November 29, 2010

Obama: Now That I've Run The Federal Payroll Up To Historic Levels,, Let's Freeze Their Pay
— DrewM

Awww....the poor non-defense federal employees aren't going to get their scheduled raises for two years. My heart bleeds.

Bowing to growing budget concerns and months of Republican political pressure on federal pay and benefits, President Obama today announced he would stop pay increases for most of the two million people who work for the federal government.

The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

"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 speech Monday afternoon explaining the decision. He added, "I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives."

The decision will save about 30 Billion over the next 5 years.

Here's my thought...not good enough. Not even close.

Obama has run up the size of the federal workforce to historic levels. There are now more federal employees making more than $150,000/year than ever before and all we are doing is eliminating some raises?

That's not even a good start.

Incoming Speaker Boehner says okay but now let's do something more important.

“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. 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. 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.”

Again...no good enough. Start firing people. Start closing down programs, offices and whole agencies. Yes, even then, it's a drop in the ocean without entitlement reform. But here's my thing...I'm not as concerned about balancing the budget as an end. To me it's about shrinking the reach and influence of government in and over our lives. It might be possible to devise some strategy to balance the budget and save entitlements at their current levels or near there and that would be a disaster.. A balanced budget (at a much lower percentage of GDP) is simply a pleasant by-product of getting the government back in the box it belongs in. Do that and let free people take care of their own business. The politics of this are interesting as well.

Republicans aren't going to be impressed and Democrats are already whining that he's hurting his allies and giving into Republicans.

Here's some union reaction.

Today, with Obama publically spurning their advances, they barely moderated their responses. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a tart statement: "Today's announcement of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers is bad for the middle class, bad for the economy and bad for business. No one is served by our government participating in a 'race to the bottom' in wages." The head of the National Federation of Federal Employees, William Dougan, declared himself "deeply disappointed."

Meanwhile a front page poster at DKos is sick of Obama surrendering to the Republicans.

Confronted with the choice between making the tough decision to defend federal spending during a recession or to develop a plan to actually slash spending, President Gimmick takes a third way: pretending to do something. In the process, he concedes that he believes his critics are right on the merits, but far from signaling strength, he signals that he's too weak to do anything serious about it.

The worst thing about President Gimmick isn't that he plays politics, though. The worst thing about President Gimmick is that he's not very good at it.

Let's hope it doesn't take President Obama long to realize that President Gimmick isn't going to do him or the nation any good. And then he -- and we -- can put President Gimmick back in the closet, where he belongs.

Hey Kos guy...love the President Gimmick tag, well played.

Greg Sargent, one of the many in-house Democratic hacks at the Washington Post echoes the sentiment.

I actually agree with the DKos guy, though likely for different reasons, about Obama's ham-handed political skills. When Clinton triangulated he found the bits from both sides most people liked and took them as his own, even if the whole didn't add up or matter much. At least he was crafting majority support for something.

Obama on the other hand always seems to find the things both sides hates and adopts them as his own thus creating a majority the opposes him even if it is for very different reasons (think health care).

For a guy who was supposed to be so smart, he's pretty dumb. All I can say to our disgruntled liberal friends is...We Told You So!

Posted by: DrewM at 10:42 AM | Comments (98)
Post contains 918 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Divide and Conquer. Nice job, Barack.

Posted by: Jester at November 29, 2010 10:43 AM (+M04K)

2 ....i didn't take this lightly....this is peoples lives....i hope they all quit in protest

Posted by: phoenixgirl at November 29, 2010 10:46 AM (eOXTH)

3 Dude can't manage a layup, so how 'bout a layoff.

Posted by: Joe Mama at November 29, 2010 10:48 AM (pRKLf)

4 No COLAs for the Federal employees.  Only merit raises and increases in grade, I'm afraid.

Posted by: stuiec at November 29, 2010 10:48 AM (7AOgy)

5 They would have to freeze their pay for 30 yrs and the economy would have to come back just so the private sector could catch up.

The bigger question is what is his other hand doing as the union diversion is playing out.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at November 29, 2010 10:48 AM (tf9Ne)

6 My late fathers friend used to say that you could go to Washington and nail every other door shut and nothing would change for the worse. (And he died 20 years ago).

Posted by: jjshaka at November 29, 2010 10:49 AM (sPeGD)

7 but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

The Debt Commission recommended freezing military pay and housing allowances for three years.  Haven't heard anything else about any of the other groups.

Posted by: Bomber at November 29, 2010 10:49 AM (d88g9)

8 Start with EPA.

Posted by: EC at November 29, 2010 10:50 AM (mAhn3)

9 President Gimmick takes a third way: pretending to do something.

Also knows as SOP for this bunch.

Posted by: Bomber at November 29, 2010 10:50 AM (d88g9)

10 My late fathers friend used to say that you could go to Washington and nail every other door shut and nothing would change for the worse.
(And he died 20 years ago).

Posted by: jjshaka at November 29, 2010 03:49 PM (sPeGD)

My mentor, Sen. Fulbright, said the same thing.  Only instead of "door," he said "intern."

Posted by: Bill Clinton at November 29, 2010 10:50 AM (7AOgy)

11 The President is going to learn that SEIU and AFSCME both have way sharper elbows than anyone he plays basketball with.

Posted by: stuiec at November 29, 2010 10:51 AM (7AOgy)

12 I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives.

The poor babies are going to have to somehow deal with making on average DOUBLE what the average private sector worker does, with money taken from those private sector workers, and this gibbering idiot is wringing his hands about it?

Posted by: Waterhouse at November 29, 2010 10:52 AM (Brjev)

13 Get bureaucrats to fire subordinates.

1) Every year of projected or actual budget deficit every non-field-agent everywhere takes a 10% cut.

2) You can avoid the cut if you personally fire a non-field-agent.

Posted by: Al at November 29, 2010 10:57 AM (MzQOZ)

14 Obama on the other hand always seems to find the things both sides hates and adopts them as his own thus creating a majority the opposes him even if it is for very different reasons.

Another problem he inherited from Bush.

Posted by: Jack's complete lack of suprise at November 29, 2010 10:58 AM (F/4zf)

15

"And then he -- and we -- can put President Gimmick back in the closet, where he belongs."

I thought that forcing people to stay in closets was bad (except for newborn infants)?

Posted by: The new (and improved!) Black Panthers (with extra whitening) at November 29, 2010 10:58 AM (R2fpr)

16 Don't worry, it's not really a "pay freeze" - the Federal employees still get their annual "step increases", and of course, the agencies can still "promote" somebody to a higher GS level for doing the same job. All Federal employees also get "locational pay adjustments" (only in the Federal government does **everyone** get a pay increase for location) - I bet those adjustments get increased next year, when no one is looking.

Posted by: Grug, Moby Of Doom at November 29, 2010 10:58 AM (QgAFR)

17
This is another lie just like when he sent 1200 additional border agents to the border.

Posted by: Professor Soothsayer at November 29, 2010 10:58 AM (uFokq)

18 Sponge, meet Ocean.  Now, soak it all up.

This is a start.  Not good enough, as Drew mentions, but it is a start.

On the other hand, if no one in the public sector would pay these people to do what they're doing it indicates one of three things:

1) It's something no private sector firm can, or is allowed to, do.
2) It's something that doesn't need to be done.
3) They suck at it.

Since the vast majority of these folks aren't actually National Defense employees or or people providing services we need our government to provide, I'm thinking most of these fall into categories 2 and/or 3.  Anyone who falls into either (let alone both) of those categories needs to be fired and they need to get work in the private sector.  If they don't suck at that work, so much the better.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 29, 2010 10:59 AM (8y9MW)

19 Don't ever think Dear Leader is dumb.  He's using the office of prez to always have something up his sleeve.  I expect an announcement very soon of his expanding by EO some aspect of big, expensive government.  He's going to be grabbing as much as he can before the next congress convenes.

Posted by: Soona at November 29, 2010 11:00 AM (pV2aS)

20 Again...no good enough. Start firing people. Start closing down programs, offices and whole agencies.

I totally agree. 2011 budget from the Republican house should be an across the board reduction to 2008 levels and force everyone to budget accordingly. It should also repeal Obamacare.

2012 Budget should look at eliminating entire departments and agencies; EPA, OSHA, DOE, Education, Welfare, etc. and fire everyone from the top down. Close the offices and sell the buildings.

2013 Budget should eliminate the largest portion of SSI, the corrupt "disabilities" program. Contrary to the current myth, the retiring baby-boomers are not what is killing the system. Over half of the payments being made now are for "disabilities" paid out to children and drug addicted adults. This was an LBJ ripoff and it needs to go away.

After all that we can look at some real cutbacks.

Posted by: Vic at November 29, 2010 11:01 AM (e4sSD)

21 I don't think giving these guys a fat lip goes far enough. 

Posted by: Fritz at November 29, 2010 11:02 AM (GwPRU)

22 if they cut all government payrolls and pension payouts by 50% that would be a good start, this is just theatre... but it is something, i guess.

Posted by: shoey at November 29, 2010 11:03 AM (ehKDD)

23 How I protect my family jewels on my trip to/from home

Posted by: Barney Frank at November 29, 2010 11:03 AM (tE8FB)

24 19 Sponge, meet Ocean.  Now, soak it all up.

Not even a sponge.  This is the equivalent of trying to bail out the ocean with bottomless buckets. 

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 29, 2010 11:03 AM (9hSKh)

25
This is bullshit.

Lookit:

Under the president's proposal, a federal worker promoted to a higher pay scale would still get a pay raise.




Posted by: Professor Soothsayer at November 29, 2010 11:03 AM (uFokq)

26 #27 Under the president's proposal, a federal worker promoted to a higher pay scale would still get a pay raise.

So we can look forward to a whole slew of federal worker promotions?  Brilliant! 

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 29, 2010 11:05 AM (9hSKh)

27 Wow, 30 whole billion dollars. What's your projected deficit over those five years, Barry, something approaching $4 trillion? Or rather $4,000 billion, to put it in perspective for your innumerate dipshit bootlicking hangers-on? Way to go, champ.

Posted by: Waterhouse at November 29, 2010 11:05 AM (Brjev)

28 let free people take care of their own business. What are you, some kind of radical?

Posted by: typical American genius at November 29, 2010 11:05 AM (9htMr)

29 One fed worker told Rush that it only applies to their small COLA increases, but that yearly pay-steps would still be good to go. IOW, nobody's gonna "share the suffering" but the taxpayer.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at November 29, 2010 11:09 AM (bF2hQ)

30 Another airball

Posted by: ingenus at November 29, 2010 11:10 AM (+sBB4)

31 'Broad sacrifices' meaning the average Federal worker, who, including benefits, makes double what the rest of us do, will not suffer during the next two years of deflation.

Posted by: t-bird at November 29, 2010 11:11 AM (FcR7P)

32 They'll just lay them off, arm them and make some kind of Federal Security Force. And some guys trying to keep a paycheck will be all too eager to start locking up fellow Americans--or worse-- if that's what it takes.

Posted by: USS Diversity at November 29, 2010 11:12 AM (RWtqz)

33
It's a toothless proposal. The loopholes are built-in at the start.

It won't save us a dime; it will end up COSTING us money!



Posted by: Professor Soothsayer at November 29, 2010 11:12 AM (uFokq)

34 16 - Grug, Moby Of Doom -- EXACTLY. The cost of living adjustment is the SMALLEST part of federal govt pay increases. Every pay grade has 10 steps, each step being a couple percentage points of the salary. And unless you do something really hideous (like get caught using  a govt credit card to buy a car or voting for a Republican), most govt workers get a step increase every year. You can also get bonuses, which aren't affected. That's before you start throwing in the geographic bonus. Or health benefits, retirement benefits, etc etc etc

This reminds me of a couple years ago when the Obomination talked about cutting 100 million dollars -- from a 2 trillion dollar budget. For anybody who knows the system, it's a sick joke.

Posted by: MaureenTheTemp at November 29, 2010 11:13 AM (8kq7+)

35 Until we get true conservative leadership in the WH and congress, the fed will keep growing one way or the other.  I've said in the past and I'll say it again, I think this nation went to far off course a decade or two ago and there'll be no going back to a true republic short of another armed civil war.

Posted by: Soona at November 29, 2010 11:14 AM (pV2aS)

36 Eh, this is easy. 1) Fire all federal employees hired after Jan 1 2008 2) 20% across the board pay cut for all fed pay and benefits 3) 20% Cut in manpower- starting in middle to upper middle ranks. No automatic raises or advancement. Steeply Pyramidalize all departments. You don't begin to get get retirement benefits until you reach say G-6. If you don't advance, you're out. 4) States have their own Dept of Education etc so eliminate Dept of Ed, Dept of Energy, and severely narrow mission of EPA along with 90% cut. 5) Beginning next year start raising the retirement age by one year for the next seven years. No early retirement benefits. 6) Cheap power means an efficient economy. Remove any obstructions to oil, gas, nuclear, clean coal, hydraulic dams. Cheap power and lots of good paying jobs will help everyone. 7) Enforce immigration law. Make hiring illegals *SURPRISE* illegal with jailtime for employers who break the law. Why are we paying benefits to people who send money "back home"? Why are we paying people not to work(welfare), when there are plenty of jobs if we send the illegals home? Eliminate most welfare and provide huge workfare project on southern border by building a wall all along the border. Common sense *market-based* medical insurance reform to eliminate the rising floor effects of Medicare/Medicaid. You're welcome!

Posted by: naturalfake at November 29, 2010 11:16 AM (+kzvp)

37 The cost of living adjustment is the SMALLEST part of federal govt pay increases. Every pay grade has 10 steps, each step being a couple percentage points of the salary. And unless you do something really hideous (like get caught using  a govt credit card to buy a car or voting for a Republican), most govt workers get a step increase every year. You can also get bonuses, which aren't affected.

So this bullshit number he's thrown out is exactly like "saved or created" - a useless and unverifiable stat that will nevertheless be breathlessly parroted by Obama's water-carriers in the MFM.

Posted by: Waterhouse at November 29, 2010 11:17 AM (Brjev)

38 I know how to eliminate departments: Have a survey of federal employees.

Ask them which programs they would most prefer to cut.

The problem with cutting programs is that everybody wants their project saved and everybody else's cut.  Time to put them at each others' throats.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 29, 2010 11:20 AM (T0NGe)

39 It includes defense fed employees. Not the military but all civilians. We're screwed. Thanks asshole.

Posted by: dagny at November 29, 2010 11:20 AM (i9C+b)

40 Elections have consequences, you liberal assholes.  All you had to do was listen to him on the campaign trail and you knew EXACTLY who he was.  Look at his friends and his lack of history outside of his two shitty books.  STUFFED SHIRT, you doofus's.  Vetting is a GOOD thing.  Felaciating an unknown douchebag as the messiah and electing him on NO cred whatsoever was pretty fucking dumb.

EAT IT Kos fags.....really.  I hope it gives you bitter beer face for the rest of your lives.

Posted by: Sponge at November 29, 2010 11:21 AM (UK9cE)

41 39 - Waterhouse: So this bullshit number he's thrown out is exactly like "saved or created" - a useless and unverifiable stat that will nevertheless be breathlessly parroted by Obama's water-carriers in the MFM.

Well, no doubt the MFM will cook up a couple of sob stories about poor gov't workers having to eat dog food and rent in dangerous neighborhoods so their adopted disabled gender confused child can go to college.

Posted by: MaureenTheTemp at November 29, 2010 11:21 AM (8kq7+)

42 To the whiny little douche from DKos:

Yeah, you bitch and moan about Obama like a girl who's boyfriend turns out to not to be the perfect little metrosexual pansy who will sit and watch Sex and the City II with her every night like you asked, but you'll still vote for him in 2012, won't you?

That is why you are losing, children.

Posted by: wiserbud at November 29, 2010 11:23 AM (EW49d)

43 I agree with Drew. It's the scope and reach of government intrusion in life that need to be the starting point.

If there is a man in black fatigues standing in my living room pointing an MP5 at my chest for eating too much bacon and having ammo in my house or watching too much nurse-on-nun porn, I really don't care how much salary and benefits he is raking in or whether there are three more guys in black fatigues and an IRS agent waiting out on the front lawn.

Entire departments of the federal beast need to be starved to death immediately and then erased from the books when possible.


Posted by: sifty at November 29, 2010 11:24 AM (bdqou)

44 We can all look forward to His Awesomeness treating subjecting us to lots of speeches about fiscal responsibility. Expect a huge increase in bullshit index. As in, increase federal spending by twenty something percent, babble away about freezing spending at the increase amount, thereby cementing the increased spending and bloated government that you created in the first place, then pat yourself on the back for fiscal responsibility. And about 40 % of the population is stupid enough to buy it.

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 29, 2010 11:24 AM (BTYlN)

45 I think we should bring the Dave's in to interview all these government employees. Especially Dave Slidell. He gets shit done.

Posted by: sifty at November 29, 2010 11:25 AM (bdqou)

46 President Palin will announce a new reality show - Dancing with the Federal Government.  Each week a department is cut.

Posted by: ingenus at November 29, 2010 11:25 AM (+sBB4)

47 Make that the Bobs. I always get that wrong. I ban myself.

Posted by: sifty at November 29, 2010 11:26 AM (bdqou)

48 Wait until they pass this "food safety" bill that among other things bans home gardens and kills small farmers, especially those "organinc, local ones".  He will be on the wrong side of both sides again.  Of course, you need a lot of govt bureaucrats to enforce that.

Oh, it also gives Monsanto a monopoly over all seeds.  Add that to skyrocketing food prices and he is really making friends.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 29, 2010 11:26 AM (JcRgg)

49 The biggest question isn't how much this will effect the budget (rounding error for verious reasons highlighted above) but why does Obama feel the need to do this now?  Without concessions from Republicans?

I know he'd like to use it to burnish his credentials when he wants to spend more, but there has to be more to this.

Is there some bad news on the horizon?

Preparation for a government shutdown?

I think the GOP should take this as an opportunity to play a little class warfare of their own and take a swing at the six-digit-income bureaucrats.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 29, 2010 11:26 AM (T0NGe)

50 Politico hits on The One with this story.  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45678.html

God, I love this.  The LA Times is onto him, Politico, what will be next? 

Posted by: Sent-From-My-Commodore 64 at November 29, 2010 11:27 AM (4sQwu)

51 Yeah, all those federal pay increases had been on our radar too. Along with the Wikileaks guy. Unfortunately our radar is delayed.

Posted by: Eric Holder at November 29, 2010 11:31 AM (mka2b)

52 Happy Buck Farack Day!!!!  Every day is Buck Farack Day!!!!

Posted by: Sponge at November 29, 2010 11:32 AM (UK9cE)

53 If Holder was smart, he'd just issue an international bounty on Assange's head, dead or alive, $5mil.

Incentive-based employment opportunities are what makes the world go round.

Posted by: sifty at November 29, 2010 11:33 AM (bdqou)

54 Does anybody think a TSA worker is worth more than what a soldier gets?

Posted by: tarpon at November 29, 2010 11:33 AM (g0QB8)

55

Obama on the other hand always seems to find the things both sides hates and adopts them as his own thus creating a majority the opposes him even if it is for very different reasons (think health care).

For a guy who was supposed to be so smart, he's pretty dumb. All I can say to our disgruntled liberal friends is...We Told You So!

Im beginning to be more convinced every day that Obama is NOT really a "liberal" in the left/right sense of the political spectrum.  IMHO he's a Fabian-Saul Alinsky-Cloward-Piven radical that wants to do away with the "political spectrum" and "fundamentally transform" all of us into something else entirely.

Posted by: fixerupper at November 29, 2010 11:33 AM (J5Hcw)

56 u suck obama!

Posted by: logprof's non-existent twitter feed at November 29, 2010 11:34 AM (BP6Z1)

57 Well, a guy on the Rush Limbaugh show said today that they aren't "freezing" the pay of the government workers -- they're only suspending the inflation allowance temporarily. Mandated pay increases are still in place!

Once again, the Dimwits redefine the meaning of common English nouns. It's like their definition of "cut": reducing the INCREASE of an expenditure.

Posted by: Beverly at November 29, 2010 11:35 AM (Iyh4s)

58

Uhhh... Question...

Under what authority does Obama do this?

He does not create the budget... he does not create spending bills... Thats CONGRESS's job...

Or, is he threatening to Veto spending bills if they increase Fed worker pay?

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 29, 2010 11:35 AM (AdK6a)

59 And then he -- and we -- can put President Gimmick back in the closet, where he belongs.

Is he saying the president is a closeted gay?

Posted by: Zombie Taft at November 29, 2010 11:38 AM (IuKAf)

60 Shut down non-essential govt ( which is almost everything) for 1 week with no pay for anyone in those bureaucracies and we would save more.  Of course, when America notices that it had no effect on their lives, we could give it another week.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 29, 2010 11:43 AM (JcRgg)

61

@36: "This reminds me of a couple years ago when the Obomination talked about cutting 100 million dollars -- from a 2 trillion dollar budget. For anybody who knows the system, it's a sick joke."

True, but Obizzle's hands are kinda tied.  As Tom DeLay said back when he was running the show: "There's no more fat left to cut."

Neither party really wants to pare down the size of the gummint.  They are the gummint.

 

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 29, 2010 11:44 AM (xy9wk)

62

@38: "1) Fire all federal employees hired after Jan 1 2008"

How about firing all federal employees hired before January 1, 2008?  The senior ones are the more expensive ones. 

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 29, 2010 11:46 AM (xy9wk)

63 @63 - Sad, but largely true.
I wonder, if someone really ran on "I'm going to reduce the size of government.  I propose a 20% reduction of staff of all departments not specifically authorized by the constitution, and a 10% reduction to those departments which are specifically authorized by the constitution.  Further, once the new levels are reached, I will impose a net hiring freeze for the duration of my term in office," if they'd even get 20% of the vote....

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 29, 2010 11:49 AM (8y9MW)

64 How about firing all federal employees hired before January 1, 2008?  The senior ones are the more expensive ones.

How about firing all the feral employees that voted for Obama.

Posted by: ingenus at November 29, 2010 11:50 AM (+sBB4)

65

Until the Federal Employee Unions are disbanded then banned, this really isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. 

Posted by: Burn the Witch at November 29, 2010 11:53 AM (fLHQe)

66

Obama learned this kabuki dance back in Illinois.  To wit:

Gov Quinn, last summer, gave his staff big raises, huge raises, of 20%.  Rightly so, everybody else complained about it.  So what did Quinn do?

No, he did not rescind the raises.  He "forced" his staff to take every Friday off as a furlough day.  So now, his staff works a 4-day week, every week, but they make the same money doing those 4 days that they used to make working 5 days a week.

See how that works?  The Illinois mob is now running the whole damn country.  Hope all those 52 percenters choke on all this lovely hope and change. Jerks.

 

Posted by: Boots at November 29, 2010 12:08 PM (neKzn)

67 I'm trying to reconcile myself to the inevitable loss of balls Boehner will experience once January gets here.

Posted by: Laura Castellano at November 29, 2010 12:17 PM (fuw6p)

68 Awww....the poor non-defense federal employees aren't going to get their scheduled raises for two years.

The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department

Seems to be some disconnect here.

Posted by: Druid at November 29, 2010 12:19 PM (1lAkj)

69

@65: "I wonder, if someone really ran on "I'm going to reduce the size of government.  I propose a 20% reduction of staff of all departments not specifically authorized by the constitution, and a 10% reduction to those departments which are specifically authorized by the constitution.  Further, once the new levels are reached, I will impose a net hiring freeze for the duration of my term in office," if they'd even get 20% of the vote...."

Depends on whether or not people would vote for corpses.  If someone actually ran on that platform and made it to a general election, they'd get assassinated tout suite.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 29, 2010 12:21 PM (xy9wk)

70 I'm saving or creating Federal jobs! Ya'd think they'd be thanking me.

Posted by: Barry O'Douche at November 29, 2010 12:21 PM (FcR7P)

71 18 It looked like CNN was, surprise, surprise, blowing Obama over this bold move all morning long without mentioning the record levels of hiring and pay over the past two years.

When isn't CNN blowing Obama?

Posted by: Laura Castellano at November 29, 2010 12:23 PM (fuw6p)

72

@69: "I'm trying to reconcile myself to the inevitable loss of balls Boehner will experience once January gets here."

Nah...nah...not to worry there, tootsh.

*sways alarmingly*

I'm shwitching my drink of choizh to Tequila.  Makezh me fi...*hic*...figh....*blink*....fight

like

like

*urp*

Well, like zhumthing that fightzh really, really hard.

Like thozhe fine Buckeyezh of THE Ohio Zhtate Univerzhity. 

Um, exzhept when they play shomeone from the S *hic* SEC.

Hey! Hey...hey.  Enny of you guyzh wanna order a pizsha?

Posted by: John *hic* Boehner at November 29, 2010 12:26 PM (xy9wk)

73 Let's hope it doesn't take President Obama long to realize that President Gimmick isn't going to do him or the nation any good. And then he -- and we -- can put President Gimmick back in the closet, where he belongs. Well, at least he said "closet" instead of "porch," although he was certainly thinking it.

Posted by: George Orwell at November 29, 2010 12:29 PM (AZGON)

74  I have an idea!

Why don't we reduce the federal work force by 20 percent and reduce pay and pension benefits?

Naaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh, never would get passed.

Posted by: Gmac at November 29, 2010 12:31 PM (C4jiR)

75 Captain Barack Obama Smith has crashed the Titanic into the iceberg and now will use a teaspoon to bailout the tons of cold seawater pouring into the ship's hull.

Posted by: Larsen E. Whipsnade at November 29, 2010 12:39 PM (CZ+OU)

76 Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 29, 2010 05:21 PM (xy9wk)

I thought we already proved that this Cycle.  Didn't some place in California vote for a dead candidate?

But, yes, assuming his Secret Service detail did their jobs properly (since you get one of those once you're certified as a Candidate in the General), I wonder if people would vote for it.

And I'm not talking about making some vague statements on the Campaign website; I'm talking about actively making that a campaign issue and defending it (via policy statements, interviews, debates, etc.).

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 29, 2010 12:39 PM (8y9MW)

77 41 It includes defense fed employees. Not the military but all civilians. We're screwed. Thanks asshole.

Posted by: dagny at November 29, 2010 04:20 PM (i9C+b)

I'm in that category--though, I'm not management so I make nowhere near the frequently-touted $130K income figure.  I was already expecting to be reamed by the upcoming NSPS->STRL conversion. The loss of COLA is just spooge icing upon that turd pastry.

Time to make the jump back into contracting, I guess.

Posted by: Herr Blcher at November 29, 2010 01:06 PM (9Nb1Q)

78 When you think about it, this is just institutionalization of the MFM meme about budgets (for my entire life, anyway) - a reduction in the increase is a "cut."

The new anti-crime measures have cut crime by 2% - crime only rose 7% this year instead of 9%, which is what we expected.

It's not English, it's the linguistic equivalent of shoplifting.

Also, a complete fucking lie, but then you all knew that.

There's no "good enough" because this isn't even a cut, it won't save a damned penny because everybody got a BIG raise right before a SMALL cut.

Project out 2000 pay rates with inflation and normal staged increases to 2014, then project out Obama's budget. Obama's budget will be more expensive.

Because Democrats Always Lie, that's why.

Posted by: Merovign, Strong on His Mountain at November 29, 2010 01:09 PM (bxiXv)

79 40 I know how to eliminate departments: Have a survey of federal employees. Ask them which programs they would most prefer to cut.

I am a federal civilian employee, and that was my thought. My job falls into the very small fraction that has, and cannot have, any private sector equivalent (such as the judiciary, State, the Patent Office, and intelligence). I would ax every job and agency that (a) is not an essentially governmental function with an explicit Constitutional basis, and (b) can be performed more efficiently by the private sector. Hell, make it into a TV show like Celebrity Death Match: EPA Budget Analyst vs. Supervisory Patent Examiner! Proceeds would "pay for" tax cuts.

And, so long as we're axing COLA for those who work for their money, it'd be real nice to see the same applied to people who DON'T work for their money.

Bottom line, where the only options are increased taxes and reduced spending, this is a step in the right direction. No, $30B isn't much. But: that Obozo has agreed to a spending cut of any kind is actually pretty amazing. He's opened the door and now he'll have to agree to more - a very good thing.

Posted by: STC at November 29, 2010 01:09 PM (te+yd)

80

My first thought: Bullshit. Big pile; steamy. After throwing money at these guys for 2 years, he wants credit for freezing wages? Bullshit Alert.

Instead of freezing, roll 'em back two years, and give 'em the same COLA as the old folks on SS.

Posted by: Beefy Meatball at November 29, 2010 01:12 PM (YYaIP)

81 Can't they wait until I get to $150k?
[/whine]


Posted by: Kelly at November 29, 2010 02:17 PM (SXDCG)

82 The LA Times is back to its old MFM-ness, touting The One's "inititive" as the first with more to follow, or something, moves to wrest the lead from the Republicans on getting the economy under control.

And, they say, he has really pissed off the unions with this first one.

What a crock of poop.

Posted by: Boris Yeltsin at November 29, 2010 03:20 PM (4sQwu)

83 "...does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Contractors, Congresscritters and their minions and postal workers get a pass. Of course. Meanwhile, it's the lower scales -- The GS 3s through 9s -- that are going to eat shit.

Posted by: CLP at November 29, 2010 03:31 PM (M2ks2)

84 If you aren't already a step 10 of a GS grade, a yearly step increase takes care of this.

Posted by: mikey at November 29, 2010 03:36 PM (uxqSl)

85 Trying to cut the budget a little at a time will fail.  Every time the knife is wielded, the howls from that interest group will break the skies.  It'll be impossible to get anywhere. 
I suggest stepping up and saying, "We're going to simply dust off the 2002 budget and use that.  Anything not in there gets cut, and all other budgets are reduced to 2002 levels."  That way it's across the board and no one can whine they were singled out.  And yes, the military will have to be included, otherwise it offers a wedge for other exceptions.  And there must be no exceptions.
The howls will be so multitudinous that they'll drown each other out.  And besides, as Machiavelli said, "Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed out drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more."
This will give us a few more years before Social Security and Medicare bring us down (they cannot be modified in any useful way and will have to fail).  After that we'll just have to plan to rebuild from the rubble.

Posted by: Nemo from Erewhon at November 29, 2010 03:40 PM (zbxMv)

86 One little suggestion for a cut: get the Post Office completely out of the package business.  Of course, this would have to be designed in such a way that they'd actually get rid of employees  and facilities afterwards....

Posted by: Nemo from Erewhon at November 29, 2010 03:47 PM (zbxMv)

87 Don't worry, it's not really a "pay freeze" - the Federal employees still get their annual "step increases", and of course, the agencies can still "promote" somebody to a higher GS level for doing the same job.

All Federal employees also get "locational pay adjustments" (only in the Federal government does **everyone** get a pay increase for location) - I bet those adjustments get increased next year, when no one is looking.

Posted by: Grug, Moby Of Doom at November 29, 2010 03:58 PM (QgAFR)

Boy oh boy.  I am sure happy that everybody is such an "expert" on government pay and benefits.  Grug, I've worked for the Department of Defense for 25 years - as a Wage Grade, or WG, schedule employee.  I'm a mechanic, and I work on Marine Corps and Navy aircraft, doing the maintenance and making the safety upgrades and improvements that can't be done out in the fleet.  We strip them down to parade rest, clean and treat every inch of exposed metal, pull and replace entire wiring harnesses, and do some rather amazing repairs.  I'm reminded of the H-46 that rolled off the side of a carrier in rough seas - it didn't look much like a helicopter when the cherry picker managed to get it back on board.  It took some time, but the folks I work with put that frog back together good as new, only CHEAPER than "new". 

I mention all of this because, contrary to what has been reported in the media of late, not ALL Federal employees make upwards of $150,000 plus benefits.  I make around $30 an hour - a great job for around here, but average to a little below average for the industry standard for my trade.  I'm a WG-10, Step 5 - and I've "stepped out".  Step 5 is as high as we go.  The only way to get a pay increase is to get promoted, and as we all know, not EVERYONE gets promoted because SOMEONE has to do the work.  I don't have a cushy pension plan - I'm not covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, since I started working here after 1983.  I pay into Social Security, and I contribute to a Thrift Savings account.  I have to invest wisely, or there won't be anything like enough to retire on.  Ever.  Which, I might add, is how I think is should be.

As for "locality pay"...not for blue collar Wage Grade employees.

I have health insurance through Blue Cross - it costs $210 a pay period for me and my husband to be covered.  I'm glad to have it, but it isn't cheap.

I'm not telling y'all this because I feel like we deserve a pay raise - quite the contrary, I think we Civil Service employees should be damn glad we have jobs at all, and maybe it's time we sucked it up a little for a change.  But - look, we don't all make hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing nothing much at all.  I work hard.  I get dirty, greasy, exposed to chemicals and fumes and hazardous noise.  I did this job in the military, I've done it for almost 30 years, and I'm never gonna get rich at it.

Sorry I ranted on so.  I just get tired of having to defend myself and my job.

Posted by: antisocialist at November 29, 2010 03:48 PM (Rwudm)

88

I'm a state government employee and we've already had a pay freeze for 2 years.  Much, much better than not having a job.

I think they should live with the pay freeze, and that we should be shouting support for ANYTHING that cuts the budget by $2 million dollars.  We're not going to solve the deficit in big chunks - we're going to need 500 small chunks like this carved out.  As an accountant and budget analyst I can tell you that's the only way to realistically deal with a budget shortfall.

Posted by: Teri at November 29, 2010 04:01 PM (cKpTI)

89 Is there any tapioca left in the world?/???

Posted by: gringocachingo at November 29, 2010 04:42 PM (kLf5p)

90 <i>AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a tart statement: "Today's announcement of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers is bad for the middle class, bad for the economy and bad for business. No one is served by our government participating in a 'race to the bottom' in wages."</i>

Yeah, surrendering COLA is a 'race to the bottom'. What an ass.  Like he knows anything about business?  (I mean besides how to set one on the path to implosion)

Posted by: Barney Frank at November 29, 2010 04:43 PM (IfigT)

91 @91.  Sorry, Antisocialist, but here on AOS you are just another lazy, unemployable dem voter living off the hard work of others.  You should have your pay cut 50%, and be pelted with rotten tomatoes on your way into your shop every morning. 

For a start.


Posted by: elliot at November 29, 2010 05:17 PM (AtROK)

92 96   Yeah, elliot.  Whatever. 

Posted by: antisocialist at November 29, 2010 05:24 PM (Rwudm)

93 92  Teri, I agree.  A job with no raise is much, much better than NO job with NO paycheck. 
I do think, though, that if Federal civilian pay is gonna be frozen, it should be frozen across the board.  Congress, postal workers (SERIOUSLY???), government contractors, Congressional staffers...all of 'em.  In for a penny, in for a pound. 

Posted by: antisocialist at November 29, 2010 05:31 PM (Rwudm)

94 Anti- I should have noted that that was sarcasm.  I myself am an evil lazy government worker.

Posted by: elliot at November 29, 2010 05:34 PM (AtROK)

95 Anti- I should have noted that that was sarcasm.  I myself am an evil lazy government worker.

Posted by: elliot at November 29, 2010 10:34 PM (AtROK)

Oh.  Sorry, elliot. 

The tomato-pelting didn't sound half bad, though. 

Posted by: antisocialist at November 29, 2010 05:36 PM (Rwudm)

96 The tomato-pelting didn't sound half bad, though.


Send your address, I'll see what I can do.  :-)

Posted by: elliot at November 29, 2010 05:51 PM (AtROK)

97

Exactly correct.  Now let us look at wastes of money in the Federal government all the way around.  First, congress and the executive branch need to get frozen same as us civil service types. 

NASA and public radio - gone.  They are wastes of massive amounts of money for no return.

All forms of proficiency pay for military personnel - gone.  It is your job.  Do it right, and nothing extra for doing your job. 

The air force - gone.  Total waste of funds.  I live next to an air force base and they redo the base housing every two years even though it does not need it.  Great for the local economy but a total waste of money that we are extorted for.  I could easily list 20 examples of their profligate waste of funds that I personally know of.  Stick them back under the Army and make them compete for funding more competitively.

Do away with the IRS totally and institute a  national level sales tax, then all those muthafucking deadbeats who pay no taxes but get free money each year and indeed each month while abusing the system get to kick in a bit too.

I could go on but this would be a significant start on making us more efficient and effective in our hemmoraging of green.  And I did 20 years in the Marines, so I am well used to doing more with less.  We typically get less than 6 cents of each defense dollar.

 

 

Posted by: USMC Steve at December 02, 2010 04:52 AM (mqp9H)

98

You know, this just floors me. I love reading the ignorant halfassed comments that some of you people who do not work for the government and never have, spew forth.  Glad to know that conservatives hate us while being as uninformed and ignorant as the leftards I would expect this from. Your ignorance and hateful attitudes make you no different from the typical leftard Obama ballsucking liberals out there.  What really torques me is that you are talking like you know what the hell you are talking about, and you DO NOT.

A few inconvenient and obviously overlooked facts for you, dumbfucks:

We do not all get annual step increases.  Step 1 - 4 are annual increases.  They amount to less than $800.00 per year. Step 5-7 are every two years, and step 8-10 are every three years.  All are about $800.00 increases before taxes.

I am an accountant with 15 years at GSA and make approximately $40,000 per year here.  There is no possibility of any raise (other than step increases) or advancement unless I get another job.  Go look up accounting positions in the Kansas and Missouri areas and you will see that I am not making any fucking "twice" what my contemporaries are making. 

I was perfectly willing to accept this freeze on wages, as long as the entire civilian workforce including congress and the executive, post office, etc.  would take them, but as usual, the whole thing got halfassed to cover special interest groups who feel they are above the entire thing.  I am glad now that those scumsucking union pigs are sticking their snouts into the mess.  Make a big one. 

And the rest of you people better do some research before going liberal and running your sucks in high with your brains in neutral.  Jeebus.

 

 

Posted by: USMC Steve at December 02, 2010 05:12 AM (mqp9H)

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