By J. Allen Tharp
I expect to be working on the federal holiday for Independence Day, although my friends in government will be sitting at home barbecuing and getting paid by me. I suppose that should make me feel like celebrating, but for some reason I just can’t get too excited about the whole deal.
Every time a federal holiday comes around, I greet it with mixed emotions. On one hand, if the government is not at work they can’t do us any new harm or create any more wasteful spending programs. After some inexplicable rulings by the high court over the last week, knowing that the government will be shut down and unable to implement any more illegal legislation by the Supreme Court or Executive branch seems like a good thing. I mean–now that we have three legislative branches of the federal government rather than one–we need some time off from all that legislating.
On the other hand, I find it vexing that government employees are paid to take off work yet again, while most of us go to work as usual. It makes no sense to me that we are to celebrate holidays by paying government employees and bankers to take a paid vacation from work. Paid leave for government employees adds not one whit of festivity for the rest of us. Most of us can commemorate a person or event and still go to work. The notion that commemorating any event or persons should be done by “not working” must have been the brainchild of a government employee.
Some holidays have special meaning for me like July 4, while others have no meaning whatsoever, like Columbus Day. And President’s Day? We’ve had more bad presidents than we’ve had good. So I see no need to celebrate this day by pampering “pampered” federal employees.
I also never understood MLK Day. I mean there is no Audie Murphy Day or 911 First Responders’ Day or Chris Kyle Day. So why MLK Day?
And Labor Day? You’d think if we were going to work on any holiday, it would be Labor Day. But the celebration is not really for labor anyway. It is for the unions, which I have no reason to celebrate.
Aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d love to see all other federal holidays become regular work days or be unpaid federal holidays. Yet I know that in a country where Congress exempts themselves from the harmful impact of Obamacare while foisting it on everyone else, it may seem like a pipe dream to expect government employees to actually work for their pay like the rest of us.
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