Originally published: October 2, 2013
Last updated: October 16, 2013 - 2:44pm
[Commentary] Congress should be tutored on a fundamental principle taught to doctors: First, do no harm. Lawmakers’ inability to pass a timely funding bill has caused a federal government shutdown, denying Americans important services and damaging the livelihoods of 2 million federal workers.
This political breakdown follows the epic budget battles that resulted in “sequestration” — the arbitrary, across-the-board cuts that were meant to be so draconian that Congress would surely act before they could take effect. These budget reductions are saving money but at a high cost. Congress is harming the federal workforce. People are being asked to do their jobs without appropriate resources. They are being furloughed. Pay freezes have been in effect for three years. Morale is plummeting. Would anyone run a business this way? Would you encourage your children to devote their careers to public service? We will never get what we want out of our government if all we do is tear it down. Democrats and Republicans are fighting like King Kong vs. Godzilla — and we are the city getting destroyed around them.
[Stier is president and chief executive of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service]
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