NEW CASTLE —
Let’s see if we understand this.
One aspect of the partial federal shutdown has been the furloughing of hundreds of thousands of government employees. Those deemed non-essential were sent home without pay when Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on a budget deal.
And without workers, or the money available for them to perform their typical tasks, a variety of government services and programs are not available. National parks, federal landmarks and museums are closed, for example.
Meanwhile, other aspects of government have been disrupted and, eventually, funds for social programs — such as those for child nutrition aid — will dry up.
We understand all of that. We don’t agree with the idiocy that got the nation to this point, but we understand it.
What we don’t understand is the latest twist in this disturbing saga. On Saturday, the House of Representatives voted — unanimously — to guarantee all of these non-working federal employees their pay in full. The Senate is expected to concur on this and President Obama has said he will sign the measure.
So these individuals are not working. Their duties are not being performed. The public and taxpayers are being denied assorted services and benefits. Yet Democrats and Republicans in Washington somehow can come together and cover their salaries.
That means the only casualties remaining in this debacle are members of the public who foot the bill, but are not getting anything for it.
Does any of this make sense?
The rationale for paying furloughed employees is that the shutdown was not their fault, that they shouldn’t have to suffer because of the intransigence of the two political parties in Washington.
OK, but why then do members of the public have to suffer? Isn’t it oddly ironic that throughout this mess, the folks directly responsible for it have continued to receive their pay, still have the same staffing situation and have gone about their regular business while being irresponsible?
Regardless of your political leanings, you ought to be outraged at the thought the nation’s lawmakers can quickly — and without dissent — come together to provide pay for workers who aren’t working, but can’t resolve the budgetary issues behind the shutdown.
No member of Congress, including local Reps. Mike Kelly and Keith Rothfus, should get away with this slap in the taxpayers’ faces. They also shouldn’t be allowed to continue making excuses for failing to complete their budgetary duties.
Make no mistake: Congress as a whole is engaged in a disgraceful display of representative government. And the excuses they offer don’t wash.
NEW CASTLE —
Let’s see if we understand this.
- All About You ...
Lori Brothers: Healthy food comes from a healthy Earth
I am proud to know that Earth Day originated in the U.S. but became recognized worldwide by 1990. I can remember ordering baby trees to plant in celebration of Earth Day.
Sarah Stright-Hartley: These pastels will put a spring in your step
Is it just me or are pastels ubiquitous with spring? Once the season hits, they're everywhere. It's taken me awhile to jump on the pastel bandwagon and even still I can't wear them head to toe like some women do.
Kali Davies-Anderson: Experiment proves cake really is a slice of heaven
There are few things on this earth and beyond that I love more than cake. I love my family, I love my friends, I love Jesus, and I love cake — and not necessarily in that order (sorry, family).
Your Summer Treats: Poor peach crop expected
Local peaches may be scarce in Lawrence County this summer. County fruit farmers are watching their peach trees closely, not sure how badly they were damaged by the winter’s extreme cold.
Culinary Conversation: Think globally, cook locally
Another set of bookshelves might be necessary at my house very soon. It’s been a bountiful week. Edie Majesky of New Castle, who I have known most of my life, is aware of how much I love collecting old cookbooks.
Dave Says: Problems with no credit score?
“Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
Lori Brothers: Play with names — not with your food
Do you remember being told, “don’t play with your food” when you were a child? Or maybe you’ve said this to your own children or grandchildren. I’ve heard stories about kids slipping food under the table to the dog or stuffing Brussels sprouts into their pockets to get out of the pain of eating them.
Sarah Stright-Hartley: A T-shirt dress can be a three for all
I love finding pieces that can be worn for just about every portion of my life. From daytime, to work, and then on a date with my husband, I like pieces that can go the distance.
Kali Davies-Anderson: Happy birthday, Miss Ivy!
This week I would like to take time out of my usual ramblings to wish my second born daughter, Ivy, a very, very happy first birthday!
Heartbleed raises the stakes on Internet security
My column last week dealt with Internet and related scams, along with steps people can take to protect themselves. Today’s column could be termed Part 2 of that topic, albeit from a different angle.
- More All About You ... Headlines
- Lori Brothers: Healthy food comes from a healthy Earth