I am not naïve enough to think that your job is easy. I wouldn’t trade you places even though you make six times what I do. I wouldn’t trade you places because I understand that the decisions you make are often heavy with the weight of an entire public hanging in the balance.
But while I don’t pretend that it really is as simple as doing your jobs, I do have to say that I don’t understand what you are currently doing. Squabbling, arguing, fighting and waging a war amongst yourselves. You argue like children negotiating with their parents for a later bedtime. And while you are busy trying to strong arm each other, a nation is sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering where their paycheck might come from if you can’t come to an agreement.
We are a nation at war. Whether it’s the beginning, middle, or end makes no difference. Our troops are still deploying to combat zones. And while you are wondering if you can get your demands met, I am wondering about the consequence of your actions. About all of the people who are already stretched thin after 12 years at war. About those who have enough to worry about, and who really don’t need the added burden.
You might be thinking that you have just cause for what you are doing. Maybe we will see a long-term outcome that is wonderful. It’s hard to know the future. But I can tell you that when our military families are wondering if they can afford groceries and diapers, their service members are stressed by the worry for their family back home, our federal employees are wondering what will happen to them while you fight and our Veterans are being left in the cold all together.
I have to ask, is it worth it? Is what you are fighting about worth what you are putting our nation through? While I am glad to know that you have all agreed that military families should still get paid, what about the DOD contracted civilians? What about all of the other federal employees who have children to feed, bills to pay and a life that will continue to move forward whether they are getting paid or not? What about our Veterans, to whom we owe our lives? Is their livelihood worth what you are about to cause?
Your decisions carry a burden, and it’s a burden that I wouldn’t want to carry. But your actions have consequences. And while you might be getting that salary that is six times what I make in a year, you are forgetting about a large portion of our population who won’t. And if you are truly willing to shut our government down, and deny all of those people paychecks, thinking that an I.O.U. will suffice, I have to wonder how “essential” your job really is and if you truly deserve to be paid no matter what the cost of your actions.
The clock is ticking. And a nation hangs in the balance.