Government workers are increasingly learning to be thankful for small things. As in really little bits of good news: Like the fact that this isn’t Friday the 13th, a day dreaded by some and celebrated by sicko Hollywood directors.
In fact, this Friday, the 12th day of this month, should be a relatively normal end-of-the-week event for most normal government workers. The keys words are “relatively” and “normal.”
IRS workers — who last Friday were told to stand down, stay home and shut up — are back on the job. More rested, relaxed and broke than in a long while.
Whether the revenuers can make up collecting the taxes due that weren’t collected last Friday is debatable. Most will probably try. But some are quite bitter over what they see as the stupidity and hypocrisy in the ways the White House, Congress and the executive branch have engineered the across-the- board cuts. In some cases, they aren’t cuts and in others they aren’t across-the- board. Whatever…
Defense Department civilians also have something to celebrate today. More than 600,000 career civil servants were told, reluctantly, that their services wouldn’t be needed on Monday. But to report cheerfully for duty the next day. The “good” news is that it will be a couple of weeks before the 20 percent pay cut — because they didn’t work Monday — shows up. Meantime, they can continue to eat, drink and be merry based on pre-sequester levels.
Thanks to the interesting nature of the sequester (designed and presented by the White House, and eagerly embraced by the Congress) the people responsible for it are exempt from it. They continue to get paid while working for a solution to the problem they created.
You gotta love this country!
The good news about sequestration is that the world didn’t end, as many friends and foes predicted. The bad news is that it is still operating at various levels. It didn’t trigger a return to recession, yet. But many federal contractors — who mostly carried on when the cuts started — are now working up layoff plans. That could hurt in lots of places.
Although we are told the country is in dire financial straights, a House GOP-led subcommittee this week voted to cut funding and jobs for the IRS. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said that’s a cut of nearly $3 billion from the current fiscal year, and $3 billion less than the increase proposed by the White House.
Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says the sequestration furloughs at Defense are undermining national security, a “savings” the public can’t afford, especially now. Hoyer is House Democratic Majority Whip. His 5th district of Maryland includes one of the largest concentration of federal workers in the nation.
Meantime, Martha an Indianapolis-based Treasury Department worker, has passed on a question lots of furloughed-feds are asking. She says:
“I was watching WGN news out of Chicago Wednesday night. I heard Governor Quinn has advised the Illinois legislature that he plans for them to go without pay until they can make a decision on pension reform.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this could be implemented on our U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives regarding sequestration? The games really need to stop. These folks (the politicians) need to realize they were elected to do a job.”
The Slurpee capital of the world is Manitoba, Canada. There are an average of 188,000 of the slushy beverages sold in five area carry-outs every month. Customers in Washington, D.C., buy the most hot dogs and Coloradans buy the most nachos.
Charities bristle at OPM’s proposed changes to CFC program The Office of Personnel Management’s proposed changes to the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual federal fundraising drive, are getting a frosty reception from local charities. OPM wants to do away with the local volunteer coordinating committees and put in place a set of more centralized regional committees established by OPM. It also wants to require charities to pay an application fee and eliminate cash and check donations in favor of electronic donations.