Letter to the Editor

A government shutdown fix

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Recently this country went through the ordeal of a partial government shutdown. Eight hundred thousand government employees, whether they were required to work or not, failed to get their paychecks on time and at least a half a million contract employees will not get any pay checks at all. This adds up to a permanent loss to the economy of $3 billion.

In terms of non-monetary problems, the air travel system bogged down, parts of the federal court system were preparing to close, food stamp benefits neared expiration, and the government was running out of money to pay rent for some of its agencies.

All this because the President, who claims to be a world-class deal maker and was a member of the party which for the last two years controlled both the executive and legislative branches of government, tried to force Congress to accept a concept of border security that the majority of the citizens did not want.

A situation such as this one must never happen again. Federal employees and contractors were ready to work and willing to work. The action of our leaders was morally unacceptable.

This country needs a law which provides the following:

In the event that the Congress and the executive branch fail to agree on the budget for a department or agency by Oct. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, the budget for the previous fiscal year will be continued after each line item is adjusted for inflation.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau