Don’t take the money, lawmakers

I have just one wish if and when the U.S. government shuts down on Tuesday, which most experts believe is a near-certainty.

It is that members of Congress forgo their salary for every day the government doesn’t function fully.

By that I mean all 535 members of both legislative chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

They’re playing chicken with each other over the Affordable Care Act, which also is scheduled to kick in on Tuesday. The tea party cabal of the Republican Party wants to defund the ACA. It is pushing a funding bill that strips money from the act, which the Congress already has enacted and the Supreme Court already has affirmed. Failure to approve a funding bill that includes that provision puts the entire government in jeopardy.

The Senate will have none of what the House tea party wing wants. Neither will President Obama.

I consider the righties within the House GOP ranks to be the major culprits, but I don’t want just them to skip their salaries. I also am angry with all of them for taking us to this brink yet again.

Realistically, I understand that lawmakers aren’t likely to give up their salary, which amounts to about $175,000 annually, plus a few perks and benefits, such as first-class public transportation. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the ringleaders of the defund ACA movement says he won’t give up his money.

Whatever.

My own feeling is that if lawmakers don’t want the government to work for us, they shouldn’t allow it to pay their salaries.

Dip into your piggy banks, lawmakers.

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