April 9, 2009
Personally I think this is a little insulting that federal employees get their pay frozen for 2 years while most the world is being forced to take paycuts. Not only paycuts but reductions in benifits, especially medical premiums, copays, and prescriptions coverage. In my company this was beginning to cost the average employee as much as $500 per month in the increase of premiums, and the change in the prescription coverage. Not only that, employees were forced to start taking furlough days off from 5 days per year up to 10 in some cases. Most people would probably be happy to hear, no pay cuts but no raises either, and no forced days off. The federal government medical is not taking the kind of hits that big companies are giving out to employees. Don't forget one other thing, pay freezes only freeze your base pay, however if you get cost of living, thats usually a separate issue. I'm not sure if all federal employees get cost of living index raises or not. You just about can't get fired, and anyone who has ever gone into a federal building, dynamite wouldn't get them off their asses at work.
As the artical points out the saleries of Congress, they vote themselves major raises, and they also have expense accounts that I;m sure get used for a lot of free lunches. Again their medical has never been cut. But if you are a worker Bee for the government or a big company, raises if you see them are 3-4% tops.
Obama calls for 2-year freeze on federal pay
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AP – President Barack Obama delivers a statement to members of the media in the in the Old Executive Office … By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Tom Raum, Associated Press – Mon Nov 29, 9:47 pm ET
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed a two-year freeze of the salaries of some 2 million federal workers, trying to seize the deficit-cutting initiative from Republicans with a sudden, dramatic stroke. Though signaling White House concern over record deficits, the freeze would make only a tiny dent in annual deficits or the nation's $14 trillion debt.
"Small businesses and families are tightening their belts," Obama said in brief remarks at the White House. "The government should, too." The administration said the plan was designed to save more than $5 billion over the first two years.
The proposal, which must be approved by Congress, would not apply to the military, but it would affect all others on the Executive Branch payroll. It would not affect members of Congress or their staffs, defense contractors, postal workers or federal court judges and workers.
Obama's move was an attempt to get in front of Republican plans to slash federal pay and the workforce next year, when they will flex more legislative muscle than now. It came a day ahead of Obama's meeting at the White House with both Republicans and Democratic leaders — his first with Republicans since the midterm elections — and two days before the deadline for recommendations by his deficit-reduction commission.
The president said the economy and federal spending were at the top of the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, one he said he hoped "will mark a first step towards a new and productive working relationship" between the two parties. Because of GOP midterm gains, "we now have a shared responsibility to deliver for the American people on the issues that define not only these times but our future," Obama said.
House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, on track to become House speaker in January, said he was pleased with the president's announcement.
"Republicans and Democrats don't have to wait until January to cut spending and stop all the tax hikes. We can — and should — start right now," Boehner said in a statement. He also suggested that Obama was taking a page from the GOP playbook.
The freeze would take effect on Jan. 1, assuming the lame-duck Congress approves the move by the end of this year. The 2012 pay freeze will be included by Obama as part of his fiscal 2012 budget submission to Congress, due early next year.
In the past, Congress has generally gone along with presidential recommendations on federal worker pay levels.
Without congressional action, federal employees would automatically get a 0.9 percent increase under the formula set by a 1990 law. They received a 1.9 percent pay increase this year.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in line to be the next chairman of the House committee that oversees federal personnel issues, called Obama's federal salary freeze "long overdue." But labor union leaders balked at it.
John Gage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees, called the decision "a slap at working people. ... To symbolically hit at federal employees I think is just wrong." He said the move would not really save as much as the White House claims because federal employees often get just a fraction of projected raises.
Colleen Kelley, head of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union, said union officials would try to derail the proposal in Congress. She may find some sympathy with union-friendly Democrats still in control for another month.
"We're going to do everything we can to make this not happen and to explore all our options," Kelley said.
The president's move bows to growing budget concerns and pressure from Republicans, and many rank-and-file Democrats, to rein in federal pay and benefits.
The federal government is the nation's largest employer, with about 2 million workers. About 85 percent of them work outside of the Washington, D.C., area.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., now the House majority leader, said he would closely study Obama's request.
"Meaningful deficit deduction cannot be achieved through a piecemeal approach to trimming federal spending," Hoyer said. Active members of the military "serving in harm's way" should be exempt, he said, but he questioned the wisdom of leaving out military members in noncombat roles while subjecting their civilian counterparts to the freeze.
"I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives," Obama said.
But, he added, "getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government." He said he was just asking civil servants "to do what they've always done — play their part."
Federal workers are an easy target. Polls show rising public anger toward the federal government at a time of high continued unemployment and Wall Street and auto bailouts.
Federal workers have been less directly affected by the recession than other sectors, with fewer layoffs and continued annual pay increases. Republican and fiscal conservative critics have argued that federal employees are better paid than private-sector counterparts, although public workers' unions dispute this.
Shortly after taking office in January 2009, Obama froze salaries of top White House officials and top political appointees.
Congress, not covered by Obama's new freeze plans as separate branch of government, froze its pay last April, with House and Senate votes to forgo an automatic $1,600 annual cost of living increase.
House members and senators are paid $174,000 a year. Their last pay increase was $4,700 a year at beginning of 2009. The president's pay of $400,000 a year was fixed by Congress in January 2001 and has not changed since then.
The co-chairmen of Obama's bipartisan deficit commission, Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, have proposed a three-year freeze in pay for most federal employees as part of their plan to reduce the nation's growing deficit.
The federal government is on track to rack up the third trillion-dollar-plus deficit in history. Yearly deficits have ballooned primarily as a result of falling tax revenues and rising recession-related costs. Last year's deficit totaled $1.3 trillion, second highest in history, down from the all-time record of $1.4 trillion set in 2009. The government's budget year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30.
The national debt — the total amount owed by the government, essentially the sum of previous budget deficits — stands at $13.8 trillion.
Obama indicated there were other belt-tightening steps ahead. "We're going to have to make some additional very tough decisions that this town has put off for a very long time," he said. At the same time, noting continued economic weakness, Obama said, "We can't put the brakes on too quickly" because of the still-fragile economy.
Jeffrey Zients, deputy White House budget director, told reporters the two-year freeze on Executive Branch civilian workers was "the first of many difficult steps ahead that we'll be taking in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing, steps that will ask for all of us to sacrifice."
April 9, 2009
April 9, 2009
Will Obama, as the "top" federal employee freeze his pay? Not even a slash? Oh, that's right. It's all about austerity measures for the working-class.
Another assault by the political elite.
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
April 9, 2009
Both my parents worked for the "federal government", the post office. They have different benefits than those of us in the private sector. They didn't pay into social security, they got a retirement package that the senatewhores/congress critters get. When social security came into play, just like with this obummer-death-bill, the senatewhores/congress critters voted themselves exempt.
Why would these servants pass bills for everybody except them?
Oh yeah, cause these bills suck!
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
April 9, 2009
Some state employees had the option to also be part of the SS system, I'l have to ask my neighbor and kids about it. My neighbors pension is quite good, far better than mine, as he gets about 90% of his base pay, but retired with 40 years. He also was allowed to pay into SS, and he also get that, but the only job he ever had in his life was the Calif. University System. My kinds also had jobs in regular industry, but I think as teachers they are exempt from SS or recieving it. They probably would not get medicare either, but not sure.
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