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We’re now a day over two weeks since the government shutdown, yet few indicators suggest a coming resolution. Presenting a typically bold message, President Trump issued a tweet stating that he’s in the White House, ready to deal. Invariably, he sent a call-out to the Democrats: negotiate or suffer political consequences.

Admittedly, I appreciate the Trump administration’s tough stance. From day one, the former real-estate mogul turned President has insisted on strong border security. If the leftist Democrats have their way, we simply won’t have a country. After all, someone has to pay for the onerous burden that non-skilled, non-English speaking foreigners lever on our nation.

But while I support the principle, I’m disappointed with the practice. However important border security is, it cannot lead to a government shutdown. Should that shutdown occur, it cannot spiral towards a salary blackout for our vital defense assets.

Case in point is the Coast Guard. While all other military branches receive proper funding due to a previously-approved budget, the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security. This agency suffered significantly under the current government shutdown. Without some kind of work-around, the guardsmen must perform their duties without pay.

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Government Shutdown Exposes Populist Lies

Obviously, the government shutdown is a bum deal for the Coast Guard. Among the other military-branch service members, they probably receive the least (positive) recognition. Yet these men and women daily risk their lives, in some cases for complete foreigners.

Furthermore, the Coast Guard represents the only military branch that we actually need. While policing the free world has become a moral responsibility for the U.S., this action doesn’t always support our interests. But protecting our border integrity? Without this, we have no nation.

So I applaud the essential government workers who provide a critical role in our defense and our sovereignty. They absolutely must receive payment for their sacrifices. At the same time, this issue provides an important lesson in our dealings with big government.

Essentially, the shutdown demonstrates that you cannot trust the broader protocol. Working hard does not get your foot into the door, nor does playing by the rules: going to college, getting a good job, etc. Increasingly, we are seeing that government cannot keep its promises to its people.

This is fine if we’re talking about bureaucratic office workers. But when it comes to a critical branch in the military, all bets are off. If we can’t pay our most selfless and courageous Americans for their services, something is very wrong.

It just shows that you cannot depend on government for anything. I’d advise anyone from relying upon social security or a pension to provide longer-term financial stability. In this era, the only person you can depend on is you.

By Joshua Enomoto

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