As I read through the Opinion section of the Army Times this past weekend, I was struck by the comments that soldiers were making regarding the sequester and never-ending game Congress plays with our troops. (They aren’t happy.) Actually I’ve been struck by a lot of things lately; I’m just more struck by the actions and inactions of our elected representatives, and I use the term “representatives” loosely.
You may or may not be aware of the fact that the Veteran population in Congress has decreased by approximately 10% in each election cycle over the past several decades. That means we have fewer and fewer elected officials who understand the real cost of war on troops and their families. We do, however, have many wealthy individuals in Congress who live in ivory towers and haven’t had to struggle for the basics as many Americans have to, much less our soldiers.
Did you know that about 1/3 of the purchases that are made on post are made with food stamps? Did you know that soldiers like mine have approximately $350 a month taken out of their pay for food? Did you know they have to pay for many of their own uniforms as well?
Did you know that in mid-October, our soldiers may not receive their pay?
Oh, if Congress ever gets off their arses and does their jobs, they will eventually, but in the mean time, what are the troops and their families supposed to say to the banks holding their mortgages, the grocery store where they need to buy food, the schools that require supplies they can’t afford to purchase, the utility companies that provide phone service, electricity, water, etc? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today?” It didn’t work for Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons 40 years ago, and it sure won’t work in this day and age. And, by the way, we’ve reduced the assistance programs because everybody is lazy and needs to get off their asses, right? Tell that to a guy you’ve sent overseas to fight a bullshit war so you can get richer who finds out his family back home doesn’t even have food stamps to buy the basics on post.
Answer me this, Congress: which is more important — the well-being of all Americans, soldiers, families, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers — or your stupid little pissing contest? Are you so focused on posturing for a camera to get ready for an election cycle that you can’t see the oncoming derailment of your self-serving plan? Did you forget that people get hungry, cold and tired? Did it ever occur to you that people WANT to work and not be on welfare because of the stigma attached to it by ignorant asses such as you and your Bible-thumping, hypocritical, elitist, socioecoterrorist-minority Tealiban supporters? Are you oblivious to your 10%, and falling, approval rating? Or are you just laser beam-focused on getting revenge on the half-black man who dared to speak to the majority that elected him in 2008 AND 2012 on a premise of taking CARE of the people and not pissing on them at every opportunity?
While White House staff serves at the pleasure of the POTUS, you Congress, serve at the pleasure of the people, and you are displeasing us. You may be as giddy as school children right now because you think you are King of the Mountain, but in the words of my favorite commentator, you are really the King of BULLSHIT MOUNTAIN.
While you do things like send Bat-Shit-Crazy Barbie to the WWII Memorial with a camera to grandstand and kiss vets on the cheek for a photo opp because you push back a barricade while still obstructing the business of governing, important things aren’t being decided that would benefit a majority of the American people. We are technically still supposed to be a majority rule nation, aren’t we? If that is the case, then stop allowing and enabling an extremist minority faction in the government to hold us all hostage, endanger our well-being, and serve NO ONE effectively.
There is that old “domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare” clause in the Constitution, after all. Loosely translated, that means stop screwing around and do your damn jobs, or don’t be surprised at the pink slip you get in the next election cycle.