“You could always count on your increase,” said Danielle Swain of Manassas, an analyst for the foreign export service of the Agriculture Department who is nervous about the cut to her commuter-rail subsidy. “If you don’t get a bonus, this is all you get. They’re picking on the government because they assume we sit around and don’t do anything. Well, it’s not true.” — by Lisa Rein and Perry Bacon Jr.
President Obama on Monday announced a two-year pay freeze for most of the 1.9 million civilians who work for the federal government, as he tried to address concerns over a mushrooming deficit and placate Republicans who have targeted the workforce for big cuts.
“Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government,” Obama said in a White House speech. He called federal workers “patriots who love their country” and said the cut is not just “a line item on a federal ledger.” But he said he is asking federal workers to sacrifice for the country as “they’ve always done.”
The president’s proposal comes just before a fiscal commission he appointed is scheduled to issue a final report Wednesday on how to staunch deficit spending. The panel’s leadership has recommended a three-year pay freeze for most federal workers. Source
The Real Deal
This “save” is nothing but a drop in the bucket. It’s a disgrace to the employees. It shows a lack of respect to the employees. It is symbolic only. A person who “serves” their country must personally and financially contribute to reducing the deficit? Why must one citizen be forced to contribute financially based solely on their employment choice?
A person who chose private employment doesn’t have to take a pay freeze. I think a persons pay should not be tied to whether the Government has a surplus or deficit. However, if it must be tied to the financial results of the Government, then in good times, you would expect the opposite. A huge pay increase. Indeed, it’s all about votes.
What about the financial market? Why doesn’t the government start taking away from the banks and financial institutions what they stole from the workers? These CEO’s and executives have ruined the middle class. People have lost their jobs, houses and lives, but these executives have made millions on behalf of the common workers well being. If you put a stop to the crony capitalism (greed) and you will put a stop to the down fall of our society and to the debt of north America and other nations. The middle class is what keeps our society going, not these greedy executives.
Canada in same boat
It can’t happen soon enough in Canada at all government levels. In Ottawa their municipal employees are the most over-paid, with the provincial following and the federal bringing up the rear so to speak. All are over-compensated when compared to individuals in the private sector who actually contribute positively to the nation’s GDP. Public employees are what’s called ‘overhead’ in any private company which means that they provide necessary but non-moneymaking services. This needs to be constantly monitored to ensure that it doesn’t grow too large
These austerity measures show us two things:
1) Hundreds of thousands of American families are going to have less money to spend for 2 years, which will damage the economy.
2) America must be in a financial crisis if they need to introduce “austerity measures” like Europe, which will erode investor confidence and damage the economy even further. If the US government is in such financial straits, it signals consumers to stop buying, businesses to stop spending, and foreign investors to stop investing.
Federal employees are among the hundreds of thousands of Americans who took on more mortgage than they could handle, and are fighting off foreclosure. Some of those employees were depending on their raises, and now they’re going to lose their homes.
All of this to potentially save $60 billion over 10 years (less than $20 per capita per year), during which time the government is expected to run a deficit of $9 trillion. It’s a drop in the bucket that will cost the American economy far more than $60 billion over that period, and could cost hundreds of employees their homes. And all of this to make a political statement?
Unlike Canada, where the ruling party must vote the way the Prime Minister tells them to, Congress is not obliged to go along with Obama’s plan. This plan will fail to make it through Congress, for all the right reasons, and Obama will look like an idiot. He should fire whoever gave him this advice.