I guess they were trying to be helpful, but the suggestions from the Coast Guard Support Program for those affected by the government shutdown did not go over well.

It was suggested the furloughed workers take up dog-walking or babysitting, work as "mystery shoppers," or hold garage sales, none of which went over very well.

"Bankruptcy is a last option," the service said in a tip sheet. Ouch!

These and other classic examples of their absurdity were part of a five-page employee assistance tip sheet known as CGSUPRT, designated to help with mental health issues or other concerns about their lives, including financial stability. The Coast Guard, unlike the other military services, receives funding from the Department of Homeland Security. The others get their funding from the Defense Department. The next paycheck for the 41,000 active-duty Coast Guardsmen who are working without pay is due next Tuesday, January 15.

It's not clear whether our Coast Guard service members or others will get paid soon, as the game of political chicken plays out. But to suggest holding a garage sale to help raise enough money to pay one's mortgage or rent is about as effective as yelling at an earthquake to stop shaking.

The time has come and both political sides need to compromise, because it's not about one party losing. To the contrary, compromise is about realizing both parties have just as much right to be satisfied with the end result.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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