Dear United States government:
You have been shut down now for 15 days so I am writing to tell you that you need to prorate me 1/24 th or 4.1% of my federal taxes. This money will be put to good use since I will use it to pay my debts – something that as a body you seem unable or unwilling to do. But I am a reasonable, civic minded human being with an understanding that in a democracy just because I don’t like one law or one policy (I’m looking at you out-of-control 2nd amendment right), it doesn’t mean I get to have a gargantuan hissy fit and threaten 350 million people’s right to the pursuit of happiness.
Can we stop for a minute and remember that the constitution does not guarantee us this happiness but rather to the pursuit of it – so just because a small minority (who are given a massive bullhorn via certain media outlets) feel like the Affordable Care Act has made them unhappy, it’s not a constitutional catastrophe! Let’s also remember that, while their unhappiness is regrettable, two elections and a Supreme Court have made it a law AND a public mandate.
Anyway, returning to my original point about the money you owe me, I am willing to accept payment in the form of extra services so I suggest the following for every member House of Representatives, Senate and White House (AND their families):
1) 15 days of military service in the war theater of our choosing
2) 15 days of substitute teaching in a “failing” public school
3) a compulsory, non-medically necessary invasive medical procedure of our choosing (I vote for a wanded ultrasound of your nether regions performed without anesthesia)
4) 15 days of working with police officers or fire fighters
5) 15 days of working with social workers who look after kids and families struggling with poverty, and abuse, or grief counselors working to comfort victims of gun violence
6) 15 days of living on the minimum wage
7) 15 days of going without your health insurance so when you come back EVERYTHING will be a pre-existing condition and you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the procedure noted above in point 3
8) 15 days of cleaning up trash at our national parks
9) 15 days of living on the street, eating at soup kitchens, and sleeping in shelters
10) 15 days of not talking to ANY media outlet – so no appearing on TV/radio/twitter/Facebook/any social media – in fact I would like a 15 day complete embargo during which the 24 hour cable news shows may not talk about politics at all! Tell us what’s happening in the rest of the world, tell us about new scientific discoveries, show us art, talk to writers and musicians and teachers and park rangers and contortionists – anyone but a political “pundit”.
11) 15 days during which you will say at least one nice thing about the other political party every day and mean it!
12) 15 days where you get to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done and how you’re going to do a better job about the choices you make when representing our interests
I think I would let you keep the taxes you owe me for any one of these services. Meanwhile, I will remind you that you work at the pleasure of the American people and you have managed to piss off ALL your bosses – good work! Don’t count on job security, start sprucing up your resume – you may want to leave out the bit where you had a temper tantrum and shut down the federal government – amazingly that is not a skill set most employees are looking for. We wish you the best in your future endeavors – (frankly that’s a bullshit phrase that all rejection letters use)!
I will leave you with advice I give my 10 and 7 year old – “I don’t care who started it, FIX IT!!! And don’t make me ask again!!”
Sincerely and with complete disgust
American citizen and pissed-off boss!