Donít Freeze Federal Employee Pay
by Ron Holland
by Ron Holland: Wikileaks:
Will the Truth Make†Us Free†Again?
over indebted governments everywhere from Russia and the United
Kingdom to Ireland move to cut the number of government employees
and reduce salaries, America the leading debt basket case of the
world just might freeze salaries for a couple of years. This is
just election year politics two years early.
savings of a pay freeze are negligible at best. The proposal will
curtail a planned 1.4% pay increase for over 2 million federal employees.
Washington officials tell The New York Times, "The pay freeze
will save $2 billion in the current fiscal year that ends in September
2011, $28 billion over five years and more than $60 billion over
10 years." Like all government statistics, these figures are overly
optimistic as the freeze will last at best only to late 2012.
the Obama Administration is looking toward re-election in 2012 and
they want to freeze the pay for all civilian federal workers to
get ahead of the GOP election rhetoric in the coming election. What
they donít mention is the
freeze will not affect bonuses or step increases for federal employees.
The usual whining
has already started with the unions where John Gage, president of
the American Federation of Government Employees with 600,000 members
described the decision as "a slap at working people."
Most government employees can be described by many adjectives including
dictatorial, useless, make-work employees, bureaucratic, parasitic,
etc. but few Americans in the private sector would ever describe
them as "working people". This would be an insult to millions
of real working people in the private sector.
The sad truth
is government employees get paid far more on average than their
productive counterparts in the private sector. In addition, they
are covered under two expensive retirement programs including a
defined-benefit type plan and a plan similar to 401(k) plan. Is
there any wonder their turnover rate is around 1%?
Sadly it is
wishful thinking to believe the salary reductions will lead to a
mass exodus of government employees to the private sector because
most of these people are in government "service" because
they cannot compete in the private sector. Still, salary and retirement
benefit reductions will at least reduce their wasteful burden on
the American people, our economy and our growing deficit.
If we really
want to get the deficit and national debt under control I might
suggest a real alternative instead of more fake window dressing.
Why not include Congress along with the rest of the federal civilian
employees and cut all their salaries and the monthly federal retirement
benefits for those already retired by 1.5% each month or 18% each
year until the budget is really balanced including off budget items.
This will force the unions representing employed and retired federal
workers to lobby for a real balanced budget instead of remaining
the major impediment to such legislation.
In two years,
we will have reduced the government employee expense and the federal
government will likely have a balanced budget. Also, with the reduced
bureaucracy costs and economic burden of their functions lifted,
the economy of the United States should rebound. We could also further
benefit economic growth by retiring them early and paying them not
to come to work as most are such a negative drain on our economy.
I believe if
we cut the salaries and retirement benefits of the House and Senate
by 1.5% a month, they will be up to the challenge. The success of
these actions at the federal level would certainly help the states,
municipal workers and teachers unions to see the light or else be
subject to similar legislation.
is more failed Keynesian deficit spending and expanding Treasury
debt on bureaucratic union and special interest bailout projects
which certainly havenít worked so far. More of the same will bring
depression, dollar collapse and national bankruptcy and I dare the
Obama Administration to take real action and do this by Presidential
Executive Order. At least this is a legitimate constitutional action
by a president of the United States in times of crisis. This is
far more than I can say about most of the actions and policies by
either the Obama or Bush Administrations.
Join me in
sending a message for real deficit reduction in Washington. Cut,
donít freeze federal employee pay and retirement benefits plus include
Congress if you want to return to a balanced federal budget.
Holland [send him
mail] is a contributing editor to the Swiss
Mountain Vision Newsletter
published by Appenzeller Business Press.
© 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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