Government Abuse … not something for government to solve.

OK, so I subscribe to a website that lets me know about the activity of my Senators’ and US Representative’s activities.  This is an excerpt from the “Stop Government Abuse Act” (House Resolution 2879) that was introduced two days ago (July 31) and passed  yesterday (August 1st), for which I received my first notice this morning:

(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law-

(1)   [… another provision equally illogical …]

(2)   except as provided in subsection (b), during any sequestration period, an agency may not pay a performance award under section 5384 of title 5, United States Code, to the extent that such payment would cause the number of employees in the agency receiving such award during such period to exceed 33 percent of the total number of employees in the agency eligible to receive such award during such period.


(b) Waivers- For the purposes of any sequestration period–


(1)   the head of any agency may, subject to approval by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, waive the requirements of subsection (a)(2); and

(2)   [… another provision equally illogical …]

So Basically, from all the employees in any given agency that are eligible to receive a certain award, they are to limit the number which actually receive it to 33% – or not pay it at all.  However, the head of any agency can get approval to waive that restriction …

… I’m thinking: how do they decide which 33% receive it if they’re all eligible?  This forces the agency leadership (I use that term loosely when referring to a government agency) to either choose who receives it and who doesn’t thus creating a situation ripe for playing favorites, or not pay the award at all, thus removing the incentive for employees to seek to be eligible.  Why not just remove the award all together?

<eye rolling> me

My standard rule for questioning government legislation is to look at the title.  If it’s title indicates something I would support, I can generally guarantee that the end effect will be in the opposite direction so I look closer at the bill and have found this to be almost 100% true.

Just like to you don’t get happiness by pursuing it directly (happiness is a natural result of living in accordance with a standard, not an objective in and of itself), you don’t seek to remove government abuse by attacking it directly.  Government abuse is a symptom of the greater problem of people ignoring the foundation on which any government is established – protecting the pursuit of happiness (see earlier parenthetical on happiness).  Solve the source of the government abuse and the government abuse “magically” becomes a non-issue.