LETTER: What a government shutdown should look like

Joe Stafford
York Township
The Capitol is seen early Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, as rain falls on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, with the partial government shutdown in its second month. The Senate will vote on two competing proposals today to end the impasse, but neither seems to have enough votes to advance. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By now, we all are painfully aware of what an extended U.S. government shutdown looks like.  

Federal workers, essential and non-essential, are not paid. Services to the public, like security and other essential agencies, are disrupted, as are as parks and museums.

Then there's the unintended, and I might add, unnecessary loss of business revenue not likely to be recovered.

Banks and financial institutions are trying to help with waivers and forgiveness of late fees and missed payments.

Has anyone calculated the loss of tax revenue the "government" is giving up after more than a month?  

And — correct me if I'm wrong — isn't this shutdown just an extension of the failure by Congress to pass a budget back on Sept. 30, 2018?  It's now late January 2019.

Why should citizens accept the continuous failure of Congress to get a budget passed on time? When Pennsylvania's General Assembly fails to pass a budget on time, the effects are obvious, with the governor and legislators held accountable.

So, here's what a U.S. government shutdown should look like — all federal workers stay on the job and get paid, but members of Congress stop getting paid beyond Sept. 30 if there is no final budget. No ifs, ands or "bucks."

I don't have the where-with-all to start such a movement, but maybe there is a small group of "mad-as-hell" voters to pick up the cause.

If a member of Congress is not enthusiastically willing to introduce or co-sign a bill to make this change, voters can look for new members of Congress who will.