Government Employee Wants Law to Stop Government Shutdowns

What would we do without the International Trade Commission? Wait ... what do they do?Source: Wikimedia CommonsOur regulatory masters are once again returning to the workplace to tell us whether we can sell beer or go fishing for crabs. The New York Times reports the process of bringing federal employees back into work (which apparently includes having to tell employees to check their emails and fill out their time cards, as though the shutdown also mandated wiping their memories).

It’s fascinating to see government employees rattled by job insecurity. One furloughed employee at the International Trade Commission, rather than realizing pinning one's career trajectory on the cooperation of lawmakers introduces this risk in the first place, wants to expand government regulation even further:

Robert Lagana said Thursday morning he was eager to get back to his job at the International Trade Commission.

“It beats climbing the walls, wondering where your next paycheck is going to be and how you’re going to make your bills,” Mr. Lagana said as he made his way to his office near L’Enfant Plaza.

But he also expressed frustration with lawmakers who held up the budget over the new health care law. “They really need to come up with a law where this never happens again,” he said, adding later, You just feel like you don’t have a voice.”

Yeah, they just need to pass a law! How hard can it be for those guys in Congress to pass a law anyway? Here’s a federal employee, talking like somebody in the “American Voices” section of The Onion. The Times neglects to say what Lagana actually does for us. A search at Government Salary Data indicates a Robert Lagana at the International Trade Commission who works as a “miscellaneous clerk and assistant” for the modest salary (especially for D.C.) of $40,504 a year. He’ll also be getting back pay for the clerical work he didn’t actually do when he wasn’t working, which is a perk few who have dealt with a furlough in the private sector can claim.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    “It beats climbing the walls, wondering where your next paycheck is going to be and how you’re going to make your bills,” Mr. Lagana said as he made his way to his office near L’Enfant Plaza.

    HOLY FUCK WHAT A PERFECT EXAMPLE. Every job has its risks, often unique to the position. When you enter public sector work, you know the risks.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I don't know about you, but if I had to go 2 weeks without my biweekly paycheck, I'd go nuts. Can you imagine not knowing exactly what day you're going to get backpay for work you didn't do?

  • Dweebston||

    What risk? Has any government employee in recent history gone without a single paycheck due to a so-called shutdown, furlough, or see-kwes-ter?

  • Adam330||

    yes, they aren't paid for the sequester-caused furloughs.

  • Dweebston||

    Fair enough. In light of this revelation, I second the gentleman's recommendation that the practice of government shutdowns in response to budgetary shortfalls be ended and replaced with sequestrations. Annual sequestrations aimed at shaving 10% across the board until tax revenues exceed spending. Also, halving taxes across the board.

  • datcv||

    The bureaucrats should be put into a Colosseum and only the survivors get the remaining paycheck money.

    Their only weapons will be a rubber stamp, an ink pen, and a stack of manila folders.

  • anon||

    “It beats climbing the walls, wondering where your next paycheck is going to be and how you’re going to make your bills,”

    So, basically, he's saying "MY GOD HOW DO YOU PLEBES DO IT!?"

    I would literally give everything I own to fire every one of these motherfuckers forever.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I'd gladly throw into that pool anon, however, they are busy taking all of our shit to keep themselves "working" forever.

  • Pelosi's Accommodator||

    Yeah, fuck these fucking fucks. They took a job at an employer that had been losing money for decades and showed every sign of being institutionally incapable of fixing the problem. If I took a job at a private firm that behaved like that, I'd be an idiot.

  • fish_remote||

    Robert Lagana said Thursday morning he was eager to get back to his job at the International Trade Commission.

    Robert Lagana said Thursday morning he was eager to get back to his job surfing the internet and making personal calls while sitting in his $1200.00 custom ergonomic chair in his very well appointed office at the International Trade Commission.

    FTFY

  • Hugh Akston||

    adding later, “You just feel like you don’t have a voice.”

    That's gotta be frustrating.

  • From the Tundra||

    Can you even imagine? Thank we're part of the libertarian ruling class and don't have that problem...

  • anon||

    Only because us libertardian teathuglican types don't have feelings!

  • From the Tundra||

    Sure we do. Why, just the other day I bought my principal monocle polisher a brand new chamois. You should have seen the look of gratitude on his face, even after I had to cut his rations to offset the costs.

    "No feelings", huh?

  • From the Tundra||

    Wow, zod got zapped. Thank *zod*...

  • fish_remote||

    That's okay FTT we knew you meant to praise Zod.

    Hail Zod!

  • mr simple||

    The Kochs are going to be pissed if they don't get their thanks, too.

  • John||

    They have really done a hell of a job destroying civic education in this country. I am sure this guy has a load of credentials. Yet, despite all of that schooling, he seems to have no understanding of the legislative process. He actually thinks Congress, you know the law making body, is bound by laws. That we could just pass laws that can't be undone or ignored by future Congress. Despite working in the government, he seems to have no understanding of government fiscal law. I don't care what law you want to pass, there is this little thing we like to call the Constitution. And it has this clause that gives Congress and only Congress the power to spend tax money. So I don't care what law you have, if Congress hasn't appropriated the money, you are not going to work and you are not getting paid there fella.

  • Tman||

    I made the mistake of listening to our Dear Leaders press conference on the radio this morning. The big takeaway was that he really really really loves his federal workers You Guys.

    Maybe Mr. Lagana should ask him for a raise.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    You know what that makes them?
    BIG DAMN HEROES

  • Marc F Cheney||

    That's just... blasphemous.

  • Pelosi's Accommodator||

    TOP MEN

  • Raston Bot||

    I would talk a lot more shit if this was a GS-13/15 making $100K+ (while complaining they could make more in the private sector) but it's some shlub cleric.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wielding a Mace of Healing?

  • The Heresiarch||

    3rd level Cleric, perhaps?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    With a Wisdom if 8 and that's his highest stat...

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    That may be but at least he can use Turn Merchant.

  • Loki||

    it's some shlub cleric

    SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!!!1

  • Adam330||

    The Rs might try to use this angle as a cut-spending tool. They could propose an automatic-CR that is X% less than prior years' spending. They'd sell it as the end-of-shutdowns.

  • creech||

    I'd be very happy if they just froze spending for several years, 'cause actually cutting spending is not going to happen.

  • Adam330||

    keeping it even could be the fallback.

  • mr simple||

    Freezing spending is actually DRACONIAN cuts as spending will not be increasing by as much as they want.

  • LauraB||

    Back when I had a job, 2 years in a row, everyone was furloughed for a week. No back pay in the private sector because the point of the furlough was to save money so they wouldn't have to lay people off. Third year--layoffs. Government just grows and grows and cares nothing about saving money or meeting budget guidelines because they can just shakedown the private sector whenever they want more money. No consequences to that, at least not for them. And congenitally dishonest people like Pelosi say there's no more to cut when they haven't cut a damn thing. No sympathy from me. Government employees live a dream world paid for by others.

  • montana mike||

    Why do you hate the WORKERZ, laura, haters are not nice...

  • Pro Libertate||

    We should have a constitutional amendment that requires the government to spend only what it takes in. This would protect our sacred government workers, too. Well, at least those that are funded.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It should be illegal to ever shrink the government, or reduce spending.

    Got it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This would protect our sacred government workers, too. Well, at least those that are funded.

    I'm in favor of keeping those employees who can be shown to provide value in excess of their cost.

    What's that? There is no way to conclusively determine this?

    Oh, well...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, we'll need some employees. Like an old lady with a visor who counts the money.

  • thom||

    That salary data lookup site ruined my day. I have acquaintances that apparently make far too much money.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Making and taking are two different things dude.

  • Loki||

    “It beats climbing the walls, wondering where your next paycheck is going to be and how you’re going to make your bills,”

    Awww, you poor fucking baby, now you know how it feels to work in the private sector and get laid off. Except for those of us with real jobs, we don't get back pay once if we go back to work, nor do we have the certaintity of knowing our old jobs will be there once the politicos stop setting their sofas on fire and shitting on the carpet.

    Mr. Lagana said as he made his way to his office near L’Enfant Plaza.

    L'enfant, French for "the infant." How appropriate.

  • Solus||

    They knew from past shutdowns they would be paid. My contempt overflows for over paid and benefited ingrates. I know the complainers only represent a few but the nerve to whine hurts their image further in the public eye.

  • ||

    The only way I can think of to write legislation to prevent government shutdowns that would not trip over (and be annihilated by) the Constitution would be to eliminate furloughs.

    When the government would otherwise be shut down, the employees who would normally be sent home will simply be required to work without pay for the duration. Since slavery is illegal, they would always have the option to quit (and forfeit their pensions in the process) if they decide they actually need money to live on.

    You can't actually outlaw shutdowns themselves, since they are a side effect of Congress not giving the government any budget money, which is totally within the purview of Congress. The only way to alter that is a constitutional amendment to remove Congress's power over the budget, which would cause even worse problems than any it might solve.

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