To help understand how Congress really feels about Americans, maybe they could have town hall meetings where we could be personally slapped in the face while they call us morons. It’s a little harsh, but it might help some people finally figure it out. Especially the morons. Just a thought.
Well, maybe not for everyone. As a screening test, we could only include anyone who thought the entire government was going to shut down last week unless the Republicans caved in and added an extra billion dollars to the FEMA budget to make it through the last three days of the federal budget year.
Not that the “conservative” side of the duopoly was refusing to add the dollars in — they just wanted to cut it from somewhere else. This startling turn of events, where Republicans insisted on doing what everyone agreed to do way back a couple of months ago, naturally brought outraged accusations of “being a bunch of meanies” from the usual suspects. Even more startling, the Republicans didn’t panic — they just left town.
Faced with a sudden outbreak of fiscal reality, FEMA apparently went around all of their offices and checked under seat cushions, the backs of desk drawers, and maybe recycled some of their soda cans. Amazingly, they were somehow able to “find” an extra $40 million. As it turns out, using this kind of inspired penny-pinching, FEMA has actually come up with an extra $180 million for the month of September, and $2 billion for the fiscal year. Adding the final 40 mil put their fund balance at $175 million, meaning they could finish the week.
This raises several questions among people who don’t need to attend those town hall meetings:
If FEMA spends, as press articles pointed out, $30-$40 million dollars a day, why exactly did Democrats insist that they needed an extra billion dollars to make it through three days? Even a member of Congress should be able to handle that math. (Answer: it was going to be a slush fund)
Even if they ran dead out of cash, why couldn’t they just take, say, Friday off and go back to shoveling money out the door to their favorite contractors on Monday? After all, that was the start of the new fiscal year.
There were ominous references to what might happen if there was another major disaster during the remaining week of the fiscal year. Who would take care of the victims in case of some unforeseen calamity?
Oh, I dunno — how about the Red Cross, churches, police, neighbors, firefighters, fraternal organizations, and just plain old American (or not) citizens. You know — the ones who always show up first whenever there’s a disaster and start pitching in and helping while the government spends those first few weeks making speeches and pulling its head out of its budget.
Hopeless. But not serious.