Earlier this week recently announced presidential candidate and foot-putter-in-mouther John McCain solicited suggestions via the web on how the federal government could reduce spending.
Lots of good suggestions were made – end the costly war in Iraq, pay Congress minimum wage, or base their pay on performance – though many predictably used it as a sounding board for their non-financial gripes with the government.
I suggested fewer federal holidays.
There seem to be a couple days each month when the banks aren't open, the mail isn't delivered, schools are closed, etc. while the rest of us continue to earn our pay. And, as I understand it, Congress typically takes a week off for Presidents Day!? (This year they didn't, as they were tending to all the business left unfinished by the previous Congress.)
The point is, federal employees continue to get paid even though they aren't working. Perhaps some federal holidays can be optional days off without pay?
I wouldn't touch MLK Day or Vets Day, but do we need a Presidents Day (and all the obnoxious Presidents Day sale commercials that go along with it) or a Columbus Day, dedicated to a confused man who didn't discover our country?
More important, do we need to pay federal employees to take them off? I like the reduced traffic on those days, but not the fact that so much work is going undone while money continues to be doled out.
While it might seem like only a few days a year, consider just how many people work for the federal government (not to mention banks or schools), and who are therefore off on each of those days. That's a lot of dough we're paying out for people to not work.
So, this I say: Get back to work, you lazy bums! What do you think this is, a welfare state or something? Jeez!