Let’s play a game of “Pretend” for just a moment or two.
Pretend you’re one of the millions of Americans working for the federal government. Pretend you’ve invested your entire professional life in service to others; you believe with all your heart in public service.
Pretend that you work for the park service, or you are on the medical staff of a Veterans Administration hospital unit. Pretend you answer phones at a government agency and direct callers to the person to whom they want to speak.
Pretend you’re wearing a military uniform, that you’re one of about 1.5 million Americans who take an oath to protect the rest of us from our enemies around the world.
How in the world do you feel today knowing that your federal government — your Congress and your president — cannot agree on a long-term federal budget that pays you to keep performing your public service?
If it were me, I’d be damn angry! I would be upset that I cannot plan for the future. I would be angry that I cannot know for certain whether I’ll be able to stay at my post beyond the next short-term deadline that Congress has just approved.
That’s what is staring those millions of public servants in the face. Congress has slapped another Band-Aid on an open wound. It has sent the package to the desk of the president of the United States. Donald Trump will sign it.
Then those dedicated public servants — those who serve you and me — get to wait until Feb. 8 for what might occur. That’s when this current budget resolution expires.
This is a crock! It’s a travesty in the extreme! The men and women who serve us deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They damn sure deserve it from the yahoos who serve in Congress. And those clowns won’t forgo their pay. They do not face the prospect of furloughs. They don’t have to worry about their financial future.
Oh, no! They’ll just keep on keepin’ on.
The government is going to reopen. It will stay open at least until Feb. 8. Then what? Will we get to go through more of the same nonsense we’ve just experienced?
The millions of Americans who sign up to serve us deserve far better than they’re getting from the policymakers who cannot do their job.