I was a federal employee for a total of more than twenty years. I worked for National Park Service, the Department of Commerce, and the Social Security Administration. I could tell you many things about federal employment but right now, and along with everyone else, I’m concerned with Obamacare.
It infuriates me that congress would pass a law from which they and their staffs are exempted. In fact, the list of Obamacare exemptions threatens to grow longer than 3,000 pages of the Affordable Care Act bill itself. Naturally, the weakest segment of the population remains on the hook to pay the penalties.
For an administration that uses the word “fair” in nearly every utterance, it’s strange they haven’t noticed it is unfair to grant Obamacare exemptions to political cronies and business lobbies and then penalize individual purchasers.
Right now, a sycophantic media is singing the swan song of government shutdown, but nobody loses their job in a shutdown, and everyone receives back pay so it’s really a little bit like banking the money and getting a free vacation for non-essential federal workers. Essential federal workers stay on the job.
There’s good reason to thank both Democrats and Republicans for the current shutdown. Maybe something important will get done.
I was a federal employee during some of the most productive shutdowns in history-productive, that is, to the taxpayer. Those were the Reagan shutdowns during his presidency spanning the years 1989-1981.
Aside from the paid vacation during the shutdowns, the Reagan presidency didn’t benefit me personally because President Reagan had a hardball approach to the federal budget. He passed something called the “Windfall Elimination Provision” or WEP which meant that some retirees (like myself, for example) with a federal pension would be paid lesser benefit amounts in social security retirement payments.
That was just one provision of Reagan’s budget control strategy aimed at lowering social security payouts. A greater federal budget savings was the creation of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) which meant that, for the first time, federal workers would contribute their share of taxes into the Social Security trust fund. Prior to that, all federal employees were exempted from contributing, even while they could still collect social security benefits from private employment before or after federal employment.
In the future, all federal employees will be paying social security taxes. That’s fair, if fair is really the concern. Fair doesn’t seem to the concern of the Obama administration, and for the Democrat controlled Senate, or they would pass the Vitter Amendment.
The Vitter amendment, which liberal-left publications like Mother Jones shrilly denounce, would make the Democratic congress live under the same Obamacare law they passed for the rest of us. What’s so hard to comprehend about that? If Obamacare is as good as the Obama administration and its cohorts are telling us it is, you’d think they’d be full of enthusiasm to subscribe to it.
Senator Rand Paul would go a step further, amending Obamacare to encompass all federal employees under the federal law that is Obamacare. Current federal employees have a choice of a heavily subsidized deluxe menu of health care choices called Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB).
Obamacare was designed to look just like the federal health care benefit program but is an imposter, a fraud. What looks like a duck to some people is actually a turkey.
President Obama and the Democrats vehemently cling to their special dispensations and don’t have the courage of conviction to embrace their own federal health care law.
I initially believed the current shutdown should be prevented with a continuing resolution while both parties wrangled with the details. I was wrong.
Until I see the Obama administration and the Democrats who passed it embracing their own federal health care law, I’m for extending the federal employee paid vacation, even if it sets new records.
The existing record for government shutdowns occurred during the Clinton administration and spanned 21 days, according to Voice of America. I enjoyed the back pay immensely as it forced me to save.