Tag Archives: Government shutdown

Hey Kids, Christmas (Probably) Isn’t Cancelled!

Sleigh

All I want for Christmas…

I spent much of the night on the edge of my seat watching the news to find out just how much of  a cliff we would be hanging over after Capital Hill finished with us.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I survived a war.  I also feel like things are far from over and am going to approach the holidays with a wartime rations mentality.  After screaming at my television, “you stupid jack-wagons don’t know how to balance a budget!” I decided to rethink my holiday budget because it won’t balance either if I take the same road as our leaders.  I just looked at my Christmas list conceived after one too many trips to Keep.com whilst drinking screwdrivers and it totals at least one mortgage so far.  That isn’t counting the other Christmas list scrapped together from randomly whimsical ideas imagined over the last few months.  None of the gifts are even items my family members need, just excuses to spend money.  Hmmm, sound familiar?

Before my family ends up in serious financial trouble, I am going to reprioritize our holiday budget and spending rules.  It would be pretty hypocritical to criticize the government for failing at managing the country’s funds if I am plunging my family into major debt just to buy the shiniest new gadgets.  Besides, what does it teach my kids if I demand that my government straighten up and be fiscally responsible, but then I do the opposite in my own home?  I read a profound statement posted earlier this week that went something like this: you can’t have your cake if you didn’t work for it and earn the money to buy it. Or at least you shouldn’t.  So why am I so tempted to charge all these cool shiny gadgets and toys on a credit card?  Why am I wanting to have my cake and eat it without actually earning it?  But more importantly, why am I tempted to do this knowing that it is so hypocritical when I have been yelling at the smug little faces on my television screen for the last three weeks?

Wondering if in just a few short weeks we could once again be on the brink of disaster has made me really take a step back and reflect on what is actually important.  The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous time when families and friends come together and share happy memories, feasts, and gifts.  The public tone this year may be more subdued after so much disruption and discontent.  But perhaps this year the tone will be more introspective of what truly is important.  I don’t have to think twice about it; if given the choice between shopping sprees, decadent feasts and sumptuous gifts, or time with loved ones, I would prefer the time with those I love.  Besides, no governing body can ever take that away, no matter how destitute they make me.  Remember that, people.  It’s the intangible attributes such as love, loyalty and kindness  that really create wealth and prosperity.

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Shutdown Blues

Two weeks into a government shutdown, and I am feeling pretty uncomfortable.  I am not by any means a political expert and there are two things I do not want to bring into my blog: politics and religion.  I don’t want to stand on a soap box and tell anyone how they should vote, pray, or otherwise think when it comes to these two matters.   All I want to say is what happened guys? This is not the country that our founders imagined.  We have made some wonderful advancements over the years as a nation but things are looking pretty dismal right now.  I guess the saying is true: the frog in the pot doesn’t know the water is being heated until it really is too late.  Are we at that point?

I have a neighbor across the street who has now been working on Fort Riley without  pay for two weeks because she is an essential DoD civilian.  This is after several weeks of sequestration in which she had to take furlough days without pay.  So after several weeks of pay cuts she now gets no pay but still goes to work.  She and her husband, both veterans, also face the possibility that their VA benefits will be halted in November due to the shutdown.  They have children to support, and groceries, fuel, and utilities are not cheap in the Fort Riley area.  I am not asking for sympathy or for people to question the fairness of it all.  I am saying “Hello!  This is messed up!”  We are at the point where we are sucking the life out of people who served their country unquestionably, who are now paying the debts of people unwilling to pull their own weight.  We as a nation caused these problems.  Veterans and DoD civilians are just half the story; consider entrepreneurs now facing the effects of government involvement in the normally functional capitalist system.  And now we are all in a position where our government is arbitrarily taking rights and privileges from us without our consent.  Does anyone else feel the water getting warmer?