Saturday, September 28, 2013

If Congress can't get its act together by Monday evening, lots of government workers will stop getting paid. I don't know about you, but if I didn't get my next paycheck, it wouldn't be pretty. I mean, ultimately, it'd be ok because my parents would cover me. (We've already discussed this when there were rumblings of my state not making payroll once.) But not everyone has parents who have the means to help out. I also have a retirement account I can take loans against, but again, not everyone has such a resource.

Instead, an awful lot of Americans would be pretty damn screwed if they missed out on even one paycheck. Most notably government workers, who tend to be lower-paid than their private sector counterparts. And most notably of all the lower ranking members of the US military, whose paychecks are among the smallest of federal workers. Of course, those military employees (you know, soldiers) who aren't going to get paid still have to show up to work every day.

It's infuriating that Congress is at this ridiculous point again. Just fund the damn government. And House Republicans, give up already. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. You lost the election that would have allowed you to repeal it, so stop trying. Come up with useful reform ideas if you hate it so much. But stop holding our government hostage because you refuse to recognize a law you just don't like. (And, honestly, is it possible at this point you just hate it at this point because you're afraid it might actually work?) Shutting down the government in this petulant manner will ultimately cost taxpayers so very much more than funding the law will.

The most disgusting thing I have read about all of this (today, at least) is that Ted Cruz, he of the not-quite-filibuster, has "no intention" of giving up his own paycheck if the government shuts down. Never mind that he can probably absorb the loss of one or two paychecks far better than the vast majority of federal employees who have no say in the matter.

Good to know who the Ted Cruzes of the world are looking out for.

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