Grayson: The Legend of Florida's 8th District


The last time I caught Rep Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) trying to meddle in the affairs of private business, it was during this interview with Neil Cavuto, when he explained that his eponymous "pay for performance" bill would outlaw "unreasonable and excessive compensation" for any employee of a company that accepted government bailout money. Who decides what is unreasonable? The Secretary of the Treasury, of course!

Now Grayson is back (likely having read about generous European vacation policies in The New York Times) with the Paid Vacation Act. According to Politico, it is "legislation that would be the first to make paid vacation time a requirement under federal law." Naturally, Grayson represents Florida's 8th district, home to Disney World and the creepy, Stepford town of Celebration:

The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they've put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.

The idea: More vacation will stimulate the economy through fewer sick days, better productivity and happier employees.

"There's a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation," said Grayson, a freshman who counts Orlando as part of his home district. "Honestly, as much as I appreciate this job and as much as I enjoy it, the best days of my life are and always have been the days I'm on vacation."

NEXT: Going Dutch

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  1. Now that he’s in Congress, he’ll have nothing BUT vacation:

    Oldie but a Goodie.

    Regardless and needless to say, what a douchebag.

  2. “There’s a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation…”

    I went to Disney World when I was 14 years old. Since that time, my happiness has been contingent upon never visiting another Disney Theme Park. Ever. Under any circumstances.

  3. Grayson: The Legend of Florida’s 8th District

    But where is Cheeta?

  4. By the way, I just got the Tarzan reference.

    When I went to boarding school in Florida, one of my classmates was the son of Richard Kelly, the Republican Representative from the 5th District. The 5th District included Silver Springs, where several Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies were filmed.

    Also, Richard Kelly would later go on to be indicted in the Abscam scandal.

  5. “Honestly, as much as I appreciate this job and as much as I enjoy it, the best days of my life are and always have been the days I’m on vacation.”

    The feeling is mutual, asshole.

  6. Tarzan’s family name was Graystoke, not Grayson, boy wonder

  7. Ever see Irreversible? Grayson could benefit from a beating with a fire extinguisher.

    And let’s not even go into how much he would love Le Rectum.

  8. The idea: More vacation will stimulate the economy through fewer sick days, better productivity and happier employees.

    All of which would benefit employers. So employers who see the magical power of vacations to accomplish these three goals will have an advantage in the marketplace. No law needed.

  9. gah, this congressman is a bigger douchebag (after watching the vid) than I originally thought.

    “‘The Secretary of the Treasury is going to determine’ executive bonuses”


  10. Ever see Irreversible? Grayson could benefit from a beating with a fire extinguisher.

    I’d have thought you’d have wished that particular level of fire extinguisher beating on one of the more egregious politicians. As they go, Graystok…I mean, Grayson isn’t one of the top assholes. He should get Aylmer through his brain from Brain Damage, I’d say. That’s about right.

  11. The last election in the 8th District was between incumbent Republican chipmunk Ric Keller and Grayson.

    I left that one blank.

  12. “the best days of my life are and always have been the days I’m on vacation.”

    And therefore, of course that must be true for everyone.

  13. …Disney World is the happiest place on Earth…

    Try saying that after you visit the Dells. It’s “The Waterpark Capital of the World!?”

    (This comment is sponsored by the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau.)

  14. Wow, forcing companies to pay people for a week in which they didn’t do any work. Hey, that won’t result in decreased productivity and an increase in the cost of doing business which will naturally be passed off to the consumer, will it?

  15. I have a man crush on Cavuto. Is that wrong?

    People are getting exactly what they voted for. I can’t wait for the backlash from all the business owners who supported him.

  16. What’s the vegas line on there being an exception to Grayson’s legislation that applies to Disney, Inc?

  17. The subtext to my previous comment being, of course, that Grayson is the name of the original boy wonder, Robin, now known as Nightwing.

  18. What a coincidence. I’m also happier when Grayson is on vacation.

  19. Waterparks . . . reminds me.

    Several years back one summer, I use to flirt with a cute nineteen year old intern at a bank I was working at the time. She once mentioned in conversation her identical twin worked at the local water park.

    I happened to go there in the middle of the summer with my brother and nieces, and I was given the task of watching the youngest niece play in the kiddie pool while my brother took the eldest one on some rides.

    I noticed the identical sister helping a three year old kid to swim. She was in a two piece bathing suit that was kind of like a hybrid between a bikini and swim trunks. It covered up way too much but her body was still outstanding.

    Out of nowhere the little kid is flinging his arms around and he grabs onto the back of the waist band and pulls down her trunks, and she drops him in the water as he does this, she reacts by bending down to scoop him up with her ass in the air, and then she swung back up to pull them back in place.

    I pretended to be too preoccupied with my niece to have noticed what had happened.

    Back at the office the next week, the other twin asked me, “What are you smiling about?”, and with a sing song in my voice, I told her, “I know what you look like nekad.”

  20. 58 seconds in pretty much sums up his hypocrisy

  21. check out his website, apparently he is also raising a harem of strippers.

  22. I wish to offer a competing plan: 8 weeks paid vacation! One week of vacation is enough for sleep. Two weeks and you might have enough time to leave town. But you’ll be checking your work email the whole time.

    No, you need 8 weeks before you really feel like you’re on vacation.

    Now all we need to do is figure out how to enforce this plan. US Marshals should be able to take care of it.

  23. In British Columbia, Canada, everyone has the right to (at least) 2 weeks’ paid vacation per year.

    I was incredibly shocked to hear that no one in the USA has a similar right.

  24. John, first… you’re confusing rights with privileges. And in the process you are failing to realize that your privileges shit all over actual rights of employees & employers to establish their own contracts and manage their own affairs with respect to their property. You also wind up failing at understanding the economic drain these privileges cause.

    The fact is though, it’s very simple, everyone getting 2 weeks off = 2 weeks fewer per individual, per industry, of productive value to society. This means, fewer goods are produced than could have been at the same cost as if they had been, which means prices can only go up. This doesn’t make workers more productive… it makes them less so. And that in turn means companies necessarily charge higher prices to compensate, to you and to your potential overseas clients. Do that enough, and you are not remotely competitive in international markets and you may very well lose even local business to imports of the same good you could be producing. Of course you’ll keep imported goods out through increasingly high tariffs, only to wonder why the standard of living isn’t improving… and worse of course, that’s that much less Canada contributes to the wealth of the world, meaning that the poorest of the poor go that much hungrier, and that many more people wind up dead without access to the food & medicines that could have been produced, but weren’t. And of course, more people are unemployed as a result.

    Which leads me to the ironic conclusion: You get two weeks paid vacation, but everything is more expensive and ultimately you can’t really afford to actually *do* anything anyway. Good times!

  25. “We [Congress] can punish bad behavior….”

    NO YOU CAN’T. Doling out punishment belongs in the judiciary. When the legislative branch is forbidden from doing so (“bill of attainder”).

    I thought our congresscritters swore to uphold the Constitution.

  26. Grayson is advocating giving sweeping, vaguely defined powers to the Treasury over pay rates in these companies and he does not see any potential for abuse? Apparently Grayson believes that only the unjust will be affected by this because the tax cheat Geitner(sp?) is such an upstanding, moral man.

    And leftists around here accuse libertarians of amgical thinking about markets.

  27. I’ve got to agree with Mister DNA. I never want to go to another Happy Fun World? (of any stripe) in my life again. And if children are involved in any way, I would probably commit murder to avoid going to any of them. The “happiest place on earth”? Only for lunatics.

  28. Any American who favors the government forcing employers to pay employees who aren’t actually at work should also support my “Force Americans to Buy Products and Services They Don’t Get Week” legislation. If they aren’t hypocrites, that is.

    Under my legislation, for one week all Americans would be required to send checks to businesses for goods and services they won’t actually get. If you typically spend $200 a year at Burger King, for example, you will owe Burger King 1/52nd of that. You won’t get a burger or anything, you just send them the money. All Americans will be required to track all of their purchases in accounting software so that the amounts they owe can be calculated.

    This will result in increased productivity over all, because the people at Burger King will feel less stress.

    Why would anyone complain about such a fair law?

  29. “””””when he explained that his eponymous “pay for performance” bill would outlaw “unreasonable and excessive compensation” for any employee of a company that accepted government bailout money. Who decides what is unreasonable? The Secretary of the Treasury, of course!””””

    There is a simple fix for this, just have the company not accept taxpayer money. If the company then goes out of business then the employee not only does not get “unreasonable and excessive compensation” they get no compensation until they find a new job that does pay them.

  30. It’s very simple. If you take bailout money, you are subject to govt regulation and interferance. If you don’t want that, practice capitalism. Capitalism: we should try that sometime.

  31. Boston @ 9:04 pm FTW.

  32. Celebration has robot wives?

  33. This legislation is restricted to companies with over 100 full time employees. I seriously doubt there are very many companies of that size who do not offer vacations. The figure of 28 million Americans without vacations consists mostly of people working for smaller businesses or working part time. This bill would have little or no effect other than gaining headlines for it’s author.

  34. Praise Grayson, from whom all blessings flow!

  35. Jordan winds the comment thread.

  36. What we need is a law that makes laws like this illegal.

  37. Hey, I have a great idea! Why dont we mandate that everyone has to spend two weeks a year at Disneyland at employer expense!!!! We all get to go to the happiest place on earth, and Grayson gets elected to Congress for the rest of his life!

    Win/win in my opinion.

    (Oh, and the teacup ride is FREE. Isn’t a command economy great?!!)

  38. What we need are federally regulated bedtimes! I would be more productive if I got eight whole hours of sleep and I think if the government would help me by mandating it, we would all be better off.

  39. Announcer: Hey, John Q. Public, you just won a free two week paid vacation, courtesy of the taxpayers, your employer, and your customers! Where you gonna go?


  40. Walrus, the point is that it’s an unreasonable intrusion on the rights of employers and employees to make agreements among themselves. Once it’s established that Congress can do something like this to anyone, nothing prevents their requiring of, say, anyone who employs even a part time worker. I don’t want to pay the kid who mows my lawn to go to Disney World for a week.

  41. Sure, he’s no doubt a moonbat. But if you google, you’ll find he’s getting props in the econ-blogosphere for supporting a bill to audit the Fed. HR1207
    This effort has support from Ron Paul and firedoglake so …..

  42. Grayson is more or less a protest vote against Keller. I didn’t vote for him, but my wife did. Her thinking is this: Grayson is such an utter lunatic that he’s unlikely to influence voting much, and also unlikely to introduce legislation that might get a passing vote. Next election, we vote in someone decent.

    I re-registered as a Republican in order to try and eliminate Keller in the primaries. That failed. Keller was a proponent of term limits, until it was time for his limit to kick in.

    I think Grayson is a one-termer.

  43. By the way, if Celebration creeps you out, Thornton Park should scare the bejesus out of you.

    Both of them are substantially less scary than “Small World” at Magic Kingdom.

  44. Alan Grayson is what happens when Ric Keller runs for reelection. The solution, of course, is to not have elected Ric Keller in the first place. The hardest part of the recent GOP woes has been its unwillingness to blame itself for Alan Grayson. The guy is like an avocado; fruity but still kind of greasy.

  45. @John Doe:

    In the U.S., people have the right to publish magazine articles expressing their opinions without being hauled in front of “Human Rights” Commissions if the Government doesn’t like it. I was incredibly shocked to hear that no one in Canada has a similar right.

    (I also get 4 weeks paid vacation a year, but that’s between me and my employer and none of the Government’s business.)

  46. I don’t like this bill either, but there is a twisted logic in it. The bill states that only businesses that get aid from the government will be affected.

    Getting government aid is akin to making a pact with the devil.

    What I’m concerned about is, what qualifies as “government aid” beyond bailout money? Will a tax break be considered aid? Infrastructure? This bill could be far reaching. Scary.

    We all know that it’s the nature of the federal beast to grow by any means possible.

  47. Mike @11:11am:
    DisneyLAND is in California, so if that’s a provision in the bill, he’s likely to never get elected in Florida again 😉 DisneyWORLD on the other hand…

    Honestly, there’s no way, in any universe I could ever remotely support a bill like that about government determining “unreasonable” pay, regardless of whether or not it was designed to only apply to businesses that got government money or not. We shouldn’t be giving taxpayer dollars to private businesses period. But even if we do, everyone should know that a law like this will last about a day for its intended purpose (especially with ridiculously vague wording like Grayson obviously was capable of writing), and will very quickly be turned on everyone as suddenly the treasury sets up a new department for dictating wages. Not a good call.

  48. I’d fully support this bill on one condition – all of the costs related to it be paid for by Grayson and his immediate family. He’s so good at deciding how to spend other people’s money, it’s only fair we give him a little of the same consideration

  49. “Be happy in your work.”
    -Col. Saito

    “Arbeit machs frei”
    -H. Himmler

    Get with it Alan.

  50. Grayson said Disney World is the “happiest place on earth” which just goes to show he’s an idiot and knows nothing of his district’s largest single site employer. Disneyland in Anaheim is “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Walt Disney World in Florida is “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

    And what the hell is wrong with you people who don’t like Disney World? Have you no soul? If you complained about the cost that’s one thing, but your contempt seems to stem from the stick that you have crammed up your crack. You probably don’t like football or pizza either. What the fuck?!

  51. On the one hand, he wants to have all companies pay for vacations to add more visits to Disney World, but the DNC’s cap-and-trade taxes will kill the airline industry – and, thus, kill Disney World.

  52. I thought this was a bit overblown until I saw the video.

    Wow! How do people like this get elected?

    Neil Cavuto is being more antagonistic than I would like to see, but, the Congressman is thick. Thick.

  53. “And what the hell is wrong with you people who don’t like Disney World? Have you no soul? If you complained about the cost that’s one thing, but your contempt seems to stem from the stick that you have crammed up your crack.”

    Some people like adventure, spontaneity and the unknown. The beauty of the Magic Kingdom is that nothing is unplanned or uncontrolled. You can feel safe there. By contrast, some people don’t like that sterilized feel.

  54. I can’t imagine taking a job that didn’t offer at least two weeks vacation, considering how many employers already offer that much, if not more. To some degree vacation time is as valuable to me as salary. If I were paid twice what I make now, but get zero days vacation, I’d find a way to make it work, but if I were only paid 1/26 more than I make now and got no vacation, I wouldn’t take that job.

  55. A much better way is to have a thriving economy in which the negotiating balance between employer and employee assures a good deal for both. Socialism won’t do this efficiently.

  56. Goverment minimums tend to become the maximums employers provide. Taking the negotiating power away from the employer may result in them reducing vacation time for senior employees in order to make room for the ‘mandatory’ time for junior employees. Less opportunity for the employer to develop a strategy for what he will incentivize and how.

    Grew up in the shadow of “Dismal Land” in Anaheim, several of my siblings and friends worked there. Most of my distaste arose from the changes after Eisner took over- reduced privileges for the employees, reduction in safety and cleanliness standards. I also have a low tolerance for crowds, $10 hamburgers, overpriced souveniers, long lines, always a few major attractions being revamp’d etc. I prefer Knott’s Berry Farm. (Although admittedly, it is fun to whisper into the ear of a parent dealing with a whining/crying/screaming child as you go by- “Happiest place on earth!” )

  57. I think Grayson is a one-termer.

    I have acouple of diehard donkey friends who thought Grayson was a sign of a permanent Dem takeover in Central Fla. I suspect that with no Obama coattails, 2010 will see a Rep back in the 8th dist and probably other districts where Democrats made gains in 08.

  58. I have never heard of this knuckleheaded congressman before but my first impression is that he is a roaring a**hole who, if he is even an attorney, must have slept through or skipped all his constitutional law classes. (Note that in his Cavuto interview he is claiming constitutional authority for this outlandish power grab.)

  59. Are there possibly any more regulations, direct and in-direct costs that we can burden the private sector business owners with ? I’m sure that there has just got to be a way to drive every business out of America just a little sooner…maybe if we just had more government solutions to our problems ? Sure glad we have fine representatives like Alan Grayson taking care of the affairs of this country – and happy to see that the voters in this district in Florida have their priorities straight !!

  60. Vacations just like France and you know how much they produce,oops.

  61. I live in the 8th district and I can tell you Alans’ only a legend in his own mind.

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