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Letter: Politicians have an obligation to citizens

President [Donald] Trump and some members of the U.S. Congress have shut down part of our federal government causing hundreds of thousands of federal employees to be without paychecks. The U.S. Coast Guard wanted to help offset the absence of income for its members with ideas such as bartering and garage sales. These ideas were not implemented.    

  In order to share the financial pain that our federal politicians have caused, I have some ideas for them.  Stop taking any compensation from the government until you end this shutdown. 

Until then, you can survive by having lobbyists buy your meals, getting donors to hire your relatives and using inside information to make lucrative investments like former speaker Dennis Hastert. Don’t worry if these things are illegal. If a congressional investigation exposes wrongdoing, just resign and the investigation will be closed. These rules were made by people like you to protect people like you. 

  When you go back to work after the shutdown, use the same voting rules that apply to us citizens.  You must vote on the choices presented to you. You cannot refuse to vote and thereby neglect the nation’s challenges so future solutions will be costly, ineffective and used by you to get unrelated concessions.  You must not shut down the government you pledged to operate for the benefit of your constituents. That would be a failure of your essential purpose.              

Tony Gardner