White House proposes pay increase for federal workers

posted at 1:50 pm on January 6, 2012 by Tina Korbe

The “pay freeze” on federal workers has always been a bit of a misnomer; throughout the freeze, workers have still been eligible for step increases and (rightly) increased pay for promotions. But, today, the White House officially ended the freeze with the announcement of a slight pay increased for federal government employees. Ed O’Keefe reports:

The White House will propose a 0.5 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees as part of its 2013 budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the plans.

The modest cost of living increase in federal compensation would be the first pay jump for federal workers since before President Obama ordered a two-year freeze in late 2010.

The proposal, which requires congressional approval, differs from Republican plans supported by lawmakers and presidential candidates that would freeze federal compensation for at least one more year. In recent weeks, GOP lawmakers have called for extending the pay freeze as a way to pay for a payroll tax extension.

The increase is somewhat of a compromise position — less than the 3.6 percent cost of living adjustment that went into effect for Social Security and other benefits to keep pace with inflation and less than the 2.1 percent average increase in private-sector earnings in 2011. Still, the decision to bump federal pay is yet another move to pander to potential voters (that would be those federal workers!). Any increase is more than we can afford for two reasons. In the first place, Congress continues to debate the payroll tax cut extension (still a bad policy) — and paying for that cut with tax hikes elsewhere is counterproductive, so Republicans have suggested paying for it by continuing the federal pay freeze. Obviously, this increase alters that possibility. In the second place, federal workers are already highly overpaid. The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk offers a helpful list of facts to anchor this debate:

  • The average federal employee earns 57 percent greater cash pay and 85 percent greater total compensation (which includes benefits) than the average private-sector worker.
  • This is an apples-to-oranges comparison because federal employees have more education and experience than private-sector workers.
  • Controlling for observable skills and characteristics allows economists to make an apples-to-apples comparison between private-sector and federal employees.
  • Doing so shows that the federal pay system gives the average federal employee hourly cash earnings 22 percent above the average private worker’s.
  • Including benefits raises the average compensation disparity to between 30 and 40 percent.
  • Federal workers receive automatic seniority-based raises irrespective of performance. President Obama’s suspension of the annual cost-of-living adjustment does not affect these raises.
  • Despite these average pay differences, many federal employees are not overpaid. The General Schedule does not connect pay with performance. Many of the hardest-working and most highly skilled federal employees receive at or below market compensation.
In light of those stats, it’s easy to see that if the White House or Congress want to tinker with federal pay, they ought to do it in a more comprehensive fashion that brings pay in line with performance — and renders the entire system more affordable for taxpayers.

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Meanwhile, back at the coal mines….

Lily on January 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I guess they’ll use the money they save from down sizing the military. I feel safer already.

dmn1972 on January 6, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I have an idea: Fire 10,000 federal workers to pay for the increase in… pay. That way, Obama can still buy votes! (except for the 10,000 who lost their jobs, of course….)

Turtle317 on January 6, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Meanwhile, back at the coal mines….
Lily on January 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Oh they’re to be shut down. Haven’t you heard?

Akzed on January 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

The Candy Man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

but, you would think Odummy already has the Feds vote…..

FlaMurph on January 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Until PARITY with the private sector, INCLUDING BENEFITS, is restored, a pay hike for federal workers (which are, by the government’s own analysis, already overpaid 30%-40%) is COMPLETELY UNWARRANTED and FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE!!!

landlines on January 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Well… unemployment has decreased, yet again, under their watch… Doh!

ericdijon on January 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Yet another Peron-like attempt for O’Bumbler to buy votes. January 20th, 2013 can’t get here fast enough for me.

Travis Bickle on January 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

….or just de-unionize all gov’t employees and then re-calibrate the wage scale to match the private sector.

search4truth on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Pander in chief part 693

Meanwhile, folks like me havent seen a raise since that idiot took office

cmsinaz on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

•This is an apples-to-oranges comparison because federal employees have more education and experience than private-sector workers.

this always gets thrown out there but its meaningless. they need to examine the position and see if the higher education is actually needed. i work for a municipality in texas and i see lots of our positions requiring degrees that arent needed. our code enforcement officers are supposed to need a bachelor. we currently have two that were promoted from other positions that have just h.s. degree.

in conclusion, examine the jobs and see if they have over-hired and im betting you will see many positions that could be filled w/ less educated and lower paid employees.

chasdal on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Just whose money is it?

Kini on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

WTF? Groundhog Day isn’t for another couple of weeks?

singlemalt 18 on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

All as predicted– now the strategic vote purchasing with taxpayer money begins for the re-election

1. Buy more federal/union votes with a raise
2. Buy votes with proposes trillion dollar home mortgage bailout
3. Buy youth votes with student loan bailout

Typical democrat MO– buy votes from your special interest groups with taxpayer money

The repubs need to hammer him on this, this is a winning issue, but they’re not the “dumb party” for nothing

thurman on January 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

….or just de-unionize all gov’t employees and then re-calibrate the wage scale to match the private sector.

search4truth on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I just hate it when someone thought of this before I did. +100

Turtle317 on January 6, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Will they be paid in actual currency or Obummer scrip? Meanwhile, Kodak announces chapter 11 filing, Sears/KMart closing stores, coal mines being shuttered and out in the West, greenies are stopping gas and shale drilling.

Kissmygrits on January 6, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Gangsters have a lot of bills.

RBMN on January 6, 2012 at 2:05 PM

•This is an apples-to-oranges comparison because federal employees have more education and experience than private-sector workers.

I lost the validity of this argument when considering the idiots infesting the White House.

MrKleenexMuscles on January 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I have an idea: Fire 10,000 federal workers to pay for the increase in… pay. That way, Obama can still buy votes! (except for the 10,000 who lost their jobs, of course….)

Turtle317 on January 6, 2012 at 1:56 PM

No worries for teh won. He’ll buy their votes with 99 weeks of unemployment.

hoofhearted on January 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

USAJOBS is the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information.”

Take a few minutes and have a look around.

joekenha on January 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Is this what they mean by “income inequality”?

Ellis on January 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Mo’ money, mo’ money!

whatcat on January 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

The proposal, which requires congressional approval

You had me going there, for a minute!

OhEssYouCowboys on January 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Seriously, if the GOP wants any chance of winning back the White House and the Senate, the Party better start targeting this very practice in its ads. It’s time to start personalizing this. For all the “1%”, “millionaires and billionaires” straw men the left has been attacking to apparently great effect, it’s the EPA bureaucrats, the NEA slobs and the bloated, overpaid union “enforcers” who have been choking the life out of this economy and job maintenance/creation in the private sector…and now they’re getting a raise?!?!?! The RNC needs to focus its attacks on these public sector parasites in the same way that the DNC has been going after Bain Capital. For God’s sake, Harry Reid is a gift that keeps on giving with his unapologetic spending and job killing. Claiming that the private sector is doing fine and that the real focus should be on keeping these goons around? Going $300 million over budget on the Capital Visitors Center because he doesn’t want to “smell the tourists”? Cowboy poetry?

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

How is the WH going to convince the Senate to pass a budget?

belad on January 6, 2012 at 2:15 PM

“USAJOBS is the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information.”

Take a few minutes and have a look around.

joekenha on January 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Yes – in fact, try searching within 30 miles of Washington DC, then sort all results in descending order of salary.

The DC area is so bloated on federal dollars that the roads could be paved with bacon.

fiatboomer on January 6, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Pay Raise right after he fires military.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I’m for merit based reductions in force for the feds. It would cut down on the dead weight here at the office. Only the mediocre (and worse) fed employees would oppose such a measure. Let’s lean it out. Scary that the reduction decisions would fall on some inept bureaucrats, though.

I’m also in favor of parity (public vs. private) in pay. I’ll withstand the scrutiny and look forward to a pay increase.

Get rid of public unions. Their goals are in direct opposition to the taxpayer.

All that said, unless public employment changes DRASTICALLY, most changes will be at the margin and simply make people feel better but have no real effect.

Focus on entitlements and getting out of the way of our nation’s wealth engine…private enterprise by eliminating all this regulatory uncertainty and zer0′s healthcare monstrosity.

freedomfirst on January 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Vote buying in progress

BigSven on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I have an idea: Fire 10,000 federal workers to pay for the increase in… pay. That way, Obama can still buy votes! (except for the 10,000 who lost their jobs, of course….)

Turtle317 on January 6, 2012 at 1:56 PM

..are you kidding? The laid off workers will be collecting unemployment and will still want to keep The Chicago Jesus in office because (1) they will be on employment and/or (2) if an (R)_ gets in, there will be a good prospect that the rolls of gummint employees will be reduced.

The War Planner on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

less than the 2.1 percent average increase in private-sector earnings in 2011.

Good of you to be honest about this.

ernesto on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

The proposal, which requires congressional approval …

Not for King BO

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

How about not giving the fed workers a raise, but let the dc bunch give them and us a tax decrease? Not too many employed this year will probably get any type of raise with bho, d’s, and rino’s in dc?
L

letget on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Why does’nt Obama just cut the BS, drop to his knees,blow every federal employee and ask for thier vote,for a President of the United States he sure is one low life piece of SH!T!

heshtesh on January 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM

“We need to pay more to get the best people, like ME!” _BHO

Deano1952 on January 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM

I aspire to some day work for a company that (still) provides some level of 401k matching.

Jeddite on January 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Good of you to be honest about this.

ernesto on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Private sector makes monies, government takes peoples monies. Big difference.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM

heshtesh on January 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM

BO claims his is number 4 but I think he is number 2.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

this always gets thrown out there but its meaningless. they need to examine the position and see if the higher education is actually needed….

in conclusion, examine the jobs and see if they have over-hired and im betting you will see many positions that could be filled w/ less educated and lower paid employees.

chasdal on January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

My position requires a law degree.

Which I happen to have.

I’m not so sure the comparison is meaningless. I know of one individual who I worked with in the past year who was actually HIGHLY educated (in that she had MULTIPLE degrees), but her position was essentially that of a legal assistant, so she didn’t make near the amount of money she should have been making, given her educational pedigree.

BTW, this little factoid will be ignored by most here (especially the ones calling for firing tens of thousands of government employees):

Despite these average pay differences, many federal employees are not overpaid. The General Schedule does not connect pay with performance. Many of the hardest-working and most highly skilled federal employees receive at or below market compensation.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Many of the hardest-working and most highly skilled federal employees receive at or below market compensation.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

name one

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

•This is an apples-to-oranges comparison because federal employees have more education and experience than private-sector workers.

This is complete b.s. If someone can’t make it in the private sector, they go work for the government. I’ve seen this happen a few times.

Mirimichi on January 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

The Obummer is looking for votes.

timberline on January 6, 2012 at 2:30 PM

It is fundamentally immoral that federal workers make substantially more than the people who employ them. That’ll be the private sector workers (note well: Che Ernesto).

CorporatePiggy on January 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

It depends on who ya wanna believe.

Akzed on January 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM

BO claims his is number 4 but I think he is number 2.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Hence we agree.:)

heshtesh on January 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Aw, hell yes. Get a loan from the Chicoms and double their pay.

And what about that 40 hour work week? I thought the 13th Amendment was still in effect. Are these not people? If you cut them, do they not bleed.

Sitting at a desk with your feet up picking your nose for 40 hours a week is HARD.

Horace on January 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Vote buying in progress

BigSven on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I’m not sure 0.5% would buy my vote.

Ronnie on January 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

It’s FDR all over again.

Badger40 on January 6, 2012 at 2:36 PM

they can do that. they just finished laying off thousands of military.

i am so ashamed of what has become of this country and even more ashamed it happened on my watch while people were fighting for it abroad. i dont think i could look an iraq vet in the eye with what we let happen while they were dodging IEDs.

cougar on January 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

And Obama led the Leftists into the desert, where they wandered about for a couple hundred years.

Finbar on January 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

The “pay freeze” on federal workers has always been a bit of a misnomer …

Only if you get a promotion or a step increase, which would happen independently of a cost-of-living adjustment. The 0.5 percent increase hardly offsets inflation (to the point that I wonder why they bothered), and the Feds didn’t get an adjustment at all last year. I’m not complaining about my situation, but I can think of quite a few non-supervisors with supervisors’ pay who should really consider retiring in the next year. Good riddance to the dead wood around here.

(Strictly off the record, of course.)

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Just like the idiots in Sacramento. Moonbeam screams that he needs an increase in the sales tax and an income tax increase on those making $1 million a year in order to ‘close the budget gap’. In the next breath he talks about INCREASING spending. Meanwhile, facing a continuing budget gap, the legislature awards 3-5% wage increases for their staffs.

Priorities.

GarandFan on January 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I’ll be the 1st to admit, as a public HS science teacher, that I would not be at this job if it didn’t pay well with good benefits.
I’d be driving semi truck or mudlogging or something in the oilfields next door.
It’s a good gig, if you can get it.

Badger40 on January 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

The GOP needs to realize that they cannot win elections while continuing to punt on the size and cost of government. The workforce payment is a symptom of a disease that never existed. The ‘problem’ of not paying the equivalent of what the private sector did in the ’80s was meant to show that it was a sacrifice to work for the government. By trying to find some ‘parity’ with the private sector the government put in inflators that haven’t gone away with economic downturns, yet ‘parity’ was reached sometime back in the 1990′s.

And if D’s love Clinton’s budget so much, then pass it, with ONLY those spending items in it for agencies that existed then and ONLY with the SSA and M&M’s then. Reduce the size of the workforce to what it was under Clinton, with the same pay.

Unfortunately that takes real, nasty tactical politics and the R party just can’t field such people because they look ‘cruel’ and ‘mean spirited’ not wanting to spend more of other people’s money. The money ran out a long, long time ago. The cruelty is in continuing on this path. How about reversing the spending course, instead?

Ah, but that would take a President who understood this, too… unless you wanted to over-ride him at every turn. And yet by default that day is coming.

ajacksonian on January 6, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The RATIONAL and RESPONSIBLE counter-offer: How about a 10% immediate reduction in the number of federal bureauweenies and a 5 % reduction in pay and benefits now and each subsequent year until the exorbitant federal pay comes down to the level of non-government workers ?

TeaPartyNation on January 6, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Meanwhile, back at the coal mines….

Lily on January 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

…everyone’s been laid off due to EPA regulations.

PatriotRider on January 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I aspire to some day work for a company that (still) provides some level of 401k matching.

Jeddite on January 6, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Why don’t you aspire to work for a company that will allow you to show off your dazzling skills?

Finbar on January 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM

1. In WHAT budget?

2. We not only need a pay freeze, we want a HIRING Freeze in D.C.

Fleuries on January 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

How about shuttering five federal departments, and laying off 25% of the federal workforce?

We do that, then maybe we can consider pay raises for the rest.

JohnGalt23 on January 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

name one

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I can name several. If you are an accountant, an attorney, an editor, or an engineer (and that’s just off the top of my head), you can make noticeably more in the private sector. In addition, and whatever you may think of them, many senior executives and (especially) top political appointees take a significant pay cut to work for two to four years in the public sector, after being subject to what is often a lenghty financial disclosure process. I’m not saying the latter should not be expected. Far from it. But it is simply not Easy Street for everyone. Most Federal employees work very hard at what they do, and they suffer from the deadbeats on the payroll more than anyone.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Obama is securing his base, his votes.

Amjean on January 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

This is complete b.s. If someone can’t make it in the private sector, they go work for the government. I’ve seen this happen a few times.

Mirimichi on January 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Have you seen this happen recently? I believe public hiring is extremely competitive.

I also believe private hiring is extremely competitive.

Teh One has stifled workforce mobility. Workers are hunkered down and happy to be drawing paychecks regardless of their public/private status.

Also, taken in aggregate, the private workforce includes a large segment of the labor force that is not represented in public jobs. For example: day laborers, janitors, trapeze artists, burger flippers, department store greeters. My point is that the average pay figures are skewed way to the left for the private sector so that the average, by definition will be paid less than the “average” public sector employee.

I’m not convinced that apples to apples adjustments are adequate.

Not all public employees work behind the counter at the DMV and draw $100K per year. Some are experienced professionals (like you?) who have also worked in the private sector and made the switch for reasons that may not have included “can’t make it in the private sector” as you suggest.

freedomfirst on January 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

name one

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

You realize I quoted the Heritage Foundation there, right? Or are we now pretending they’re just spreading liberal lies about federal employment.

Vote buying in progress

BigSven on January 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Absolutely.

Two things, though:

1. I very much doubt that this will go through anyway. I see this more as pandering.

2. Even though this would technically put more money in my pocket, it doesn’t matter. Obama didn’t have my vote in 2008, and a pay-off isn’t going to make me change my mind in 2012.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Obama is securing his base, his votes.
Amjean on January 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Yup, this it in it’s entirety, right here.

whatcat on January 6, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I guess they’ll use the money they save from down sizing the military. I feel safer already.

dmn1972 on January 6, 2012 at 1:55 PM

But thank goodness the Assistant Secretary to the Deputy Director of the sub-committee on minor tributory water sources will still be at the EPA and will be well paid for their level of education and experience.

soldiers … pfft! Gives us some mo lackies, toadies and sycophants!

Lost in Jersey on January 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Pandering prostituting progressive POS!

KOOLAID2 on January 6, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Obama is securing his base, his votes.
Amjean on January 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Yup, this it in it’s entirety, right here.

whatcat on January 6, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Oh? He couldn’t raise my salary enough to get mine.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

This is complete b.s. If someone can’t make it in the private sector, they go work for the government. I’ve seen this happen a few times.

Mirimichi on January 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

freedomfirst handled this one quite well:

Not all public employees work behind the counter at the DMV and draw $100K per year. Some are experienced professionals (like you?) who have also worked in the private sector and made the switch for reasons that may not have included “can’t make it in the private sector” as you suggest.

freedomfirst on January 6, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I LEFT a better-paying private sector job for my current government job. It wasn’t because I ‘couldn’t make it’ in the private sector gig (if anything, I was a somewhat protected employee over at the company I worked for – I saw a lot of friends and co-workers get the proverbial axe, though). I left for one reason: stability. Well, two reasons: stability, and cheap health care (I pay only half of what I used to before).

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Amazing – they should be talking about cutting federal pay and the opening salvo is a pay raise. The world has gone mad.

CycloneCDB on January 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I left for one reason: stability. Well, two reasons: stability, and cheap taxpayer subsidized health care (I pay only half of what I used to before).

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

FIFY

Lost in Jersey on January 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM

This is complete b.s. If someone can’t make it in the private sector, they go work for the government. I’ve seen this happen a few times.

Mirimichi on January 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Sometimes the compensation is called “salary”, other times its called food stamps, SSI, welfare, free healthcare, free housing, etc.

But, in either case, its money earned in the private sector, and taken by the government to ensure its continued existence.

BobMbx on January 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Oh? He couldn’t raise my salary enough to get mine.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I would thank him profusely, put an Obama sticker on my car, and then vote for the Not-Obama candidate.

Thats right….I’d lie.

BobMbx on January 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

And ties federal pay to the national average for private workers doing the same tasks. That will fix it all.

HopeHeFails on January 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Despite these average pay differences, many federal employees are not overpaid. The General Schedule does not connect pay with performance. Many of the hardest-working and most highly skilled federal employees receive at or below market compensation.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

If those you claim are “not overpaid” were worth being compensated at private sector market level, they would be in the free market getting paid what they are worth. That they are compensated at the same or lower rate than people with comparable positions in the private sector is no indication of their market value. It’s an indication that either they are not worth as much those in the private sector or that they’re getting compensated at the same or greater rate than those in the private sector…only the overflow is going not to their personal pay checks, but to those of their underperforming brethren. They’re effectively subsidizing their fellow government workers’ sloth. It’s “in kind” overcompensation.

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy…

The average federal employee earns 57 percent greater cash pay and 85 percent greater total compensation (which includes benefits) than the average private-sector worker.

Since this administration would love to spread the wealth around, how about if we just turn that pay freeze into, ummmm… 10 or more years so the private sector can catch up?

Besides… haven’t these Federal workers uhhh… hit a point where they’ve made enough by now?

VietVet_Dave on January 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Federal workers receive automatic seniority-based raises irrespective of performance.

This is a grossly inaccurate statement.

A within-grade-increase (WGI) is an increase in the employee’s rate of basic pay by advancement from one step of his/her grade to the next after meeting requirements for length of service and satisfactory performance.

Waiting Period for General Schedule (GS) (full-time) with a prearranged regularly scheduled tour of duty:

For advancement to steps 2, 3, and 4 – 52 calendar weeks;
For advancement to steps 5, 6, and 7 – 104 calendar weeks;
For advancement to steps 8, 9, and 10 – 156 calendar weeks.

****************

Performance must be “Fully Successful” or better.

The time between increases is 1-3 years.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 5, Sections 531.404 and 531.405

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=%2Findex.tpl

slp on January 6, 2012 at 3:16 PM

… as part of its 2013 budget proposal…

That is all we need to know to realize that it won’t happen anyways. If it’s a White House budget, it will surely be roughly $6 trillion with a $3.5 trillion deficit, and even the most liberal slimeballs in the Senate have shown they aren’t so suicidal as to vote for that… 97-0, baby!

gravityman on January 6, 2012 at 3:17 PM

If you’re a federal employee and you think your pay and bennies are not good enough considering your level of “education” then feel free to get a job in the private sector.

If you can.

dragonhawk on January 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

name one
Wade on January 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM
I can name several. If you are an accountant, an attorney, an editor, or an engineer (and that’s just off the top of my head), you can make noticeably more in the private sector. In addition, and whatever you may think of them, many senior executives and (especially) top political appointees take a significant pay cut to work for two to four years in the public sector, after being subject to what is often a lenghty financial disclosure process. I’m not saying the latter should not be expected. Far from it. But it is simply not Easy Street for everyone. Most Federal employees work very hard at what they do, and they suffer from the deadbeats on the payroll more than anyone.
manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

For accountants and engineers they probably have a smaller salary working for the government but their benefits are a lot better. As for lawyers and political appointees – their lower pay is more than compensated for when they re-enter the private sector with lucrative jobs as lobbyists or as people with connections etc.

gwelf on January 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I’m sure there are plenty of federal employees that work hard and are underpaid. What we really need is a merit based system. People should get paid for performance and supervisors should be paid based upon being efficient and saving money. That may mean finding ways for a department to do the same amount of work with fewer people.

This should also extend to government agencies. Every few years government agencies should have to justify their organization before congress. Right now government agencies only strive to continuously grow and gain more power and influence. Why don’t we ever see any shrink or disappear all together?

ReaganWasRight on January 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I would thank him profusely, put an Obama sticker on my car, and then vote for the Not-Obama candidate.

Thats right….I’d lie.

BobMbx on January 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I’d do the same thing.

Only I would deface the Obama sticker as if it had been vandalized by some wingnut. (Which wouldn’t be a lie) so it would cancel out.

Lily on January 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

slp on January 6, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I don’t know a single person that didn’t receive a step increase. It’s pretty difficult, at least in my observations, not to be rated as fully successful.

Anyone who tries to deny that most federal workers have it better than the private sector isn’t being objective. We have better job stability, cheaper health care, better retirement, and more time off for vacation.

Extending the pay freeze for another few years is wholly justified, in my opinion.

BadgerHawk on January 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I’m sure public employee hiring is helping the Unemployment stats too. My former employer, a school, has tons of job openings all of the sudden.

PattyJ on January 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM

No worries! The money will come from Odumbo’s “stash”.

Sasha List on January 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM

If those you claim are “not overpaid” were worth being compensated at private sector market level, they would be in the free market getting paid what they are worth …

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Federal workers who do their jobs well hardly subsidize those who do not. If anything (and my three decades plus of experience will bear this out), they are hampered by it, and often end up carrying the deadbeat, who is possibly even their own supervisor. I can remember when it was much worse than it is now, at least in my part of Washington.

For accountants and engineers they probably have a smaller salary working for the government but their benefits are a lot better. As for lawyers and political appointees – their lower pay is more than compensated for when they re-enter the private sector with lucrative jobs as lobbyists or as people with connections etc.

gwelf on January 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

The reasons to take a lower-paying job can vary. Sometimes it is stability and the benefits. Who would not want that if one has a family to support? When I was married and raising a son, I passed on returning to the private sector, mostly for these reasons.

Further, and again in my experience, politicals are not merely clones of whomever is President. They often began the most recent campaign in the camp of another, often very different, nominee. In any case, they generally don’t much care who you vote for. Some of my best years were in the latter days of the Clinton administration. I wanted the guy to be impeached, drawn, and quartered, as much as anyone here. But the people he had running my part of the government were great to work with. If you’re a Fed, agreeing with who is in office doesn’t always translate into opportunities knocking. It comes down to the kind of people they bring in, something we rarely consider when choosing a President.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Extending the pay freeze for another few years is wholly justified, in my opinion.

BadgerHawk on January 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I can make that case as well. (Full disclosure: I have not received a step increase in several years, and I am at the top of my career ladder. I could complain, or I could spend the last few years expanding my skill set, which I have the opportunity to have done. I’m not complaining.)

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

If you’re a federal employee and you think your pay and bennies are not good enough considering your level of “education” then feel free to get a job in the private sector.

If you can.

dragonhawk on January 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

You haven’t been reading the entire thread, have you. Or maybe you’ve just selectively read the posts that agree with your opinion of federal employees.

Using my ‘level of education,’ I went out and GOT a jot in the private sector. Several jobs, actually.

I LEFT private sector employment because the market was as terrible as….well, as it’s been for the last 2-3 years now. I took a government job, for LESS pay, because at least it offered slightly more stability than private sector employment. At least here, one’s employment is slightly more protected.

I know, I’m sure you find that to be a huge part of the problem – bureaucrats sucking on the public teat without any way to get rid of them (except perhaps attrition), but there is a flipside, and I’ve seen it. I remember one incident, at the private sector firm I was working in, when the woman in the office next to mine got a visit from a higher-up one afternoon, who told her they were “downsizing” the project, and basically gave the woman about an hour to collect her things and remove herself from the building. It’s a little more difficult to do that with federal employment.

I don’t know a single person that didn’t receive a step increase. It’s pretty difficult, at least in my observations, not to be rated as fully successful.

BadgerHawk on January 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Really? Cause I’ve known several. In fact, at one of the local branch offices, a whole group of people didn’t receive their step increases, and were flat out told that they wouldn’t be receiving unless certain requirements were met.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 4:14 PM

A within-grade-increase (WGI) is an increase in the employee’s rate of basic pay by advancement from one step of his/her grade to the next after meeting requirements for length of service and satisfactory performance.

Waiting Period for General Schedule (GS) (full-time) with a prearranged regularly scheduled tour of duty:

For advancement to steps 2, 3, and 4 – 52 calendar weeks;
For advancement to steps 5, 6, and 7 – 104 calendar weeks;
For advancement to steps 8, 9, and 10 – 156 calendar weeks.

****************

Performance must be “Fully Successful” or better.

slp on January 6, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I have got to know … what is the equivalent of this system in the private sector?

How can you tell us with a straight face that these are not automatic increases based on seniority when “Fully Successful” = “Still Breathing”.

I’d like to see some figures on how many employees don’t meet this “Fully Successful” requirement and don’t receive their “WGI”.

Lost in Jersey on January 6, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Federal workers who do their jobs well hardly subsidize those who do not. If anything (and my three decades plus of experience will bear this out), they are hampered by it, and often end up carrying the deadbeat, who is possibly even their own supervisor. I can remember when it was much worse than it is now, at least in my part of Washington.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 3:54 PM

OK, so a federal worker takes less than he is worth “carrying the deadbeat” who benefits at taxpayer expense beyond his productivity because the more dedicated federal worker (at no extra charge) fills the deadbeat’s gaps: How again is that not subsidizing those who do not do their jobs well?

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Odumbo’s re-election plan:
Sign law allowing the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects — even U.S. citizens arrested in the U.S. — without having to charge them with a crime (Handy tool to keep the rabble down; check)
Cut military troops by 1/3 (Red-meat for the base; check)
Bail out unions; (vote buying; check)
Bail out student loan program (vote buying of perpetual “students” and many OWS protestors; check)
Bail out irresponsible home “owners” (vote buying of 51% non-tax-payers; check)
Pay raise for Federal employees (self-explanatory; check)

We can’t wait for Nov2012!!

Sasha List on January 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

OK, so a federal worker takes less than he is worth “carrying the deadbeat” who benefits at taxpayer expense beyond his productivity because the more dedicated federal worker (at no extra charge) fills the deadbeat’s gaps: How again is that not subsidizing those who do not do their jobs well?

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

I realize I can’t just tell you how it merely SOUNDS ridiculous, but that’s where I would start. A “subsidy” presumes that the actions of the competent employee are felt by the incompetent one. In fact, the person who benefits the most is the career middle-management which is too lazy or scared or just plain stupid to deal with the problem. Often they are well aware of it. They don’t like the paperwork. They don’t want to be known as racist or sexist, or against some other class of people. So they remain indifferent to any action. The competent employee suffers, the incompetent employee is blissfully unaware, or is at times miserable anyway, or they’d know they were their own worst enemy.

Often the only long-term solution is to wait until the deadbeat, or their lazy boss, retires. About ten or fifteen years there is a self-imposed purge of the system in a department or agency. Sometimes it’s an improvement, but not always.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Pay raise for Federal employees (self-explanatory; check)

This is often a factor in state budgets, but the comparison is not justified.

Salaries and pensions are a big part of a state budget, but they are actually a very minor percentage of the federal budget. For example, a pay freeze for two years for non-postal civilian federal employees would reduce the federal budget by one-fourth of one percent over those two years. And that’s assuming nothing else (in-step increases, arbitrary promotions to offset the discontent) occurs.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I know, I’m sure you find that to be a huge part of the problem – bureaucrats sucking on the public teat without any way to get rid of them (except perhaps attrition), but there is a flipside, and I’ve seen it. I remember one incident, at the private sector firm I was working in, when the woman in the office next to mine got a visit from a higher-up one afternoon, who told her they were “downsizing” the project, and basically gave the woman about an hour to collect her things and remove herself from the building. It’s a little more difficult to do that with federal employment.

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Oh, so the fact that an employer does not have the flexibility to cut costs however necessary to more efficiently deliver on need/demand is actually a benefit to the taxpayer (customer) who is paying for the services provided? Right.

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I realize I can’t just tell you how it merely SOUNDS ridiculous, but that’s where I would start. A “subsidy” presumes that the actions of the competent employee are felt by the incompetent one.

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM

They are felt…in the form of an unearned paycheck.

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

It should be a great year
Rich People – Bad
Wall Street Financial Advisers and/or Bankers-Bad
Law Enforcement – Bad
Federal Workers – Bad
State Workers – Bad
Teachers – Bad
City Workers – Bad
Janitors (ala Newt) – Bad
Doctors – Bad
Lawyers er ah Okay that one is true!
But you see my point. We are the party of respecting hard work no matter if it is civil service or private. Many that work for government selected that field because they love their country and want to make it better.

Natebo on January 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

But you see my point. We are the party of respecting hard work no matter if it is civil service or private. Many that work for government selected that field because they love their country and want to make it better.

Natebo on January 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I’m sorry, but you can “work hard” digging a hole and filling it up. Party is irrelevant to the discussion. Respect should be reserved for productive work.

fitzfong on January 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

manwithblackhat on January 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

You are dreaming. For everyone named there multiples who make more, keep in mind bennies count.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Many that work for government selected that field because they love their country and want to make it better.

Natebo on January 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Not according to a lot of posters here. Every single government employee is a leech on the taxpayers (nevermind that those exact same leeches are themselves paying taxes) and contribute nothing to the nation.

Washington Nearsider on January 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Many that work for government selected that field because they love their country and want to make it better.

Natebo on January 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

That is why our kids go to school stupid and come out the same way.

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Vyce on January 6, 2012 at 4:14 PM

From your post and your level of education it sounds like you are unemployable in private sector because you do not produce enough to justify pay of someone of your self esteem … ops level of education. Have you ever considered you might be educated beyond your intelligence therefore needing to settle on an non productive government job?

Wade on January 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

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