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Author: Subject: Didn't theses folks just get a pay raise?

Zen Peach





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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 02:56 AM


President Obama freezes federal pay


President Obama proposes a largely symbolic freeze on pay for civilian federal workers. | AP Photo Close
By ABBY PHILLIP & JOHN MAGGS | 11/29/10 11:49 AM EST Updated: 11/29/10 3:31 PM EST

President Barack Obama announced that he would freeze pay for civilian federal employees for two years in a move that precludes a looming debate in Congress about how best to tackle the growing federal deficits.

“Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice and that sacrifice must be shared by federal employees,” Obama said. “I’m asking civil servants to do what they’ve always done—to play their part” and lead by example.



If Congress endorses the idea, the freeze would save $2 billion in 2011 and roughly $60 billion over the next 10 years – a relative drop in the bucket of the federal budget deficit, which is expected to top $1 trillion this year and next year. With the president’s bipartisan deficit commission due to report this week as the number of deficit-reduction proposals multiply, Congress will debate both pay cuts and a reduction in the number of government employees and federal contractors.

White House officials denied that the timing was related to anything other than upcoming routine budget deadlines, but some see the decision as an olive branch to conservatives in Congress who have called for federal pay freezes and furloughs as a way to cut costs and shrink the size of government.

The announcement comes as the deadline for the president to submit his request for federal pay increases to Congress approaches on Tuesday, but also ahead of a postponed but highly anticipated bi-partisan meeting with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders also on the schedule. A federal pay freeze is among the budget-cutting steps outlined in the Republican’s Pledge to America released in September.

When the new congress convenes in January, Obama said, Republicans and Democrats must take on the “shared responsibility” of addressing the nation’s fiscal challenges.

“My hope is that starting today we can begin a bipartisan conversation about our future,” the president said. “Everybody is going to have to cooperate. We can’t afford to fall back on our old ideologies or the same sound bites.”

Both Republican and Democratic congressional aides said the president’s proposal was a gesture, but both sides differed on its significance.

An aide to a senior Republican House leader said that Obama was “trying to hold back the tide” of big reductions that the new Congress will make in the size and the pay of the federal workforce, but the Democratic legislative aide said the president’s proposal, “which is the only one out there right now,” would help convince the public to accept painful reductions in federal benefits like Social Security and Medicaid in the coming years.

Obama has already frozen the salaries of his senior staff and political appointees across the federal government. In August, he announced another freeze on bonuses to political appointees, a move that will contribute, if incrementally, to reduction of the federal deficit.

The president emphasized that the freeze was not intended to “punish” federal workers or disrespect their work.








“My hope is that starting today we can begin a bipartisan conversation about our future,” the president said. “Everybody is going to have to cooperate. We can’t afford to fall back on our old ideologies or the same sound bites.”


Ok, got it, now I understand bipartisan. What a joke.

"Sure Republicans can come along for the ride, as long as they realize they ride in the back seat"


[Edited on 11/30/2010 by dutchoneill]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:11 AM
Everyone Hates Obama's Pay Freeze Plan... Except Republicans

Brian Beutler | November 29, 2010, 2:48PM

The early reviews of President Obama's plan to freeze federal worker pay are in -- and it gets a resounding "F" from just about everybody outside of GOP leadership.

Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside.

"Bluntly doing it this way, we risk cutting off our nose to spite our face," Linden said in a phone interview. "We risk not hiring good people, we risk not giving a raise to people who deserve a raise, and we miss not cutting the pay of those who deserve a pay cut."

Linden recalled similarities between the plan Obama announced today and his previous call at an earlier political low point for a discretionary spending freeze.

"Both are sort of blunt instruments for reducing the deficit that don't reduce the deficit very much," Linden said. "The pay freeze is actually much smaller than the discretionary spending freeze," in budget terms.

If enacted, the proposal will disproportionately impact middle-income earners.

"The vast majority of federal employees are middle-class workers. That's who we're asking to take a hit," Linden explained. "Maybe we have to ask them to take a hit [but] certainly we shouldn't ask them to take the hit before the wealthiest two percent. Maybe down the line we'll ask middle class to take the hit. But I'd really prefer not asking them to take the hit at the start."

Larry Mishel, director of the liberal Economic Policy Institute, was equally blunt.

In a statement Mishel warned,"In the context of the deficit, Obama will get chump change from freezing federal pay, and will only enlarge the degree to which federal pay lags that of the private sector (a gap of 22%, according to the federal pay agent's report)."

This is another example of the administration's tendency to bargain with itself rather than Republicans, and in the process reinforces conservative myths, in this case the myth that federal workers are overpaid. Such a policy also ignores the fact that deficit reduction and loss of pay at a time when the unemployment rate remains above 9% will only weaken a too-weak recovery.

Republicans predictably and eagerly pocketed the gesture, and welcomed Obama to move even further in their direction.

"I welcome President Obama's announcement, and hope he will build on it by embracing much-needed steps to reduce both the size and the cost of government, including the net federal hiring freeze Republicans propose in our Pledge to America," said soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner in a statement. "Without a hiring freeze, a pay freeze won't do much to rein in a federal bureaucracy that added hundreds of thousands of employees to its payroll over the last two years while the private sector shed millions of jobs. Today's action is a clear indication that the Pledge to America, which lays out concrete steps to cut spending and reduce the size of government, is the right plan to address the people's priorities."

"We are pleased that President Obama appears ready to join our efforts. As the recent election made clear, Americans are fed up with a government that spends too much, borrows too much and grows too much," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.

Meanwhile, administration officials made clear today that the White House secured no parallel commitments from the GOP, characterizing the proposal as a tough but necessary piece of the White House's commitment to deficit reduction.

That's not usually how this stuff works. "If you think about the large deficit reduction attempts in the past -- 1990 and 1993 -- it was a large scale deal struck in 1990 and the Dems going alone in 1993," Linden said. "I don't know that there's any precedent for dipping your toes into the deficit reduction pool before diving in."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/everyone-hates-obamas-pay-freeze -planexcept-republicans.php

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:19 AM
By all means, let's save $2 billion next yr by sticking it to Fed workers so we can give tax cuts to those who make over $250k. That only costs $70 billion next yr. Come on Mr President, stand up to these guys!
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:39 AM
Is not giving someone a raise "sticking it to" them? They might consider themselves lucky to have jobs...many don't.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:46 AM
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:51 AM
quote:
Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside.
With studies showing that public sector jobs now pay better, and have vastly better current and retirement benefits, where does this fool think people are going to go? If they have better opportunities, they should take them. I can't imagine many would.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 04:15 AM
quote:
quote:
Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside.
With studies showing that public sector jobs now pay better, and have vastly better current and retirement benefits, where does this fool think people are going to go? If they have better opportunities, they should take them. I can't imagine many would.


I thought the same thing when I read that, Fuji.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 11:43 AM
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.


When did that growth occur?

And let's be real here. The total cost of the federal workers is something like 6-10% of the budget. Even if the worker level was dropped 22%, that would only be 1-2% of the budget. That would be, as others are calling this move by Obama, a drop in the bucket.

So is it better for all these people to take a pay freeze or lose their job? It will come out the same, budget-wise, in the end.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 11:50 AM
quote:
quote:
Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside.
With studies showing that public sector jobs now pay better, and have vastly better current and retirement benefits, where does this fool think people are going to go? If they have better opportunities, they should take them. I can't imagine many would.


What studies, Rich?

I work for a Fortune 500 company.

I can tell you at my place of employment there are few if any openings. Those that are available are first given to Global Services (read India) to see if they can fill the spot. If they can't, then someone in the US gets a shot.

My retirement is is only 6% of my salary funded. I put in the rest.

My healthcare is high deductable. I have to spend $3000 in a year before the plan starts to pay 90%. I have to spend $6000 for my expenses to be 100% covered.

These are the jobs that await the masses of the federal government. Sure there are some good jobs for the heads of departments and other high placed people. The rest are in my boat.

I can tell you that the Fed has better benefits and salary than my place of employment.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 12:06 PM
quote:
quote:
They're all cowards.....None, and I mean none, of our politicians have the balls to say what's really needed. The Dems got a hard on when the latest "commission" proposed raising the SS retirement age in, wait for it, the year 2050! And the repubs had the same reaction when the same "commission" proposed closing a third of our overseas military bases. Because, you know, that would only leave about 666 still operational.....What a sham. These cowards still can't be honest with the public and propose real cuts. And not in 40 years but in the next budget. It's like a complete dog and pony show.



Saying what needs to be said tends to not get you re-elected.


Which is precisely why I consider them cowards....

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 12:19 PM
And then there is this...



Hoyer: Military should also see pay freeze
By Russell Berman - 11/29/10 12:55 PM ET
The second-ranking House Democrat said Monday that President Obama’s move to freeze the pay of civilian federal employees should also be extended to military personnel.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said including the military would have increased savings and add “an element of fairness." He made the comments in a statement about he president’s announcement of a two-year pay freeze.

“While I appreciate that the president reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years,” Hoyer said in a statement, “it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between federal civilian and military personnel — with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way.”

Hoyer will become minority whip in the 112th Congress. He has made budgetary reform a signature issue, and he said he would review Obama’s proposal “for its balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to recruit and retain a federal workforce able to provide the level of service that the American people expect.”

The Maryland Democrat also urged the administration to back a more comprehensive program to reduce the nation’s soaring deficit, along the lines of proposals from the president’s fiscal commission and a separate debt panel.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 01:22 PM
quote:
And then there is this...



Hoyer: Military should also see pay freeze
By Russell Berman - 11/29/10 12:55 PM ET
The second-ranking House Democrat said Monday that President Obama’s move to freeze the pay of civilian federal employees should also be extended to military personnel.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said including the military would have increased savings and add “an element of fairness." He made the comments in a statement about he president’s announcement of a two-year pay freeze.

“While I appreciate that the president reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years,” Hoyer said in a statement, “it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between federal civilian and military personnel — with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way.”

Hoyer will become minority whip in the 112th Congress. He has made budgetary reform a signature issue, and he said he would review Obama’s proposal “for its balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to recruit and retain a federal workforce able to provide the level of service that the American people expect.”

The Maryland Democrat also urged the administration to back a more comprehensive program to reduce the nation’s soaring deficit, along the lines of proposals from the president’s fiscal commission and a separate debt panel.



I would like to see how much it would save before passing judgment.

I don't think that most of the people that join and stay in the service are there because of the pay, they are there for the benefits. GI Bill, retirement at 40, etc.
Now if the benefits start getting cut............

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 01:55 PM
"valuable civil servants" there is an oxymoron if ever I heard one.

Here's one. An Indian (feather not dot) walks into a dinner somewhere in the South West U.S. He orders a cup of coffee, drinks it and then throws a pile of Buffalo Chips into the air and then blasts it with his shotgun, he then quietly leaves. He does this for about a week until the owner asks him "why are you doing that?" The Indian replies "I am practicing for my government job." The owner still perplexed asks "how is that?" And once again the Indian replies" I go to work, drink coffee, shoot the s*&t and leave.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 01:56 PM
"valuable civil servants" there is an oxymoron if ever I heard one.

Here's one. An Indian (feather not dot) walks into a dinner somewhere in the South West U.S. He orders a cup of coffee, drinks it and then throws a pile of Buffalo Chips into the air and then blasts it with his shotgun, he then quietly leaves. He does this for about a week until the owner asks him "why are you doing that?" The Indian replies "I am practicing for my government job." The owner still perplexed asks "how is that?" And once again the Indian replies" I go to work, drink coffee, shoot the s*&t and leave.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 02:20 PM
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:01 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......


I'd say it if McCain had done the same thing.


So with Boehner and Cantor claiming credit for this, are you saying that the pay freeze, as part of the GOP Pledge To America, is, by extension, a weak GOP PR stunt?


It's a weak PR stunt no matter what.


Saving $2 billion in 2011 and roughly $60 billion over the next 10 years is a PR stunt? Something tells me that if this was a proposal to SPEND $2 billion in 2011 and roughly $60 billion over the next 10 years you'd be calling it something other than a PR stunt. Why is that? (never mind, I already know).

[Edited on 11/30/2010 by gondicar]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:05 PM
Saw Eric Cantor on the morning TV this morning. He got asked three times if he would support raising the SS retirement age and making cuts to Medicare and/or defense. Talk about squirming. Needless to say, he didn't answer, other than "everything is on the table." Uh-huh. What party was it again that spent millions in the midterms scaring the $hit out of elderly people saying that the evil Democrats want to cut their entitlements? Hmmmm.

However, it is completely and totally awesome that the GOP hardliners in this thread are bashing Obama for the pay freeze as a weak PR stunt when Boehner and Cantor are taking credit for it. Awesome. Totally awesome.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:08 PM
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......

Well, being one who complains about government spending I'll only compain about this if it ends here. It is a shrewd political move, mostly symbolic, to take control of the agenda and do an end run around the recommendations of the deficit commission which called for more drastic measures (pay-cuts and 3-year freezes). Hopefully this move by Obama is just setting the stage for more significant measures in the future.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:12 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......

Well, being one who complains about government spending I'll only compain about this if it ends here. It is a shrewd political move, mostly symbolic, to take control of the agenda and do an end run around the recommendations of the deficit commission which called for more drastic measures (pay-cuts and 3-year freezes). Hopefully this move by Obama is just setting the stage for more significant measures in the future.


That all depends on who gets credit for it...ahhhh, politics.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:17 PM
They're all cowards.....None, and I mean none, of our politicians have the balls to say what's really needed. The Dems got a hard on when the latest "commission" proposed raising the SS retirement age in, wait for it, the year 2050! And the repubs had the same reaction when the same "commission" proposed closing a third of our overseas military bases. Because, you know, that would only leave about 666 still operational.....What a sham. These cowards still can't be honest with the public and propose real cuts. And not in 40 years but in the next budget. It's like a complete dog and pony show.



[Edited on 11/30/2010 by Chain]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 03:27 PM
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......


I'd say it if McCain had done the same thing.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 04:32 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......


I'd say it if McCain had done the same thing.


So with Boehner and Cantor claiming credit for this, are you saying that the pay freeze, as part of the GOP Pledge To America, is, by extension, a weak GOP PR stunt?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 04:44 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Grow a payroll by 22% then freeze at that level. Gee whiz Barack! Another weak PR stunt.



Funny that the people that constantly complain about government spending also complain when the president actually does something about it.... must be because Obama did it.......


I'd say it if McCain had done the same thing.


So with Boehner and Cantor claiming credit for this, are you saying that the pay freeze, as part of the GOP Pledge To America, is, by extension, a weak GOP PR stunt?


It's a weak PR stunt no matter what.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 04:44 PM
quote:
They're all cowards.....None, and I mean none, of our politicians have the balls to say what's really needed. The Dems got a hard on when the latest "commission" proposed raising the SS retirement age in, wait for it, the year 2050! And the repubs had the same reaction when the same "commission" proposed closing a third of our overseas military bases. Because, you know, that would only leave about 666 still operational.....What a sham. These cowards still can't be honest with the public and propose real cuts. And not in 40 years but in the next budget. It's like a complete dog and pony show.



Saying what needs to be said tends to not get you re-elected.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2010 at 06:19 PM
quote:
Saw Eric Cantor on the morning TV this morning. He got asked three times if he would support raising the SS retirement age and making cuts to Medicare and/or defense. Talk about squirming. Needless to say, he didn't answer, other than "everything is on the table." Uh-huh. What party was it again that spent millions in the midterms scaring the $hit out of elderly people saying that the evil Democrats want to cut their entitlements? Hmmmm.

However, it is completely and totally awesome that the GOP hardliners in this thread are bashing Obama for the pay freeze as a weak PR stunt when Boehner and Cantor are taking credit for it. Awesome. Totally awesome.


Awesome indeed!

 

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