responsible for not agreeing on a compromise for the budget. While those who are not members of Congress lack the fine detail of why there has been no agreement in our lame duck Congress for a budget, one single fact has become quite obvious to everyone.
Congress failed to do its duty to America and its citizens.
In my eyes, its the equivalent of treason because it goes way past inefficiency and lack of sincere concern. The shut down isn’t merely a mild inconvenience, it is putting America at genuine risk.
All because they can’t get their own way?
Everybody wants to point their finger at Obama as being the one responsible for everything from the Affordable Health Care Act to the economy. The reality is that the executive branch does not legislate. Unless the action was the result of an executive order, it was the result of legislation passed by Congress and then, only then, signed into law by the president. That means that the so-called Obamacare plan was enacted in a lawful manner by Congress, whether you or I either one actually like it or wanted it. Our representatives and senators are the responsible parties, not Obama. If you hate it, hate them. If you like it, like them. All Obama did or could do was advise during the legislative stage and sign it into law after Congress had brewed and stewed over it.
So with that understood…understand this. The government shut down came about because Congress could not reach an agreement on a budget. It wasn’t the supreme court’s judges or the governor of California or the prime minister of the United Kingdom’s fault, and it’s not Obama’s either. The responsible parties are the ones that you elected, right in your home state, and they likely have offices near your home so that they can theoretically keep in touch with their constituents.
You can believe me that I know the name of our two senators and my representative, and I know their email addresses too. I also know exactly how long it takes for me to receive their form responses to any comments I email them–1-4 months. Do I think they are particularly responsive to their constituency in this day and age?
Will I vote for any of them ever again.
Double that hell no.
But you know what? Incompetent job performance, which is what has resulted in the government shut down, should result in termination. That creates a bit of a dilemma. Some of those in Washington probably put sincere effort into trying to do their job, but were hopelessly outgunned by the majority who were refusing to do so. With so much incompetency though, we are stuck with a blanket solution in order to have a plausible solution at all.
I think a government shut down should have serious repercussions for the ones responsible for causing it. Things like:
- No member of Congress should receive pay or any other benefits during a government shutdown, including retirement pay, medical care, per diem, etc.
- No congressional support staff should receive pay or any other benefits during a government shut down, and cannot be coerced into performing their duties during the shut down.
- No member of Congress or congressional support staff shall receive retroactive pay or benefits for the duration of the government shut down.
- 30 days after the initial day of a government shut down, all senators and representatives will be facing elections in their home states to maintain their seat or be replaced for the duration of their term. That would at least give us a new Congress that might get something done, as well as reducing the likelihood of any shut down occurring to begin with. We all know how these career politicians like to protect their cushy jobs.
When the discomfort of shut downs are affecting Congress as much as they are everyone else, perhaps they will work a little harder to try and do their job. Besides, if they aren’t getting paid or enjoying the many perks of their position, we might save a bit on the budget and make a shut down worthwhile. And the best part of a shut down? We would have a national opportunity to clean house and get a new crew in that just might do the job the way they are supposed to.
Can we say “congressional job fair” folks?