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Tea Party a Me Party of bullies and brats still getting paid

By Dian Vujovich

Wanting a job is one thing. Finding a job quite another.  Being furloughed from a job opens a big can of worms for the vast majority of employees who need their paychecks.


I call the Tea Party the Me Party and credit them with why our government has shut down causing, at its height,  some 800,000 individuals to be furloughed.


With the Me Party run by freshmen clearly in control of the House of Representatives, the Lord of the Flies comes to mind. In this instance, the Me Party punks would be the ones lacking Piggy’s eyeglasses.  We all know that it’s never good when those in control lack positive long-term vision. And that inexperienced kids have never been known for exercising good judgment whether  they exist in fiction or the real world.


Back to furloughs and paychecks. I’m not sure everyone in the House understands the stress that’s created when a household lacks a steady income stream.


I’ve friends who work for the NIH.  Grateful when they learned that their furloughed time would result in back pay, they have concerns about how long it will be before other furloughed employees like themselves  see their paychecks. “It was a huge relief to learn we were going to see our pay at some later date,” said the NIH employee who asked to remain anonymous. “But when? ”


Good question. And it’s one that needs a sooner rather than later answer.  After all, the savings rate in the U.S. is nothing to crow about.  Unemployment is costly. And picking up another job to get you through the furloughed time isn’t possible for everyone.


From a United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) comes this:


“Q: May employees take other jobs while on furlough?


A. While on furlough, an individual remains an employee of the Federal Government. Therefore, executive branch-wide standards of ethical conduct and rules regarding outside employment continue to apply when an individual is furloughed (specifically, the executive 3branch-wide standards of ethical conduct (the standards), at 5 CFR part 2635). In addition, there are specific statutes which prohibit certain outside activities, and agency-specific supplemental rules that require prior approval of, and sometimes prohibit, outside employment. Therefore, before engaging in outside employment, employees should review these regulations and then consult their agency ethics official to learn if there are any agency- specific supplemental rules governing the employee.”


In addition to the personal stress furloughed employees face, there’s a financial ripple that the Me Party’s shut-the-government-down play will cause.  Namely a loss in revenues for businesses of all sizes.  When people don’t have money to spend or cut back on their spending on goods and services, businesses feel it. So eventually do the tax collectors and Uncle Sam.


Then again, none of that is likely to register with elected officials who place their own political agendas above all else. And, who have their paychecks coming in on time and as scheduled.

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