The GOP is so out of touch with Middle Class America that it is disgusting and hard to fathom that they have been sent to DC to represent citizens of the United States. They have now shut down the government in a repugnant politicized attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act. ACA has been signed into law. Prior to passing through Congress, it was debated and compromises were made. It has been vetted by the Supreme Court. President Obama ran on healthcare reform in the 2008 election and won and the 2012 election and won, (while several Tea Party candidates ran on a promise to shutdown the government…and they have succeeded). Now, the day ACA was implemented, the Tea Party with the support of some GOP members have demanded more compromises on ACA in order to persuade them to vote to fund the government. How they think that shutting down the government over healthcare reform that was already negotiated and signed into law is okay, is beyond insane. Democrats already compromised on ACA.
To make things worse, Boehner’s lack of a spine against the minority Tea Party members who are the squeaky wheel, has caused this entire problem. He is weak…and orange! He is empowering the minority of the Republican party instead of moving forward with those that act reasonably and responsibly. He is empowering the fools within his party, giving them a voice stronger than their majority. He is a fool, beyond fools, and deserves to lose at least his speakership.
This government shutdown affects all of us and will only get worse as it drags into the debt ceiling debate. Presently, over 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed. Many of these workers live paycheck to paycheck. They do not lead extravagant lives and they don’t have extravagant salaries. They have mortgages, grocery bills, children to raise and at this exact moment, no income. This is unacceptable! And, now there is talk that they may not receive back pay once a CR bill is passed. A few Congressmen who have stated this are Richard Burr (R-NC, net work $1.5M-$2.8M), Chuck Grassley (R-IW, net worth $33.9M), Jeff Flake (R-AZ, net worth $300,000), John Barrasso (R-WY, network $5.7M), and Tim Scott (R-SC, network $3.4M). Noticing the net worth of these individuals, it becomes obvious why they are out of touch. They don’t live as average Americans live. They are the top one percent, with one exception, Jeff Flake. They can afford the extravagances of life and must believe that the working middle class can as well. They think that there is an area in the average American budget where financial belts can be tightened when there is in fact already extreme difficulty surviving on their salary. These Congressmen do not understand how difficult it is for the majority of Americans to survive in such a modest lifestyle. They do not have any idea what it is like to live within a tight budget in order to simply make ends meet. Congressman can afford to lose a month or two of income…or significantly more. The majority of Americans cannot!
This isn’t just affecting those who have been furloughed. Depending on the length of this extortion, restaurants, shops, and millions of other businesses will suffer. The job market, which is recovering from the recession at a slow pace with sequestration as an additional noose, is not going to handle this additional pressure. This isn’t just about grandstanding for National Parks with World War II veterans at your side (Bachmann, yes, I am talking to you, you moron). This is about individuals who are responsible and dedicated who may now be forced, by no fault of their own, to default on their own obligations.
Let’s take a look at others leading the charge in the government shutdown. The worst of the worst for caving to the Tea Party, Majority Leader of the House, John Boehner (R-OH) with estimated net worth around $4M; Eric Cantor (R-VA), $5.4M; Paul Ryan (R-WI) $2M; Ted Cruz (R-TX) $1.7M; Michelle Bachman (R-MN) $1.7M; Tom Coburn (R-OK) $3.1M; Darrell Issa (R-CA) $448M; Mitch McConnell (R-KY) $27M; and James Inhofe (R-OK) $11M.
Now, you can search the internet and find out that there are also many Democrats with extraordinary incomes. Yes, there are. The difference is that the Democrats do, without hesitation, want to make sure that furloughed employees are compensated with back pay, so they can financially survive. Democrats want to fund the government without setting the precedent that a small minority can defund a law that has been negotiated, passed both Houses, and signed by the President of the United States, which will enable millions of Americans who are uninsured, whether it is due to financial difficulties or preexisting conditions, to get insurance. Democrats want to fund Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Head Start, Women’s Health, along with a myriad of services, institutions and infrastructure that make America work.
Is there a problem that so much of the government, the US Congress in particular, is run by the top 1%? I believe there is a major problem that is only partly due to cost to run for office effectively. A candidate must be connected to the top 1% or basically sponsored by big business or private funding to run an effective campaign. Campaign financing is outrageous with the current system. How do we solve it? Obvious reform needs will never pass with this Congress. I suggest a law with a requirement that while serving as a member of Congress, one must live on $50,000 a year. That was the median income for households in 2011. It would put Congress right in the middle with the rest of most Americans. Wait! Congress, you don’t like this idea? Why? Because it would be difficult? That’s exactly what I thought.