Let’s face it folks, if anyone deserves to be furloughed these days it’s obviously the U.S. Congress. The so-called “People’s House” has become a house of shame – a “Do Nothing” Congress.
Our august national legislative body has turned its back on the American people for partisan political purposes and personal political self-interest. Our broken Congress gives a bad name to America’s cherished democratic form of governance.
Today’s Congress is totally dysfunctional and cannot, or will not, address the major problems confronting America. In fact, Congress has only succeeded in making a bad situation worse, to our collective detriment.
Indifferent & Negligent
Our purported “legislators” on Capitol Hill have failed miserably in their job duties. In fact, the Congress has not only been indifferent, but negligent to the very Americans who elected them to serve with honor and distinction — both of which have been in short supply.
Draconian and needless across-the-board budget cuts to federal agencies and critically important domestic programs — buttressed by the subsequent furlough of the federal workforce — have resulted in, among other perilous problems:
- Fewer food safety inspections,
- Less law enforcement and national security,
- Cuts to vital youth education programs like Head Start,
- Cuts to “Meals on Wheels” which helps the most indigent citizens eat,
- Decimating by 80% the U.S. Army’s training program.
Moreover, it gets even worse. It’s shameful and unconscionable that some Medicare recipients stricken by cancer reportedly cannot even get chemotherapy due to cuts in the Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors that treat them — a potentially deadly outcome of the sequester.
And let’s not forget those long lines at the airport…the list goes on and on.
But wait, Congress actually did swiftly pass legislation – a rare feat – ending the furlough of air traffic controllers just at the very time lawmakers recessed for a week-long vacation. This is pathetically ironic. Congress sure has some nerve.
The plain spoken and candid Sen. John McCain told NBC News while catching a flight out of Dodge City at Reagan National:
“I don’t have to now wear a mask or disguise as I go through the airport, I’m happy to say.”
And he really wasn’t joking. At least the guy’s honest and real.
“All politics is local”
It’s outrageous for American taxpayers to get hurt while members of Congress who are responsible remain virtually unaffected and indifferent to the situation – that is, unless or until it personally affects them or their constituents back home at the local level.
You know that famous saying, “All politics is local” – coined by former House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, who worked together with President Reagan to move America forward, just as numerous Presidents and Congress of different parties have done throughout history.
Yes, millennials, you heard correctly. A long time ago, in a Congress far away, Republicans and Democrats once worked cooperatively to reach legislative compromise and consensus for the good of the American people — because that’s how it’s supposed to work in a well functioning democracy.
But not today — not this Congress with some members allegedly more concerned with damaging the Obama Presidency than fixing America’s long list of pending problems.
They won’t be missed
Regardless of their selfish motives, this Congress likewise deserves to be furloughed for an extended time period. My guess is no one would miss them, except perhaps the K Street crowd of national lobbyists whom members of Congress have in their back pockets — and vice versa.
Congress should be held accountable and take responsibility for all the political paralysis and broken government on Capitol Hill. Our elected officials in Congress are the ones who have dismally failed to perform their jobs. So why aren’t they being furloughed like other feds?
Why are hard working and dedicated federal civil servants — not to mention the American people — being punished instead of Congress which caused this mess? It’s the same old Washington blame game, albeit the superficiality of which most Americans can see right through.
Federal employees are the ones who pledge their lives and careers to patriotically serving the American people through good times and bad. Yet we are the ones on the firing line for no fault of our own.
Why? The answer is simple:
We have a Congress full of cowards putting party above country and political self-interest above the national interest.
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* All views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.