November 30, 2010

The Ability to Take Leads to Tone-Deafness

Justin Katz

Sure, President Obama's proposal to freeze the pay of federal employees is an attempt to start the debate in a position much more favorable than a reasonable political compromise would suggest. The bottom line is that the federal government has to do less and, therefore, require many fewer employees.

Still, even as that debate plays out, it's worth allowing ourselves to be astonished at the tone-deaf comments of public-sector union leaders:

A pay freeze could affect thousands of federal employees for years to come as their retirement benefits are dependent on the "High 3," the highest average basic pay they earn during any three consecutive years of federal service.

"I don't think it's quite right; we're going to get slammed with that," said Roland B. Sasseville, the current Pawtucket chapter president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. "If they freeze it now, [federal workers] are going to have a lull in their earnings."

"A lull in earnings"? A lull in earnings while so many Americans are, at best, watching their quality of life — current life, right now, not some long off retirement that they may never live to see — decline year after year while they sink into debt-chained servitude? Such are the sparks of revolution.

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It seems to me that "pay raises" are not meaningful in fesderal service, it is the "steps" that count. For each year of service, the employee moves up a "step". Each "step" carries a pay raise of about $1500. This is separate from any annual "raise", which I believe is normally about 1.5%. So,unless and end is put to "steps", the effect on employee pay, and its automatic increases which are not "raises", is minimal.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 30, 2010 9:43 PM

"...the sparks of revolution", eh?

Meanwhile we continue to spend hundreds of billions on foreign occupations with nary a peep for the Rhodies' littlest anarchist. But a cost of living increase for the public sector working class? To the barricades, comrades!!!

Posted by: Russ at December 1, 2010 11:50 AM

The sparks of revolution should ignite the grease that fries off of the steaks of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of our population.

The extension of the Bush tax cuts to the $250,000-plus income bracket will add $80 billion to the deficit in two years, much of which will just be banked by the wealthier beneficiaries.

Doesn't seem to bother Mr. K at all.

Hey Justin, how are we going to make up the $80,000,000,000? Fire a few more teachers?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 5, 2010 9:43 PM
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