General

Dear Government…..GROW UP!

government shutdown 2013If you have been living under a rock for the last couple of months, you might not know that our government has shutdown.  Hell, even if you are living under a rock, you still probably know.  It is the talk of the town; every town.  I realize that this is a personal finance blog, but there are times when I just have to get things off my chest.

We have seen our “leaders” in the government completely fall apart these past few years.  The government shutdown showdown was really the straw that broke the camels back.  Our elected officials have gone off the deep end and now they are just fighting back and forth.

Insanity!

This is the word that I am going to use to describe what is happening in our government.  I am also going to describe our election process as insanity.  For those that don’t know what insanity means, please use this perfect quote from Albert Einstein.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

If you read that quote, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Our election process has become one of the biggest consumer affairs.  Let me break this down a way that many would understand:

Most people out out and buy a brand name item from a store because they saw an ad for it on TV or online.  Advertising is very effective in our culture, but most consumers don’t take time to research the product they are buying.  Is the product actually right for you?  Does it fill your need?  Is there a better option out there?

These are just a few of the questions that most people should be asking themselves before they purchase said product.  The problem is that most won’t.  They just get sucked in by the advertising and they purchase.  No research, whatsoever.

The same thing happens with our elections.  The candidates market their “services” to us as we watch TV.  You know what I am talking about when it comes to election season.  The ads are out of control.  The biggest issue is that there are too many people in this country that take those ads at face value.  They hear it and that has become their truth.  Many don’t take the time to research the claims or see what the candidate is really about.  This is the downfall of our election system.  People have stopped thinking for themselves.  They have to be spoon-fed information.

I blame this problem on mainstream media and the proliferation of the internet.  People hear what they want to hear, but never take the time to find out the answer for themselves.  It is truly sad. This pushes the problem of people continually voting along party lines expecting something to change. This is insane. Why can’t we vote for the candidates based on what they will do for us? Why can’t we just vote for officials that we do what we “hire” them to do? If you vote only for those in your party because you “can’t” vote for someone in another party, you are insane. Yes, I said it. You are part of the problem!

It’s Time to GROW UP!

I don’t care who is Republican or Democrat, that is not the point here.  The point is that both parties need to put on their big boy pants and get shit down.  Stop getting in front of the camera and placing blame on other parties.  This is ridiculous.  Stop dividing this country in half and do your damn job.  It is time to be an adult and do what you were hired to do.

If I acted like our Congressional representatives in my job, I would have been fired years ago.  If I refuse to do what I was hired to do, my employer would can my butt and find someone else that is qualified.  That is how the real world works.  Why not Washington?  Why is there a double-standard?

I was thinking about the current shutdown situation and I realized that each party is essentially just blackmailing the other party to get what they want.  We hear it on the news every day and we just shake our head.  We don’t think about it, but the last time I checked, blackmail is illegal.  If you tried to blackmail someone else to get what you wanted, you would get arrested.  Why can our “leaders” do this all day long and get away with it?

According to Bloomberg, 90% of House members were re-elected and 91% of Senate members were re-elected in the last election.  Did you know it was that high?  Remember my insanity quote above?  This is exactly what I am talking about.  Congress’s approval rating is at an all time low at 10%.  Yet, we continue to vote in the exact same people that are causing these problems in our country.  What the hell is wrong with us?

We all say we want change and we want something different, but when we exercise our right to vote for something new, we stick with the old crap that are already in.  We can’t make a change if we continue to elect the same people that aren’t working now.  Our unacceptable disdain for the other political party has gotten out of hand.  Why can’t there be a happy medium?  Why does it have to be either blue or red?

Our Nation Is Run By Children

I actually feel bad comparing our Congress to children because it is disrespectful to children.  It is sad when you hear them talk and all you can think about it children fighting over a toy that they both want.  The issue is that children just don’t know any better, but grown adults sure do.  As a parent, I know that if my son would bicker like this because he didn’t get his way, he would be grounded.  I wouldn’t accept this type of behavior.  The extremely sad thing is that we accept this from our government.  Not only do we accept it, but we not expect it.  One word describes this: Unacceptable!

How can we expect our country to get anywhere when all we have is division?  Children can’t possibly run a country and that is all we have representing us.  We need to make a change and soon!

We The People

It is time that we the people take control of this dysfunctional system that money has created.  It is not about Republican or Democrat, it is about what is right.  We cannot have our officials holding the American public hostage when they want the other party to do something.  We should NOT be the bargaining chip.  We are not pawns in this game.

I would normally just let this kind of bickering go and say that it is just how it goes, but now it is affecting me.  When you hold the government hostage because you want this or he wants that, then you affect me.  I am losing money everyday that the government can’t get their crap together.  When you make me lose money, you make me angry.  I elect someone to represent me and to do their best to fight for me.  I am not happy when they fall victim to the political machine and then just become another town crier.

The only way to make a change is to stop letting the political marketing machine run this country.  We have to stop feeding on the marketing tidbits that are spoon-fed to us by each and every media outlet.  If we really want to clean the slate, then we have to vote out every incumbent in our government and start fresh.  I know that this will almost never happen, but this is what has to happen.  We have to come together as a nation and stop running down the political dividing line.  This is our nation and our voice has to be heard.

The only thing I have left to say is directly to our elected officials…..

GROW UP!

Here is a great little video from the Daily Show just to hold you over until the shutdown ends.

 
Photo via Huffington Post


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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.

55 Comments

  1. October 4, 2013 at 5:48 am — Reply

    The politicians get paid regardless of the shutdown. I think they are the non essentials of this government. They should be locked in a room until it gets resolved, no bathroom breaks either.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am — Reply

      I think if they didn’t get paid, then this might not happen as much.

  2. October 4, 2013 at 6:39 am — Reply

    Wow, passionate stuff here Grayson! I have to be honest and say that I pretty much stay out of the political news because it mostly just ends up frustrating the hell out of me just like this. I find my life to be much more peaceful if I focus on the things I can directly control, which I guess makes me part of the problem because I’m not someone actively trying to change the situation. But all of the bickering and childishness that you describe just seems so dumb to me that I find it very hard to muster up the energy to deal with it. I hope for the sake of our country that we find people who can actually lead rather than the people we have now who seem much more interested in getting their face on TV.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am — Reply

      I tend to stay out of it as well, but this as just gotten out of hand. I can’t take much more of this bickering.

  3. October 4, 2013 at 6:53 am — Reply

    “The candidates market their “services” to us as we watch TV.” So, could we now claim that what they said was an example of false advertising? Interesting story here in how this affects people – My wife works as a CPA. They are coming up on an IRS deadline to file tax returns on everyone who extended earlier in the year. The IRS still expects people to file, but their offices are of course closed, keeping accountants from contacting them for certain pieces of information they need for their clients. So she will just have to file the returns with insufficient information and then come back and amend them later once the IRS offices open and they ask for the corrections. And BTW, everything rises and falls with leadership. That’s a scary thought for our country.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:34 am — Reply

      I guess we could claim false advertising, but I think that just relates to companies, so not sure if it would work.

  4. October 4, 2013 at 7:17 am — Reply

    I think it’s really unfortunate that the government shut down, and even Conservative “heavyweights” like Rand Paul are saying it’s not in the best interest of anybody to have the government shut down. They had plenty of time to debate this budget and should have hashed something out over the past THREE years (I think that’s how long it’s been since a budget was passed?). Anyway, let’s hope they get it figured out so we can move on in life and debate issues in the proper way.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:34 am — Reply

      The congress is dysfunctional at best and they should have had a budget passed years ago. Unfortunately, most people blame the president for not passing a budget, but that is not who’s job it is to create the budget.

  5. October 4, 2013 at 8:07 am — Reply

    I agree with your basic premise, this should have been resolved well before a shutdown occurred. I think it just underscores how big of a deal Obamacare is, to both sides of the aisle. It’s going to have a MUCH larger effect on this country than a temporary government shutdown. As long as it’s temporary. Hopefully something will change in the next 2 weeks!

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:37 am — Reply

      Unfortunately, you really can’t hijack a law that you don’t like just to make a point. That is bad for everyone. Yes, I understand that Obamacare is controversial, but that shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip to get your way.

  6. October 4, 2013 at 8:41 am — Reply

    “The point is that both parties need to put on their big boy pants and get shit down. Stop getting in front of the camera and placing blame on other parties.” I didn’t know which section to quote, but this is spot on Grayson! Unfortunately both sides are more interested in getting their face out there and blame the other side as much as possible. The sad fact is that very few of them seem to even care how this all looks as well as what it could do to our country.

    In terms of how they campaign, from a marketing perspective, has become pure genius, because they’re data mining is second to none. They take that info and market themselves us and the sad fact is too many just lap it up and accept it at face value. Then you add the media on top of it with their “Countdown clocks” and it just makes it one giant cluster.
    I agree that it’s crazy we keep re-electing all the clowns and at such a rate too. One person I voted for in 2012 was re-elected and that was a local school board member if I remember correctly. We need to be taking this right given us to vote a little more seriously and oust all the characters (regardless of the party) and get people in there who’ll actually work. The sad thing is I think so few out there even notice.
    Ok, I’ll end my rant. 🙂 Spot on my friend!

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:38 am — Reply

      Thanks John and I certainly agree with you about the marketing. They are doing it extremely well. I know what and why they are doing it and it is working. I can’t fault them for knowing how to manipulate people, but I can’t fault them for doing it.

  7. October 4, 2013 at 9:08 am — Reply

    You go, Grayson!!!! THANK YOU for telling it like it is. If only the politicians would see, hear and understand.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:38 am — Reply

      You know me Laurie. I don’t mind speaking my mind.

  8. October 4, 2013 at 9:26 am — Reply

    Perfect post is perfect. I could not have said what I was thinking any better – this was really spot on. It is absolutely nuts that these same people keep getting re-elected to Congress, and that they managed to shut down the government because a handful of them didn’t get their way. So instead of working toward a practical solution, they whined and cried and threw a temper tantrum. The Affordable Care Act, whether you agree with it or not, has been a LAW for three years. You know what you do if you want to change something when it comes to laws? You legislate, you do not cross your arms and hold your breath until someone gives you what you want. It’s something that these clowns seem to have forgotten in their rush to go against whatever the other side says (regardless of whether it’s a good idea or not). I’m hoping the one good thing that will come out of this mess is that, like you said needs to happen, people will finally wake up and realize that we have the power to fire these partisan babies. We do NOT have to tolerate the extremism, from both sides, that has hijacked our government. Again, thanks for this excellent post – you hit the nail on the head on every point.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:38 am — Reply

      Thank you Kali. I appreciate your comment.

  9. October 4, 2013 at 9:48 am — Reply

    I just quit paying attention to all of it. Isn’t that sad? But, honestly, worrying about it just makes me stress out for no reason. It’s all a giant clusterf%ck!

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am — Reply

      I usually don’t pay attention to this kind of stuff, but this situation has gotten way out of hand.

  10. October 4, 2013 at 9:49 am — Reply

    I definitely agree with you. They are all acting like children and this is ridiculous!

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am — Reply

      I guess we are going to have to start babysitting them.

  11. October 4, 2013 at 10:14 am — Reply

    The most powerful nation on earth has its goverment shutdown! Its a shame that our politicians cannot sit down and actually resolve issues. I understand each side wants something to relent, still i think there is much to be said about statesmanship and the art of compromises, thats how things run in the business or adult world for that matter. We can’t always have what we want, sometimes we have to take one for the greater good and politicians should understand that, grow up and get us out of this mess.
    We the People should Stand Up and Say No To this $hit!

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am — Reply

      Just because we are the most powerful doesn’t mean we are the most intelligent. This shutdown shows that we have inept leaders toying with our future.

  12. October 4, 2013 at 11:15 am — Reply

    And the frightening thing is that if they dont get their act together by the 17th Oct, then the US govt won’t have the funds to pay the debts on its bonds. If they default then there will be a financial fallout similar to July 2008.
    Shameful that they play such high stakes politics with peoples lives.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:40 am — Reply

      This is the fact that scares me. This could really ruin our country.

  13. Chris Holdheide (@StumbleForward)
    October 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm — Reply

    Totally agree Grayson. Playing the blame game is nothing more than a waste of time. Instead of people leading from behind these people should be leading from the front and taking charge and not point fingers.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:40 am — Reply

      I agree Chris. This is a complete waste of time.

  14. October 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    You go, Grayson!! Honestly, I had no idea 90% were reelected. That actually boggles my mind because even though they might be at an all-time low approval rating – Congress hasn’t been feeling the love for a long time. It’s ridiculous because as you so accurately noted – none of us could behave this way in our professional lives and not be fired and rightly so. It’s insane they face no repercussion. These days politicians seem to care more about being right, than actually working together to help the people they were elected to serve.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:40 am — Reply

      That 90% boggled my mind as well. I had to triple check that number. Thanks for the comment Shannon.

  15. October 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    People don’t give the non-presidential races or elections enough thought. All these other races, as we’ve seen recently, are the ones that can really make or break us.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:41 am — Reply

      You are correct about that Stefanie. People need to take every election seriously.

  16. October 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    I love politics and was happy to see your post. Yes, our government has become dysfunctional. But the founders intended strong central national government to be something to guard against not to be yearned for as many of my friends on the left do. The framers intended for the elected governmental officials to work together but at the same time be limited by the powers of either the other branch or other house. The Constitution sets up limited government.
    The electorate is split wanting a Democrat in the White House and Republicans to control the House of Representatives, which by the way is granted the power of the purse in the Constitution. Eventually both sides will be forced to compromise and the shutdown will end. Neither side will get everything they want and the peoples interests will be served.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:43 am — Reply

      While I realize that the shutdown will end, we need to end this dog and pony show. We don’t need them waiting until the last minute to strike a deal. We don’t need them toying with this shutdown and causing the stock market to get all out of whack. This is unnecessary.

  17. Nick (@ayoungpro)
    October 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    Love it!

  18. October 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    Spot on Grayson! Even though I hate politic$, I love, Love, LOVE this post! The whole red vs. blue, who blames who, Obamahater crap has been pissing me off lately. I recently watched this Ted talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o#t=17m00s) with Brene Brown. Politics today is like this: “I’m right. You’re wrong. Shut up.” We need more open-minded individuals in congress who will actually listen to their constituents (we the people obviously didn’t want a gov’t shutdown). It frustrates me to no end knowing that we have power in numbers yet do nothing. I think John Mayer was right…”We just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it. So we keep waiting. Waiting on the world to change.”

    What are we waiting for?

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:43 am — Reply

      Thanks Kasey. It is pissing me off as well. I am tired of it. I don’t normally speak about politics, but I was happy to write this post.

  19. October 5, 2013 at 8:57 am — Reply

    Politics is stupid. We pay taxes to see politicians act like they were in a movie or something.

  20. October 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    I seriously can’t wrap my head around it all. I think you should just up and move to Canada 🙂

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:44 am — Reply

      It hurts my head as well. I guess I should!

  21. Roger the Amateur Financier
    October 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    Thank you very much, Grayson. Clear, concise, and right to the point; if our politicians could be that way, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. Although, they’d still have to work things out between them, and that requires having more maturity than my nine-month old daughter, so maybe I’m being too optimistic here.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:44 am — Reply

      While my point might be concise, I doubt that this would ever happen. Common sense is not a virtue in Congress.

  22. October 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm — Reply

    I can feel your strong passion for this issue. And I must say although I do not completely comprehend the entirety of the whole situation. I believe you are right on the grow up part.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:46 am — Reply

      I do have a passion for this. My real passion is to end stupidity!

  23. October 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    We really need more viable political parties in the US. By giving the Democrats and Republicans a stranglehold on media access (ever wonder why there aren’t any Green, Libertarian, etc. candidates invited to a televised debate?), America is doomed to an eternal repeat of this ridiculous drama.

    General Hospital has more believable plot lines than what happens daily in the US Congress.

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:46 am — Reply

      We need more parties that get the same “playing” time. This works well in other established countries and it doesn’t allow one party to hijack the whole damn government.

  24. October 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    Hey Grayson, I’m new to your blog…followed a link from Matt Becker to get here. I tend to agree with what you’ve said. Not that I’m defending myself here, but I find that to truly know who you are voting for (esp when it comes to the candidates going for positions other than the President) it would take hours and hours of time to research enough that you feel comfortable making an informed decision. My embarrassing fall-back position is to not vote for any category I have no knowledge about…turns out that’s quite a few. Sigh.

    The thing that’s worse yet, in my opinion, are the informed people who voice their opinion and don’t vote at all. I know quite a few of those. Now that makes me crazy!

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the 4th Annual Plutus Awards!
    Ree

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:47 am — Reply

      First off, thank you for stopping by Ree. I am glad you are here.

      I can understand that comprehending who you are voting for can be a long process. The one point I will make is that isn’t a few hours of your time worth years of our government functioning properly?

  25. Tammy - Loans and Lifestyle
    October 8, 2013 at 7:13 am — Reply

    You’re absolutely right. It’s like a school playground where both parties are refusing to let go of their candies in order to look at the bigger picture. The president says the nature of American democracy is robust, but that’s just white-washing the whole situation. What kind of democracy involves people not agreeing with each other to the extent that they shutdown the very government they aim to run?

    • October 8, 2013 at 9:48 am — Reply

      Great comment Tammy. I agree that everyone needs to put on their big boy pants and get to the bargaining table. What I don’t agree with is any political party holding a confirmed law hostage to get what they want. That to me is unacceptable.

  26. October 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm — Reply

    Great commentary. I am SO sick of the childish games our elected representatives are engaged in at the moment. You’re right: when it starts costing us money that’s when they need to hear “enough of this shit.”

    • October 9, 2013 at 9:59 am — Reply

      I am with you Suzanne. Enough with this shit!

  27. October 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm — Reply

    It does worry me in a sense because I always think back to the fall of Rome. The world has looked to the US for as long as I can remember as an example, but I don’t think this is what our forefathers had in mind. It is really pretty embarrassing. We were in Moab, UT last weekend and there are always lots of international tourists there this time of year to see Arches and Canyonlands, but they were all closed. I just wanted to keep saying I’m so sorry. You are so right that if I had run my business like the country is run, I would have been out of business a long time ago. Spend way more than you earn and just change the rules instead of facing reality. Great way to set an example for sure.

  28. October 14, 2013 at 9:52 am — Reply

    Amen! You hit so many great, valid points I am blown away. I hope there are big, sweeping changes with the next elections!

    • October 14, 2013 at 9:53 am — Reply

      Thank you Lisa. I appreciate the kind words. I also hope there are sweeping changes. Alas, I am not sure it will change because most people do not vote with quality information, only what they hear on TV!

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