Obama backs overdue freeze on federal pay raises

From CBS News:

“President Obama today proposed a two-year freeze in civilian pay for federal employees that the White House says will save $2 billion in fiscal year 2011 and more than $60 billion over the next decade.

“The hard truth is getting this budget under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by employees of the federal government,” he said, adding that he “did not reach this decision easily.”

The freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees — including, as the White House noted, doctors who care for wounded veterans, national parks workers, Department of Defense employees and other federal workers — but not military personnel….

American Federation of Government Employees president John Gage told the Associated Press that the move was “a slap at working people.” He suggested federal employees were being made into scapegoats….

Republicans have called for federal pay freezes (and even brief furloughs for federal workers), and the bipartisan federal deficit commission is expected to call for a pay freeze when it releases its recommendations this week. (A proposal from the commission chairmen called for a three-year freeze.)”

The pay freeze would have to be approved by Congress, but with Republicans now in control of the House, I doubt that’s going to be a problem. And while the White House would probably deny it, it’s pretty obvious that Obama’s move is a direct response to the midterm results.

That said, it’s also the right thing to do. Most Americans are feeling the pinch in one way or another, from losing their jobs and homes to going without pay raises or even taking unpaid leave. That includes employees in state and local government. Voters and taxpayers shouldn’t have the sense that federal employees are somehow immune to the pain felt by the rest of the country; it feeds a resentment already close to the boiling point.

354 comments Add your comment

Mick

November 29th, 2010
1:08 pm

If obama keeps up this pace, who will be left to vote for him?

Palin fan

November 29th, 2010
1:13 pm

Typical Obama move. Freezing the pay of the real Americans doing the hard work while him and his elitist (and terrorists) pals redistribute wealth to themselves.

Haywood Jablome

November 29th, 2010
1:15 pm

Now if he bust a government union, he’ll be just like Reagan.

sfsf

November 29th, 2010
1:18 pm

Is Obama taking a pay cut?

Common Sense isn't very Common

November 29th, 2010
1:19 pm

Dam jay – The freeze will apply to all civilian federal employees — including, as the White House noted, doctors who care for “wondered” veterans. (WONDERED)??

That out of the way lol.

The Federal Government needs to pay equal jobs equal pay. But if you live in the DC area where prices are extremely high ‘what is equal’?

The federal IT departments also have a huge number of contract employees, CDC, etc..

The government also contracts with many low priced contracting companies that are Indian owned who supply cheap Indian H1b visa holders for these contracts. If the US required all government contractors to be US citizens it would increase the tax base.

There have been studies done over the years relating federal jobs to the private sector. The last one I saw showed fairly equal pay+benefits for federal employees. This was before the economic downturn during 2000-2010. But is it fair to blame the employees. The corporations just use the employee pay as a reason to offshore entire departments, maybe that is what the Republicans want. Send all the IRS jobs to China or India (they can do them much cheaper), bring in illegal immigrants to do all the manual labor tasks (see much cheaper).

Budget balanced.

LMAO

Stonethrower

November 29th, 2010
1:19 pm

sfsf
Better yet will the wages for members of congress be included in that freeze?

carlosgvv

November 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

I have a better idea. Get a blue ribbon panel of experts to examine ALL governments jobs now in existence. Then cut all the ones not actually needed. That would save us a huge amount of money. Of course, politics being what it is, this will never happen.

larry

November 29th, 2010
1:27 pm

Better yet will the wages for members of congress be included in that freeze?

Nope, the Bohner will still get his raise to over 300,000. All for chain smoking cigs , going to the tanning bed and yelling HELL NO!! to the people who need help.

cgm

November 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

The best thing for the administration to do is propose all deficit reduction measures together, instead of offering boutique cuts. Republicans have proposed $100 billion in cuts, which show serious intent.

Common Sense isn't very Common

November 29th, 2010
1:34 pm

Now Now larry, Boehners state of Ohio has a contract with TATA consulting for IT consulting services. They don’t seem to hire any US citizens (just Indian H1b visa holders).

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

How about selective pay freezes rather than across the board freezes? There are segments of the workforce where the gov’t has to compete with private industry for workers. When you shackle the gov’t hiring ability, you will end up with less than superior talent.

Of course to Common Sense’s point, many of these employees are contract employees who will not be affected by a pay freeze in the least.

Disgusted

November 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

This entire Obama move won’t amount to a flea-bite on an elephant’s hide. The Republicans finally have one of their own in the White House without even having to vote. But at least Obama has at long last surrendered any hope of getting re-elected. Those federal workers in DC, Virginia, and Maryland put him over the top in 2008. They’ll stay at home in 2012. That will seal the fate of Sen. James Webb as well as Obama.

jt

November 29th, 2010
1:44 pm

Whistling past the graveyard.

95% of the Federal workforce should be cashiered.

Every American citizen will be better off.

This will happen, the hard way or the easy way.

Kneeeeeeeeeel to Aqua-Paul.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

Common Sense,

“just Indian H1b visa holders”

There is a reason for H1b visa’s…namely there are not enough US citizens to adequately fill the jobs that require the skillset required.

@@

November 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

Shouldn’t Obama start cutting pay at the top?

He did prefer the bottom-up thingy during his campaign for president.

Bottoms up! Drinks are on the house!

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

Are there really any government employees with superior talent?

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:47 pm

Real Scooter,

“Are there really any government employees with superior talent?”

Yes, quite a few. you can thank gov’t workers for the the medium in which we are conversing, among other things.

JDW

November 29th, 2010
1:48 pm

Palin fan

November 29th, 2010
1:13 pm
“Typical Obama move. Freezing the pay of the real Americans doing the hard work while him and his elitist (and terrorists) pals redistribute wealth to themselves.”

As opposed to Palin et al who would just fire them because after all the work for, shudder the thought, the government!

Left wing management

November 29th, 2010
1:48 pm

“Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Paul

November 29th, 2010
1:49 pm

“The pay freeze would have to be approved by Congress, but with Republicans now in control of the House, I doubt that’s going to be a problem.”

Might’ve been a problem a couple months ago? :-)

Seriously, if people choose a career in public service they shouldn’t constantly harp on private sector comparisons. Nationally, jobs in many sectors have declined. But not in public service jobs. Time to share the pain.

And that goes for local gov’ts as well.

Hi jewcowboy!

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:50 pm

Hiya Paul,

Good Thanksgiving?

StJ

November 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

Congress needs to vote themselves and Obama a pay reduction (they get enough money from other sources anyway). I suspect hell will freeze over first.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

Paul,

“Time to share the pain.”

I agree, I just have an issue with a blanket freeze. When you lump everything into one category, you are more than likely going to experience unintended and unpleasant consequences.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

StJ,

“Congress needs to vote themselves and Obama a pay reduction”

How about dropping their health coverage…like many employers have done?

Jefferson

November 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

Somebody finally listens to Bob Barr….

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

Thanks jewcowboy! I never fail to learn something when I visit here.

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
1:59 pm

Someone, in the previous thread, mentioned a school ban on using red and green “Christmas” colors – what this what you were referring to:

“Fox & Friends reported that a school in central Florida had banned the “traditional Christmas colors” red and green from classrooms. In a statement to Media Matters, the school’s district spokesperson, Regina Klares, has denied this, stating, “There is not a ban on the colors red and green at Heathrow Elementary.”

If it is, please note that the school district has denied that a ban exists.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201011290017

TaxPayer

November 29th, 2010
1:59 pm

Are the compassionate conservatives complaining about this yet. Give it time. After all, if Obama said it, then it cannot be good.

Matti

November 29th, 2010
2:01 pm

Doggone,

Are you telling us that Gretchen & Friends MADE THAT UP? But but but….. if the truth is so damning, why would they make stuff up for their broadcasts? Why not just share the truth?

Joe

November 29th, 2010
2:01 pm

Jay wrote, “That said, [freezing federal pay] also the right thing to do.

I do not agree. This is part of the GOP and the media’s false narrative that our current economic problems primarily arise out of too much government spending, federal employees are overpaid, etcetera.

To the contrary, Obama should not nickel and dime federal workers. His only gain from this would be to give the right a symbolic reward for their misinformation (they certainly won’t give him credit for this maneuver, just claim that Obama didn’t go far enough by not firing thousands of them). The result is that less money goes into the economy and our problems continue. (How are those austerity programs working out in Europe?)

AmVet

November 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

…real Americans…

REAL Americans?

According to whom? A REAL American?

It is just a contrived, intellectually lazy way to try and not sound like a total putz. As saying, “…the Americans that I don’t like or agree with…” doesn’t sound real credible…

jcb, after all, you’re not even a real Jew…(grin.)

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

“The result is that less money goes into the economy and our problems continue”

That was also true of the pay freeze *I* received last year.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:06 pm

AmVet,

“jcb, after all, you’re not even a real Jew…”

Just a jewcowboy here. ;)

Joe

November 29th, 2010
2:08 pm

Here’s what Steve Benen had to say about this:

“For all I know, this might polls well. The public in general may like the idea of freezing these workers’ pay, and the move will likely generate at least tepid praise from congressional Republicans.

But it’s exceedingly annoying anyway, and I wish the White House wouldn’t do stuff like this.

For one thing, it’s really not what the economy needs. Granted, we’re not talking about a lot of money, but to grow the economy, we need workers to have more money in their pockets, not less. A pay freeze is an anti-stimulus.

For another, if the White House expects a political reward for this, officials are likely to be disappointed. Remember the discretionary spending freeze the administration talked up in January? If memory serves, the public didn’t notice and congressional Republicans complained anyway.

But what I would have really preferred to see is some kind of trade. If the president is willing to accept a civilian pay freeze, fine. I wish he wouldn’t, but that’s where he’s prepared to go. But in exchange for this concession, Obama appears to be getting literally nothing in return.

This week, the president will sit down with Republican leaders from the House and Senate, and will say something to the effect of, “Well, I signaled a willingness to make a tough concession with the pay freeze. What kind of concessions are you prepared to make?” Boehner and McConnell will reply, “We’re not willing to make any concessions at all”; the meeting will end; and we’ll be left with 2.1 million Americans with less buying power.

The president has some extraordinary strengths. Negotiating tactics do not appear to be among them.”

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026834.php

Normal

November 29th, 2010
2:09 pm

I agree with StJ, freeze congressional pay…they are Government workers, too.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

Of course you know who is part of the civilian federal gov’t? The Veterans Administration. I’m sure there is no need to give thoracic surgeons a raise…I mean its not like there is any demand for them.

Or for that matter X-ray technicians, lab technicians, or physical therapists…I’m sure they will forgo a raise and stick with the VA when they are in high demand elsewhere.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:14 pm

Jay @ 2.09,

Huh?

Jimmy62

November 29th, 2010
2:14 pm

There used to be a tradeoff, work in the public sector and get paid less, but get more security and better benefits. But now you get all three, there is no tradeoff.

And it’s not just the pay. It’s also where you have 10 people doing a job that one person could do. Not every government job is like that, but I know when I worked for the man, we wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on extra employees. They hire someone for a job, and they are too incompetent to do it, so instead of firing that person, they hire someone else to do it, and now you have two people being paid for a job one person should have. And no, not every department is like that, but it’s an absolute fact that plenty are. And we pay for it.

Congrats to Obama for finally doing something obvious that Tea Party types have been suggesting for a long, long time!

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
2:15 pm

Is Jay on the correct topic??????

Jay

November 29th, 2010
2:17 pm

Sorry guys, wrong thread!

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:17 pm

Jimmy62,

“It’s also where you have 10 people doing a job that one person could do.”

That works pretty much the same for every large bureaucracy…whether public or private.

Daedalus

November 29th, 2010
2:18 pm

Don’t stop with freezing Congressional pay, how about cutting their pensions?

A congressman serves 6 years and gets a pension for the rest of his life. What a deal.

Or what about congressional health benefits? Absolutely gold-plated. It was a hoot to hear a newly Tea-Pary Congressman complain that he had to wait 30 days for his health benefits to kick-in. Pure hypocrisy. He’s against health insurance for those that cannot afford it, but he wants govt funded health care and he wants it know:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20023586-503544.html

Funny how we don’t hear about the GOP or Tea-Party talk about cutting those. I wonder why that is?

Common Sense isn't very Common

November 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

jewcowboy@1:45 pm

Common Sense,

“just Indian H1b visa holders”

There is a reason for H1b visa’s…namely there are not enough US citizens to adequately fill the jobs that require the skillset required.

———————————

That is the BS the the corporations are putting out. Why are there IT mainframe programmers in the US on H1b visa when there are thousands with the same skillset unemployed.

Why does Microsoft train Indian and Chinese students in their home countries and bring them here under H1b’s?

This is being done because they work CHEAP.

These visas were set up in the 90’s to correct a shortfall in several areas of STEM talent (in It the Y2K bug was the excuse) . You are saying that since then we have not trained or retrained our US citizens to fill these positions? Or is it that US citizens require a living wage for the job.

That is the same reasoning that allows US corporations to offshore entire departments to India and China.

Have anyone called a helpdesk recently and spoken to someone(1st level support) who speaks English fluently?

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

“The claim is born out of the theory of Taqiyyah, which allows followers of the Shi’a minority to deny their faith if necessary to save their lives.”

And Christians have a similar theory. Ever heard “if you cross your fingers when you tell a lie, it doesn’t count”? That comes from a tradition that existed way back in the days of persecution that Christians endured after the death of Christ. They could, and would, deny their Christianity – but cross their fingers behind their backs to show God that they still believed.

AmVet

November 29th, 2010
2:25 pm

More bad news for the birther nuts.

That activist US Supreme Court ruled against some loony lamebrain who thinks he knows more about the US Constitution than they do.

What a disgraceful group of Americans these lunatic fringers have become.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/29/scotus.birther.appeal/index.html

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
2:26 pm

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

I’m hoping the VA employees will stay.A two year pay freeze isn’t that drastic. We’ll see.

Paul

November 29th, 2010
2:27 pm

jewcowboy

The best. Parents, siblings, kids, grandkids, doesn’t get any better. Lots of good food – roasted a 24 lb turkey, baked 4 loaves of bread for 40 cups of dressing….. burp!

“you are more than likely going to experience unintended and unpleasant consequences.”

True, too. I’d rather see them pursue programs that have outlived their usefulness –

Doggone/GA

Always amazes me how the MediaMatters basement boys have such a thing for Fox. They’ll go after the third-tier report but not a local one from the community:

http://www.wesh.com/r/25904245/detail.html

‘course, that’s NBC putting out false information.

But we did have a local school district one or two over from where I live do that a few years back. Was overruled, of course.

Out for a bit -

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
2:30 pm

Funny how we don’t hear about the GOP or Tea-Party talk about cutting those. I wonder why that is?

I haven’t heard the Dems talk about that either. I wonder why that is?

Libertarian

November 29th, 2010
2:31 pm

I rarely agree with him but kudos to Obama for having the guts to do this even though it will inevitably pis off federal workers. Its the right thing to do. The private sector shouldn’t be the only ones suffering right now.

Zedd

November 29th, 2010
2:32 pm

While it’s a start, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. After creating countless new government agencies and rampantly expanding others while average Americans were cutting back to the bone, now Obama proposes a freeze on federal wages. How about examining every federal salary and cutting them 15-25% across the board? Do away with company cars, expense accounts, etc. And that’s not even getting into their ridiculous benefits packages that taxpayers are on the hook for.

Pogo

November 29th, 2010
2:33 pm

The question must then be asked Jay, why the hell didn’t he do this two years ago when everyone else in the country was not only NOT getting pay raises but were losing their jobs? Obama is only moving now because he is being forced to by the results of the November election. Will he do what really needs to be done and actually CUT the bloated Federal workforce? I think not. This is nothing more than a token action by a weak president. I applaud him for it but much more dramatic and brutal things are going to have to be done. Obama will never do them because his core constituency is based upon excessive spending of Federal money and they depend upon it. Another words, two more years and “Little Barry No-Nothing” is gone. “BUT, BUT, he IS a constitutional scholar afterall!” those on the left like to bleat. That and $2.50 will get you a small cup of coffee nowadays. And considering how his adminstration has basically thrown that document in the trash, I don’t think that defense of this imbecile carrys much weight.

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:36 pm

Paul, here’s the headline from the link you gave:
“Parent Says Santa, Christmas Colors Not Allowed In Classroom”

OTH, Media Matters has an EXCLUSIVE RESPONSE from a school district spokesperson: “In a statement to Media Matters, the school’s district spokesperson, Regina Klares, has denied this, stating, “There is not a ban on the colors red and green at Heathrow Elementary.”

Now, who is more correct? Maybe WESH should try actually interviewing the school district spokesperson too, before taking a PARENT’S word for it. It’s called research & reporting.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:36 pm

Common Sense,

“This is being done because they work CHEAP.”

I think it would be more correct to say cheaper. Looking at Microsoft’s average payscale, a H1B visa holder only makes $300 less per year than a green card holder.

When you consider the financial risks company’s take to employ H1B visa holders (non refundable visa applications fees, layers fees, etc), I don’t see many reputable companies taking this risk if a domestic worker can be found with the similar skillset. The key, of course, being similar skillset.

But I could be wrong. Logic doesn’t always work in the corporate world.

Mick

November 29th, 2010
2:37 pm

pogo

Your alternate universe is really quite amazing but has no basis in reality.

Disgusted

November 29th, 2010
2:38 pm

The bottom line is that the debt doesn’t matter in elections, but real disposable income does.

Freezing federal employee pay will mean a decline in real disposable income for millions, and that has never, ever led to a good electoral outcome for the incumbent party. If this proposal becomes law–and it almost certainly will–the Obama administration is throwing away hundreds of thousands of votes. And they are prominently taking credit for it, too.

No good will come of this, neither for millions of working families on the receiving end of this pay freeze nor for an administration seeking re-election in 2012. Daily Kos

Thanks for the unilateral concession, Obama. The federal workers and their families will remember you in 2012.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:40 pm

Paul,

“24 lb turkey”

:shock:

“I’d rather see them pursue programs that have outlived their usefulness – ”

That would make a little more sense…but that would take political will and bipartisanship…something woefully missing in today’s politicians.

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

Saving $60 Billion over the next decade is nothing compared to adding another $3-$4 Trillion to the deficit by extending the Bush tax cuts. Remember also that those federal salaries feed money into the private sector by way of grocery stores, clothing stores, gas, and other necessities. Not every federal worker earns $55k or more a year. There are thousands upon thousands who earn less than $50k who work in the security area alone. Think about that when you travel by train, air and sea for your vacation.

I know it’s easy to paint with a broad brush, but if this is the best idea for balancing the budget, we’re in for a long, long two years with the GOP controlling the budget agenda.

btw… Don’t hate me because I’m federal, Jay. :)

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

Pogo,

“two years ago when everyone else in the country was not only NOT getting pay raises but were losing their jobs?”

Speak for yourself:

“The overall unemployment rate, right now, is 9.6 percent. That’s really high. But for people who finished college, the unemployment rate is a much less terrifying 4.7 percent. Thats hardly an economic slowdown at all. Those with advanced degrees are practically in a boom, with unemployment below three percent.”

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/24/131575218/jobless-rate-less-scary-for-college-grads

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

SoCo – “Remember also that those federal salaries feed money into the private sector by way of grocery stores, clothing stores, gas, and other necessities.”

True, but it’s a zero sum game. Federal employees are paid from our taxes. If their pay is frozen, that means what *I* have to contribute won’t increase…which means *I* will get to spend it. Either way, it gets spent.

Curious Observer

November 29th, 2010
2:48 pm

I don’t see many reputable companies taking this risk if a domestic worker can be found with the similar skillset. The key, of course, being similar skillset.

But I could be wrong. Logic doesn’t always work in the corporate world.

Oh, come on! Don’t tell me that with millions of computer programmers and systems analysts unemployed in this country, the only way to fill a vacancy for one of these jobs is to import a foreign worker. I’m calling BS on that. I’m reminded of one of the early jobs I had, in which a vacancy occurred for a marketing representative. With hundreds of thousands of US marketers out there, the senior VP in the division had his heart set on hiring an old buddy, who happened to be Canadian. In six months, this Canadian had his H1b in hand. The federal bureaucracy evidently decided that there was absolutely no one in the United States who was qualified to do the job. The delicious irony was that the senior VP had to fire his buddy for ineffectiveness in two years.

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

The question must then be asked Jay, why the hell didn’t he do this two years ago when everyone else in the country was not only NOT getting pay raises but were losing their jobs?

The question must be answered. He did this for the GOP, not for himself. This is equivalent to trying to fill the ocean by pi$$ing in it. In the long run, you stand to hurt the economy more than helping it. With unemployment high, the last thing that some areas need is for government employees to cut back on their personal spending. However, that’s exactly what you’re about to get. The pay freeze is pretty much worthless because it will not stop pay grade or step increases. The only thing it does is stop a 1%-2% COLA adjustment for the next two years. With the economy being as stagnant as it is, there would not have been much of a COLA adjustment anyway. Whoop-de-doo….

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

Curious Observer,

“Don’t tell me that with millions of computer programmers and systems analysts unemployed in this country, the only way to fill a vacancy for one of these jobs is to import a foreign worker.”

Citation please. And please make it an apples to apples skillset comparison. Thanks!

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

True, but it’s a zero sum game. Federal employees are paid from our taxes. If their pay is frozen, that means what *I* have to contribute won’t increase…which means *I* will get to spend it. Either way, it gets spent.

That would be the case if there was a 100% across the board freeze on government spending. The military is exempt from the pay freeze, so you will still have military personnel getting combat pay and reenlistment bonuses. Government workers will still get their step and/or grade increases, so there will not be a complete freeze in pay.

Real Scooter

November 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

True, but it’s a zero sum game. Federal employees are paid from our taxes. If their pay is frozen, that means what *I* have to contribute won’t increase…which means *I* will get to spend it. Either way, it gets spent.

Are you sure about that Doggone? It sounds a bit confusing to me. :???:

Disgusted

November 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

True, but it’s a zero sum game. Federal employees are paid from our taxes. If their pay is frozen, that means what *I* have to contribute won’t increase…which means *I* will get to spend it.

Ever hear of the multiplier effect, Doggone? And do you really think that your taxes are going to remain level or decline because of a 0.5% reduction in the federal budget deficit?

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
2:53 pm

Oh, come on! Don’t tell me that with millions of computer programmers and systems analysts unemployed in this country, the only way to fill a vacancy for one of these jobs is to import a foreign worker.

That is the only way to fill a vacancy if you’re paying $30k for a job that ordinarily would pay $90k. Just sayin…

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

“That would be the case if there was a 100% across the board freeze on government spending.”

No, it’s true in any case. The money I would pay in taxes for the employees who have had their pay frozen will be spent by me, instead of them. The money I will have to contribute to those who still get a pay raise will be spent by them, instead of me. Either way – the money gets spent by someone.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

Southern Comfort,

“the last thing that some areas need is for government employees to cut back on their personal spending. ”

So then we should pay them more…with the admonishment that they have to spend it or lose it. I’m not against a pay freeze, companies do it all the time. I have a problem with an across the board freeze, as it will likely lead to “brain drain” in critical areas.

Doggone/GA

November 29th, 2010
2:56 pm

“And do you really think that your taxes are going to remain level or decline because of a 0.5% reduction in the federal budget deficit?”

Nope, but I don’t expect them to go UP either to pay for those raises that they WON’T be getting. If they get a raise, they spend the money. If they don’t, I spend it. Either way it gets spent. The economy doesn’t care WHO spends it.

popeye

November 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

ZEDD….Who are these federal employees who get a “company car” as well as an expense account? Questioning minds would like to know.

John Birch

November 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

How stupid is the electorate that allowed government employees to have their own retirement plan and very generous health insurance on the taxpayers? How about privatizing tax collection and social security? Then we could cut the number of federal employees by 15 – 20%.

TH

November 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

Today is November 29.

BONER, WHERE ARE THE JOBS CREATED FROM THE BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY?

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

So then we should pay them more…with the admonishment that they have to spend it or lose it. I’m not against a pay freeze, companies do it all the time. I have a problem with an across the board freeze, as it will likely lead to “brain drain” in critical areas.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say to pay them more. However, if this is supposed to be something other than a token attempt at fiscal responsibility, there are better ways of going about it.

The “brain drain” will happen regardless as the skills that are honed in those critical areas are often scavenged by companies in the private sector anyway. I have a friend who had a IT job with the fed gov’t who left that job when a private sector company offered him almost $30k more to do the same job. He’s well into the 6-figure salary range now, something that he would have probably never have gotten in the public sector (unless he ended up with a high-leve position in DC).

Normal

November 29th, 2010
3:02 pm

Don’t hate me because I’m federal, Jay.

Damnyankee… :D

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:05 pm

How stupid is the electorate that allowed government employees to have their own retirement plan and very generous health insurance on the taxpayers?

About as stupid as the electorate that would think that crap is true. If you want to see the federal government retirement plan, look at http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/index.asp

Without market help, the federal retirement plan sucks wind…. My Aetna insurance costs me just as much as what others I know pay. There may be a difference for people like congresspeople or cabinet members, but as for the rank and file workers, we’re not much different from private sector employees when it comes to benefits.

Jim

November 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

Now, if we can just get rid of government pensions . . .

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
3:08 pm

Southern Comfort,

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say to pay them more.”

That was my attempt at sarcasm. ;)

“if this is supposed to be something other than a token attempt at fiscal responsibility, there are better ways of going about it. ”

I would certainly agree.

Dusty

November 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

Well, I come back all happy from Burger King and things are going to pot (as usual). Bookman is posting on the wrong blog, So Co is smart enough to do screening without even looking. Doggone wants to spend her own taxes . Jewcowboy wants to give his job to an unemployed IT (if necessary), All we need now is AmVet singing Christmas carols. But there is some good news.

Burger KIng employees are politically correct. They did NOT say Merry Christmas. They said “”What will you have?”" See what I mean.

Well, I’m incorrect PC. HAPPY NOEL!!!!!

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

Now, if we can just get rid of government pensions

As far as the federal government, that was done as of Dec 31, 1986. Check out the link I posted at 3:05 and you’d see that.

jcb

:lol:

Jimmy62

November 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

JewCowboy- Relating to my earlier statement about how many departments of the governemnt have 10 people doing a job 1 could do, and your response that that happens in the private sector, too…

Not so much anymore, notice the massive layoffs over the last couple of years? Companies that hired 10 people for 1 job are no longer in business, or they got rid of the extras to be more efficient. The government, on the other hand, has hired more people, and continued to expand, with this pay freeze being the only sign anyone in D.C has a clue. So basically your response wasn’t well thought out. If the private sector happily hired 10 people for the job of 1, then there wouldn’t be so many people looking for jobs now.

Mick

November 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

**Now, if we can just get rid of government pensions**

Yeah right, why don’t we get rid of everything? A nation of paupers is what some of you seem to be longing for….

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:18 pm

LOL @ Mick…

Gale

November 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

I think some people are not giving federal professionals credit for a bit of moral fiber. Do you really all think those people would go elsewhere because of a year or two raise freeze? They are bright people. They see the economy and know how their fellow citizens are faring. I’m sure they wouldn’t put up with a freeze that lasted more than two years. I wouldn’t. And if the economy takes an uptick, like them, I would expect an adjustment to make up for the freeze.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

Jimmy62,

“notice the massive layoffs over the last couple of years?”

Notice when I call AT&T about an erroneous charge I get passed to 9 different people and the 10th hangs up on me?

Bureaucracy is bureaucracy no matter public or private. The private company may have laid off some people, but how do yo know they laid off the right people?

Bosch

November 29th, 2010
3:22 pm

” Relating to my earlier statement about how many departments of the governemnt have 10 people doing a job 1 could do”

Such as?

Hillbilly Deluxe

November 29th, 2010
3:23 pm

If they were serious about this, Congress could start with themselves. They could start by rescinding the automatic pay increase that they get every year, without even having to vote on it.

It’s bad when anyone loses their job but I do find it interesting, that while this country has been bleeding blue collar jobs for 30-40 years, it’s just in the last few years when it started to hit the white color sector, that many got upset about it.

Dusty

November 29th, 2010
3:24 pm

UH OH,, I forgot..

THANK YOU, Pres. Obama, for freezing the pay for government employees. I did read the fine print and it is only for lawn keepers at the White House. But that’s OK. It’s a start. YES SIR, stimulus program # 982. I tell you, our president is getting as tight with money as good ol’ Scrooge. I bet Michelle even gets her allowance cut and that is living dangerously.

IT worker (unemployed)

November 29th, 2010
3:26 pm

I was offered a job for a Sr. QA Analyst in Lowell Mass (I live in SC). The job paid $50,000 a year.

The per diem rate in Lowell Mass is $22.50 per hour. After living expenses that comes to $1.50 per hour.

Hard to live on that. And oh yeah they found an H1b who would do it. The recruiting company set him up in an apartment with 3 other H1bs (and paid for it).

Recruiting companies are staffed with Indian recruiters that only want to recruit H1bs it is impossible to prove descrimination because they basically say ‘this is the rate, take it or leave it).

Bosch

November 29th, 2010
3:26 pm

Gale,

I think the attitude in this country has changed so much that people are brainwashed into thinking that they should just be happy to have a job, any job, and if there are grievances with that job, they can not be expressed for fear of losing that job.

It used to be that the workers in a company were considered the most valuable resource, and they were respected. Now, workers are no more valued than the carpet on the office floor.

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
3:27 pm

Gale,

“Do you really all think those people would go elsewhere because of a year or two raise freeze? ”

Would you pass up 2 years of raises if someone else was offering more? Perhaps a gov’t employee would, as their average tenure is 7.2 yrs to the private sectors 4.0 yrs…of course that might be the reason they are paid more…

josef nix

November 29th, 2010
3:27 pm

The federal employees have the chutzpah to complain about a freeze…they better be glad they’re not school employees in some districts where it’s freezes, cuts, and unpaid furlough…still, though, does this also affect the White House staff, Congress, the executive, judicial and legislative equally? It better….

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

Gale

The people who have critical skills just might jump ship if another job is offered with better pay & benefits. That’s one of the reasons many government agencies have high turnover rates. I’ve seen a good bit of turnover in my current agency. Some switched to other agencies, and others left the government altogether.

HD

We will see affordable all-electric cars before that happens. I’m waiting myself to see if congress does ax their increase as well.

Bosch

You know better than to ask a question like that. You’re practicing that gotcha’ journalism again. :)

Southern Comfort

November 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

Bosch

November 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

SoCo,

Well, Jimmy made it seem like it was some kind of major governmental practice to hire 10 people to do one job — at least that’s how I took it. :-)

IT worker (unemployed)

November 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe@3:23 pm

It’s bad when anyone loses their job but I do find it interesting, that while this country has been bleeding blue collar jobs for 30-40 years, it’s just in the last few years when it started to hit the white color sector, that many got upset about it.
———————————–

I was in Charlotte NC with IBM when Cannon Mills shut down. They chained the doors at the all their plants and turned Kannapolis NC into a ghost town.

Then in 2002 IBM layed off 18000 workers at the same time.

Matti

November 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

Bosch @ 3:26,

It’s called “wage suppression” and it’s an essential element in the plan.

iRun

November 29th, 2010
3:40 pm

I can’t approve of this when it doesn’t include members of Congress, Congressional staffers, federal court judges and workers. That’s extremely insulting to the rest of the federal work force, especially since this group include the highest paid in federal employ.

I’m okay with excluding military personnel and postal workers from the freeze. And you CAN’T include contractors because they’re the private sector and the government can’t tell them how to pay their employees. However, the government can still only award the contract to the lowest bid, which may encourage the contractors to freeze pay.

Dusty

November 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

J-O-S-E-F,

Please come here happy. Folks been griping all day and I’m stuck at the computer because I’m having my floors redone and I can hardly move except to back out the door to Burger King. Now smile.. right…that’s it!!! Thank you….( and happy holidays etc . etc. ).

josef nix

November 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

SoCo

Don’t want to p*ss off the postal workers, do we? :-)

jewcowboy

November 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

IT worker (unemployed),

“And oh yeah they found an H1b who would do it. The recruiting company set him up in an apartment with 3 other H1bs (and paid for it).”

Just curious…how did you find out who was hired…as well as their living arrangements?