- Posted October 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
I am a working, slightly below middle class 27 year old man. I carry two jobs and work about 70 hours a week combined to make ends meet. I am currently paying off a $10,000 debt for student loan to the US Dept of Ed. Due to lack of responsibility when I was younger I was forced to accept a deal to pay off this amount in 90 days. If I miss a payment on this loan, I was told my wages will be garnished. Seeing as I barely make that amount in 3 months time between both jobs I was forced to cut back on nearly every non-essential expense possible. Making the necessary sacrifices that I must make to better my circumstance for the present and my future. Congress is doing the opposite. They are putting their debt on the back-burner. Will they get their wages garnished to pay our debt while they argue over political jargon they've had months to work out? No. So they are putting the future of our economy and millions of Americans' jobs and money in jeopardy for their own egotistical agendas. If I were to stop working even one of my jobs, I would be left with less money, defaulted loan amount, and wage garnishment. Those are risks I am not willing to take. Congress has stopped doing its most important job, FUNDING THE GOVERNMENT. I have chosen to stand up and rise to the occasion, be accountable for my mistakes and do the necessary work to correct them. Congress is not showing accountability. They are risking jobs for everyday, tax-paying FEDERAL workers. They are risking the 401ks of people who have spent their life working for to retire. They are risking the hard-earned money millions of Americans have invested into the stock market in pursuit of the "American dream". It seems that is all it is anymore. A "dream". While rich big-wigs argue over already passed laws, Americans are out of work. Lucky enough not to be one of them I am grateful. But me, my father, mother, sister, and friends are all affected if they do not pass a budget and our 401k's and stock portfolios are at risk to tank in the market. All the money we have worked hard to obtain will just be a victim of Congress' bargaining-ship. That doesn't seem like something our forefathers would respect or admire. Those great men worked hard to make our country good for the people. These "men" in Congress are doing what's good for their own political agendas, whether they need campaign supporters or votes for next election. Our Congressman feel that when elected they have the right to pursue their wants and needs, when it is the VOTERS' rights and needs that got them elected. America once stood for something more. Stood for the right things. Now the government is a burden on every American. Income taxes continue to rise. We pay the government so that we can make money, then we pay sales tax to our states on money we spend. Yet our government continues to bury itself in debt? Where is all this money going? I'm sure there is a legitimate answer to that question, but after I get taxed on my income, pay to spend the money, purchase health insurance, and so on normal American are left searching for money to live their life. We can barely afford to buy a car, and if we do we can't drive a car without car insurance. The dream of owning a home is even harder to get to and if you are luck enough to afford it you can't buy it house without mortgage insurance. When does it end? The current government is crippling the American people to feed our defense department? Lock up citizens? Yet our teachers are underpaid and large companies continue to cut payroll as profits rise? This is the American dream? I hope not. I have no children because I can't afford it. But then again, would I really want to bring a child into this world? A world where jobs are being cut by the second; raises for companies are minimal if even a raise at all. Hard work is supposed to pay off. In this economy many hard working Americans get laid off, get told that a company who gives million dollar bonuses to CEO's and CFO's that they cannot afford to give the men and women keeping their business going at store/office level more than a 1-2% raise if any? Is this what our forefathers had in mind when starting this once fine state of unions? I think not. I think we are only left with remembering how great this country once was. Growing up I thought American was the great land of opportunity. It was all I read in history books about great men overcoming difficulty and doing anything to stand up for what's right. What's right is to fund the government. Fund jobs for federal workers. Open up parks for families to take their children whose minds are still full of creativity and imagination. I have made mistakes in my life. I have stood up and accepted them and done what I can to correct them. Congress needs to do the same. Or maybe that too is just a dream.