I know this blog is about cancer, but it's also my place to air my thoughts, so please tolerate my brief foray into b*tching about something other than cancer for a day.
Today my husband called me and we had a little conversation that went kind of like this:
Chris: Oh and one more thing, I might only get a half of a paycheck next week.
Me: What? Why?
Chris: The government might shut down. Don't you read the news?
Me: No, I was too busy watching Blues Clues. What do you mean the government might shut down? How does a government shut down?
Chris: Go read a newspaper. Just wanted to let you know that I might get just half a paycheck next week.
So I got off the phone with hubby and immediately opened the news and began to read up on this cah-razy "government shut down" thing.
For people like me that don't read the news much, if Congress doesn't pass a budget soon, the government will shut down. And by shut down, I mean that lots of government people will still have to work (those deemed essential), they just won't get paid.
And you know, in theory, I don't think this is a bad idea. You don't do your job, you don't get paid.
That's the THEORY... but the reality is that the lawmakers that will be responsible for this if it occurs WILL STILL GET PAID!!!!
Yep. That's correct. Congress has a nice little law in place that says they still get paid even if the government shuts down. So the only people that will be affected by this are the rest of the government employees that have nothing to do with passing a budget bill.
How does that make ANY sense at all?!?!
So thousands of government employees will suddenly lose a WEEKS WORTH of pay because a bunch of lazy assholes in Washington DC can't get a budget signed.
And all I can think of is "do these people in DC really understand what their decisions mean to these federal employees?"
I'm obviously a little biased as I am a military spouse, but what would you do in YOUR household if you suddenly lost 25% of your monthly pay?
Seriously, pause for a moment and think about that.
If you're a super frugal family, that'd probably mean you couldn't put anything in savings and it'd cut out most of your "fun money" and maybe eat into your monthly grocery budget a little. If you're not a super frugal family (like most families), losing 25% of your household income would be crippling.
And for most military families, it's truly 25% of your HOUSEHOLD income. Many military spouses do not work, in large part due to the nature of their spouse's job. When your spouse is required by law to show up to work when called at any time of night or day AND you move once every 1-3 years, it can be difficult to find a job. So it's not like most military families have a secondary income to fall back on.
But yet... Congress will get paid. The people who are the cause of the ENTIRE issue will be able to pay their bills, buy their groceries, take their kids out to a movie... you get the idea. They won't have to "do without".
AND THAT PISSES ME OFF!
It's not that I'm worried about Chris and I. Yeah it'll suck to have our income affected, but we'll be able to make ends meet. But I think back to the days when I didn't have a job and we WERE living on Chris' salary alone. At that point, I would've been devastated. I would've been crazy stressed and freaking out. I'd literally be panicking.
And I guarantee you that there are a TON of military families who are freaking out right now.
I know, this is still a huge IF. Congress might sack up and get the job done (and I hope they do). But I find something extremely RIDICULOUS about the way the law is currently written. That federal employees will lose THEIR wages... but not Congress.
To be fair, Senate has actually passed a bill that would change this and it's waiting to be voted on in the House. And the House has passed a Budget bill that includes language to change this. BUT its been said Senate won't pass that budget bill as it currently stands. And the House won't pass the Senate's stand alone bill because "there are new representatives that had to leave their jobs to campaign/get elected and they have debt" (not an exact quote, but you get the idea). Like the rest of us don't? Like there aren't military families on the brink of bankruptcy (if not in the middle of it)? ARE THESE PEOPLE FOR REAL?!!?!
THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THEY SHOULDN'T GET PAID!!! I guarantee you that if you hit all those politicians in their personal checkbook, this wouldn't even be an issue today. They would've gotten this crap figured out MONTHS ago. But instead, it's US that is paying the price for their laziness.
Long blog made short: If you don't get your work done, you shouldn't get paid. And yes, I mean YOU Congress. Get yourselves a set of morals and hold yourselves to the same rules that apply to the rest of us!