Over the weekend there was a lot of worry concerning the government shutdown and what the possible effects may be in the everyday life of Americans. What people need to realize is how ridiculous it is that we actually got to the point where we have to shut down our government.
By law, it is the responsibility of Congress to pass the federal budget in September of the year before it is intended to take effect. In September of 2010, the partisan liberal Congress failed to agree and pass a budget for 2011.
Here we are in April of 2011. More than three months into 2011, and still no budget has been agreed upon.
To make matters worse, deciding will be more difficult for a Congress less partisan than back in September. By this, I mean that with a more even number of Republicans and Democrats in the house and senate, I predict a great deal of arguing within the Capitol Building.
It has taken Congress that is so long to decide that arguments over the current 2011 and 2012 budgets are beginning to overlap. The argument over the 2012 budget is an interesting topic in itself.
Proposed by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from the liberal state of Wisconsin, the 2011 budget is providing insight into what is to come in the next budget debate.
In contrast to Congresses in the past, the new budgets actually plan to cut spending rather than increase it by a superfluous amount. This is mostly due to the increase in Republicans in Congress, who feel our national debt is our government’s most pressing issue.
The proposed 2011 budget is calling for a $38 billion cut in government spending, much to the disapproval of Democrats. So much disapproval, that Democrats are refusing to pass the budget, even though that results in the shutdown of the Federal Government.
Ryan has laid out an elaborate and comprehensive 10-year budget plan Republicans are raving over. So what type of cuts can we expect from Ryan’s 2012 budget?
The 2012 budget will accumulate $4.4 trillion of government spending cuts over the 10-year span. Young people like Cal Poly students should love this plan. At the rate the government is spending, we will be working our whole lives trying to pay it off, and still not succeed.
So if Congress cannot even agree upon $38 billion worth of cuts this year, how is it ever going to agree on a $4.4 trillion spending cut? There is no doubt in my mind the government will be getting ready to shut down a year from now and we will be in the same situation.
The fact of the matter is there is no way to make Congress accountable for not doing its job. In fact, although the government shutdown is entirely its own fault, the people of America are the ones taking hit.
Government services such as Medicare applications, passport applications and social security support are shut down, and up to 100,000 government employees are furloughed without pay. All the while, Congress receives full compensation as they continue to fight about something that should have been solved months ago.
If we want this ridiculous stalemate and inefficiency to stop, legislation needs to make representatives accountable by hitting them where it hurts the most: their wallets. If their payroll was taken away until they came to an agreement, hundreds of millions of dollars would be salvaged.
In simpler terms, this American thinks Congress should not be awarded for its inefficiency and work for the American people rather than for its own wants.