Lawmakers recently unveiled their “Pledge to America” and invited Congress to approve several bills that would reduce the size of government which they believe will rein in spending.
The “Pledge” itself is awesome! It reminded me of what it truly means to be an American. It also reminded me of the reasons why I chose to serve my country in the military and now as a Federal employee!
Of particular concern, however, are lawmaker proposals issued on the heels of this pledge that penalize federal employees even though such penalties are shamelessly being masked behind feigned altruism and political rhetoric.
Lest anyone be reminded, back in the 90’s, long before sighting this economic downturn, some job-seekers made conscious decisions to forego private sector salaries in order to serve this country in some way. We joined the military, we chose the lesser paying government jobs of the time, and some of us even chose both! And, if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t believe this, I will reiterate more clearly: we gave up a lot in the 90’s when there was a lot more to be gained in the private sector!
It might also enlighten some to learn that Federal employees ALSO have been hit hard by the downturn in today’s economy! Despite our employment, we too have spouses who have lost jobs; our children have moved back in with us; our homes have gone into foreclosure; and we struggle just like the rest of our fellow Americans. Even still, some lawmakers are using the “divide and conquer” method of selling government workers short to gain support from the under or unemployed. This is a subtle tactic but clearly, it could be effective if John Q. Citizen buys into their political propaganda and to what they’re being spoon-fed by newspapers and the 6pm news!
We’re not islands here, folks! Federal employees are part and parcel, mired together in this economic downturn with every other American!. We’re hurting from this downturn just like everyone else. Yes! We are sharing the pain with our fellow Americans even though some have suggested otherwise. We watch helplessly while our deferred retirement accounts plummet; we worry if we’ll be able to make ends meet; we’ve decimated our savings to pay our bills; we’ve missed payment cycles; we’re watching our take-home paychecks shrink; and we have to make choices between health care and hunger.
Fed workers have devoted the past decade of our lives struggling against the political foray while continuing to defend our country, protect our borders, service the benefit claims and process the billions of applications for stimulus dollars at break-neck speeds just to help the rest of our neighbors and the other sectors of the economy. Sadly, our thanks for caring about our fellow citizens rides on a political agenda that points the proverbial finger at us. But, what’s truly ironic is that we’re willing to accept less hope for ourselves if it means restoring health to our sickly economy! Despite our efforts, Federal employees are under attack.
If any one of us has bought into the stuff we hear on the 6pm news, “shame on you”. Shame on you for allowing yourself to be swayed by politicians and propaganda designed to divide us into “the haves” and “have nots”. We’re in this together, no matter what each of us is facing.