10 JANUARY 17, 2019 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Extraordinary eff orts in extraordinary times
The longest government shutdown
in American history has
entered its fourth painful week,
and some 800,000 of our fellow Americans
are paying the price for political
Since President Ronald Reagan
famously declared government to be
“the problem” in his 1981 inaugural
address, it’s been popular to think of
government as this soulless, all-consuming
entity that does nothing but
spend our taxpayer dollars and get in
the way of progress.
How easy it is to forget, however,
that government is, as President Abraham
Lincoln famously said, “of the
people, by the people, for the people.”
Who are the people? They are airport
security agents, law enforcement
offi cers, parks service personnel, bank
regulators, food inspectors and so
They are, in the end, people who
work hard, have families to support,
have bills to be paid. Right now, they’re
caught in the middle of a political game
and going through great fi nancial diffi -
culty. Some are furloughed and stuck
at home, while others are still at work
— but without compensation.
While the obstinance in Washington
continues, ordinary civilians
are stepping up to do extraordinary
things to their fellow Americans get
through this diffi cult time.
We see it right here in Queens, with
vendors at Kennedy and LaGuardia
Airports offering free meals to
Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) agents for the shutdown’s
duration. Several local charities are
also pitching in, holding food drives
and distributions to help federal workers
feed their families while they go
without a paycheck.
It’s no surprise that the generosity
of Queens residents and others across
the country comes through in the
end, to make a grim situation a little
brighter. That’s the spirit of who we
are as a borough, as a city, as a state,
as a country.
Of course, this shutdown is an unnecessary
situation. There’s no logical
reason for its continuation.
The House Democrats have passed
no fewer than six bills, versions of
legislation overwhelmingly approved
by the Republican-led Senate in December,
that the current Senate now
refuses to take up, and the current
president refuses to consider because
it lacks the funding for an unpopular
and unnecessary border wall.
The 800,000 federal workers
harmed by this shutdown must no
longer be held hostage. They must be
restored to a paying basis immediately.
We can only hope this fi nally happens
sometime after this paper went to
press, and that government fi nally
reopens sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, we’re grateful to
all those who’ve done what they could
to help local federal workers get a bite
to eat and support their families in the
midst of this endless shutdown.
It’s truly a demonstration of the
greatness America has always had.
Classifi ed Manager
Assistant Classifi ed Manager
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