We are now on Day 4 of the Great Government Shutdown. To prevent the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the Republican-controlled Congress has voted to shut down the government.
As part of the shutdown, 800,000 "non-essential" workers were placed on unpaid furlough. (For clarification, "non-essential" in government parlance means those whose services are not needed on an emergency basis. In other words, fire, police, military, and elected representatives are essential. Civil court judges, about half of FEMA, non-combat military, clerical workers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement clerks, and others of that ilk are "non-essential." So are the people who process Social Security and WIC applications.) However, our elected officials, including Congress, are still working and still drawing paychecks. This has raised ire on all sides of the political spectrum. One representative, Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, had this to say:
Well, darlin', ain't you just the most special little snowflake?
The thing is, we all NEED our paychecks. We all have bills to pay and kids to feed. Just because you are in Congress doesn't make your need more pressing than ours.
It's too bad, too. See, again, this is the 21st century. Memes like this get passed all over the Internet and have very, very long shelf lives. And, as some of your would-be colleagues learned in the last election cycle, this can lead to that congressional paycheck not happening.
Enjoy your position while you can. And see you (or not) in 2014.