Skip to comments.Dems vow: No more cuts for federal workers ("discrimination" against RAT voters)
Posted on 02/29/2012 4:42:55 PM PST by Libloather
Dems vow: No more cuts for federal workers
By Mike Lillis - 02/29/12 07:21 PM ET
Leading Democrats charged Republicans this week with "discrimination" against federal workers amid Congress's struggle to cut deficit spending.
The Democrats said a series of federal pay cuts most recently as part of the payroll-tax package pile the deficit-reduction burden on one group of Americans while the rest of the country gets a free pass. The lawmakers all of whom represent districts laden with federal workers are vowing to oppose any future legislation that includes cuts in federal compensation.
"'Bureaucrats' is used as an epithet by too many [in Congress]. It is used as a pejorative," Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said Wednesday during a Capitol Hill rally of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). "We are the best civil service in the world Unfortunately, we have too many people who don't respect those who give their service to the public."
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said the fight over federal compensation is part of a much larger partisan war over the preservation of the middle-class. Cardin, who was a member of the payroll-tax conference committee, accused Republicans of wanting "to turn back the clock" on workers' rights.
"They want to take [us] back to the 19th century," Cardin said.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) suggested hundreds of NTEU members were "courageous" to visit the Capitol, which she characterized as "the scene of the crime against federal workers today."
"The Republicans have created a virtual piggybank containing your federal pay and your federal pensions to be robbed at will," Norton charged. "We're here to say to Republicans, 'This piggybank is not yours.'"
As part of this month's bipartisan payroll-tax deal, GOP leaders insisted on a provision requiring federal employees hired after 2012 to contribute 3.1 percent of their annual salaries to their pensions a 2.3-point jump over current levels. The provision is estimated to save roughly $15 billion over the next decade money Congress tapped to offset an extension of emergency unemployment benefits through the end of the year.
An initial House-passed GOP bill would also have affected current federal workers, but push-back from Hoyer, Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), another member of the payroll tax conference panel, caused GOP negotiators to scale back the provision.
The pension cuts come on the heels of a two-year freeze in federal pay, estimated to save taxpayers roughly $60 billion over a decade.
Advocates for federal workers say they're being singled out unfairly.
"The time has come for shared sacrifice, and we have already made our contribution," NTEU President Colleen Kelley said Wednesday. "These cuts need to stop."
Cardin noted that President George W. Bush inherited a projected budget surplus in 2001 and turned it into a $1.2 trillion projected deficit eight years later largely the result of unpaid wars and unfunded tax cuts.
"It was not the federal workers who caused this deficit," Cardin said.
"Every time we need to find money to solve our problems, they keep coming back to you," echoed Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.). "It's almost like going out to dinner with a group of friends and you're always being asked to pick up the check."
Fueling the debate, a January study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that federal employees, on average, are paid roughly 2 percent more than comparable private-sector workers a figure that jumps to 16 percent when health and other benefits are considered.
Republicans pounced, using the report to support their federal compensation cuts.
"While millions of Americans continue to struggle with stagnant wages and high unemployment, government bureaucrats in Washington continue to enjoy significant advantages over those whose tax dollars finance their compensation," Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in response to the CBO report.
The Democrats on Wednesday defended the pay discrepancy. The problem is not that federal workers are overcompensated, they said, but that too many private-sector employees are denied fair wages and benefits.
"We're trying to give them a living wage how awful that is," Hoyer quipped.
"Let's correct what they're doing in the private sector," Cardin added, "[not] race to the bottom."
Virginia Democratic Reps. Jim Moran and Gerald Connolly also addressed the union crowd Wednesday.
Does that include active military and vets?
Knowing RATS I bet it doesn't.
Took the words right out of my mouth!
No doubt there would be those hollering about that not having made any difference.
They'd also point to those additional laid off people, formerly federal workers, as more burden on the private sector ~ to wit, the cry of "See, more unemployed".
It's not a debate that can be won, so here's the solution. Privatize federal employment. Just sell it off through contracts.
Are they ok with welfare cuts then?
I'm not a schadenfreude kind of person, but at that moment I wished the government rich DC suburbs all the prosperity of Detroit.
So I was in a meeting yesterday with Rob McKenna, AG and candidate for Gov in the state of WA. He said right now the State of Washington pays about $3B / year for medical coverage for state employees; this is about 10% of the total state budget. The cost is rising at about 10% / year, so in 7 years the cost will double.
This is of course unsustainable; you cannot have the state budget held hostage to cover the entire medical costs for a small part of the people. There are about 6.8M people in Washington State and about 100,000 full time and 54,000 part time state employees (122,000 FTEs).
This implies we (the tax payers) pay about $25,000 / year toward each state employees (and dependents) healthcare coverage.
So 1.8% of the population (in WA State) gets gold plated coverage and everyone else gets ObamaCare.
It just cannot be, how did this happen? Unless we get healthcare costs under control, insist state employees pay some portion of their premium/costs and insist on some free market reforms, all else is moot. Other federal medical insurance premiums are set to ruin us all, and time is quickly running out.
McKenna was quite impressive I would say, he really knew the issues.
Are the Democrats effing joking?!!!!!
This says is best.
I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.
Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!
Rudyard Kipling’s poem: Tommy
It's entitlements ! (and the entitlement mentality!)
Not federal employees that are the problem!
No and good point. Maybe the Democrats will give ‘cutback exemptions’ to the gay members of our military. I mean, we can’t discriminate against them either! Looks like the only group left to NAIL is the heterosexual white humans that aren’t disabled and don’t have vaginas.
I work for the G. This is my 2nd time around. If you count the Corps, it’s my 3rd stint. I swear by all that is holy, if the people knew about fed employees, they would (EVEN THE DEMOCRAT ONES) riot in the streets. I keep meaning to ask the mods to give me another identity here so I can post about my amazing experiences. See, I’ve accessed my account from work a few times, so, theoretically, my bosses can snoop me out. But if I get another account.... You’d be AMAZED!!!!!
You are right about entitlements. EVERYTHING else pales in comparison, ENTs are THE financial killer, so it is true that feds are not THE problem, but paying illiterate bums huge sums with great benefits to sleep at their desks all day every day (slight exaggeration, sure) is A problem, believe me.
Excellent poem, Sandrat, hadn’t seen it before. Thanks for posting!
“The Democrats said a series of federal pay cuts most recently as part of the payroll-tax package pile the deficit-reduction burden on one group of Americans while the rest of the country gets A FREE PASS.”
FREE PASS???!!! Words mean nothing to them. Perhaps most of those people have never had a job in the private sector before.
Pictured below are "the people getting a free pass", and they pay NO TAXES, but recieve REFUNDS and REBATES when EITC, etc. is used to fill their pockets (in exchange for their voting for Democrats to keep 'em comin')
I'm in Maryland and I could not agree with you more. Cut the Federal jobs and programs in my state and let the rest of us stand a chance to live the way that we want and not have the one party rat rule that we currently have.