- Posted October 4, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
Dear Government Officials...
Recently our government has entered a partial shutdown for the first time in almost 20 years. The specifics of this issue are at best fuzzy. There are many forms of media that claim to know the whole story, but as we all know that is not always the case. Many issues that have affected millions of people in the country, for example the sequestration, have hit our country deeply in the very recent past. I don’t claim to be a political or government guru, but this issue in particular affected coworkers as I work in academic research, which receives most funding from sources such as the National Institute of Health.
Alas we have to work through it and move on. As a group of academic researchers we cannot simply say, “well, we don’t like it so we are just going to shut down academic research.” The real world does not work that way. I am not here to blame sides, unlike our government has been doing as the news outlets have shown so beautifully. I want to explain my disgust as what we are seeing, what we are witnessing as a nation.
We are always told to vote for our politicians, that “our vote matters”. This is true, to an extent. Our vote matters, on who gets elected. But then, for those 2-4 years we practically have no say in what happens on any issue. We have come to a time where there is a high school feud going on in our government and we cannot do anything about it. Hundreds of thousands of people have been furloughed because a decision could not be made on x y or z. The specifics of the decision do not need to be discussed at this time.
It is as if the politicians have forgotten how they got there in the first place. In a real world situation, where people are working so much they have no time to see their families, working so much they have hardly any time to eat or sleep, working so hard to try and keep their head above water, if they decided to not do their job they would be fired. Right now our Congress, our government has shut down and are still being paid, while these 800,000 public service employees are being sent home without pay because of something YOU could have avoided. Congress, you did not do YOUR job and the rest of the country is paying for it. Explain to me where the fairness is. Regardless of the reason for the shutdown, you failed at your job. It is YOU that should be furloughed.
The day prior to the shutdown it was said that the Senate was to be in session at 2PM. That is a joke and a slap in the face to the American people. There is a deadline quickly approaching yet it seemed to not be a big enough issue to arrive first thing in the morning and discuss. This is what you are paid to do! I work as salary position working over 40 hours a week and I am in school, do I complain about working too much, or try to come in real late one day? NO because that is what I signed up for. Again I bring to light how we are encouraged to vote for our politicians, but what makes no sense is that we vote officials into office, and then we see on CSPAN or whichever media source, that 32% make it to the polls on different issues. Explain to me how that makes any sense. Better yet, explain to the American people and your constituents. Do not dare say that there are too many issues to vote on, because the hardest working people in America never say no, and when work piles on they stay working day and night until it is complete. Until they satisfy the needs of the company. America is your company and the American people are your bosses. It’s about time you stop thinking about yourselves and whether you “win or lose” a particular argument, law, or bill, and start thinking about the American people and your constituents. As far as I’m concerned CONGRESS passed Obamacare bill in 2009. If you didn’t like it then, you should have stopped it.
What is done is done and for you all to not agree on the spending and practically holding to a stalemate because things don’t go your way is ridiculous. You have to compromise on the issues. Get away from changes to Obamacare, the law was passed and is in effect. Do not dwell on the past but look to the future. Our country relies on you all to make the difference. All we can do is have a voice; it is you all that sign the bills. America has been in a state of disarray, but if we do not start working together it will only get worse. We must, as a nation, as a Congress, stop looking to our differences and look at how we can benefit one another. Stubbornness is not a virtue, and right now there are hundreds of congress people too stubborn to make a decision to avoid problems such as the shutdown. The approaching debt ceiling issue is another one that will not change overnight but will need the work of everyone to begin to cut our bill, reduce spending (in the right places), and bring America back to the strong country it has always been seen as. If we have a plan to cut $100 billion in the next 10 years, yet our budget is surpassed by $10 billion/yr in that time span then we accomplished nothing.
My message here is that the American people expect our politicians to work tirelessly until this issue is resolved, and more so after to make sure this does not happen again. It will take the aid of everyone to make this happen. Remember why this happened. Remember who is affected. Remember how this is affecting the very people who VOTED for you. You claim in your political campaigns to work hard for the people. Well now you get your shot.