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My recipe for fixing the government shutdown

My recipe for fixing the government shutdown

I haven’t ranted in a while, so buckle up.

I’ve covered politics in journalism for quite some time, both as a photographer and a writer. After doing it rather successfully, I grudgingly came to the conclusion that I was no longer cut out to bring the foibles of Washington to you for a number of reasons.

  1. My parents were married when I was conceived.
  2. I didn’t look sufficiently stupid enough.
  3. I don’t suffer fools gladly. Never have, never will.

Stupidity and me are like oil and water; we just don’t mix. Reading the current insanity of our government actually being shut down because all the kids can’t play nice in the sandbox irritates me just as much as the next guy but guess what? I have a recipe for fixing the whole damn thing.

  1. The government is actually closed for business, and our elected officials are still drawing a paycheck. That would change drastically, despite some of the more functionally retarded members of Congress saying that they’ve earned their paycheck, and they have a nice house they have to pay for. If the government is closed, then every single member of both houses goes on unemployment. If it’s good enough for the furloughed workers, it damn well should be good enough for them, right? Let’s see them live in $390.00 a week that you have to pay tax on. Just to give you an idea of how much money they’re making for a closed, broken government, a House of Representatives maximum annual salary is $172,500 bucks. $3317.00 a week. In a year, these guys (and gals) make $82.93 an hour. And the government they run is currently closed and broken. They should be put on unemployment rates until they fix the mess they made.
  2. All of their perks? Gone. No more congressional gym, cafeteria, preferred parking, office expenses, mail allowances, or my personal favorite “Members Representational Allowance”. That’s how much loot they get for running their DC offices, soup to nuts. Want to know how much they get? On average, $1,353,205 to run their offices. That’s money out of our pockets, not theirs. That one is a congressional provision. Being an elected official isn’t really about the salary, it’s about the perks. All of it gone. and it now comes out of their own pockets. I doubt a single furloughed worker has been able to call their mortgage company, electric company, credit card company or auto loan company and hand out an IOU. The Congress should have to experience the joy that comes with having to hold off your creditors through no fault of your own just as the furloughed workers do
  3. Give every single one of them an EBT card and let them get their own food. In Illinois for example, a family of four has to make it on $668.00 a month. $22.26 dollar a day to feed four people. $5.56 per person, per day.  (the rates pretty much tally up to the same thing for a single person household).  Let every single one of our elected House and Senate officials try that. Why not, the workers they furloughed will have to, and so should they.
  4. Anyone who can’t play nice with the kids across the aisle should be put on progressive discipline until they are terminated. No grandstanding will be tolerated under any circumstances, and those not in compliance will be suspended without pay.
  5. Every member of Congress will be forced to work sun up to sun down until the government is reopened for business. Cots will be brought into their offices, and they will each receive a college style refrigerators for the goodies they scrounged up on their EBT card. I’ve worked for company after company over the course of 33 years, and when the shit hits the fan, you roll up your sleeves and start digging your way out. You’re not given any perks other than basic necessities until you’ve saved the company. Why should it be any different for Congress?
  6. Every single member of Congress will be forced to answer their own office phones for two hours a day. There will be no staffers to run interference between them and their constituents who are furloughed; they’ll have to talk to them all. I don’t think two hours is that much of a sacrifice to listen to the problems of the people who live in the area you represent, do you?
  7. If you’re the Speaker of the House or Senate and the government closes, then a bipartisan committee will be immediately convened to find the solution to the problem. Who’s not playing nice? House or Senate?  If it’s on your side of the street, then you’re immediately fired.  Speaker Boehner makes more than a quarter of a million dollars a year just for being the Speaker, in addition to his salary as a representative.  Nothing is getting done under his “leadership” so over the side he goes.  No life preserver.
  8. Last, but certainly not least, all the above will stay in effect until the government is reopened for business.

See? I told you I don’t suffer fools gladly. Trust me: implement my program and the government will be fixed in no time.

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