“Tach it up, tach it up/Buddy gonna shut you down” – The Beach Boys, ”Shut Down”, Surfin’ U.S.A., Capitol Records, 1963.
So, yeah, it’s not been a fun week.
With the government shutdown, Husband cannot work. He’s not a Fed, but he’s a contractor. And contracts that rely on federal funding also are impacted by the shutdown.
We swing between “trying to make the most of it” to “what are we going to do about bills?”.
The first day, Husband came to my office and we went to lunch. That was nice, to be able to have an unexpected date with him.
The second day he fixed the drippy faucet in the sink that’s been bugging us. He cleaned up around the house.
Yesterday, he did errands, pulled up weeds and whatnot from the front yard, and exercised.
Today, he really doesn’t know what to do. And next week? Who the hell knows.
When my dad’s paper plant closed in 2002, the town and surrounding area was devastated. It (along with a few other companies) made my town a “company town“. The plant powered the majority of the business and economic well-being of the citizens. When the plant closed, the economy was dealt a big fiscal blow.
The Federal government in this area is The Company. So many people rely on it for their basic living expenses. So many others depend on the trickle down effect – workers shopping, going to restaurants, sending the kids to daycare, etc.
So when The Company shuts down, you better believe people feel its damn effects. It’s not just the jokes about the Panda-Cam shutting down or not being able to see the Lincoln Memorial. I heard a friend lament that he can’t walk around at Gettysburg because there is no one to “staff it”.
It’s the uncertainty and stress that is getting to people. There are people who need to determine how far their finances can stretch in this already tight situation. Not able to figure out how to pay the bills. Because – guess what – your mortgage still has to be paid. You still need to have car insurance. And, it would be nice to keep the lights on in your house.
Even the essential people who can work are not getting paid. And boy, they are getting walloped. From the Park Ranger who was dressed down by Congressman Neugebauer and then yesterday’s incident at the Capitol – these people are following orders because it’s their JOB.
We don’t have any say in this matter. He WANTS to work. He WANTS to be a productive member of society. And right now, he’s not. He, like everyone else affected, is a pawn in a game. The game where petulant children are throwing sand in each other’s face, then finger pointing and saying, “well HE started it” and “well SHE won’t help me”.
So that’s my message to Representative Frank R. Wolf , Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine (my representatives) and to everyone else in this mess – get over the name calling, the grandstanding, and whatnot and get this government open. I don’t care if you do it MMA style or ala “Celebrity Death Match”, just do it.
Although, unfortunately, their staffers were also furloughed so they are in the same boat. So I doubt anyone is going to be able to read this message.
For additional information on resources in Loudoun County for assistance please see this comprehensive list from Loudoun Local.