Children learn from a Park Service ranger at Rock Creek Park in Washington.

Children learn from a Park Service ranger at Rock Creek Park in Washington. National Park Service file photo

Federal Employees Deserve the Nation’s Gratitude

From all the misguided rhetoric, you’d think all federal employees are bureaucrats or paper pushers.

Here’s a quick quiz:

  • Who protects investors from insider trading?
  • Who blocks contraband, drugs and terrorists from entering this country?
  • Who collects 93 percent of all federal revenue and nabs identity thieves and tax cheats?
  • Who cares for America’s great wilderness and cultural treasures?
  • Who makes sure the medicines you take are safe and work as advertised?

Federal employees do all of those things, of course.

During Public Service Recognition Week, let’s recognize and appreciate all that federal employees do for this country and the value they add to our lives every day. Let’s thank these dedicated public servants instead of casting aspersions on them. Let’s appreciate the work done by these men and women, who are all too often targeted by some in Congress who belittle their contributions and sacrifices and zealously attempt to slash the budgets of the federal agencies that protect and serve us.

We rarely hear about how federal employees continue to serve the public during austere times and emergencies, how they are dedicated public servants with essential skills and talents.

From all the misguided rhetoric, you’d think all federal employees are bureaucrats or paper pushers. But the truth is the federal workforce’s bottom-line purpose is to keep America running and to ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare so that we—all of us, regardless of our gender, age, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation—can form the perfect union that our Founding Fathers envisioned.

Think about these facts:

  • Without the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans won’t have clean air and clean water.
  • If not for the Securities and Exchange Commission, investors would be vulnerable to crooked advisers and insider trading.
  • Customs and Border Protection personnel block contraband, drugs and terrorists from entering this country and make sure international trade and travel proceeds smoothly.
  • The Internal Revenue Service makes funds available for most federal programs and activities by collecting 93 percent of all federal revenue, cracks down on identity thieves and tax cheats and enforces the complex tax laws written by Congress.
  • The National Park Service cares for America’s wild places and protects our cultural and historical treasures.
  • The Food and Drug Administration makes sure the medicines your doctor prescribes are safe and do what their manufacturers promise.

There are many, many more examples I could provide of the work that federal employees do without making a fuss, calling attention to themselves or expecting rewards or glory.

Given all that federal employees do for our nation, it’s only fitting that we express our gratitude to them during Public Service Recognition Week, which lasts from May 1-7.

If you know a federal employee, thank them for what they do.

If you are a federal employee, you can be sure that there are many in this nation who acknowledge and value what you do.

And, as a citizen of this nation, I encourage you to learn more about how federal employees work to make our lives better and to make this the greatest nation on earth.

Tony Reardon is the head of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 employees in 31 federal agencies and departments.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.