To the editor:
In his letter headlined "President out of touch with Americans needs," (the Times, Thursday, June 21). Mr. Kolackovsky seems horrified that President Obama is taking a vacation again and that we are paying for it.
I must deepen and broaden his dismay.
In addition to the whole executive branch, we fund the vacations of all 538 members of Congress and staffs, and the federal judiciary members and their staffs as well.
Every federal employee entitled to a paid vacation has a vacation paid for by us.
Let us not omit all the elected, appointed, and hired employees of all states and territories, counties, cities, towns, and villages. There might be some unincorporated areas to be included in this list as well. We pay for the vacations all of those who are eligible to take one.
Mr. K. mentions the number of days President Obama has taken for his vacations, yet he has nothing to say about the Supreme Court for example. The justices will soon pass into hibernation near the end of June and will not reawaken until the first Monday in October. Add to that generous time away from work all the remaining weekends and holidays, and we have a crew that spends less than half a year at work.
Another point about President Obama's vacation needs to be made. He is never more than a moment away from having to confront an emergency. That level of responsibility to the whole nation, sometimes the world, takes the "shine" off any vacation. You begrudge him a few moments of respite? It seems odd given that, while we pay for millions to take vacations, that only this one person is singled out for criticism.
Consider this as well: Every time we make a purchase, we are also helping to pay for some full-time employee somewhere to take a vacation. Every time we refuel a vehicle, shop at certain businesses, pay for some products or services we are sending more money to needy billionaires.
Are you sure you are worrying about the right issues?