Barack Obama says that Federal workers have been beat up enough and shouldn’t have to take it anymore. He is raising their pay by executive order.
From the Washington Post:
President Obama signed an executive order Monday authorizing a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees, ending a four-year freeze in salary rates.
Salary rates have not been increased since January 2010. Some employees have had their pay frozen during this period, while most have received raises through promotions, for performance or advancing up the steps of their pay grades.
The freeze reflected the debate in Congress and the rest of the country over government spending, but at the cost of what federal workers said was undue hardship. Many also lost up to a week of pay this year under the budget cuts known as sequestration.
“This long-overdue modest pay raise for federal government employees is a good step in recognizing the value of federal workers,” Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.
“They have been the targets of unending attacks,” she said of the workforce. “They’ve been furloughed, laid off and locked out through no fault of their own.”
Federal workers predominately live in counties surrounding Washington DC. Those counties have the highest and the fastest-rising income levels of almost any counties in the nation. That week of pay they lost was more than made up by the fact that they got paid when they were doing no work at all—when the government supposedly shut down. During that government shutdown, private businesses were shut down for no reason at all, but they aren’t getting a raise to make up for their lost income.
In the regular world of production and trade, workers get raises because people don’t want to lose them to other businesses. Federal workers are already paid much more than people in private business, and there is no way to measure their profitability. The federal government doesn’t deal with voluntary customers; it only “serves” captives who must receive government services and pay the price the government demands whether they like it or not.
What is really “long overdue” in Washington DC? A general spending freeze is long overdue. The only problem with government workers not getting a raise was that government spending was permitted to continue to grow.
This pay increase is not part of the Ryan budget. As bad as that budget is, this increase makes the Federal deficit even worse.
We need politicians who freeze and then reduce all spending. Reducing the Federal workforce by ten percent would be a small start in the right direction.