A four-day Christmas weekend for feds?

Normally, this time of year the President is worrying about many of the same things he worried about last year: Syria, Iraq, the unemployment figures and what Vice President Joe Biden is going to say next!

This year, he has added problems: The Ebola situation and the fact that Christmas 2014 falls on a Thursday. But Friday, Dec. 26, is a regular workday, unless …

Unless federal workers are given a bonus day off on Friday Dec. 26. But that creates problems. What about the hundreds of thousands of essential feds whose posts must be covered 24/7 every day of the week. Do they work while their colleagues get a day off? Do they get holiday pay? Most unlikely. And what about people whose regular day off is Friday?

Talk about a federal case, this is it!

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Giving federal workers a bonus day off would create a 4-day Christmas holiday. It would be a boon to merchants, restaurants and local businesses. Especially in places like Washington, D.C.; Seattle; Austin; San Diego; and Huntsville, Alabama, where there are lots of feds, and also in towns — like Ogden, Utah — where Uncle Sam is the primary employer. Towns near military bases, VA hospitals, federal prisons and IRS centers love 4-day weekends for feds. On the other hand, a 4-day weekend for federal civil servants would antagonize beat-the-bureaucrat types who think federal employees are too coddled as it is.

So what are the odds that Friday, Dec. 26, will be a bonus day off? Short answer: Good but not guaranteed.

When Christmas eve, Dec. 24, hit on Thursday in 2009, President Barack Obama gave feds a half day off.

More often than not, feds have gotten time off — either the full day or a half day off — when Christmas fell on a Thursday or a Tuesday.

So is it likely to happen? Yes, but not a sure thing. Would it be a smart move, maybe give the economy a little nudge? Again, yes.

Will it be announced before the Nov. 4 election? Don’t bet on it.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID:

By Michael O’Connell

On Aug. 27, 1883, the earth generated a sound louder than any other ever recorded, when the island of Krakatoa erupted in a volcanic explosion. The sound registered at 172 decibels 100 miles from the source. Pressure waves from the explosion circled the earth three to four times in each direction.

Source: Nautilus


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