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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Todd

    How is our economy going to survive?

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  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee

    The federal pay freeze is an illusion. Workers will still be promoted up steps in the GS system. Note that government employees’ salaries have increased to a remarkable degree already.

    This is being hailed as “triangulation” because leftists control the dialogue.

    True triangulation would be a call to reduce the Federal workforce (and not just into contractor positions) and arguing about how many people to lay off.

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    @Karen

    Well, I’m not personally pleased about it, since my family will be out a few thousand dollars, but I know folks who are worse off. I mentioned this on Charles Allen’s post in the member feed, but we’ll never see that money. With a lot of folks retiring from the federal workforce in the next few years, this will really put a ding in their retirement plans. With the freeze, they don’t have much incentive to work hard, since they’ve reached their maximum High-3 (what their retirement will pay out.) So, some will be offered early retirement, since the gov’t wants to downsize anyway. All the money saved from the freeze will go to pay off those retiring. It’s a shell game that results in reduced workforce efficiency. Your federal government will suck even more.

    Force reduction is next, but that will only make a dent if we reduce jobs a DoD. And we’d have to reduce our military presence abroad and reduce defense spending to make that possible.

    If we want to reduce the deficit and cut spending, cut Medicare and Social Security.

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  4. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Karen:

    If we want to reduce the deficit and cut spending, cut Medicare and Social Security. · Nov 30 at 7:24am

    Somehow I suspect that Federal employees’ retirement plans are far more lush than Social Security.

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    @Claire

    Oh, you’re all so grumpy. Would you rather this proposal wasn’t on the table?

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    @
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Oh, you’re all so grumpy. Would you rather this proposal wasn’t on the table? · Nov 30 at 7:47am

    The time for meaningless gestures is long past. Cut funding for all discretionary programs by 20% and let the chips fall where they may..

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    @rayconandlindacon

    In effect, the pay “freeze” is merely the same freeze that has occurred for the last 2 years to Social Security COLA’s , that is, the cost of living increase that has been foregone since Obama assumed office. In reality, that is the only federal worker increase that won’t happen. Of course, Congress has seen to it that their COLA still came through. Apart from the COLA, other federal worker pay increases occur because their GS rating and rating steps will continue to increase. There has been no freeze on GS advancement, hence, the payroll numbers, which are already at roughly 60% to 100% higher than those earned by any of us privileged to pay them, will continue to advance unchecked.

    Good to know that our “servants” are being so well cared for.

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    @Pseudodionysius
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Oh, you’re all so grumpy. Would you rather this proposal wasn’t on the table? · Nov 30 at 7:47am

    Christmasizing The Eschaton is a phrase that immediately jumps to mind.

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  9. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    For those of you who want to linger in melancholy, here’s the full grumpy perspective. All true. But I still think it’s a good sign that policy is now being tempered by a bit of reality. It’s no longer in nearly-psychotic denial.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @

    This pay freeze is every bit as real as Obama’s “tax cuts for 98% of Americans”.

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  11. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pseudodionysius

    I hate to rain on your parade Claire, but as a veteran of the Canadian political system we serfs have gotten used to the symbolic pay freeze, usually at the provincial level, which is a way of saying that the people on the gravy train have to appear to be suffering with the plebes while their fully indexed pension and benefit scheme – still funded by the plebes, of course – ticks merrily away. Then, with the first sign of economic life its back to the trough till the next, well, trough in the economy.

    I’d like to see them do a “Hailey Mary Barbour” and actual cause a real cut in spending of 10% where there is an actual drop rather than a slight slowdown in the rate of increase of the Matterhorn of Spending.

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    @BlueAnt

    If this was a leading edge indicator of an Obama Administration change of heart on federal spending, I would forgo the grumpiness. Instead, this seems like another symptom of the populist “spread the misery” instinct that often takes over during times of economic hardship.

    It’s basic us vs them psychology. Median real wages in the private sector are flat over the last few decades; why should public sector wages rise while everyone else is hurting? To borrow the terminology of class warfare, capping public wages is a sop to Main Street; it’s pandering to the masses, going through the motions of responsibility without actually trying to secure their future by reducing the federal deficit.

    You might say it’s a good first step, but the end of this path isn’t a round of serious, tough decision making. The next step is finding another scapegoat for another ceremonial bloodletting; the preferred targets are usually the rich, the bankers, businesses in general… and we already know how that turns out.

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  13. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller
    Michael Tee: The federal pay freeze is an illusion.

    Exactly. All conservatives should realize by now that any action of Obama’s that looks like it could agree with conservative principles was actually done for other reasons. Obama doesn’t compromise, folks.

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  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JCCasteel
    RAYCON: In effect, the pay “freeze” is merely the same freeze that has occurred for the last 2 years to Social Security COLA’s , that is, the cost of living increase that has been foregone since Obama assumed office. In reality, that is the only federal worker increase that won’t happen. Of course, Congress has seen to it that their COLA still came through. Apart from the COLA, other federal worker pay increases occur because their GS rating and rating steps will continue to increase.

    Correct, and having retired under the GS system I can attest that nobody within that system is really freaking out over this “pay freeze.” The real gravy comes with grade and step increases, which are pretty much set in stone. Together with the Thrift Savings Plan, which matches a portion of saved salary and manages it nearly for free in a variety of investment choices, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which allows an annual switch between popular plans regardless of pre-existing conditions, your federal public servants do just fine.

    Friends from the municipal police department where I started are working years longer to retire with far, far less.

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