Friday, April 8, 2011

Washington, DC...GROW UP ALREADY

 So as you know, since I wrote this an agreement was made and a budget prepared.  I'm not sure my opinions have changed however.

If something doesn't happen by midnight Friday, my husband who has been employed by the federal government for 36 years, will be unemployed.

That's right, a man who served in the Army for 3 years and civil service for 33 years will be sitting at home on Monday because the government is shut down. And will not be receiving a paycheck. At the present time, there is no provision for back pay.

And while our situation is not good,  it pales comparison to what is going to happen to the military.

Military personnel, while still having to report to duty, will not be receiving pay starting Monday.

Let's listen to the words of Emily O'Donnell as reported by CNN.
"Military mom Emily O'Donnell has a solution for the government to avoid a shutdown: "Go to your room and do not come out until your job is done."

The 27-year-old mother of four is "furious" that parts of the federal government could shut down tomorrow if Congress cannot agree on a budget. If that happens, paychecks for military workers could be delayed indefinitely. Troops are guaranteed back-pay, but not knowing when they'll receive a check could put some military families in financial crisis.

"If a 27-year-old can make a budget for her family on one income, there's no reason that (the government) can't," said O'Donnell, who says she'll have money for food but little else if her husband doesn't get paid. He's stationed in Italy and is due to go to Afghanistan. "I would love to see some common sense, and some acknowledgment that they're ruining lives."

The O'Donnells just bought a house in LeRoy, New York, and Emily fears she won't be able to pay the mortgage if there's a shutdown. She won't be able to afford medication or specialists for her daughter, who has chronic ear infections. And if she uses up the $1,000 in her bank account, "my plan is a food kitchen."

"I really don't think they understand the scope," she said."

A military family with a soldier due to go Afghanistan is worried about getting medication for her child, mortgage payments, and food for her family. How does a soldier focus on his or her mission when worried about the financial welfare of their family. And the games in Washington continue.

While our representatives play their political games and try to one up each other, they are people losing money that most can ill afford to lose.  Do I care who wins? Does that Private First Class in the Army with two kids care? Does that soldier in Afghanistan care? Does that civil servant single mother secretary care?

And the sticking point?  Funding for Planned Parenthood. Are these ideological issues important.  Yes they are.  Very important.  But discuss them on your own time.  Do not hold a country hostage will you sort out your differences.

When I taught kindergarten and my students acted like the Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Party are right now I kept them in from recess and made them all apologize. Perhaps the politicians in Washington DC should stay in and apologize to the American people for this mess.

And by the way, the guys in Washington DC...they are still getting paid.

Compromise already, guys!

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