With their inability to compromise, the president and the Congress have created a government shutdown that holds hostage innocent government workers and contractors. The negative effects are now spreading beyond that group to the average citizen. Furthermore, when the shutdown ends, public tax money will fund back pay for a long period in which no work was done.

The stalemate makes me ashamed to be an American.

It is time to stop paying the president, the U.S. senators and congressional representatives, and their advisers. Start paying them again only after they end the shutdown and get back to productive work on behalf of Americans.

Not being paid might give them an incentive for the bipartisanship that is sorely needed now.

Anne Williams, Lewiston

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