Posted October 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

As I write this column, it’s been almost six days since the federal government shut down.

“#DearCongress: Congratulations on topping Honey Boo Boo for the reason why the world laughs at us.”

“#DearCongress: Eat a Snickers!” (Google “Snickers commercial,” and this will make more sense.)

“#DearCongress: I am embarrassed to be an American.”

“#DearCongress: We accept your resignation.”

“#DearCongress: How about we stop paying YOU instead of workers that depend on a job to support their families?”

These are the sentiments from many angry citizens concerning the government shutdown.

Last week, #DearCongress was the number one trending topic in the U.S. on social media. Voters were sounding off on Facebook and Twitter (myself included), expressing their frustration with the U.S. government.

Obviously this isn’t the first federal government shutdown. Seventeen years ago the government called for a shutdown over a similar medical issue, Medicare. The Republicans didn’t want to fund Medicare, similar to today’s shutdown. Congress is not such a huge fan of the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care).

In late 1995 and early 1996, government workers were put on furlough for 28 days. Sound familiar? How long will the shutdown last this time?

Here are some questions I have…

Obama Care is law. It’s non-negotiable. Well, at least it was until now. Why is Congress holding a law hostage?

While Obama Care seems to be the breaking point between both sides coming to an agreement, one of the biggest issues from a civilian point of view is who is and who is not getting paid.

While many government employees (almost a million) are dealing with limited pay during this shutdown, we are paying the men and women in the House and Senate to do what? Their job?

If I were assigned a task as part of my job, and I didn’t accomplish that task or failed to do it, I could be fired. If anyone failed to do their job, they’d either get fired or reprimanded. But in Washington, D.C., both sides are still getting paid despite NOT doing their job. Apparently paying the President and Congress is considered mandatory spending. But paying hardworking employees who need their jobs to contribute toward their families is not “mandatory?” Yeah, that makes sense. I’d like to see both sides try to make ends meet on your average government employee’s salary!

It seems while neither side is willing to budge and no one can agree to disagree, they were able to come together on one thing: continuing to pay the military. Thumbs up! The men and women serving this country, through all of its craziness, don’t deserve to be entangled in this mess.

But, meanwhile, neither side is in agreement on much else. Only time will tell, I guess. The longer the shutdown drags on, the longer citizens grow frustrated, and the lower Congress’ approval rating plummets.

#DearCongress: Get your act together!