WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Sometimes I think it is hard to tell the difference whether the government is working or not. When you come to think of it, isn’t “Government working” an oxymoron?
Kidding aside, the shutdown of the federal government is not such a big deal for government workers (another oxymoron?) who actually get paid for not working. Because when they do get back on the job they will get back pay for doing nothing.
Of course I can see where it would be a bigger problem if this were to drag on for several days, it could create problems for those people who have mortgage payments and other regular bills to pay.
Also with government offices closed people often can not get the services they need, and funding to states will be cut off. That would probably affect a lot of people on various forms of public assistance.
Thank goodness they are keeping on enough IRS employees to handle tax payments. Oh by the way, if you had a tax extension the government shutdown is not an excuse to not pay your taxes. Hmm . . . what if you are a government worker and owe taxes, do you still have to pay them on time?
Of course the people who got us into this mess exempted themselves from not receiving their pay! How convenient! Why does congress get to enact laws that exempt them from obeying them? Shouldn’t we all be treated the same? I think so, but it will be a very cold day in a very warm place before that happens.
Long before this happened I had always felt congressional lawmakers should not be able to tack on any sort of bill that is not directly germane to the proposed legislation. We still have that in Minnesota, but we also have line item veto, so the Governor has the right to veto portions of a law he doesn’t agree with. I think that would help if the President had the same power.
Presidents from Ulysses S. Grant to Ronald Reagan fought for line item veto power to help eliminate “pork barrel spending. Finally in 1996 Congress passed a law allowing line item veto to then President Bill Clinton.
By using the newly approved power Clinton slashed 625 million in his first use of the line-item veto. However two years later the Supreme Court, in their infinite wisdom, struck down the measure declaring “there is no provision in the constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend or repeal statutes.”
Then last February, in a moment of bipartisanship, Congress voted to give President Obama that power. However the Senate never brought it up for a vote.
To me that probably was a waste of time anyway as the Supreme Court had already struck it down before. Oh well if at first you don’t succeed give it up.
The only thing that really scares me about the shutdown is the precedent it is setting. What is going to happen the next time a party, or a faction of a party, does not like a law that has been legally passed to use this tactic to hold the American public hostage?
That is why I feel some rules need to be made and enforced to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. No one benefits when you shutdown the government. In my view it is akin to anarchy.
It’s a little like one of country singer Jerry Reed’s lyrics in “She got the gold mine, I got the shaft!” “Can’t we all just get along!”
Have a great week and do good!
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