Last night at midnight, the Republican controlled House of Representatives caved to the far right extremists in their ranks, the Tea Party anarchists, and allowed the government to fold rather than pass necessary legislation to keep the government running. They attempted to hold the nation hostage because they don't like a program properly debated and passed in their own body and in the Senate and found constitutional by the Supreme Court. They refuse to believe that providing affordable health care insurance for many suffering souls is the right thing to do. That is a stance I find morally reprehensible and antithetical to a nation that claims to follow Christian precepts. I won't even go into their loathsome behavior, trying to balance part of the budget on the backs of Americans who do not have enough to eat. I can say this. I will never vote for any politician this morally bankrupt. I will never support a party that finds this behavior acceptable.
Here's what the behavior of the House of Representatives is now going to cost US with their totally unnecessary government shutdown:
- A one week shutdown will cost the shaky economy about $10 billion ... just one week (and these are the same folks who want to cut aid to hungry Americans to try to balance the budget, what obscene nonsense). Remember, the US government is the nation's largest employer. During that time, our members of Congress, deemed "essential personnel" by ... well, members of Congress, will continue to receive their $174,000 a year salaries while average working Joes and Josephines in the government considered less than essential (but without whom most government functions will grind to a halt) will suffer from withheld pay. I wonder how their essential service providers and creditors will feel about that. Do you suppose those folks will be lenient with them when the bills come due and their checks don't. Yeah, me neither. All the while, our Congress people and Senators will feel no financial pain (and that really is at the heart of the matter isn't it?).
- Services providing healthy meals for 2.5 million seniors will lose funding. Sorry guys, guess you'll just have to tighten your belts a bit and go hungry. I know your representatives won't.
- An extended shutdown (and do you see the behavior of the Republicans in Congress allowing this to be short?!) will cut into veterans' compensation, pension, and education benefits. Sorry guys, you may have put your lives at risk in defense of your nation, but your representatives really don't care. They just want what they want, not matter what, thanks to their Tea Party radical fringe. Personally, I find that obscene and know you deserve far better for your valiant service.
- In an extended shutdown, mothers and young children may be cut off from vital nutrition assistance.
- Hundreds of thousands of workers are immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay. Again, your representatives will be rolling in dough while you can't pay the bills.
- This information is made available at www.whitehouse.gov Go check it out for yourselves.
The next thing to do is use this link to find YOUR member of Congress and give him or her hell! Let them know their current behavior is reprehensible, spineless, and morally bankrupt and you are extremely angry: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
If your representative is playing it cute like mine, you'll need the four digit extension on your Zip Code to leave an email. Here's where you can get that number: https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input.action Don't let that little maneuver discourage you from writing. Be civil but firm, polite but extremely clear. Enough voices speaking at once do make a difference, whether they are backed by big bucks or not. Remember, 76 percent of all Americans stood against bombing Syria from drones and our war hawks backed down. We really do count ... IF and only IF we stand together and speak clearly and often! I'll let you know what I hear back from my representative! I'll post it right here on the blog for all to see.
Tomorrow I'll move on to issues of more lasting value to you all, dear readers. Today, I will seethe over what is happening with what is supposed to be OUR government, but which has currently been hijacked by extremists and those too spineless to stand against them.
Update, 10/1/13, 10:00 PM: In the first day, the Federal Government's Affordable Care Act website (mentioned above: https://www.healthcare.gov/) was visited by 2.8 million Americans seeking healthcare. Hmmm. Seems more Americans like the idea than the Republicans want us to believe! That was just day one.
These House Republicans seem to be working toward a "brave new world" an economist recent wrote about, a future world I refuse to support: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-future-i-refuse-to-support.html
For a pithy synopsis of how we got to this disgraceful moment in US history, see: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/10/02/maddow-house-gop-gets-the-shutdown-it-wanted/ Yeah, it's biased ... but then what in this blog post isn't?!