Government workers do not need another paid day off. And taxpayers do not need the bill.
THE ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY — yes, the same legislature that hasn’t managed to pass a budget for two years going on three — is looking at three separate bills to make President Barack Obama’s birthday an official state holiday.
(For those never-say-die conspiracy theorists out there it is unclear whether legislators meant Obama’s Hawaiian or Kenyan birthday.)
But this is clear. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration says an Obama holiday would cost taxpayers more than $3 million in direct salary payments for a paid day off. Further, the administration argues Illinois also would “lose $16 million in productivity from state workers.”
THAT SOUNDS A LOT like taxpayers can count on Rauner to veto any Obama holiday legislation that crosses his desk. Good.
Government adding holidays really amounts to giving themselves yet another benefit the private sector does not receive. Most businesses are not going to pay employees to stay home in observance of President Obama’s birthday, no matter whether company decision-makers liked Obama or not. It’s about productivity and efficiency. Silly us, we believe government decision-makers ought to have those same concerns.
Besides, Obama is not exactly Washington or Lincoln. Polls show the majority of Americans believe he was pretty good — his favorables are well over 50 percent. But great? No.
So, Gov. Rauner, if this measure comes to you, do everybody a favor and can it.