Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Downtime on Our Dime

What happens if you misbehave at work? Are you given a paid vacation?

No? Oh, you poor thing. You don’t work for the federal government.

The General Accounting Office — the extremely busy outfit tasked to investigate all the myriad rip-offs perpetrated against taxpayers  — has issued a new report. Seems federal workers accused of and often punished for bad behavior at work — from charging personal items on government credit cards to downloading porn — are regularly kept on paid leave for months and even years, while charges against them are investigated.

We’re talking somewhere upwards of 57,000 employees, costing $775 million over a three-year period for not showing up, for not working.

That’s only counting straight salary. These non-working workers also accrue sick leave and vacation time, as well as pad their pensions and move up the pay ladder.

Government rules already say that paid leave is only for “rare circumstances.”

The new meaning of “rare” appears to be “common.”

As The Washington Post explains, “Federal employees are generally entitled to more due process than their counterparts at private companies, which explains why the leave is paid.”

But it doesn’t explain why federal workers should be so “entitled.” We’re all equal, but some are more equal than others?

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is working with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on a bill to narrowly define the rules on paid leave, limiting it to no more than a few days.

Don’t hold your breath, though. In our nation’s capital, reform has been on unpaid leave for quite some time.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

4 Comments

  1. Rick says:

    All i ask is that you keep waving the flag on this.

    One website that focuses on govt pensions is pensiontsunami.com. They cover the bigger states better and pensions are just one facet of the problem, but hey, somehow the people have to become engaged on this.

    I know a married pair of career state bureaucrats and they know they are ripping us off. When the subject comes up at happy hour, all they can do is smile and say nothing.

  2. JFB says:

    The reason there is no reform is that the government workers, federal, state and local, are now the largest and most powerful, not to mention politically active, special interest group in the country.
    It is a matter of unenlightened self-interest, coupled with bayonets to extract the cost from their fellow citizens.
    History reveals the citizens and the government may have had a proper relationship in early US history, but it was short lived. Generally the minions of the government and the citizens have not been, and are not now, equal. The rulers have, and will always seek to maintain, superiority.
    That was the was attempted to be reversed in the formation of our constitutionally limited republic, but the thought and principle is now lost in history. We have devolved to each individual now seeking benefit from the government and an unsustainable entitlement mentality.

  3. Brian Wright says:

    Wow, I really had no idea. That’s a totally amazing stat. Nearly a $billion over three years. Of course hard to measure their productivity when actually on the job.

  4. This seems an appropriate time to throw in my major underlying complaint. That is the various agencies who have become the legislative, executive and judicial branch, and actually carry the power. People work up a lather or various congress critters, who really are minor figures now. As far as I am concerned the agencies are the real tyrants and if there is a possible focus of concern that might be worthwhile I would say it is to focus consistently on dismantling the edifice of bureaucracy. But it does not hurt to begin with the Federal Reserve.

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