With talk of an impending government shutdown on Friday, the talking heads are having a field day on television, advancing one theory after another of how we got to this point, and what it will take to avoid the threatened shutdown. And, of course, our elected officials on both sides of the aisle are blaming the other guys, when it really comes down to the fact that none of them are doing their jobs.
I was reading about what a federal government shutdown actually means, and what will happen if the government does shut down. A lot of federal employees will be furloughed, but not all of them. The FBI, air traffic controllers, and other security agencies would continue to operate, the post office will still deliver mail, and Social Security checks will still go out on schedule.
The IRS will close down until the “crisis” is over, and tax refunds may be delayed. But you still have to file and pay your taxes on time. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? National Parks and Monuments will close, as will the Smithsonian Museum, and services to veterans, including health care services, may be cut back. Of course, a government shutdown here won’t affect the wars we’re fighting all over the place, except that the troops will not be paid. However, the President, and members of the Congress, and Senate will still get paid.
Huh? We can’t pay our troops, but the idiots responsible for the mess will still get paid? Does that offend you as much as it does me? It should! Remember, these clowns are supposed to work for us. If they aren’t doing their jobs, why should we pay them? What a rip off!
I ran small town newspapers for much of my working life, and one thing I learned early on was that once you run somebody’s advertisement, you have nothing to take back if they don’t pay you. I had a lot of small businesses stiff me over the years. Some did it just because they were broke and had no choice, and others did it because they were sleazy folks who just didn’t care.
Over time I learned that the honest small businessman was willing to resolve the problem, and I ate a lot of restaurant dinners, and took a lot of merchandise in trade to settle outstanding accounts. I also discovered a way to get most of the deadbeats to pay up.
I had a tool shop that owed me about $500 for their ads, and kept giving me one excuse after another, always swearing that “the check’s in the mail.” Finally, I went into the shop and picked up the most expensive chainsaw they had, along with some other power tools, worth about $1500, and put them in the back of my pickup and drove off.
By the time I got back to my office, the shop’s owner had called twice asking why I hadn’t paid for the items. I told him that I was trading them for his outstanding bill. “But I only owe you $500,” he said. “That stuff is worth $1500!” “It’s worth $1500 to you,” I told him. “I’m dangerous with tools, so they’re only worth $500 to me. Want to buy them back for $500 cash?”
Well, he screamed and hollered a while, and even threatened to call the cops. I urged him to please do so, and promised that I would have a front page photo of me being arrested, and a story about why I had to go to such extremes to get paid by him. He finally stopped yelling, and drove to my office with five crisp $100 bills.
You see, it all comes down to that old saying, “Money talks and bullshit walks.” If we stopped paying our elected officials until they started doing their jobs to our satisfaction, I bet you the government would keep right on working come Friday, and a lot of other issues would be resolved too!
But of course, the problem there is, they write their own paychecks, don’t they?
Tags: air traffic controllers, Congress, elected officials, FBI, federal employees, federal government shutdown, government shutdown, National Parks, post office, President, security agencies, Senate, small businessman, small town newspapers, Smithsonian Museum, Social Security, tax refunds