The lunacy of the American political class never ceases to amaze me. They can’t seem to agree or compromise on most of the major issues facing the country, yet they come together with overwhelming bi-partisain support to screw over their constituents time and time again.
Both Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the NDAA with indefinite detention provisions for U.S. citizens, effectively eliminating due process and the foundation of our justice system. They came together to hand the banks over a trillion dollars in bailouts, curtail Internet freedoms, authorize unjustified wars and more recently to protect their ability to trade stocks on inside information not available to the public.
Now, in the midst of a battle over funding the government, implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and raising the debt ceiling, they have come together to hold hands and sing Kumbaya once more. Despite being at odds over every other aspect of the government shutdown and budget battle, both sides have passed a resolution that would provide retroactive back pay to government employees that have been furloughed due to the government shutdown. In fact, the House came together in a moment of rare bipartisanship to pass the bill by a unanimous vote of 407 to 0!
The measure now goes to the Democratic-led Senate for concurrence. The White House has said that President Barack Obama will sign it into law.
This bill effectively uses taxpayer dollar to pay non-essential government employees for time they have NOT been working over the past week. It is an extra week or more of paid vacation, estimated at a cost of over $1 billion, that will come out of the pockets of everyday Americans that do not receive the same luxury. In essence, we will all be working a few extra hours this month in order to compensate government employees for time they spent away from the office.
While they did not ask for the time off, they are still going to be paid for it, whether they have chosen to hit the beach, surf more Internet porn, spend time at home with family or catch up on the final season of the hit series Breaking Bad.
The bottom line is that their employer is broke and can not afford to pay their salaries. If a private employer had the same problem, that employer would be forced to fire employees and get the books in order before asking them to come back or paying them for time off. The last thing public funds should be used for as we attempt to tighten our spending belt, is back pay for work that was never done.
As a small business owner, if I don’t have business in a given week and am forced to take time off, I don’t ask my neighbors to pay me for my time off. I have to go into the market and work twice as hard the next week to make up for the lost business, not rely on government goons to use coercion to force the rest of the population to pay for my lost income.
It is ridiculous that in a time of such political divide, our elected leaders have come together to support an issue as unfair at this one. Despite running out of cash, they are actually going to pay furloughed workers for time when they were not working. Furthermore, they will fund this action via borrowing money that they don’t have, adding to the national debt, eroding the purchasing power of the dollar and burdening future generations with the bill.
Not to mention, it completely defeats the supposed purpose of the shutdown. The whole reason to shutdown and furlough non-essential workers was to save money that we don’t have to spend. Now they will not only be spending that money anyway, but will lose whatever revenues they might have collected by working. And taxpayers get to foot this bill, despite not having access to national parks, monuments or whatever services these workers were supposed to be performing. The irony is thick and would be laughable if it didn’t amount to outright theft from hard-working citizens that are already struggling with high unemployment and an anemic economic recovery.
Why not let all Americans have next week off and the Congress can pay them?
While finishing this article, I just read news that the Pentagon is going to recall most furloughed employees despite the government shutdown. This whole thing was nothing but a charade, as the government is entirely incapable of cutting spending or reducing the size of its bloated budget. The Pentagon and U.S. military spend more than the next ten nations combined (including Russia and China), yet they have to recall non-essential workers after being furloughed for just five days. The gears of imperial domination must not slow, even for a week.
This type of predictable government action and continued deficit spending are leading to the demise of the U.S. dollar worldwide and lost confidence in Western governments. It will continue to drive investors and foreign governments away from dollar-denominated investments and into tangible assets that cannot be printed at whim. As the total U.S. debt and FED balance sheet to continue to swell to record levels, prices for gold, silver, energy, agriculture and other commodities will push significantly higher.
We are in the midst of a major correction in precious metals and mining stocks, which is providing an excellent buying opportunity for those that failed to profit from the previous move higher. Price inflation tends to follow monetary inflation with a delay of roughly 5 years. All of the money that has been printed following the 2008/2009 financial crisis will begin showing up as price inflation in the coming months. If you aren’t yet positioned, you may want to consider edging into positions now before the discounted prices are history.