At one point in my fabulous newspaper career, an editor strongly suggested I look for another line of work. I went across the Potomac to a smaller (and now defunct) newspaper to ask for a job.
To make a short story even shorter, I got the job. BUT…
During the interview with the Managing Editor, the kid who delivered newspapers to the newspaper came in collect. The editor appealed to the staff for change, but came up short. Then he asked me if I could loan him $4 until I got my first check. Although I was young and foolish, an alarm bell went off. I thought it might be a bad career move if the top-paid guy in the paper needed me to front him $4.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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Last week, a reader, concerned about our whopping national debt, asked if there was a way that federal workers could help pay it down. So we asked what feds think.
Reaction was mixed, but many think it’s a bad idea until Congress gives up its pork-heavy diet.
(Interesting note: Most of the comments came from women and most came from Defense, IRS and the Department of Homeland Security.) Here goes:
The government needs to sit down with a Budget Expert and learn how to spend within their income. Actually they need to learn how to cut back to spending a lot less than their income to pay off the national debt. Maybe Suzie Orman can sit the Congress down and have them go over the monthly (annual) budget line by line by line to see where all the money goes, how much money comes in and look at items they don’t need to spend to live and cut them. She does this in her book Action Plan.
It’s a thought!” Linda at the IRS
“Seriously, the government can do whatever it wants, and this is not a bad idea. I might even contribute.
“My bigger concern is why are we supporting all these ‘charities’ by giving a tax break for contributions. I am not interested in supporting any charity or religion through deductions. And I would prefer that all religions and charities pay taxes. When the salary of a ‘religious leader’ or ‘charity president’ goes over the mean salary of all taxpayers, that organization should pay taxes.” Rita of the USPS
“Great idea! I’d do it! It’d be fast and easy, since CFC infrastructure is already in place. It would benefit individuals twice…once as a tax deduction (charity) and once by reducing growth of national debt which burdens us all. Plus it would be patriotic. What’s not to like?” DoD
“Re: CFC – why not? Granting tax credit for investing (literally) in the future of our nation seems to make sense to me.” Pat F.
Unions, Politics, Legislation
Today’s Your Turn with Mike Causey radio show promises to be an educational double-header. At 10 a.m. National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen Kelley talks about how government unions operate. Whether you are a member or not, chances are one of the unions or associations represents you.
At 10:30 a.m. Judy Park, longtime legislative director for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees explains why it takes an average of 10 years to get a pro-federal worker/retiree bill signed into law. You can listen live on your computer at www.federalnewsradio.com or, in the DC area at WFED 1500 AM.
To reach me: email@example.com
Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota
Website Corante.com notes “scientific publications are increasing at about 5.5% a year, and (a National Bureau of Economic Research) report suggests that this might mean that any individual who reads at the same rate is seeing their own current knowledge decrease by the same amount.”
ADDITIONAL PAY AND BENEFITS NEWS ON FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Voinovich: hiring reforms will take an act of law
The Office of Personnel Management has its hiring reforms and its Telework Initiative. Senator George Voinovich (R-Oh.) told Federal News Radio that the only way hiring reforms will work is if they’re made into law, not just an executive memorandum. Read more here.
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Worried you’ll have no idea what people are talking about around the watercooler this morning? Each day, the DorobekInsider team collects a group of stories that we’re reading to stay in the know. Among the Dorobek Must Reads for Tuesday, June 1: House approves legislation to limit insourcing quotas, Navy joins effort to track moving oil slick in the Gulf, Are warp-speed trades leaving SEC in the dust? and Are Google Apps and Microsoft heading for a showdown? Read more here.
How, and why, to modernize the legacy of COBOL
Many analysts are saying that federal agencies should work to move away from COBOL. COmmon Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) was invented in 1959 by Naval officer Grace Hopper and is still used widely throughout the federal government. The language is touted as secure and easy to learn, but it’s also old, and can’t quite get the job done. We talk to an analyst who explains why you should make the move sooner rather than later. Read more here.
How Manor, Texas, could help your federal agency
We talk a lot about making Gov 2.0 work at the federal government level, but some smaller governments are already making the technology work for them. Manor, Texas, is near Austin and has been using crowdsourcing to come up with ideas about how to improve life there. The DorobekInsider learns all about how this small city is using Gov 2.0 to make big ideas happen. Read more here.