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  • Partial Federal Pay Freeze Only the First Step

    President Obama just announced a partial two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers.

    Under the President’s plan, federal employees will not receive cost-of-living increases in their pay in 2011 and 2012. However, most federal employees will still receive seniority-based pay increases over the next two years.

    The President’s decision is an important symbolic step. President Obama has brought federal pay closer to market rates—which is progress, considering that many liberals insist that federal workers do not get paid enough. However, a partial pay freeze does not fix the underlying problems distorting federal compensation.

    As The Heritage Foundation has reported, the federal pay system serves taxpayers poorly. It gives the average federal employee 30–40 percent greater total compensation (wages and benefits) than a comparable private sector worker. However, not all federal employees receive premium pay. The federal pay system does little to recognize or reward performance. As a result, the federal government manages to both overpay underperforming workers and underpay the most skilled federal employees.

    A partial pay freeze does nothing to address these problems. It will still leave the typical federal employee earning substantially more than he or she would in the private sector. Neither will it differentiate between those who deserve a pay cut and those who do not.

    The broken federal pay system needs a complete overhaul. Congress should replace the General Schedule and its automatic promotions with a pay-for-performance system tied to market rates. Federal benefits should be brought in line with private sector norms. The federal retirement age should be raised from 56 to the Social Security retirement age. A partial pay freeze does none of these things.

    The President deserves credit for partially freezing federal pay. Obama’s decision will save taxpayers $2 billion next year, but fundamental reform would save $47 billion. This is only a small first step.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Partial Federal Pay Freeze Only the First Step

    1. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      If and this is a BIG IF, BHO was sincere he would first make a hiring freeze for all Gov't jobs, early buy outs. Then IF he is really sincere, cut the csars, roll back the increases Congress voted for themselves and him to 2009 level, better yet to 2008 level. Federal employees still are eligible for in grade step raises but freezing federal hiring along with pay increases would show some backbone.

    2. Pingback: The Buck Stops Where? Action-Packed Suspense As Deficit Commission Pulls Into The Final Stretch « Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future

    3. Spiritof76, NH says:

      When we need to cut the government workers-i.e. bureaucrats to make any real impression on the defict, this freeze is like an obese person going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and ordering a diet cola to control weight.

    4. Chuck O'Reilly says:

      The pay freeze is a waste of time. The feds must CUT expenses, not freeze them. All federal positions created since 2005 should be terminated. All federal pay rates should be returned to those in 2000. We all know that federal employees are paid more than their civilian counterparts.

    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      James Sherk put his finger on something very important here. "How did the Federal Pay get so far out of control?" The 'investigation' has always been stopped before the answer could be found! Gosh! Suddenly the Fed Gov is wildly off budget! You don't suppose 2+2=4? Do you? The Unions did the same thing to Electricians. They capped our pay so no matter how much experience and value you proved, you can't earn more money than the bums. So! Yes indeed, some in Government aren't getting what they deserve. That's the Union way, and it is a Socialist way and not the American way. My know how was worth millions, but Unions wipe out the top end for their workers. Morally it is theft, performers deserve more, but that's "Equal Pay For Equal Work" with a twist. The equal work ain't equal, so it is really "Equal Pay For Unequal Work!" Henry the Horse does more and winds up at the glue factory.

      Obama has a pattern of evasion. I'm quite sure the State Department wants to investigate their own Wikileaks. The House should ask "Who gave a million people access to our secrets?" I don't believe they were centralized and made widely available by mistake! "Who gave BP the right to self inspect?" That's no "Oops!" Use Statistical Analysis, profile it. The Gulf Spill was a man caused disaster, the Federal Response was another man caused disaster. BP gets paid off in the Climate Exchange. "Oops! We didn't let the World Fleet pick up the oil on day one!" Demo-crats stand around befuddled about Federal Spending, "Oops we didn't investigate 30% overpayment of Federal Salaries!" I'm not buying it.

      George Soros is willing to sacrifice Obama, like God sacrificing Jesus. All right then! Impeach him! But don't wait for the DINOs to Impeach him! Their 'investigators' will find a stain on his dress but they won't go to his hundreds of High Crimes. They won't investigate the Conspiracy!

      I can already hear Eric Holder saying " See! I told you so! Those damned TEA Party people are trying to bring down the Government!" That is his audacity of hope, the groundwork has already been layed. "But all the violence has come from the Left!" The Top will come down on the Right! The violence from below will be aimed at the Right! The European future for Americans Glenn Beck has warned us about looks like this: 200,000 Federal Workers are let go by Republican austerity. The Unemployment Insurance safety net is destroyed by the 99er extensions, bleeding the Fund so it can't help when we need it most! The HEART part kicks in with unbelievable repression in Health, Education, Agriculture, Representation and Transportation. A virtual Army of Chaos is let out of our overcrowded jails. Two Divisions of hardened criminals in California alone. God knows how many Divisions of Illegal Aliens, Gangsters (five Divisions, that's 50,000 'soldiers'), Ten Divisions of Thought Crime police! Five Divisions of Thought Crime prosecutors! The Agencies under Obama's Czars stoke the fires of American discontent through Spring of 2011. It all blows up this Summer.

      It is actually in the best interest of the American People to shut down the Government. That way Obama and his Czars cannot do the HEART part. Do you realize what has happened to the People who know how to build things? Just like the deep oil rigs going away, American 'know how' is right now vanishing in unemployment. Rusting. Absolutely tremendous construction power is wasted, not keeping up, forgetting and out of shape. That's a withered limb for the body politic. Set that with an enormous head of 50% Government! Crippled legs in Energy and Agriculture! Monstrous! Grotesque! Will Republicans let the known Commie Obama finish the assault with his Czars?

      If you know that's what's happening? Shut it down. Mercy! Please!

    6. Anonymous says:

      I would like to point out that this blanket freeze affects all DOE government employees and contractors. This includes some of the most important contributors to the nations nuclear weapons. And since these employee are contractors their pay is merit based and often below industry standard. Many of these scientists have been suffering cuts and benefit fade for long before the downturn. This additional blanket salary freeze on these scientists is demoralizing and results in a serious national security threat.

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