As we enter day two of the first government shutdown in 18 years, I can’t help but think we need to fire most of the members of Congress. I’m not saying that the President doesn’t also play a role, but term limits mean that his influence will wane in the relative short-term. A root problem underlying the shutdown: Black and white thinking.
I’m right. You’re wrong.
The type of “stalemate thinking” and political posturing we’re seeing now brings families, organizations, and yes, governments to their knees. According to CNN, we can attribute the shutdown to a dislike—or is that disdain— for Obamacare. This particular law does not have a line item on the Federal budget, so really, it has no purpose in today’s debate about how to fund basic operations.
I ask you. Is this political posturing worth the hardship the government has forced upon 800,000 workers… and frankly all U.S. citizens? It’s not just the economic impact of these families losing paychecks for an undetermined length of time and wondering how they’ll pay the rent and put food on the table. The shutdown impacts every single taxpayer through:
- The trickle down effect
- General economic uncertainty
- A burden caused by the added expenses associated with startup and shutdown
We have no way to predict the actual cost of this self-imposed crisis. Eighteen years ago, direct costs topped $2 billion in today’s dollars as people were reimbursed for their furloughs, uncollected fines, and taxes.
If I remember correctly, President Obama’s platform was one of change. I’ll say. Congressmen and women have become so entrenched in their personal stances they’d rather punish the American people than do their jobs. Meanwhile, the rest of the world laughs at our “superpower” status.
IMHO, it’s time to tighten up the requirements for becoming an elected official. Leadership, compassion, and open-mindedness are qualities required to effectively run any organization well. Why don’t we apply the same standard to the country’s leaders? Oh, and BTW, you don’t deserve your paychecks during the 2013 government shutdown. Not while others might be going hungry during a false crisis that you created.