Government Shutdown… What The Heck?


By the time you read this, the government shutdown could be over, and I hope it is.

But I just had to spout off. That is, I had to add my spouting-off to that of every other living, breathing American. I think our collective American response to this ridiculousness is, “What the heck?”

I mean, it just doesn’t make much sense. It is the worst possible solution to the problem. It is the family equivalent of taking away the brother’s toys because the two sisters are fighting.

What the heck?

I will be the first to admit that I don’t study big government like I should. I don’t spend Sunday mornings with the talking heads, and I don’t tune in NPR on a regular basis. I don’t stop what I’m doing to follow up-to-the-minute blurbs on the Internet, and I don’t subscribe to four or five newspapers.

But even an uneducated slob like myself could come up with a solution better than closing the national parks.

What the heck?

I know the solution, because I had Marjorie for a mother. When my brother Jimmy and I were arguing, she would make us stay in our room until we stopped the name-calling and apologized to each other. That would be a good start for Congress. How about each side beginning by stopping the name-calling and admitting that the other side may have some valid points?

And sure, it would have been easier for mom to ignore the situation and just let us battle it out, but she knew we needed each other. She needed us to learn to work together because we were a family and “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Gosh, where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. Abraham Lincoln. You’d think some grade school teacher somewhere would’ve mentioned that quote to our future leaders.)

Another idea is to take away Congress’ toys. Jimmy and I certainly didn’t get to play with ours while our reconciliation was going on. No, we had to focus on the job at hand. So maybe a few less jets and fancy dinners and (how about this?) medical visits paid for by the taxpayers. Take away their free colonoscopies and make them pay to be violated, like the rest of us.

I’m looking forward to all the money I’ll save on my taxes due to the shutdown. No supplies being used, no papers being shuffled — the savings ought to be enormous! Come April 15, I’m expecting a refund!

Another thing I’m sure mom took into consideration was the neighbors. She didn’t want people talking about those Welky kids and how they couldn’t get along. No! She had a reputation to uphold for our family. We children would not be allowed to tarnish the good family name.

You think the U.S. is getting much sympathy from other countries around the world? Not hardly. It’s just an opportunity to watch the “American family” crumble and remind their citizens that non-democracy is really the better choice.

What the heck?

Isn’t fighting for democracy the very excuse we use to tromp into these other countries and try to impose our will upon them? I don’t want to hear Congress use that excuse any more. (And, just a reminder, the rationale that Jimmy ought to do things my way “because I’m bigger” didn’t fly with mom, and it’s not going to fly with America.)

We are losing credibility every day, and I’m ashamed of us. I still love America like I still love my brother.

But really, Congress… what the heck?