Yesterday’s post-shutdown return to the office was…interesting.
Federal employees, as you might expect, are as apathetic/political as the rest of American. They are unfortunately also as informed/ignorant of actual facts as the average American. Which is to say that a number of 20-year Feds who only watch FOX ‘News’ spent their first day back on the job declaiming their support for the Scrotum of Tea Baggers and the Shutdown; affirmed their belief in Ted Cruz’s virgin birth and are gaily anticipating the next shutdown in January/February.
The liberals in our midst bestowed the special ‘sad smile’ (reserved for pathetic losers everywhere) on these creatures and quietly celebrated in small, out of the way groups historically indicative of the persecuted.
The rest of us started in on (notionally) massive piles of e-mail. Half way through the morning we came upon this:
THE WHITE HOUSE
October 17, 2013
To the dedicated and hard-working employees of the United States Government:
Two and a half weeks ago, on the day that much of our Government shut down, I wrote you to express my appreciation for the work you do on behalf of the American people every day, and to convey my commitment to getting you back on the job as quickly as possible.
Today, I am writing to simply say: Welcome back. Thank you for your service.
Whether you have been working without pay, or you were forced to stay home without pay, I
know it has been a frustrating and stressful few weeks for you and your families. It should
never have happened. You should never have been treated this way. So I hope it comes as
some solace that you will be paid in full for what you should have earned since the shutdown
I want to remind you, again, that the public service you perform-the role you play in the life of
our country-it is important. It matters. You defend our country overseas and deliver the
benefits our troops have earned when they come home. You help folks after a storm. You
guard our borders and protect our civil rights. You keep our food and our workplaces safe, and protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. You help businesses expand and enter new markets. You push the very boundaries of science and space, and guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glory of America’s natural wonders.
I know that some of your efforts and hard work have been halted or harmed by the shutdown. But now that the Government is open for business again, let us throw ourselves back into it. We have work to do, and the American people are counting on us to get it right.
Those of us who have the privilege of serving this country may come from different parties, but we are Americans first. Each of us has specific responsibilities we are charged with carrying out on behalf of the American people, and we have an obligation to do it the best we can. I look forward to working with all of you to make sure we meet the high expectations of the citizens we serve.
Interesting the president doesn’t address the likelihood of another shutdown. I imagine he would prefer to not think about it; I know I would. But think about it I must.
It will be a sparse Christmas at the Charles manse this year. Yes, I ‘got paid’ 1, but the manner in which this occurred forced us to juggle obligations and remove monies normally kept in reserve; should the Shutdown occur again in 3 months time that discombobulation could prove to be more than a temporary annoyance.
So, despite McConnell’s claims of no new shutdowns, we’re going to tone down this year’s festivities to a dull roar while we build back (and add to) our reserves.
Because the Scrotum of Tea Baggers doesn’t much care what McConnell says. It appears they see this as a mere three month time out before the next shutdown and debt default crisis.
“I’ll vote against it,” said Representative John C. Fleming, Republican of Louisiana, referring to the Senate plan. “But that will get us into Round 2. See, we’re going to start this all over again.”
Which sounds like empty boasting until you take into consideration that Fleming was one of 144 Republican House members who voted Wednesday night against the deal that reopened the government and extended the debt ceiling. Should they decide to rail against the ACA again Speaker Boehner has already shown he can not control them and we could be headed for another time and money wasting shutdown.
The incredibly sad state of our Congress has come about because of ideology and willful stupidity. The deficit can easily 2 be reduced: I did it 5 minutes ago and didn’t have to even touch funds for the ACA, much less pare back Social Security.
And certainly members of Congress should be able to.
However, remember what we just said about ideology and willful stupidity?
- To be exact: the Shutdown started slightly more than halfway through my normal pay period. Thus I received slightly more than half my pay. I, and every other Fed, have yet to receive the remainder of monies from that pay period. The last two weeks (ending tomorrow) constitute another pay period, for which I am not normally paid until 7 days afterward. ↩
- Where ‘easily’ means a shared reduction of monies across an array of federal programs. ↩