Last week, the House of Representatives approved legislation that would allow federal employees with seriously delinquent tax debts to be fired. The legislation would also prohibit the hiring of future federal employees who are already in that hot overdue tax mess. I think this is a smart move–and certainly one that is long overdue–but I’m skeptical as to the implementation of this rule if, indeed, it gets set in the proverbial governmental stone.
For starters, this would allow for the opportunity to shed some dead weight on Uncle Sam’s payrolls. Honestly, how many star performers on the job are also going to be tax deadbeats? The two normally don’t go hand-in-hand. Secondly, the directive would provide a prudent safeguard for bringing on new hires. Smart companies run credit checks on prospective hires in finance and sales departments, allowing them to spot those occasional red flags, giving cause to end the employment process (“dodging bullets”) for finance workers and salespeople who can’t manage their money properly. Isn’t this really a similar attempt to strengthen the workforce? Bottom line, the government needs to borrow more ideas from the private sector and put them to use.
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