Over the years, I’ve worked for a number of professional businesses. Professional businesses that have budgets. Each year, the budgets (or business plans as they are sometimes called) must be created and submitted to the governing board for approval. They have to complete the process every year at the same time, generally no later than during the last quarter of their fiscal year (whenever that is). There is no excuse for not having the process completed by then; and if it is not completed, the business cannot continue to run. It becomes the financial guide for the organization so they know in which direction they’re going.

Yet, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to work that way for Congress. We pay them our hard-earned tax dollars to legislate, and to keep the big business we call America running and on track. We vote for them (or vote for people we want in their place) to speak for us and to keep our best interests at heart – things that are important to us. But what are we to think when – when it comes down to the end of the wire – the government is in danger of shutting down because they haven’t been able to agree on final budget cuts, and they continue to bicker about the cuts? What are we to thin when the fact that a government shutdown means our troops in the middle of multiple wars will NOT get paid, yet those who continue to bicker and disagree on cuts continue to get their fat paychecks on time?

The problem with our government is that Congress is completely removed from the system we’ve elected them to govern. Thankfully, they were able to finally come to terms this past Friday and the government didn’t shut down. But the problem continues to hover over us: Congress has no incentive to fix anything because they don’t have to! They haven’t fixed Social Security because they have their own plan set up paid by us. They haven’t fixed health care (though at least it’s better than what we had before) because they have their own health care system paid by us. They haven’t fixed any retirement investment laws to guarantee that the rest of us can retire at decent ages because we pay to keep them for the rest of their lives, even when they’re no longer in service.

Frankly, I find it insulting that some of the Congressmen stated “Shut it down!” regarding this last budget crisis when they couldn’t agree on cuts, knowing that the innocents of the country – those who are most dependent on the government – would be decimated even in a short shutdown of the government. They wouldn’t get paychecks even though those who govern would be getting their lavish paychecks without break.

And this is only the beginning. This last budget crisis was to eliminate just $34 million. The next round, they need to eliminate Trillions.

Congress has forgotten for whom they work. If government is to work like it should, they should NOT have their own system set up outside of their constituents. They need to be included in the same systems they’ve set up. Then and only then will they have incentive to fix problems when they, too, are in danger of the same issues as the rest of us.

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