Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ghost employees haunt Texas legislators

While most folks are planning their summer vacations despite high gasoline prices or budgeting for their own healthcare despite high medical prices, several folks around the Great State of Texas are hunting ghosts. They've even found a few, and in the likeliest of places! I imagine the historic Texas Capitol is crawling with ragged souls unable to cross over to a great reward. Since the two oldest professions seem to have so much in common, I am sure their otherworldly deeds in the recesses of the Capitol building would be nothing short of colorful if they weren't so pathetic.

We are faced, however, with a modern day hunt for "ghost employees" of the state. You may have read about it already--people scattered around the country on the Texas payroll doing who knows what while getting great full-time employee benefits. This story has been all over the news in Texas. Last week, the Texas Progress Council asked House Republicans to identify ghost employees. Americans for Prosperity - Texas jumped on the bandwagon and sent similar public information requests to all House Democrats. The move caused quite a reaction. Apparently the pain from these requests crosses all party lines. So, apparently, do lost souls.

Speaker Tom Craddick called the practice, “unacceptable” and said it, “violates the trust of taxpayers, and it must be stopped immediately.” It is the height of governmental abuse that while Texas taxpayers are struggling to pay their own health insurance, our own taxpayer dollars are providing benefits to those who don’t even work for us. State government should not be a welfare program for friends of legislators who feel they are entitled to state benefits!

The inquiry may heighten fear among some legislators, but if they’re spooked by light shining on government hiring practices in this “ghost hunt”, PatriotWriter says they should get out of the Capitol and take their sense of entitlement with 'em. We have enough ghosts as it is.