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Why would anyone want to work for this government?

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters as he arrives to a state Republican fund-raiser Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 in Dublin, N.H. The freshman senator has made national headlines suggesting that Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government to stop implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters as he arrives to a state Republican fund-raiser Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 in Dublin, N.H. The freshman senator has made national headlines suggesting that Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government to stop implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

However the antics over a federal shutdown turn out, they have made depressingly clear why so many talented Americans disdain the idea of working for their government.

Who would want to work for an employer so dismissive of its employees that it would heedlessly play games with their livelihoods? People in the employ of their country deserve better than the disregard – even contempt – demonstrated by Congress in its irresponsible brinkmanship.

While the Republican-led House postured by passing doomed legislation, many federal workers spent the weekend assessing the real-world effects of a shutdown. For the more than 800,000 employees deemed nonessential, the prospect included the loss of a regular paycheck and dipping into savings, missing mortgage payments or borrowing from relatives. More than 2 million employees deemed essential would be told to report to work but would likely experience delays in getting paid.

One Hill staffer told us of having to tell a colleague on maternity leave – after having a baby less than three weeks ago – that she wouldn’t get paid during a shutdown. A maintenance worker at the National Air and Space Museum told Washington Post reporters that she had enough savings to manage for two or three weeks and then “I just pray.”

Contrast that with blithe comments from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, an instigator of the misguided effort to tie government operations to defunding the Affordable Care Act, when asked if he would forgo his pay in the event of a shutdown: “I will confess, it is a question I have not given a significant amount of thought. At the current time, I have no intention of doing so.” Later, Cruz said he would donate his salary to charity.

How rich is it that members of Congress – who have proved woefully inept at their job – would get paid but not the scientist at the National Institutes of Health working on cancer research; not the congressional staffer assisting constituents with problems; not the attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development cementing a deal to build housing for the low-income elderly; not the janitor sweeping out a restroom on the Mall?

When President Obama took office, he talked about making it “cool again” to be a federal employee. Instead, there have been three years of a salary freeze, unpaid furloughs and now this cavalier treatment.

We imagine there are federal employees – including veteran professionals with hard-to-replace experience – wondering if they should switch to the private sector or retire.

There are college graduates wondering why they would ever consent to have Congress as a boss. The country’s prospects for attracting and retaining the best and brightest are grievously damaged when it treats its employees as pawns.

And the article is implying the private sector is better? In the private sector; you are actually held accountable for your performance, the company can lay you off (and they do) with a simple days’ notice, there are zero guaranteed raises ever, companies are showing they will make promises for decades toward retirement packages and then just change their minds with zero repercussions, if you voice your true opinion you may just get fired on the spot and don't forget that those honest and fair CEO's average a 300X greater salary than the average worker (where is that in the government pay scales) while claiming there is just no money for raises for all because times are so tough. If it is really so bad, why are there no big lists of vacant government jobs???.... I know a few federal workers and the word last night was no big deal on this shutdown, they will just make our pay retroactive like the last 2 times. Ever seen a private company lay people off and then pay them. Let’s see what happens in the end..... I'm against the government and the private sector treating the employees bad but I'm not sure the government is the worse of the two.

the real question is why would anybody in the right mind (democrats obviously excluded) would think that turning over 1/6th of the USA economy to this dysfunctional bureaucratic inefficient govt is a good idea?

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