To Congress: Are you essential?


Photo Illustration by Korbl Klimecki

Jeff Gonzales and Jeff Gonzales

The government of the United States is closed, and the whimpering dog that is Congress with a 10 percent approval rating has closed it due to ideological differences.

Conservative Republicans, because of far right influences, have chosen to take a stance on Obamacare, and in doing so have frozen the feds. All of this despite a president in office who ran on a healthcare platform and won the popular vote. All of this despite attempting over 40 times to repeal the law and failing. It seems the few have stopped the many.

In no way do I think the Affordable Health Act is perfect. Hell, I’m not even sure I would call it good. Instead of fixing a broken system, our leaders have been bickering over a law that is now on the books. The finger-pointing and lack of willingness to talk across the aisle has not helped.

Proponents of the act have not been much help either. Confusion reigns supreme where the new law is concerned and as to what the real effects of the Government shutdown are.

Talking to ARC students, the confusion is evident. People don’t know what to do about healthcare and scoff at the ineptitude of our leaders in Washington.

With Congress still getting paid, necessary services still running, and “essential” positions still operating, it is understandable that people don’t see the impact.

Pundits on TV are either doomsayers of the shutdown or celebrants. They point fingers at people who have differing opinions and provide no genuine information. But while no one wants to take the blame, “unneeded” services are not operational.

What are considered unnecessary services? There are too many for me to list in this short column, so I will mention one – Amber Alert.

The system that informs people about missing kids is deemed inessential while the Supreme Court, which just came back from a three month break, is essential. This shows where our national leaders’ priorities lie.

Congress and the president can disagree, but when leaders do not find compromise, how can they lead?

One ARC student I talked to said it best when he said, “They should run the government like a business.” I agree with this. Our people in Washington should be fired for not doing their jobs. Leaders with vision who can move us forward should replace them. Then we can be rid of the confusion. Those leaders will then know that this matters to us.