Cut spending: Permanently furlough ‘official time’ workers
By Matt Patterson and Trey Kovacs, The Washington Times
As politicians of both parties ride through the country Paul Revere-like in their warning about the dire consequences of the looming automatic spending cuts coming with sequestration, a lot of Americans are worried that essential government services will see a dangerous reduction in their operating resources.
Yet there is a way to cut substantial amounts of federal spending that will have zero effect on public services. Simply get rid of federal employees who do no work for the federal government.Yes, such creatures exist, thanks to a bizarre provision in federal labor law called “official time,” which allows a unionized federal worker to work for his union while on his taxpayer-funded duty. Indeed, taxpayers actually pay public employees to labor for unions, which are, it cannot be stressed enough, private enterprises.
For example, James O’Grady is an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who makes $93,175 per year. Only he doesn’t do anything for the EPA, or the taxpayers writing his checks. Instead, he works 100 percent of his time for his union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).