Oh, Please…

So according to Diplopundit, if there is a government shutdown next month, which is looking more and more likely, members of get Congress will get paid, while we twist in the wind. Read more here.

Now, to be fair, this was not the Senate’s idea. But members of the House (whose average IQ dropped several points after the last election) have just realized that government employees need paychecks!

As freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) told constituents last week: “I guarantee most of you, I have more debt than all of you. With six kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I struggle to meet my bills right now.”

Dear Congressman Duffy: my heart bleeds for you. Not.

In fact, I’m going to go out on a libertarian limb here and say that you shouldn’t have had all those kids if you couldn’t pay for them. Or, maybe your wife should work, too. (Hey, I’m guessing her job opportunities are much better in DC or Wisconsin than they would be in Kazakhstan or the Central African Republic.) Or, maybe you need to be a lawyer or a doctor and not a federal employee. In fact, I really question whether you are qualified to develop and vote on budgets because you obviously suffer from a certain lack of foresight.

PS, I do give you credit for driving a used minivan. That’s smart. Used cars are a good deal.  Ask any FSO.

Now, personally, my eyes glaze over whenever I hear the word “sacrifice” when it comes to the Foreign Service. Or the military, for that matter. If you don’t want to fight wars, don’t join the military. If you don’t want to live in nasty little countries no one’s ever heard of, don’t join the Foreign Service. These jobs are what they are, that’s all. They are both difficult and dangerous by their very nature, but no one’s forcing you to apply for them. And you can get out if you really want to.

Oh, and BTW, if you want a wonderful, linear, highly profitable career, don’t marry an FSO. Understand that your family really will be living on one paycheck, sometimes for years at a time. That isn’t a “sacrifice” as far as I am concerned. If I had wanted to be a lawyer, I would have politely declined the invitation to be an FS spouse, and gone to law school. I’m quite happy to be a work-at-home mom, and fine with our income, and that’s why the FS pretty much works for us.

In short: no one’s asking for any medals here. But, you know, with all the other unpredictability in our lives, it does reasonable to expect to get paid on a regular basis. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

So, Congressman Duffy, quit your bellyaching, put your big boy pants on, get back in there and work this out. So we can all get paid, thank you very much!

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2 comments

  1. Straight to the point. I like it. And I completely agree. Tough stuff is part of the FS life. I don’t care about raises or overseas comp pay or anything else. We joined the FS because we like living overseas and we like a little adventure. I do care that our reps get their act together and pass some decent legislation though. Cut whatever you have to, just make it fair and make it realistic and then get back to business. We all have bills too. “In short: no one’s asking for any medals here. But, you know, with all the other unpredictability in our lives, it does reasonable to expect to get paid on a regular basis. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask.” Perfect. You said it all so much better than I did.

    Like

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