Reader comment on: Nonessential Personnel
Submitted by ben (United States), Apr 7, 2011 10:50
Just because something isn't urgent, doesn't mean it isn't important. The National Parks will close during a government shutdown. Will anyone die because of this? No. But is educating our children about immigration at Ellis Island, or opening the wonders of Yellowstone to citizens important - yes. Passports will not be processed during a shutdown. Will anyone die? no. But if the shutdown persists it will limit the ability of citizens to travel abroad.
Finally, in defense of capitol elevator operators. The operators actually provide a valuable security role (for far less than putting a Capitol Policeman in every elevator). As there are so many people coming through the capitol building, and the architecture is such that some elevators lead to areas not open to the public, or restricted for staff, the elevator operators are not mere button pushers. In the main office buildings, there are not elevator operators - this is mostly restricted to the capitol building itself.
As for the gym - I would prefer the small expense of a House gym - where people can interact socially (remember how much work Rahm Emanuel got done in the gym) than having all these members wasting their limited time in DC traveling to 24 hour fitness. What I do take issue with is the lifetime membership, that affords congressman turned lobbyists the ability to gain access to members in a way that others can't.
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