Like millions of Americans I headed for bed Sunday night (not with all, or even any of them) cranky at the prospect of higher taxes, a slow economic recovery and the bloated civilian and military bureaucracy that politicians and the media tell us is the cause of many of our troubles. The usual us against them.
The “us” are the nation’s hard-pressed taxpayers who are constantly being forced to pony up more money to pay for old, new and expanded government programs that we don’t want, need or use.
The “them” would be you. Active and retired federal workers who, good folks though you may be, are far too plentiful and costly. A luxury we really can’t afford.
Then the president went on TV and announced that we got Osama bin Laden.
I say we.
The hunt for the mastermind of so many deadly terror plots, including 9/11, took more than a decade, cost millions of dollars and came up dry many times. But we got him.
I say we.
Like most Americans, at least over the age of 20, the date 9-11-01 is seared in my mind forever.
When the airplane struck the Pentagon my oldest son was on the other side of the building trying to snag a ride. The hijacked airplane that crashed into the Pentagon took off from nearby Dulles International Airport where my youngest son was attending a trade conference. A very good friend, now with the Interior Department, was supposed to be on that flight. But because of a change of plans she was forced to fly out on Monday, the the 10th. The day before the hijacking. The father of one of my granddaughter’s friends, he’s a Swedish scientist working at NIH, was supposed to be on that flight, but missed his connections. Bottom line…
For a lot of us, here, in New York and all over the country, 9-11 was personal.
And while it took awhile, and some said it would never happen, WE got him. We being the military, the intelligence community, law enforcement and thousands of other feds who had a piece of the action. Even if they didn’t realize it at the time.
One of the lessons learned, although by now most of us should know better, is that even when the government appears to be doing nothing, some people – sometimes lots of people – are going full speed ahead. Just very quietly. We love it at the time, then forget and return to grumbling and “we” changes back to “them” and “us.”
In a couple of weeks, maybe less, you will return to your role as faceless bureaucrats and we will return to our roles as long-suffering taxpayers. But for now, kudos all around.
After all, WE did it!!
Straight From the Top
Talk about perfect timing!!! Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry is the guest tomorrow on our Your Turn with Mike Causey radio show. If you have questions for him, or comments, e-mail them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Remember that is 10 a.m. EDT on your computer at www.federalnewsradio.com or, on regular radio in the DC area at WFED 1500 AM.
Feds owing money could see pay garnished Federal employees who owe back taxes or other money to the federal government could see those debts be taken out of their pay checks even if the debt is more than 10 years old.
FAQ for federal long-term care insurance program The current open season offers what is called an “abbreviated underwriting opportunity.” This means that, if you not currently enrolled in the federal employees’ long-term care insurance program, you may fill out an application with a limited number of health questions