While Speaker of the House Boehner is threatening a government "shutdown" over the budget crisis, a shutdown which will deny the elderly and disabled their monthly Social Security checks -- Boehner himself will still get his pay. In fact, Politico reported today that, due to a previously existing law, all members of Congress and the President will continue to draw their pay, while the most vulnerable members of our society are cut off without funds, which might explain the GOP's eagerness to let the budget axe drop. After all, it's not their heads that will roll -- at least not right now. Such is the state of government integrity on that 'shining city on the hill.'
So, while Speaker Boehner is able to make his tanning booth appointment -- someone's grandmother will have to eat cat food. I can almost visualize Speaker Boehner, Rep. Cantor, Sen. McConnell all sashaying down the capital mall -- ballgowns and Marie Antoinette wigs artfully worn -- sitting down to Dom Perignon and boutique made "cake." You see, Congress takes care of it's own, crafting the law so all 'essential staff' are paid no matter the crisis -- manufactured or not.
Apparently, the aristocrats in the GOP don't regard police, firefighters, paramedics, teachers or public works personnel as 'essential.' Keep in mind that these are the same GOP "aparatchniks" determined to use lethal force on protesters in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc., via the use of the National Guard. These are the same GOP power brokers joking about 'using live ammunition' on fellow citizens merely demanding the right to collectively bargain -- the only way to obtain a fair deal. It seems that the 'democracy gene' skipped over Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Senator Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Boehner and various GOP minions once they came to power.
In a rare display of congressional courage, Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Bob Casey sponsored a proposal which would deny paychecks to Congress and the President if the government shuts down. Boxer told reporters during a conference call that...
"We should not be paid when we can't even do the basics of keeping the government running." Boxer added that ..."I want to make sure members of Congress get hit in the pocketbooks." "I government shutdown is hurtful. It's hurtful for the economy, the people we represent and it's completely unnecessary."
While Boxer's initiative is welcome -- the narrative is anything but reciting the obvious. A government shutdown punishes those who are least responsible for the present fiscal crisis. Furthermore, this fiscal Titanic was not the result of entitlement spending, but an engineered financial crime consisting of equal amounts of corporate tax evasion and wasteful military spending for illegal wars of empire in Iraq and Afghanistan. Where were the alleged 'progressive democrats' when these legislative crimes were being proposed and enacted? Add to this legislative 'witch's brew' of premeditated financial mismanagement the fact that a standing majority of US senators belong to the 'millionaire's club' -- this threatened shutdown represents an injustice worthy of Hosni Mubarak himself.
Frankly, the everyday-working people of this once great nation--should borrow a page from Egypt's political book. Hit the streets -- every man, woman and child. Refuse to work--let the trash litter the tony private enclaves where these Senator's live. Make Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner clean up their own mess. Most importantly -- remind these aristocrats in Congress and the White House -- that we, the people, are the political bosses, and we, the people, will hold them accountable for their crimes of financial injustice, mismanagement and arrogance. In short, Madison, Wisconsin has become the Cairo, Egypt of America.