Tuesday, October 1, 2013
U.S. Government Shuts Down
By Justin Cates
In a fateful twist the United States Government is in the process of a partial shut-down on the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park being designated as such.
Yeah you guessed it, the Park is closed now.
So is just about every government agency—NASA is furloughing 97% of their folks—unless they're designated essential. In that case, the people are coming to work...they just aren't getting paid.
America! Breathe it in friends. That's the smell of good old fashioned red, white and blue incompetence.
Now there are some who will point out that the last two government shut-downs have occurred under democratic administrations; President's Obama and Clinton. They will say this implies that the blame lies with those on the more liberal end of the American political spectrum.
Still, there are those who will say it's the fault of the largely Republican Congress' in both instances who are to blame for such a lack of leadership.
Both sides of this argument would be wrong.
It's a collective blame that must be shouldered in this and every case of ineffectual governance by these supposedly "exceptional" American citizens who claim so boldly to be running our government.
Bad governing, and thus, bad policy is bipartisan.
There's no way around the fact that all American politicians are incapable of affecting meaningful change without simultaneously asking, "What's in it for me?"
President Obama made a statement yesterday that cut to the heart of the matter regarding the ongoing "negotiations" in Congress.
"I shouldn't have to offer anything," he said.
"They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government; that's not doing me a favor. That's doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities."
Now, why President Obama didn't say this years ago is far beyond me to guess. Perhaps he thought it was painfully obvious, but it clearly isn't.
I won't begin to delve into the nitty gritty of this political tomfoolery, largely because it's below me to stoop to the level of our elected officials.
I'm not a politician. I'm not cut out for the work as I possess both a spine and a moral compass that responds as it should to magnetic north.
Like most Americans, I believe that a representative government should work for the people. We don't always agree on what's best, but we agree the lights should always be on. It sets a bad precedent when government agencies don't show up to work.
It sends an even worse message when people deemed so vital to our nation's well-being that they must continue working during a government shut-down do just that, but aren't compensated for their efforts.
Sure, they'll most likely be paid later but that's part of the problem.
We've elected a government so focused on the now that they haven't the slightest concern for down the road. Our officials at present can't even agree on a short-term fix that won't actually fix anything. There's no agreeing to delaying our biggest problems.
We're bearing witness to a full-on power grab and the scum-sucking greedheads in Washington claiming to speak for the people don't actually give a damn about any of us.
They're focused on the future alright. Just not ours.