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Government Shutdown -Again?

Written by on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

On Monday night, President Barack Obama and Congress failed to come to an agreement on a budget which has caused the furlough of over 800,000 government workers. The government shutdown is becoming almost commonplace nowadays as Congress and the President use the budget and ultimately, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of government workers as leverage for passing their respective budgets as they point the “blame finger” to the other side of the aisle for causing the furlough.

Government shutdowns are becoming a common occurrence for government workers as this constitutes the second furlough event for 2013. Sequestration claimed many days of government furlough just three months back and failing to sign a budget has once again sent government workers home without pay. With an annual budget needing to be signed every year by the 1st of October to obligate funds to keep the government running, it’s interesting that once again, Congress and the President have failed to plan early enough to have a budget signed in time.

Understanding that politics is a dirty game goes without saying but while Congress salaries are guaranteed as “essential” workers, the remainder of government workers are furloughed without pay. One has to wonder if Congress and the President would be more motivated to resolve the budget crisis if their own livelihoods were impacted. Perhaps to incentivize the politicians, a “no-salary for no-budget” bill could be signed that would zero all salaries until a compromise is achieved. Although promising, the likelihood of “no-salary for no-budget” bill being signed by the same politicians is very unlikely but instead the same sacrifices are being asked of over 800,000 hard working government workers.

The benefits of working for the government are becoming few and far between. Working for a greater good with a healthy dose of patriotism has always been a calling for many government workers and the advantage of “job security” has always been an added benefit but given current events, many are beginning to question the job security and more importantly, a lack of confidence in leadership. It’s a difficult pill to swallow for government workers to be asked to give up their salaries so politician leadership can barter with their jobs for their own agendas with no similar sacrifices being made. One of the key facets of leadership is taking care of the people that work for you and if your people are making sacrifices, make sure you are suffering right along with them. This concept eludes the current leadership in Washington.

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