Letter to Congress: Wednesday 1/16/19
Surely by now you are aware of the sad primary, secondary, and even tertiary effects of closing down the Federal government’s operations. While employees will now receive back pay, it may not be in time to repair their finances. Federal contractors are even worse off; many won’t get any back pay. Small businesses that depend on government employee patrons will also be out of luck and some undoubtedly will go under. Do you care?
What the news media isn’t telling us is that Trump’s shutdown might be more than a negotiating tactic. He says it’s on account of funding for his Wall, but his holding the Government up for ransom could have ulterior purposes. His brain trust is full of people who want to cut the size and sway of the Federal Government until it’s small enough to “drown in the bathtub,” in Grover Norquist’s memorable words. Shutting down government programs indefinitely is certainly a strong step toward eliminating or privatizing them and cutting their budgets.
Whether that’s your hope or not, as a legislator, your response to the shutdown should be based on what you believe our nation is obligated to do for its citizens. It is certainly not fulfilling its current obligations, but the way to dismiss them is not to stand by and starve them, but to bring to the floor bills to eliminate agencies and programs you feel have outlived their usefulness. Then debate that with your colleagues and vote on it
If you don’t take legislative action, you will be seen as an accomplice to Trump’s shameless blackmail and will be judged accordingly. Just sayin’.
Need a Last-Minute Gift? Friday 12/21/18
Books are always appropriate and usually appreciated. To warm someone’s devious heart this winter, give them the gift of radical action—my thriller Turkey Shoot published by Perfidy Press (read about it here). It’s available on order at most independent booksellers (find one near you here), or if you’re really in a hurry, at Amazon (or click the cover below).