How much more partisan politics can we stand as a nation?
Currently our government is shut down strictly so that President Trump can boost his re-election efforts with his base. Before I explain why this is true let me give you a firsthand experience of the needless pain this insanity inflicts on we the people that elected the morons that failed to perform their elected duties in a timely fashion.
Back 35 years ago, in my pre-retirement life shortly after I indebted myself with a 16.58 percent mortgage so that I could evacuate Baltimore City and move here to Carroll County, I was working for the federal government and living pay check to pay check. When the Congress opted to shut down I took solace in knowing that someday I was going to be fully paid for the time I wasn’t working while the government was closed. I was terrified that I was going to lose my American dream of owning a property and being able to pursue my goals. I worked very hard to put myself in a position to get this far and while these boobs in D.C. were playing partisan politics to see who would blink first, I was spooning peanut butter from a jar trying to exist until a resolution was finally reached.
I was, in a sense, lucky as I was able to sign up to substitute teach at several schools trying to fill in the void as best I could. Those deemed “essential” don’t have that luxury. They must work without pay or means to try to make up for some of it. People like the TSA workers at all of the nation’s airports. How safe did you feel flying this holiday season?
President Trump would like us to believe that most government workers are democrats because that best fits his scenario. I wasn’t in the habit of asking my coworkers what party they belonged to though I did notice quite a few Republican President’s pictures hanging in my co-worker’s offices. The government is the largest employer of former GI’s. The citizens that love to hate government employees don’t like when their national parks are closed. They don’t like limited VA services or late Social Security checks. They want air traffic controllers in the towers when they are flying. They want the FBI available to solve their crimes and Homeland Security at the ready when an emergency happens. They want their roads maintained. Need I go on? This is a large segment of our economy that we are inflicting needless pain upon.
Now back to the “Donald vs. Nancy and Chuck” show that I claim is pure partisan politics. Trump still hasn’t spent all of last year’s wall money yet! The amount that he is asking for now is nowhere near what the total final cost of walling the entire border will end up being should we opt to continue pursuing this most non-cost effective way of securing the border. Besides, wasn’t his campaign pledge that the Mexicans would pay for this wall? Why are we even having this discussion? Trump’s own party understands this and even with current control of both houses for a few more days they can’t pass what he wants. Trump was willing to settle for a lot less until Republican commentators (the real news people) goaded him into his current position. The deficit under Trump is expected to pass $1 trillion in the new year. We have aging infrastructure that needs immediate attention and threatens American lives daily.
Just as we have our own budgets to deal with, deciding what we can afford now and what we can do without for a bit longer is a never-ending battle. When dealing with human lives some of the decisions are forced upon us like them or not. Russian President Vladimir Putin starting a new arms race will put pressure on us to increase the already outrageous military budget. I can understand why resolving such issues is so difficult.
What I can’t comprehend is this insanity of self-inflicted pain of holding a gun to the head of those that disagree with our point of view.
The mightiest nation to ever exist should never be closed. As such, I offer once again my Constitutional Amendment that simply says “The U.S. Government can never be shut down. Should an operating budget not be completed by the deadline for a new one, spending shall continue at the rate of the last approved amount until a new budget is passed.”
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Steven Davidson writes from New Windsor.