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My broken watch and a government shutdown..

September 30, 2013 The Wine Time Dad 0 Comments Category :

What really happens if they shut the gov't down until further notice? I suppose if you're working for the private sector, then not much. It probably doesn't concern you- just another instance where you can look at the gov't and say, "Yup. They're incompetent." And, it's true that they are incompetent. It's also more than that, especially for someone who works for the Fed. Whose lively-hood depends on being able to go work, make money, and provide for their families.

You see, for congress, this is a struggle over ideology. They can go on camera and talk about how this is really a fight for freedom, a fight for the American people's wants and needs. It's about healthcare and the freedom to choose your doctor, your hospital, or your provider. They make it sound like healthcare was ruined by the reform that Obama implemented. But, that's not the truth. Healthcare has been broken for a long time, and some parts of the new healthcare bill (parts that weren't compromised away) do fix some of the glaring problems.

Yet, congress can afford to make their glib comments because if they shut the gov't down, it doesn't affect them. Congress still gets its paycheck and its amazing healthcare while everyone that works for them gets put on hold. So, the ideological battle is only superficial, this shutdown is really about them being stubborn and distanced from the very real affects of a shutdown.

Congress's distance from the repercussions of the impending shutdown is precisely what's wrong with it. The people who could do something to prevent it are so far removed from the consequences that they can't possibly understand their much lamented common man. They can't understand the stress of having to prepare for one of these shutdowns (it seems like congress threatens one of these every year, now). They don't feel anxiety about having their pay suspended while a bunch of bickering ideologues spout off about what everyone else in the country wants. This long ingrained anxiety of shutdown threats, furloughs, and pay freezes is bad for the country's health.

What everyone else in the country wants is for congress to resolve this issue so they can get back to work and be paid. If that means putting aside your party's ideologies and talking points, then so be it. Congress needs to walk into that building everyday with that thought in mind. They need to be reminded that they are little and don't matter so much, but who they represent and what they protect matters a great deal. And, by allowing a gov't shutdown because neither side will compromise (or maybe it's that one side really is acting like children throwing a tantrum), they are failing, grossly, in their duties.

The bigger immediate issue, here, is the hundreds of thousands of people that will be suspended without pay and the gov't defaulting on its debt, but you won't hear either side come on camera and talk about that. Why not pass a spending resolution right away so they can then go back to bitching about Obamacare afterwards. Like they've been doing since it passed into law. Or, do as some have suggested (probably Bill O'Reilly), and give people the option to opt into or out of Obamacare while they figure out how to fix it over the course of the next year. I know that sort of compromise won't necessarily look good for Obama, but, once again, it's not about him either.

But, don't force a shutdown because you can't reach an agreement or accept something that's already a law.

Politicians are cogs in a larger machine and they're functioning more like broken pieces... This watch (pick whatever machine metaphor you like) has stopped. It's a good watch. A sturdy watch. It's a watch that looks good when its worn but because it's not telling time, it's just jewelry.

I want my watch to start working again AND telling the right time...

In the meantime, I think I'll have a Maker's on the rocks.