The government shuts down in a spasm of irresponsible partisanship — and all either side wants to do is pump out sound bites blaming the other side.
So the furiously feuding politicians fail to perform their most fundamental duty — but still draw their paychecks. Turns out, Congress somehow came to the conclusion that it’s essential — as though they were soldiers on the front lines. So while the government’s shut down, the posturing politicos who provoked the problem keep drawing their $170,000 salaries and getting credit toward the five years of service it takes for them to get pensions. Get this: The average congressman gets a pension of about $50,000 annually. Oh, yeah: Their taxpayer-provided health benefits will also continue.
Now, that’s kind of ironic (actually, downright disgusting, but we’re trying to get a grip on our outrage). Please note: The crisis stems from an effort to prevent the federal government from providing health insurance to perhaps 32 million of their fellow citizens.
Now, critics of ObamaCare have raised numerous, legitimate concerns about the most ambitious effort to expand health coverage since the passage of Medicare in the 1960s. We share the concerns about individual mandate, the huge expansion of the troubled Medicaid program, the lack of effective cost controls and the piecemeal approach to the grave national crisis of spiraling healthcare costs. But the law passed legitimately almost four years ago. House Republicans have tried to change it at least 38 times since. They don’t have the votes. They lost the election. That’s Democracy.
So instead they’ve shut down the government, made this country an international laughing stock and harmed the voters they serve in an effort to win their point through blackmail.
Worse yet — in about two weeks the absurd and irresponsible manufactured crisis could spin even further out of control if the crazies decide to default on the nation’s debt payments.
Out here in the real world — working people are suffering.
Out here in the real world — we depend on the Grand Canyon to bolster the economy and we depend on veterans’ disability payments to arrive on time.
Out here in the real world — we need the Forest Service to appraise the land for a Payson university and get the 4-FRI thinning contracts approved and provide access to Fossil Creek. Instead, they’ve shut down their Web site and stopped answering the phone.
The people we pay so handsomely to run the government have run it into the ground — all the while prancing and posturing and shifting the blame.
There’s a word for that.
Oh, yeah: Disgusting.