I have avoided blogging since we were thrown out of our offices because this whole thing is personally exasperating beyond words. As I said, I don't mind a few days off work with or without pay as I'm financially comfortable and I have a lot of other things to do. I've been concentrating on family history, visits to the Temple, and taking care of things with the family at home. Those aren't bad.
What I can't get my mind around is the House action to approve a measure that they will provide back-pay to the federal employees affected by the shutdown regardless of whether they were called in for life-and-property functions or deemed "non-essential" as is yours truly. The Administration has attempted to avoid using that word "non-essential," but actions speak louder than words. And what the House did speaks volumes.
Notice that there is no more demand for Congressmen-and-women to give up their pay pending resolution of the shutdown. I think that was the House's prime motivation! Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz even blew that question in an interview I saw. Senator Mike Lee is beyond the pale on personal (and public) finances as he was unable to meet his mortgage a few months back and got a deal with the bank to short-sell his expensive house in Alpine, Utah. While we fed employees have always been paid retroactively for being prevented to do our jobs, this current situation is without precedent.
OK, great. So I get paid for not working. Everybody's dream job, right? Not exactly. In the first place, just because we will eventually be paid, we don't know when that will be. Mortgages, interest, and other bill payments come due. Processing checks to fed employees is a "non-essential" function. I'm just fine, but there are some who are not. I know people who are stretched tight and have picked up extra work on the side to try and make those payments.
Congress's message is clear to me and should be to anyone that they don't like the federal government or its employees. They think we are so worthless that they are willing to promise to pay us for not doing our jobs. That gets rid of the public sympathy that was actually present last week for the first time that I can ever remember. And it puts us on a true dole. Instead of welfare-to-work requirements, we are legally prohibited from working our jobs on behalf of the American public! They apparently want to self-fulfill their anti-constitutional philosophy that government is the problem by ensuring it simply won't work!
Oh, and then Congress picks and chooses which parts of government they like and try to get them funded. No one wants to insult WWII Veterans, but that despicable, idiotic woman, the congresswoman from Minnesota who ran for president and whose name will no longer be typed on this blog, makes headlines for exploiting the vets! (See my earlier posting on this travesty.) (Maybe I could have a contest as to how to refer to her. The best I've got so far is "Shutdown Barbie" but that's demeaning all plastic toys.)
Congress is promising to pay me for doing the family laundry and I have to go change things out and start ironing. This is good for me as I do try to help, but the household burdens fall more inequitably on my wife as she takes them on with me more generally oblivious. As a public school teacher, she has been spending 10-14 hour days at school to get all that done, then she works most nights on the courses she needs to renew her certification and pass her proficiency test. Just another lazy government employee, I guess.
Later, same day.
I got it! "Congresswoman 666!" See this link.
Shutdown Update No. 7