Shutdowns: 2020 style

If there’s a government shutdown next year, in late 2020, will air traffic controllers on paid parental leave actually get paid? Or will they have to wait like their coworkers until the shutdown is over for Uncle Sam to show them the money?

Silly question, right? Or is it!

If there is a government shutdown this time next year, which is highly possible, will FBI agents, federal firefighters and various inspectors on paid parental leave still have to come back to work like their colleagues who are forced to work during shutdowns?

Again, get real, right? Nobody would design a system like that. Nobody is that stupid. Or would they, and are they? In fact, have they already got a working model in which you are one of the many moving parts?

No doubt greater minds have considered those scenarios  and solved them during the decade-long drive to win the benefit — 12 weeks paid leave — for government workers who become new parents.    But the fact that some people have asked it illustrates how wacky shutdowns, usually triggered by a Congress-versus-White House power play, really are.

It’s hard to imagine a company in business to make, or for that matter launder money would shutdown its operations to make a point — even if it had one. It is even harder to imagine an outfit locking some people out of the office while forcing others to come to work without paying them. If that happened in the real world federal inspectors would be all over them.

But since shutdowns, like the 35-day nonevent last December and January, are limited to the government many of the rules that apply to others don’t apply. In the private sector unions sometimes strike and take the financial consequences to win a benefit or make a point. In government it works the other way: The CEO and the board of directors (the president and usually the House of Representatives) go on strike because they haven’t done their jobs. Since they make the rules, they continue on the payroll while the foot-soldiers under them either work or go into standby mode.

It hard imagine any organization other than the federal government that shuts down, then partially reopens, then orders workers on travel to return and those on vacation to stop having fun.

Its also hard to imagine that this same outfit, Uncle Sam as directed by the politicians, still haggling in court over how to handle a shutdown that took place in 2013, six years ago. In a case brought by the American Federation of Government Employees, the judge ruled that more than 21,000 feds who were forced to work during that shutdown were due not only pay, which they finally got, but also that the employees were due damages, which they will get — someday. Which will come from you unless you’ve found a way to avoid those pesky federal taxes.

This is from folks whose operation has a monopoly on both printing currency and then recollecting it via taxes. Now that’s a business plan!

Shutdowns always last a lot longer than the official calendar shows. Past shutdowns are still working their way through various courts, and some may not be finalized before you retire.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

To date there have been 10 honorary Harlem Globetrotters throughout the team’s more than 90-year history. They include: Henry Kissinger, Bob Hope, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Jesse Jackson, Robin Roberts, and Popes John Paul II and Francis.

Source: MentalFloss

Comments

Your Turn with Mike Causey

WEDNESDAYS at 10 A.M.

Learn about everything from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes. Dial 667-930-9385
to listen live from any phone. Follow Mike on Twitter and send him an email with your questions and comments. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Dec 03, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2215 -0.0408 4.32%
L 2025 11.9963 -0.0431 7.70%
L 2030 42.3804 -0.2118 9.58%
L 2035 12.7320 -0.0701 10.38%
L 2040 48.1934 -0.2912 11.19%
L 2045 13.2040 -0.0861 11.85%
L 2050 28.9321 -0.2026 12.55%
L 2055 14.2261 -0.1257 15.21%
L 2060 14.2261 -0.1257 15.21%
L 2065 14.2260 -0.1257 15.20%
G Fund 16.7177 0.0007 1.26%
F Fund 21.0261 0.08 -1.14%
C Fund 68.4493 -0.5796 23.16%
S Fund 80.7041 -1.887 11.80%
I Fund 37.7230 -0.1338 6.04%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at tsp.gov
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.