Life in the government gravy train

Being in the service of Uncle Sam is — to many outsiders — life, and in fact a very, very good life in a fire-proof cocoon. The ultimate job gravy train. A protected world chock full of benefits, protections, lack of initiative and deadlines, and a great place to retire from. But. the reality is sometimes very different.

Long-time feds quickly learn that for much of their career there is a good chance their CEO (the president aka POTUS) and a large number of their 535-member board of directors (Congress) hate their guts. And even though Congress is fast-becoming a millionaires club on its own, many members (who will repeatedly raise and spend millions of dollars to get a temp job paying in the low-six figures in a place — Washington, D.C. aka The Swamp — that they profess to hate, they often spend 30 or 40 years clinging to their seats of power.

Members of congress love to have major federal installations in their districts or home states. A military base, IRS service center, postal distribution hub, Federal Aviation Administration training facility or a federal prison or VA medical center, is often the hub of small to mid-sized places where one federal job can create and in many cases support as many as five private sector jobs.

If you doubt it, ask folks in Utah, Louisiana, Illinois, North and South Carolina, California, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii, what a big federal presence means to the community. And the tax-base. Not to mention Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

Virginia just reclaimed the title as most business-friendly state which it lost during the Obama administration due to the impact of sequestration and the loss of fed-inspired confidence and wages to both federal workers and the much larger community of federal contractors.

Despite taking pot shots at feds Congress and the White House have failed to trim federal civil service retirement benefits and make workers pay more for them, so far. But the threat is always there. And “friends” can disappoint.

There were three years without pay raises during the Obama administration, two of them suggested by the White House and the third added as icing on the cake by a GOP-dominated Congress. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right?

It appears — mid-year — that the two major retirement plans may again skip any cuts.  And the 3.1 percent pay raise is halfway through Congress and being considered by a frequently less hostile Senate. The fly in the soup is the threat of another shutdown.

This time last year, many experts (real and self-annointed) said it would never happen. Or if it did, it wouldn’t last long enough to notice. A shutdown over Christmas, are you kidding? But it did happen. And over Christmas. And at 35-days, it was  by far the longest.

So there’s that…

Which is by way of introducing this mini-warning from a been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt fed who said:

” Mike: It’s near that time again, shutdown season. When the world stops and millions of our federal workers go hungry, are forced to vacate their homes, commit suicide, etc., all caused by a recurring yearly event known to everyone. Especially the federal worker.

It’s also vacation scheduling time for those who have prepared themselves for this catastrophic time in their lives. Even though nothing has happened, I guess the media  requires time to rehearse their predictions and draw conclusions of how such an event can be allowed to occur in this great country. It’s rehash time!

Then again, they’re probably thankful. It keeps them working and provides a little job security. It also reminds us that it’s been a year or so since the last shutdown and responsible workers have had ample time to prepare for it. 

Good Day!”

Michael W.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By: Steff Thomas

Benjamin Franklin designed one of the first U.S. coins in 1786. Instead of it saying “In God We Trust” like later currency, it said “mind your business.” It is known as the Fugio cent.

Source: The Chive/Wikipedia

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THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Dec 03, 2020 Close Change YTD*
L Income 22.1176 0.021 4.04%
L 2025 10.9943 0.0216 -
L 2030 38.0753 0.0921 8.24%
L 2035 11.3397 0.0303 -
L 2040 42.5508 0.1244 9.51%
L 2045 11.5741 0.0367 -
L 2050 25.1727 0.0852 10.56%
L 2055 12.0481 0.0472 -
L 2060 12.0482 0.0472 -
L 2065 12.0483 0.0472 -
G Fund 16.4975 0.0003 0.89%
F Fund 21.1200 0.0428 7.35%
C Fund 54.5290 -0.024 13.93%
S Fund 70.1509 0.6811 22.95%
I Fund 34.5250 0.2581 3.37%
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* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.