Shutdowns should hit lawmakers, too
The government shutdown blame game is a classic bait and switch. While Americans are debating which party is to blame, they're missing the real issue.
Government employees and members of the military, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, struggle to figure out how to pay bills without a paycheck. Meanwhile, members of Congress and their "essential" staff collect full salaries and benefits during a shutdown. I hope my fellow South Dakotans will join me in calling on our congressional delegation to rectify this disgrace. Right now, there are at least two bills, one Republican and one Democratic, making their way through Congress that would prohibit congressional pay in the event of a shutdown. I call on our senators and congresswoman to help craft and actively promote this legislation and also ensure that the prohibition would extend to their senior staff and administration political appointees. Furthermore, this legislation should prohibit back pay once the shutdown ends.
If members of Congress are going to play political games with our government, they should bear the full brunt of the consequences. Please join me in calling on Senators Rounds and Thune and Rep. Noem to support this kind of legislation. Post it on social media, write letters to the editor and call their offices. Remember, democracy only works if the people are fully engaged.
President, lawmakers need to listen
Losing my hearing made it difficult to understand people and sometimes myself. Years ago I would turn up the stereo, paint or write, and sing along. Then I was surprised when the doorbell rang and nobody was there. It took some time before I realized I was the only one who heard it. I also realized that my conversation consisted of "What did you just say?" A lot. I was sure other people needed hearing aids, not me.
I began hearing noises that sounded like construction in my neighborhood after midnight or during a nap. Sometimes, I actually felt the floor shake. So, I persuaded my daughter to check the area and she did — no construction, nothing. She then bought me one of those things that make sounds of birds chirping, rain, etc. I thought we were friends and instead of sympathy she gets me a machine? I don't have "Sundowners," I yelled. Can sound be in your mind? And where does it go if I pretend it's not there?
Where does the president go when we actually understands he's got a problem we can't “fix” and will get worse if our lawmakers keep ignoring it? When will they understand how many people might die because “he” can't hear and “they” won't?