A Simple Solution
As I write this, our government is held hostage. It’s on lock-down, or furlough, or whatever you want to call it, over the budget. And a few weeks hence we’ll most likely repeat the same international embarrassment over the need to extend the borrowing capacity of the government.
I hope the Taliban and Al Queda are paying close attention. They’ll quickly realize there’s no longer any need to send suicide bombers, incite insurrection, or provide an unlimited number of virgins in the hereafter to brain-washed horny nut jobs in order to paralyze the United States government. Relax, we’ll do it ourselves. We’ll paralyze ourselves and create financial chaos worldwide without a single bomb blast or loss of life.
Washington is hopelessly held hostage by a radical bunch of ideologues who call themselves Congressmen, using tactics envied by any schoolyard bully. My Way or the Highway, is their slogan. Their goal is the destruction of the democratic process and, like their Taliban terrorist brethren, they want a return to a prior period when they were in control. For the Taliban the goal is to return to the 12th century when Islam reigned supreme. For the Congressional Taliban the goal is to return to the gilded age of the Vanderbilts and Carnegies when capitalism reigned supreme. There’s only one thing blocking the Congressional Taliban from achieving their goal—we live in a democracy and the people still have a voice, though ever more feeble in the face of the Addelsons, the Koch brothers and others in the big money club.
There is, however, a simple solution to current and future imbroglios over the budget. It might require an executive decree, or even better, an amendment to the Constitution. It would never make it through Congress as a law. But what we need is a declaration, much like in colonial times.
We hold these truths to be self-evident...
When in the course of human events, the Congress of the United States fails to accomplish its stated task of governing, thereby forcing the government to shut down, the first order of any shut down will be the discontinuation of salary, health care, and associated perks to the members of Congress, their families, and their staff.
And, since Congress is addicted to pork barrel politics and they cherish the stunt of attaching unrelated riders to every piece of legislation, this declaration should have a rider stating, “The Congress of the United States, when contemplating military action of any sort and called by whatever name, will volunteer their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, to be the first called to assist in any conflict.”
A basic problem we currently have in our government is that those entrusted with the responsibility of governing have no personal investment in the outcome of their actions. In a government shutdown thousands of individuals are furloughed, millions are inconvenienced, but Congress members continue to draw their salary and utilize the best of medical facilities. Millions of our citizens are without health care while Congress members have a diamond encrusted gold plan that every American not in the one percent envies.
Which touches on another part of the problem. The vast majority of our Congresspersons are in the one percent. Do they really care if the government shuts down? Will a shut down effect them personally? Carefully, they’ve structured the current closure to exempt the TSA and the Veterans Administration. Closing those functions might invite mayhem in the streets. Sadly, most Congresspersons care about only one thing—their re-election. And that will be secured only be cozying up to the political money bags and doing their bidding.
I hardly consider myself a political firebrand. Rather, I’m an average concerned citizen. But I know my views are shared by many—just not expressed.