Can we re-open the government already?
by Grant Ferowich, Oct. 8, 2013
Its no secret that the U.S. government shutdown is bad for politics, and bad for the American people. In a democracy with the oldest constitution in the world, Americans have rightly come to have much higher standards for their elected leaders. However it is precisely this democratic process where the people’s voice matters that is being threatened with the current shutdown.
“Republican leader” is becoming an oxymoron. Ted Cruz’s antics have intensified efforts of right wing extremists in the House (and yes, this is 2013 we’re talking about.) Speaker Boehner meanwhile refuses to hold a vote on a clean continuing resolution even though the votes are almost surely there.
The fact of the matter is that the legislative opinion on Obamacare is largely irrelevant: shutting down the government cannot become a part of routine politics, just another part of political strategy to achieve narrow specific goals. As a generation that has witnessed a disgusting amount of TV ads chalked full of mudslinging, it is time we keep in mind not just what politicians say, but how they go about governing the American people. Shutting down the government cannot in good conscience become a valid political move.
The case of Washington elitism is plainly hurting the American people. This is the same Republican party that promised during campaign season that “jobs” and “economic growth” were the number one priority. Instead government employees are being laid off, or going to work without pay. Meanwhile cuts in funding toward state governments have led to thousands of teachers and other basic public services being dissolved altogether.
According to campaign season 2012, “government does not create jobs, the private sector does,” yet here we are in 2013 with Congress people making upwards of $174,000 per year. That is a salary more than three times the median household income of a typical American family of four, which is around $55,000. This doesn’t even consider Congress peoples’ benefits, which ironically include a luxurious healthcare package.
When the right wing extremists (a.k.a. Koch Brothers’ puppets) won election in 2010, they were essentially getting a gauranteed $696,000 over the next four years. This might be the only occupation in the modern economy where one can refuse to do his or her work, and yet keep getting up every morning to go to work.
American officials don’t live in the same reality as everyday Americans. The shutdown is another case of politics as usual, but if democracy is to be preserved this cannot happen. No matter where one’s ideas fall on the political spectrum, what we are witnessing today is a perfect case of how not to govern. Which is to not govern at all.
Tell Republicans to shut up, open the government, put people back to work, and make an effort at doing the job they were elected to do–pass legislation and keep America functioning and thriving.They could start with legislation to get Americans working again: