Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Day After Christmas Holiday!

I have a lot of respect for public service workers at all levels of government. Since I am a retired federal employee with 32 years of public service of my own I guess you could fairly say that I am not an impartial judge, but I truly believe that government employees provide vital services that benefit all of us and I appreciate their efforts.

I'm also a taxpaying citizen and while I do not object to paying my taxes I want to be sure they are spent wisely and efficiently. And since I live on a "fixed" (but pretty generous) income supplemented by wages from a part-time job I am sensitive to the economic woes that we are currently experiencing. I'm all in favor of eliminating waste and fraud in government (and everywhere else) but I do not approve of drastically cutting or even eliminating programs that provide vital services, as seems to be in favor in some circles.

Having said that, I have a suggestion for a change that could save some money for government entities at all levels while having a negligible effect on the employees, and it is this: Eliminate the provision that closes government offices and gives employees a paid holiday on Monday when the actual holiday falls on the weekend. We the people would get an extra day of service at no extra expense and the employees would not have to work on the "real" holiday because they have the weekend off anyway!

Of course I was a beneficiary of the federal holiday provision for my entire career so I guess a charge of hypocrisy would not be unfair. But these seem to be dire economic times that call for some sacrifice from all quarters (Yes, I'm looking at you, 1%) and this would seem to be a reasonable contribution on the part of public service employees. Not only would this result in some (probably minuscule in relation to the overall problem) savings but it would help address the image of public servants as being under worked and overpaid. Surely it can't have escaped notice that about the only functions closed on this "holiday" are government services, and I think it's a fair question to ask, "If I have to work, why don't they?" (well, it wouldn't be fair for me to ask it, but you know what I mean).

So, "Happy Day After Christmas Holiday" government employees - now get to work!

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