The Government Shutdown

Oct 05, 2013 -- 11:21am

Just a few thoughts on “The Government Shutdown”…

(Charlie Rood - October 5, 2013)

 

I don't deny there are many people who will face personal hardships because of the shutdown.   We are already hearing stories.   More on that in a moment. 

However, my first reaction to the shutdown is "YAWN"!   That seemingly non-caring reaction is because of something I remember from past shutdowns, which is NOTHING!  

I was pondering this the other day when I heard Rush Limbaugh put it in perspective.   Whether you agree or disagree with Rush, you at least know he is aware of what is happening, especially politically.

Rush was wondering why, of all the government shutdowns that have occurred, he only recalls this one and the one in 1995.   I think the total number of shutdowns I’ve seen is seventeen.   Only these two mattered?  I don’t recall all the pain and suffering previously?   Well…  

If I understand correctly, until about 1981, if a shutdown happened, nobody really noticed because government workers could still work when not being paid.   But then a rule was changed and workers couldn’t work without being paid.   So change the rule back!   I’m not suggesting workers shouldn’t be paid, but at least government could still function while lawmakers negotiated.  

Something else changed, too, especially in the 90’s and today.   The media coverage.   These days, the buildup to a possible shutdown is reported as an “end of the USA as we know it” scenario.   Then, when the shutdown is active, the “body count” starts.

Adding to this media mayhem are the politicians who willingly contribute to “shutdown coverage” with  continuing rhetoric.   They end up talking more to the cameras than they do each other!               

As the blame game is played out, nothing gets done.   Each side is holding firm to its demands.   A stalemate.   Big deal.  

Some government run institutions are shutdown, some programs are curtailed, and some employees are not paid.  

That means some institutions stay open, some programs continue, and some employees are paid.   Those paid include the lawmakers responsible for the shutdown!

Are the republicans not "playing fair" in this shutdown?   Are the democrats simply "protecting Obamacare"?

Neither side is breaking any rules.   They are breaking trust with the American people.

Now, nobody likes the stories of how families face difficulties because of the shutdown.   Real stories are worthy of real attention  and worthy of real solutions.  

BUT, when you also have stories that don’t need to be stories, you have to wonder what is going on?

I’m talking about the World War II Memorial and the veterans.   Who had the bright idea to close that down when it’s never closed in the first place?   Barricades and guards?   Talk about made for media coverage!  

My idea to end this shutdown and prevent others?   Lawmakers and the President stop getting paid and don’t get backpay.   They are forced into non-stop negotiations, locked in until their work is done.   They can take out their own trash, clean their own bathrooms, and fend for themselves in whatever ways necessary.    AND, they don’t talk to the media until after reaching an agreement!

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