Ken Reid: Shutdown, but politicians still paid

10/21/2013 7:40 PM

10/21/2013 7:47 PM

Maybe it’s time Americans do something about the dysfunction demonstrated by administrative and legislative branches of our federal government?

Taxpayers put their trust in those sent to Washington. But instead of abiding by the will of the vast majority – seeking compromise and avoidance of a shutdown – many Republicans and Democrats acted out like spoiled children. Self-interest, arrogance and inattention to those who gave them positions of trust and responsibility caused irreparable harm.

Throughout all of that, our president and legislators received their full pay and allowances. But until public outcry caused them to make a hasty reversal, they deemed payment of death benefits to families of our military killed in action as non-essential.

We’ll have to wait until election time to demonstrate our dissatisfaction. In the meantime, we could work on a way to ensure that lawmakers will lose their pay in the future if they can’t pass a budget by the deadline. In 2010, Californians passed Proposition 25. Under threat of losing their pay if a budget isn’t passed on time, lawmakers haven’t missed one deadline since. Maybe there is a way to do something similar at the federal level.

KEN REID

Modesto

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