Opinion: As Long as Government is Shutdown, Congress and Executive Branch Should Not Get a Salary

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By Herb Jones

(Herb Jones is an opinion writer, that does not reflect the views of R2D staff.)

Kudos to Abigail Spanberger for showing true leadership. Abigail voluntarily forfeited her salary as long as the government is shutdown.  Abigail is a former government employee who fully understands how hard our civil servants work and sacrifice to make this Nation the leader of the free world and the strongest country on planet earth. Every member of Congress, the White House, and cabinet secretaries should forfeit their salaries as long as the federal government is shutdown. This should be law!

As a retired soldier and senior officer, leadership meant taking care of soldiers. It meant ensuring your soldiers were fed and clothed first. It meant ensuring your soldiers’ families are taken care of.  In the field or in combat, officers and NCOs did not eat before their soldiers ate; leaders ensure their soldiers have the proper equipment to perform their mission, and that the equipment is in good order. Leaders set the example in physical, moral, and emotional fitness. Leaders keep their troops informed; leaders explain the the who, what, when, where and why of the mission; leaders don’t lie to or coerce their soldiers to do or perform unethical actions.

We have some people in key leadership positions in the Virginia General Assembly, in Congress, and in the White House who are not true leaders. We have some people in these leadership positions who do not care about the average American citizen. We have some people in these leadership positions who do not care about civil servants who keep this Commonwealth and Nation great. We have people in these leadership positions who blatantly lie to the American public to further their own personal and/or financial agendas.

The United States is the greatest nation on earth, yet we have citizens and families who do not have access to healthcare; we have citizens and families who are homeless; we have citizens and families who do not know where their next meal is coming from. There is long list of shortcomings that need to be addressed, but to shutdown the federal government because Congress rightly refuses to fund a $5 billion vanity wall is the epitome of failed leadership.

Now more than ever in the history of the planet, we need leaders who embody the essence of true leadership. We need leaders who lead by example. We need leaders who have vision. We need leaders who have empathy. We need more leaders like Abigail Spanberger.

Herb Jones is a candidate for Virginia’s 3

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