Sunday, October 06, 2013

But They Closed Our Monuments!

People are really getting annoyed by the shutdown. Good. Wanna know some other things about this shutdown that really annoy me? Some of the stuff people are saying about the shutdown.

1. Why Did They Have To Close the Monuments?

People complaining about closing the national parks and monuments. Especially the monuments.

They are just statues, open memorials, they say. They don't even need anyone to run them. We have kept World War II vets from visiting the World War II memorial. Kept families from going to museums on vacation. One House member had the gall to make a park police officer apologize for the shutdown he voted for.

If you think having the monuments open doesn't require federal employees, you are wrong. Just because you don't see us (and there is part of the problem...we are all just nameless, faceless bureaucrats), doesn't mean we aren't there. We are there, and you want to know why? Because more go to those monuments than just vacationers and veterans. Know who else goes? People who leave their trash behind. People who like to vandalize. Kids (or kids in grown up bodies) who like to climb all over the monuments, fall down, break something, and then sue the government. So yeah, extra work had to be done to cordon off the monuments to protect the monuments and to protect visitors, just like extra work had to be done everywhere in the federal government in order to implement the shutdown. But that work meant that only one unpaid park ranger could monitor the monument instead of several unpaid park rangers and cleanup crews. It is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

In the same vein, why did they shut down all the websites? It isn't just to inconvenience you. It is that the websites, if left up, are vulnerable to hackers. Taking it down means not having to go through every piece of information on the site once this is all over to make sure it hasn't been altered. That, my friends, is also the fiscally responsible thing to do.

2. Isn't it great that all those House members offering to donate their salaries?

Yeah, it is awesome. They are getting their salaries and getting to donate them to the charity of their choice in exchange for looking like they are suffering along with the federal employees who are not getting paid. Two things: they have a choice to donate or not, whereas the laid off employees are just not getting paid. And two, I don't hear any of them saying that they will forego the nice tax deduction for those donations. So they will get their money back eventually.

And speaking of eventually...

3. Isn't is great that the House has passed a bill promising to give all of the laid off employees back pay when this is over?

Yeah, awesome. But here is the thing. Is your mortgage due eventually? Because mine isn't. Mine has a regular due date. As do my other bills. So great, federal employees will get their back money, hopefully in time not to destroy their credit and lose their homes. Oh, and I am sure their families can wait until eventually to eat.

Oh and here is the final one.

4. You wouldn't run your family budget the way the government runs their budget.

True, because they aren't the same. I can't print money or raise taxes. But here is the other thing. Raising the debt ceiling is not about cutting your family budget. It is much more like deciding not to pay the mortgage you already agreed to. And then not just losing your house, but being the straw that broke the bank's back so that they have to close, and everyone who they hold a mortgage on losing their homes too.

There are people who are cheering on those who pushed us to this point (even among my family and friends, who don't seem to get that they are cheering for me to be out of work. Something I would never do to them). But here is the thing. If they succeed, the country will be ungovernable. Because you have a minority group in the majority party in the House calling the shots over a law that was compromised on, approved by both houses, signed by the president, found constitutional by the Supreme Court and then vetted in a national election where the people chose not to give a majority in the Senate or the presidency to the party fighting against that law. Frankly, I don't care whether you like the law or not. If you don't like it, get it repealed the right way. Get like-minding people elected to the majority and have that majority repeal the law. But to do it this way, so that a minority can hold the country hostage and can lay off 800,000 people and stop the government from functioning and threaten the world's economy because they couldn't get the law repealed any other way, means that any time a minority group doesn't like a law, they can do the same thing. There will be no real laws. And the country will be completely ungovernable.

And then more than museums and monuments will be closed.


Connie said...

Another note about House members donating their salaries - most of them have sufficient salaries to have built up savings and an emergency cash reserve. This is NOT the case for many of our federal employees or military personnel. Not only must some of these good folk live paycheck to paycheck, many are also reliant on WIC and/or SNAP. Foregoing a paycheck for them is not only NOT a choice that they made for themselves, and it is not one that they could responsibly make, even if they wanted to.

The offer of members of the House to donate their salary, which, maybe some of them have made with the kindest of intentions.. or not... really is an empty and useless gesture.

Rick Riviezzo said...

Selfish is what selfish does, the rich want to own the government and make us their slaves, they do not care about anything but getting richer and us getting poorer.

Lynne said...

Thank you for saying it so eloquently. I say 100% ditto. And let's hope the insanity ends before it becomes unrecoverable - although we both know that for many it has already gotten there.

Annessa said...

Well said. I spent much of today, and last week, battling idiotic misconceptions from college students and actual people I know ...