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Don't smear all government workers

Date published: 11/10/2013

Don't smear all government workers

Hats off to the recent rant about government workers ["Cut the waste: Fire government workers," Oct. 14].

Not! I am one of the oxymorons he mentioned. Sure, back in the '70s when I got the call to work for the government, I thought, "Hey, good deal! I'm gonna jump on that bandwagon, ride that gravy train, and never look back."

Yes, there were decades of abuse by government workers and less-than-stellar behavior. Don't forget the $640 toilet seats, $7,600 coffee makers, and $436 claw hammers.

But as one government worker, I can testify only to what I've experienced during my tenure. The majority of government workers are conscientious, hardworking, and ethical.

It is hard to swallow such abuse by misinformed people, yet we face it every day. Naysayers stand on free ground and spout about everything that a few do wrong and label us all in the same category. There are countless dedicated and professional people who play a part in arming our servicemen and -women who keep us free and living in a democracy.

Saying cutbacks of 50 percent would solve the problem isn't a plausible suggestion. Within the last 30 years, cutbacks to government jobs have already been done.

By outsourcing to contractors, our government can keep pace with ever-changing technologies and help us stay prepared for threats to national security. That doesn't mean that we're sitting back and letting someone else do our jobs.

The furlough days, as indicated in the letter, were in essence our sacrifice, as government workers, to help America avoid a debt crisis.

Furloughs are hard on contractors, also. We don't receive compensation for those mandated furlough days. As for the salaries and benefits we do earn, don't blame us--they are set by the Office of Personnel Management.

A majority of government workers earn college degrees ranging from bachelor's degrees to master's and doctorates. This is a considerable financial investment.

As with most citizens, government workers have mortgages, children in college, and other family obligations that must be met. Even with our salaries, most of us don't live lavish lifestyles.

For anyone to make blanket statements about government workers without having the facts is asinine. For anti-government-worker people, let me suggest you get a government job: Then we'll talk.

Roberta Moss

Colonial Beach