Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
Taxes! Who needs them?
Monday - 8/27/2012, 2:00am EDT
Oh, I'd miss certain things. Like clean air, safe-to-eat food, drugs that work, air traffic controllers and cops. Hmmm ... let me get back to you on that one.
Meantime, here's a guest-column from an about-to-retire Treasury Department employee on the subject of taxes:
This may be more a rant than a column idea.
In my emails at home, I keep hearing from folks who seem to think that Americans are only interested in a society where each person takes care of just that person and maybe his or her family. Is this true? When did people in this country forget the idea of community and pooling resources for the greater good? Is our society willing to pay the price necessary for what we have come to know as civilization?
The citizens of this country need to think long and hard about what they want from their government, and then agree to pay the taxes necessary to fund those services. That goes for the city, county, state and federal governments. Many people seem to be generally in favor of having military, police, fire departments, teachers, paved streets and highways, Medicare, Social Security, etc. But when told this will cost them, many also seem unable to grasp the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Because of the changes in the private sector over the last 40 years, during which union membership has waned and corporate profits became more important than employee pay and benefits, there is little sympathy among our fellow citizens for pay freezes, reduction of benefits and changes to the retirement systems. As I have heard: "If I don't get (fill in the blank), why should a public employee?"
Pulling back from the idea of supporting the greater good and society as a whole hits public employees, federal and state, military and civilian, pretty much right between the eyes. Insisting that one's taxes must always be cut and never increased without paying attention to the services one wants is illogical. I understand the necessity of living within one's means. What I don't understand is cutting one's budget to the extent that one can't support the necessities.
I don't know about you, but I don't find any joy in the idea of living in a country where the prime motivation is avoiding, to the maximum extent possible, the payment of taxes to support civilization. If you agree, then remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and speak out on things that concern you. Go to bat for the bond issue to support your local schools, parks, and libraries. Support your community by being part of the equivalent of a barn-raising back in the pioneer days. If each of us as an individual citizen does not participate to build our civilized society, we will not have one.
If we don't, where the current climate impacts public employees is apparent to all of us, I think. I have served this country for the last 35 years in military uniform and as a state and federal employee. As much as we may want to serve our society and our fellow citizens, if the political will and public money aren't there to support us, we may need to be considering other careers.
— Treasury G-Woman
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
By Jack Moore
Furry animals can shake themselves 70 percent dry in 1/30th of a second, according to new research, Life's Little Mysteries reports.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Study: DoD sequestration cuts would
slam federal workforce, delay pain to contractors
Large defense companies and industry associations have claimed that the threatened sequestration cuts to the federal budget would cause an immediate hit to the bottom lines of contractors, their workforces and consequently the broader economy if the cuts kick in as planned on Jan. 2.
Fired GSA Buildings Service
commissioner finds new job
Bob Peck, who was fired in April after an inspector general's report revealed excessive spending at a GSA conference, was hired by the Gensler consulting group to lead its D.C.-based office.
'Hunt' for cost-cutting ideas at GSA
nets $5M in savings
The agency announced it will implement five cost-saving ideas generated by GSA employees that will save the agency more than $5.53 million.
Postal regulators OK shorter post office
Postal regulators agreed with a Postal Service plan to cut the window hours at 13,000 post offices. Operating hours will be cut to six, four or even two hours per weekday at these locations.