Time to Terminate
By Tom DiAngelis, PT, DPT
When was the last time you fired someone? What is it exactly that takes you to the point that you terminate a person’s employment, benefits, and possibly change their lives forever?
I suspect that if an employee could not complete their job and continuously did a temporary fix to a problem, you would eventually tell them enough, and they would be out of a job. Yet we have members of Congress—many of whom are repeatedly elected to office—who since 2003 have provided 17 temporary fixes to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) instead of coming up with a permanent fix. In March of this year, they once again failed to perform on the SGR problem and gave us another temporary patch. Please see the column by our lobbyist, Jerome Connolly, in this issue of Impact for the gory details of this never-ending saga.
At some point, the American people have to realize that we have a combined group of useless elected officials who just cannot do their jobs. They cannot do what we have elected them to do, and we continue to tolerate their mediocre performance and elect them into office over and over. How many businesses in this country would tolerate employees who perform at the dismal level our Congress does? I know not one of you reading this column would tolerate it.
For those of you that have been around for a while, I am sure you can remember a time when Congress actually figured out how to work together to move this country forward. I have often questioned what has happened to make the best democracy in the world devolve to be led by a group that is immature, divided, and totally partisan in their actions and deliberations.
I have had the opportunity to ask this of some past members of Congress who have long since stepped down, but still have their finger on the pulse of Congress. They have offered a couple of explanations as to why the members find it so difficult to work together.
The first thing they tell me is that members do not live in D.C. any more. In the past, they would move their families to D.C. and as a result they would see each other more—socialize more. And even though they disagreed on issues, they developed relationships that enabled them to figure out a solution. Now, members leave D.C. at the end of the week and return after the weekend, leaving no time to get to know their colleagues and work together on solving the problems they face.
One of the other reasons offered has to do with redistricting—often a member’s district is either blue or red, but not both. So, a member only has to keep their constituency happy in their district to be reelected; they do not have to worry about their constituents being in the other party. This makes it easier for them to go with the party line instead of doing what they often know is the right thing.
Well, this might provide some explanation for them being unable to perform their jobs, but it is no excuse. It is time that we take a strong look at our elected officials and fire them. Eleven years and 17 temporary fixes is enough for me to vote for anyone other than an incumbent—and fire the ineffective body of people that we employ. How about you?