And Where Do You Think You Are Going?

It seems that whenever we are turning on the news, and we are hearing stories about people being out of work, or businesses being shut down because of COVID, yet we always see a group of people, who, by their very definition, are called Essential Workers.

I am speaking, of course, of the members of Congress.

But I think lumping Congress into the category of being called an Essential Worker is an insult to those people who are really Essential Workers. For example, if those folks who work in our grocery stores all decided that everybody who worked there would take a few weeks off, then there would be a real problem. Because without the grocery stores being open, people would then start to go hungry, which would lead to mass rioting. But they don’t do that because the grocery store workers know how important their jobs are to the continuance of our society during these most stressful times.

 As important as it is to have our grocery store workers on their jobs, it is also the responsibility of Congress to stay in Washington and do theirs. But Congress is unique in that it does not produce a tangible product. Other than the writing and passing of laws that do not personally affect them, they do not perform a viable service. And yet, at least in their own eyes, they are the “Most Essential Workers in America.”

So, my question is this: “Congress, if you are really that essential, then why are you shutting down and taking a vacation during the time the country needs you the most?” At the time of this writing, Congress shut itself down, and every member went back to their respective State.  Now, they could have done taken a break during a slack time.  But no. Congress decided to do it when the rest of the country is waiting for them to decide on or reach a compromise on the latest stimulus package. Now, while I’m not a big fan of government spending, but what I am in favor of is our elected officials doing the job that they are being paid to do. There are millions of Americans in this country who require financial help. And before you think that it is The Government paying Americans out of the goodness of their heart, we need to remember one thing. It wasn’t Congress who put the money in that system to begin with, it was us, the American taxpayer. So, all we are asking for is our own money back so we can continue to go on with our lives. Which, when you really think about it, sounds really stupid that we have to beg to get back something that already belongs to us.

Yet it is Congress, a group of 535 people we elected mind you, who are holding over 328 million people in America hostage by their inactivity. When you look at this situation, it is almost like watching a terrible reality show. One side of the aisle says it only wants to do this, and if you don’t do it, we will not agree to anything you may want to add to the equation. Let us not forget about the namecalling, the lowlife tactics these people use on each other in the media to make their opponents look like the Second Coming of Hitler.

No, this isn’t about helping their constituents, who, through no fault of their own, are suffering due to the poor decision making and lack of effort by those in elected positions. This is more like watching a petulant child have a temper tantrum until they get their own way. No matter how it affects everybody else.

Never mind the fact that we have in America a Multi-Trillion Dollar economy. The world’s most thriving economy has been shut down due to an illness that has, depending on who you ask, a 97% to 99.75% recovery rate. And with that shutdown, enacted by the very people we elected, we are in the predicament that we are in today.

Now, I’m not, per se, totally blaming Congress for all of the businesses that are being shut down and putting people out of work. The State and Local Governments are to share an equal amount of blame for their current situation. Instead of standing up and doing what is right for their individual states and cities, they are taking their direction from the Federal Government.  Because the State and Local Governments get the bulk of their funding for their pet projects from the Feds. So, if the Federal Government says to the State Government, “We want you to follow our guidelines, or we will withhold Federal Funds for your pet projects.” Given that mandate, the State and Local Governments have no choice but to comply.

 But what I am blaming Congress for is seeing a problem, then failing to stay around long enough to fix the problem. I kind of look at it like this.

Imagine you are watching a house (America) that is on fire. And the next thing you see is the fire department (Congress) coming in their big red truck with the flashing lights and loud sirens. They get to the scene, do a quick assessment, start unrolling their hoses, and get ready to put out the fire when something extraordinary happens. The guys who sit on the left side of the firetruck say you really need this much water to put out the fire. In contrast, the guys who sit on the right side of the same firetruck say you only have to have this much water to put out the file. Words are exchanged, and heated arguments ensue. Finally, because they can’t come to any kind of agreement on how to put the fire out, they wind up their hoses, put them back on the firetruck, and head back to the fire station.  All the while, the house is still a flaming inferno.

So I, and I’m sure the rest of America would collectively ask all 535 members of Congress as they take off for their vacations: “And Where Do You Think You Are Going?”

We now return you to your suspended regularly scheduled life…somewhat in progress.

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