by Brian Johnson November 30, 2010
NY Daily News reports that federal government employees are having a major meltdown because the President has announced a 2 year freeze on salary increases.
I have two reactions to this. My first reaction is that the federal workers get no sympathy from me. You may say that is cold-hearted, but I make this judgement based on the fact that federal civilian workers wages are already 75% higher than their private sector counterparts, on average. If benefits are included, the federal workers pay and benefits is double their civilian counterpart (see chart below). So please excuse me if my tear ducts do not well up at this. Much of this disparity can be attributed to federal workers unions and collective bargaining agreements which are crippling budgets of both federal and state governments. The strength of these unions need to be severely weakened, with future pay and benefits limited until more closely aligned with the private sector. In addition, Congress could start to look at ways to privatize many of the current jobs held by federal workers by contracting them out to private businesses. This would help shrink the government, and allow private companies to streamline many of the processes currently bloated by these huge bureaucracies.
My second thought on this is that this is just a public relations stunt by the White House to show that they are trying to do something to get spending under control. This is just a just a drop in the bucket where spending is concerned, and the workers are bearing the brunt of the Obama Administration's attempt to show that they're engaged. I mean, seriously, does anybody really think this is going to have any real effect? It's not going to improve the economy. It won't put any money into people's hands (other than Congress) to boost the private sector. It's all window dressing. No substance and all bluster.
The federal workers are right to be upset. They are pawns in this game. They have been all along. Government pay and benefits have been bloated intentionally to lure more people into dependence, into the system, with the ultimate goal of expanding the government to the monstrous beast it has become. They are starting to feel the effects of a government out of control, of policies which the rest of us have been feeling for over 2 years. I still stand by my earlier statement of contracting out jobs to private sector companies (DMV anyone?), but who in government has the guts to take that on? There might be a few in the new Congress, but the numbers are not there, and there are too many old guard politicians still there to allow it to happen.
Meanwhile, the vise continues to tighten.
Read The Article:
Federal workers rage over President Obama's two-year wage freeze