Public employees getting paid not to work

Government makes us pay for a lot of stuff we don’t want. Cowboy poetry and robot squirrels and gherkin specifications and… look, there’s plenty of stupid out there. But at least these silly expenditures result in some end product, no matter how trivial.

Did you know that the government is actually paying their workers not to do government work? Instead, they are giving them tax dollars to work exclusively for their labor union. It’s enough to make a cowboy poet madder than a wet coyote in a prickly-pear saddlebag.

This little-discussed scam, ahem, practice is called “Official Time,” but it pays for anything but official business. Instead, federal employees are paid to represent their public employee labor union to their fellow employees.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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