Imagine a job where you go back to work two weeks after a long, expensive and exhausting holiday season. As you settle in you realize that you will work for a month and get a two week break in the middle of February. Work another month, and you are off for two weeks. In April you get three days off; in May and June you get another two weeks off.
You are off the entire month of July, August and September. Work one week in October then recess to the middle of November. Before you know it you are off for Thanksgiving and pretty much the entire month of December.
The job: Congress.
What other job offers all that paid time off with a very generous compensation, health and retirement plan? Plus, no background checks, no drug tests and all the perks afforded to the office. In addition, you get a staff to do all the grunt work.
When there is a full session, rest assured some of our representatives will be absent as they are on some foreign junket researching something that has nothing to do with their district or state. All paid for courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
It’s no wonder nothing gets done in Washington, D.C. No one is around.
For the past four years this country has been confronted with major problems that require tough decisions and leadership. Last summer’s debt ceiling deal resulted in a down grade of the country’s credit rating for the first time in American history. Millions of jobs are lost forever. Unemployment is still too high. People are still underwater with their mortgages. The issue of immigration, long neglected, remains unresolved. Our infrastructure is crumbling and now we are confronted with the “fiscal cliff.”
Our employers will demand pushing up vacation time to meet the needs of the job. For many there is no choice for fear of losing the job. And for most, our work ethic always seems to put the job before family and our private lives.
Case in point: 56% of employees does not use all their time off, 30% use half the days they are allowed; 24% of employees say their boss expects them to be accessible while on vacation. 34% get less than one week vacation and 24% get no paid vacation.
Congress on the other hand seems to do everything in its power to shirk from their responsibilities and drag their feet until the next week off. Hoping that by some miracle the problem resolves itself or better yet, goes away. No one forces them back to work or stay in session.
Congress reminds me of the old adage: “You get what you pay for.”
Congress must be held accountable for their job performance. When they neglect their duties we should have the right to fire them. We cannot wait until the next election. We must use the tools available to us to remove the slackers by utilizing the “recall.” It might be an exercise in futility but it will send a message knowing that we, like our supervisors, are looking over their shoulders to ensure the job gets done.