It was thoughtful of Sen. Patty Murray (Viewpoint, 7-19) to address and show concern for the 6,700 civilian employees of Joint Base Lewis-McChord who will be required to take one day per week without pay for 11 weeks due to the effects of the sequestration.
Murray cites the fact that they have mortgages, medical bills and families to feed and will be hard-pressed to endure the hardship of a 20 percent pay cut.
That’s all well and good, but I find it rather disturbing that she has yet to empathize with the more than 237,000 unemployed in her home state. Those individuals have already taken a 21 percent cut in weekly benefits as well as a 10-week reduction in eligibility, yet the senator is curiously silent about their plight. Any one of them would gladly sacrifice 11 days pay for a full-time job that pays a livable wage and benefits. Do they not have bills to pay and families to feed?
Could it be that she chooses to ignore the issue because it is politically damaging to the current administration? And exactly what sacrifices have she and her colleagues in Congress made due to the sequestration?
Murray points out that the approval rating for Congress is “a measly 10 percent” and attributes it to “gridlock.” That may be a part of the problem, but her Viewpoint is rife with obvious misplaced priorities and political posturing, afflictions which are all too common among politicians.