It is difficult to understand how the United States government could shut down because of funding problems. Don’t they have a credit card or one of those Pay Day Loans places in Washington D.C.? How can it be that the greatest country in the history of the world, the richest, most powerful nation that has ever existed on Earth, filled with exceptional human beings, is in the sad state we see today? Isn’t the Republic the best form of government? Isn’t capitalism the best kind of economic system? Isn’t God on our side? Like the Internet, isn’t Jesus American? Then what on heaven and earth is going on?!
The Unites States of America is home to more than 317,000,000 people. We are the most diverse nation the planet has ever seen, the freest people that have ever lived and we enjoy more liberties than any other nation. That’s why we are blessed to be able to feast from a rich buffet of not one but two great political parties: Republican or Democratic. Clearly, we don’t need any alternatives or other options, as these two parties definitely address all the concerns and interests of all 317 million Americans.
So I am really puzzled…how is it that these two groups, who work together in our best interests, would be unable to avert a shutdown of the US government? If you follow the corporate media, you get a sense it has something to do with money. Not enough money to run the country or something like that? Man, I hate when that happens. I remember my checking account being overdrawn in college one time, it was really embarrassing. Of course, there are some who claim that Washington D.C. is broken. Like US Senator and pretend war hero John McCain. He’s been trying to fix Washington D.C. since the mid-1980s.
Clearly, Senator McCain has all the answers, but he is just one man. What about the other members of Congress, those fine upstanding mostly wealthy lawyers we elect to represent our interests and look out for us, the little people? Fortunately, Mr. McCain is not alone.
Did you know there are actually 541 exceptional Americans in Congress? There are 100 Senators, 435 House of Representatives and 6 delegates to the House of Representatives. That’s right, America is so great, only 541 people are required to represent 317 million. That’s why you can’t ever get your representatives on the phone, schedule a meeting with them, nor even get a response to a simple email. These people are super busy! They have a whole country to run. Well, not now that the government will shut down. But they have other stuff that keeps their plates really full.
One of the greatest aspects of our Republic is that we don’t discriminate. People are people, we all count and all our voices matter. And, corporations are people, too. Corporations exercise their freedom of speech through unlimited amounts of money. So how do we get our politicians ear when we have a concern? You have to talk really loud, silly! Whomever talks loudest gets heard. Just like that squeaky wheel. Grease ’em up!
Now, since corporations aren’t really people (except for in a court of law), how do they actually talk to politicians in Washington D.C.? Don’t we, the people, have a distinct advantage simply by virtue of having mouths with which to speak? Don’t worry, America is so fair, they figured out a way to make sure even corporate voices get heard. They are called lobbyists.
In fact, the system works so well and is so equal and fair, that there are approximately 20 lobbyists for every member of Congress. Remember when Obama promised us he would shoo those naughty boys out of the White House during his 2008 campaign? It seems he’s not very good at keeping promises, because there are still about 10,290 lobbyists in Washington D.C. who make the voices of corporate America heard loud and clear.
For fun, I looked up who has the loudest voice among lobbyists in Washington D.C. Here are the top three, based on how much free $peech they exercised in 2014:
Pharmaceutical and Health Products: $228,784,563
Business Associations: $163,978,787
Insurance Companies: $151,391,186
I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better knowing that pharmaceutical and insurance companies are that concerned for our well-being. If you assume big pharma spoke to each member of Congress equally, they talked to the tune of $422,891.99 per politician. Great, now I feel guilty—I don’t even opt to donate that $3 towards the presidential election campaign they ask us for on our income tax returns.
Finally, if you’re like me, you may be worried about members of Congress. If the government shuts down, how will they pay their bills and put food on their tables? Don’t worry! Members of Congress will still get paid during the shutdown. Hey, it’s not like it’s their fault government doesn’t work. Why should they be punished?