Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fox News: "Obama Should Repay Taxpayers For Time Spent Doing NCAA Bracket"

Reprinted with permission from Fox:

Citing studies that show the US loses billions every year in worker productivity during the men's college basketball NCAA Tournament, Fox News reporters and pundits on Wednesday each spent a portion of their show demanding that President Obama repay the taxpayers for time spent filling out his own bracket.

Each year, the president spends upwards of 20 minutes showing how he filled out his tournament bracket, a news segment that has endeared him to sports fans and office-pool lovers alike, but this year, the move, coming on the heels of Obama's visit to a comedian's show, raised the ire of Fox News, which spent the day firing up conservatives with talk about how wasteful the move was.

Shepard Smith got the "Day To Repay", as Fox called it, rolling, with news graphics and a report on how much money the President actually  cost taxpayers.  "At $400,000 per year," Smith reported yesterday morning, "And assuming a 10-hour work day with two weeks off for vacation, Obama earns $160 dollars per hour, and that means that he blew $80 of tax payer money on this half-hour of frivolity."

On "The Five," the hosts discussed what $80 means to "average Americans," and Bob Beckel recounted the time he was suspended for a day without pay when his own boss caught him filling out a bracket instead of mopping the warehouse.  "Maybe the Americans should suspend the President for a day without pay," Beckel suggested.

Bret Baier's "Special Report" tracked four different bills, ranging from farm relief for drought farmers to a bill discussing maritime licensing, that were waiting for Obama's signature. Baier noted that Obama could have signed each bill during the time he spent "talking about Michigan State."  The remark set off a Twitter storm asking Baier what he had against Michigan State.

The remainder of the day continued the same way: Megyn Kelly showed her own bracket, which she had videotaped herself filling out "at home, last night, with my family" and wondered by Obama had not invited his daughters to do the same with him.  Sean Hannity featured interviews with people on the street, asking them whether they thought "The President should focus on the country's problems  instead  of doing an office pool," and a call-in poll showed 85% of his  viewers thought it inappropriate for the President to publicize his bracket.

Bill O'Reilly capped the day by nothing that in the history of the tournament, no president before Obama had ever claimed to have even filled out a bracket.  "Great presidents," said O'Reilly, "Rise above the partisanship of picking a favorite team of young men filled with hoop dreams, and instead root for all our young people to have a better future, even those that didn't go to his alma mater."

As of press time, the White House had no comment and would not confirm reports that Obama had been given permission to wear "team logo" clothes to work Thursday instead of his usual shirt and tie.


Pat Dilloway said...

I probably cost that much to my employer every week reading and commenting on blogs.

Briane P said...

Those stories about how much 'productivity' is lost are so bogus. We track billable hours at our firm. NO employee gets more than 5 or 6 billable hours per day, out of 8 or 9 that they're here. So if they stop checking Facebook during the day and instead fill out their bracket, but still get 5 hours of billable time in, they've not lost any productivity, at all.

I hate when people try to oversimplify complex economic concepts, like the effect of the NCAA Tournament on business. You could argue that the half-hour someone spends filling out a bracket (it takes me 5 minutes when I do it: I just pick the highest-ranked team) is offset by the twenty bucks they'll spend at a sports bar that night, or the team jersey they'll buy this weekend, creating MORE productivity in other sectors of society. But nobody ever says "Office workers doing brackets helped spur interest in an economic driver that will add $10,000,000 to the economy this weekend." PEOPLE SUCK SO BAD.

Andrew Leon said...

Not to mention that a recent fairly extensive study showed that the time we spend "slacking" at work by doing something like filling out one of these bracket things actually increases productivity. To put it another way, if we didn't allow employs small breaks in the day to do things like check their email or read a blog post and made them only work, productivity would fall. I think it was by, like, 50%. On top of all of that, Americans are already ranked the most productive people in the world.

Also, you can't cap the President's work day at 10 hours. He is the equivalent of "on call" for the entire time he is President. We pay people a lot to be on call, so I'm pretty sure that reduces by a lot what he actually makes per hour.

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