Last week, I wrote a post titled I Don’t Know about my dissatisfaction with members of Congress using the threat of a government shutdown as a negotiation tool. With the shutdown looming tonight at 11:59pm, my feelings of exasperation have reached a boiling point. And I am not the only one. My friend, Jill, wrote a post titled Dear Congress. In her post, she references a CNN video, where another military wife voices her frustration. Watch out world – we’re starting to get mad as hell. Our military deserves better. Our federal workers deserve better. And most importantly, our country deserves better.
Those who think the military is overpaid and told me so in the comments of my blog post, Lifestyles of the Rich and Camouflaged, will be be pleased should a shutdown occur because thousands of deployed service members will continue their mission without pay; same with stateside military personnel, the FBI, and other government workers considered essential. I will freely admit that I have not read the 2000 page Affordable Care Act (I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that our legislators haven’t read it in it’s entirety either). And I am not going to debate the specifics on this blog. While the Affordable Care Act may be the final push over the edge, the atmosphere in Washington has long contributed to the mess that we’re in today. It seems that gone are the days when across the aisle politics were fueled by respect and compromise (side note – check out Chris Matthew’s new book, Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked). The current environment is ugly and frankly, an embarrassment to our country.
My disgust with Congress far extends my personal situation. I proudly believe that the United States of America is the best country in the world. I want citizens of our country to continue to prosper and make contributions to our global community that improve the quality of life for all members of the human race. We can do better. Furthermore, the last government shutdown is estimated to have cost our country 1.4 billion dollars. It’s no secret that our economy is on shaky ground and our debt continues to increase. From a pure financial standpoint, the last thing our country needs to do is toss around the idea of a government shutdown as if we’re simply arguing over what to have for dinner.
If the shutdown occurs and my husband reports to duty (without pay, of course) we will make do. Over the course of our experience with the military, some have scratched their heads as to why my husband would choose to serve his country during wartime. I’ve heard, “I don’t know how you do it” countless times. This is our life and we have chosen this path despite the not-so-glamorous aspects. Over the years, I’ve worried about my husband being killed as he deployed in the name of our country but until recently, I’ve never worried about him getting paid by the government for which he proudly serves. As a military wife, the threat of a government shutdown makes me angry. As an American citizen, our current state of political division and lack of mutual respect frustrates me beyond belief. And as a human being, the behavior demonstrated on Capitol Hill causes me to shake my head in disgust. Our country deserves better.