• October 2, 2014

A few tips for our Congress

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Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013 4:30 am

I am not a political person. I believe there are two things you cannot have sane and rational conversations about: politics and religion. Because of this, I have avoided the political theater and have often been in the dark about what was happening in this country.

Not now.

What Congress is trying to do is simply infuriating. A few individuals — two, in fact — are holding this country hostage for their own personal agenda. A friend of mine went so far as to call it “financial domestic terrorism,” which sounds extreme. But if you really break it down, it’s accurate.

A bill was signed at the 11th hour guaranteeing pay for active-duty military personnel, so my family is OK for the immediate future.

But who doesn’t have their pay guaranteed? There are a lot more people outside of the military who are not getting paid, including many civilians who work on post. They’re sitting at home during all this.

And supplies. The military doesn’t have money to buy basic supplies ... such as paper.

Yes, paper. There is no money to buy paper, so nothing important better need to be printed in the near future, because what little paper is available will quickly be used.

Academies impacted

Then there are other things nobody really thought about, like the effects on the military academies.

The Navy and Air Force are scheduled to play football Saturday. The game is sold out, and is the first game for the Commander in Chief’s cup, the trophy awarded to the series among the academies

The odds of this game being played Saturday are next to zero, but even worse is the Army-Boston College game scheduled for Saturday.

Boston College is not a government institution, but it is doing everything it can to try and make this game happen on time, attempting to fund the game, and therefore the Army, in any way possible.

Which is to say, the college is trying harder than Congress to help out a government body.

Other shutdown effects

Then there are VA benefits, the shutdown of national parks, the effects on overseeing bodies like the FAA. The list goes on and on, and Congress doesn’t seem to care. At all. Which is mind-boggling for an organization that is supposed to represent the people. To the best of my knowledge, the people care if the government is open. I know a working government is something I want, and something I would fight to keep going. Clearly, this is not a priority for Congress.

I’m furious at how this situation developed. I’m furious that my wife has to buy paper to keep her office running. I’m furious that Congress has been paid to close the government. I’m furious that they don’t seem to care.

Which is why I propose the president sign a bill into law that would create a National Punch a Congressman Day. It might not solve anything, but it will make me feel better.

Or better yet, make it so Congress is paid only for the hours it is in session. I would kill to only work part time and still get paid whether I show up or not.

Congress had nearly the entire month of August off. Good thing everything in the country was on hold then, and not much happens in the world in August. Otherwise, that would bother me.

So only pay Congress for the time its members actually sit in the chambers, and only pay them the minimum wage for where the area they represent.

If you represent Chicago, you get the local minimum wage.

Maybe then, they might work year-round like the rest of us have to. Or we could just go back to Punch a Congressman Day. I’m OK with that, too.

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