14
Fri, Jun

MAGA Mean

VOICES

ACCORDING TO LIZ - Why are the radical right adherents of the Republican Party in Congress trying to throw ordinary Americans over the cliff of another government shut down? Who does it benefit?

The last shutdown, when Trump threw a temper tantrum in 2019 to force funding of his border wall, cost the country $11 billion. Which was not paid for by those who engineered the shutdown, but by us, the taxpayers.

No paychecks for millions of federal employees. It slammed the brakes on consumer spending, impacting businesses across the country. Preparation to respond to natural disasters was put on hold, putting millions in jeopardy. The ability to access and make changes to Social Security accounts put seniors’ incomes at risk. Collection of essential data ground to a halt —on everything from healthcare to inflation. 

We avoided – by just a smidgeon – a similar situation early this year which could have damaged the U.S. debt rating, shut down national parks (again), and disrupted air travel.

Meanwhile, today the media is focusing on TV writers closing a deal that will provide scripts for the television shows that have become the opiate of the masses.

The Republicans in the House appear to be living in some alternate do-as-you-please toddler universe being led around in blinkers by the so-called Freedom Caucus and living in a bubble of total disregard for the interests of all their constituents and the entire country.

It’s no longer when will they grow up and assume the mantle of their Constitutionally-granted responsibilities, but if they are capable of maturing at all.

Meanwhile, every American must suffer.

Scoring political points with a few big donors or fringe rabble-rousers does not a leader make. Why didn’t the Founding Fathers establish penalty boxes or time-outs two and a half centuries ago?

Oh, yes, hockey hadn’t been invented, and the fathers weren’t listening to the mothers who had more experience with spoiled brats.

Unfortunately, the only way for most Americans to come out ahead may be to suffer a few weeks or a few months of shared pain.

Otherwise we won’t have the Social Security checks, clean air, public health oversight, safe food, Medicare and much more we need to survive, let alone have any quality of life.

Americans need to stop watching reruns and band together to transform this political quagmire of a country led by old men and young fanatics to a system that works for us all.

Call your friends, prod your enemies but get people to call their Representatives to demand they choose short-term pain for the long-term gain of a future life worth living.

 

(Liz Amsden is a contributor to CityWatch and an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions.  In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)