For once, it's OK to watch the clock

Friday - 8/1/2014, 6:27am EDT

Be careful at work today. .

Why? Because ...

The key is making it through the day without being further insulted or threatened by Congress. If that happens then you will have until after Labor Day before your job-related problems begin again. And with the elections fast-approaching , it shouldn't be too bad.

This has been tough year to be a fed. One of a series of tough years for people whose only sin is that their direct deposit paychecks come from the U.S. Treasury. Or that some of their bosses turned out to be crooks or incompetents.

To cure the government, and make it is cost less, Congress and the White House have been pushing a number of financial "reforms." Most involve the federal government, specifically the people working for it. The "cure" resulted in frozen federal pay raises, the insertion of the dreaded and little-understood sequestration process for the next 10 years. Future plans — now temporarily on hold, but sure to return — include forcing feds to pay more for their pensions (thus reducing take-home pay). The only difference between the White House and House GOP plans is how much more workers would kick in. Also sure to return is the bipartisan plan to give retirees smaller inflation-adjusted COLAs in the future, and (worst case scenario) eliminate the FERS retirement program for future hires.

Because of the fast-approaching election, the White House has backed off (temporarily) supporting a higher CSRS/FERS retirement contribution for employees, and use of a new inflation-measuring yardstick that some say would take $30,000 to $50,000 off the lifetime benefits of current and future retirees. But those proposals are expected to come back next year.

The failure of the Democratic controled Senate and Republican- controled House to get almost anything done has, for feds, mostly been a plus. The one thing they did agree on (in the last week) was a streamlined demotion/firing process for career executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs. If it works (or maybe even if it doesn't) it could be extended to the IRS, GSA, Homeland Security and other agencies that have found themselves (right or wrong) in the spotlight of late.

The departure of Congress is no guarantee that the next 5-weeks will be a time of total tranquility. There's bound to be an earthquake, volcano or tsunami somewhere that will capture our attention. Maybe cause us some problems. Raise oil prices. Who knows?

There's bound to be a coup or civil war somewhere in the next five weeks. Russia and Ukraine will still be there, although there may be more Russia, less Ukraine. The Middle East, as a "problem" is not likely to go away. The chances of Vladimr Putin telling President Obama, "You know what? You were right. What was I thinking? Sorry about, you know, everything," are slim, at best.

Closer to home your landlord or bank will still expect to get that payment. If you have a dog with a you-know-what-problem you know it isn't going to get better with age. Ditto for the same problem with your spouse or significant other. It will still be there after Labor Day. Maybe bigger (or smaller, whichever is worse) than before.

Most of the non-work related problems you have will not go away.

But Congress will be gone. So for that, give thanks!


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID:

By Michael O'Connell

The Tonawanda Kardex played one season in the National Football League. The Western New York team played only one game in the NFL during the 1921 season, a lopsided, 45-0 road loss to the Rochester Jeffersons. The Kardex finished the season O-1, in a four-way tie for last place in the league.

Source: Wikipedia


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