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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Obama announces 2-year pay freeze for federal workers

By Ed O'Keefe, Perry Bacon and Joe Davidson

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET
Bowing to growing budget concerns and months of Republican political pressure on federal pay and benefits, President Obama today announced he would stop pay increases for most of the two million people who work for the federal government.

The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," Obama said in a speech Monday afternoon explaining the decision. He added, "I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives."

The freeze would take effect on Jan. 1, pending Congressional approval by the end of this year. The 2012 pay freeze will be proposed as part of fiscal 2012 budget proposals to be unveiled early next year.

The pay change will not impact bonuses for federal workers or when a federal worker is promoted to a new level of pay, meaning federal workers promoted in the next two years will receive a new level of pay, but not receive any additional annual raises.

The decision will save the government about $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and $28 billion over the next five years, the White House said. The long-term savings come from lowering the government's base compensation over the next two years.

Obama made the announcement Monday because Tuesday is the deadline to set federal locality pay, or variations the government makes in pay and benefits based on geographic location, officials said.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said she disagreed with Obama's decision.

The union "is mindful of our nation's economic circumstances, but we are very disappointed with the White House's position and intend to explore all of our options, including working with Congress to overturn it," Kelley said. The union represents more than 150,000 federal employees nationwide.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, blasted the announcement, calling it "a superficial, panicked reaction to the deficit commission report."

"This pay freeze amounts to nothing more than political public relations," Gage said in a statement, suggesting government nurses, border patrol agents and other personnel are being unfairly targeted for Democratic election losses.

(Watch a video with the reaction of federal employees)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), whose district is home to thousands of federal workers, said he was pleased Obama instituted only a two-year freeze instead of the three years proposed by the Bipartisan Deficit Commission. But Obama also should have cut pay for some military personnel, Hoyer said in a statement.

"There has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies," Hoyer said, noting that the first American casualty in the Afghanistan conflict was a civilian CIA agent.

Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the freeze is "The first of many difficult steps ahead."

"Clearly this is a difficult decision," Zients told reporters ahead of Obama's official announcement. "Federal employees are hard-working and dedicated and essential to delivering services to the American people. Today the president is clearly asking them to make a sacrifice."

Obama has already frozen the salaries of top White House officials and top political appointees. But freezing the salaries of all civilian workers is a much bolder step that will result in a big economic hit to the Washington region, which is home to more than 600,000 federal workers and their families.

Officials said the decision was not in response to Republican and fiscal conservative critics who have argued that federal employees are better paid than private sector counterparts. "This is in the context of difficult decisions that we need to make as part of deficit reduction," Zients said.

In a statement, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), presumptive chairman of the House committee overseeing federal personnel issues, called Obama's decision "long overdue." He called on the president to institute other government spending cuts proposed in the GOP's campaign "Pledge to America".

In addition to cuts outlined in the Pledge, Republican lawmakers have introduced several proposals to cut federal pay and benefits and curtail the size of the federal workforce, including cuts to the government payroll through attrition or firing federal workers who fail to pay taxes.

During an October interview just weeks before the midterm elections, Obama signaled a willingness to consider pay and hiring freezes as a way to rein in government spending.

The administration had examined pay levels, "and the data we get back indicates that high-skilled workers in government are slightly underpaid. Lower-skilled workers are slightly overpaid relative to the private sector," Obama said.

"And that's not surprising," he added, "because it's a unionized workforce" in government, while the private sector typically is not.

"Government should have to tighten its belt as well. We need to do it in an intelligent way," Obama said in October. "We need to make sure we do things smarter, rather than just lopping something off arbitrarily without having thought it through."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

RELATED: Obama says federal jobs may stay vacant, doesn't rule out furloughs (Oct. 15)

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By Ed O'Keefe, Perry Bacon and Joe Davidson  | November 29, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Next: Federal pay freeze: Reaction

Comments

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Why can't he be a man and just annouonce an executive decision to freeze pay instead of trying to make politics out of it. What a disgrace for a chief executive.

Posted by: david_5570 | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@anarcho-liberal-tarian -- if your being sarcastic...lol. if not, your prolly the type that shouldnt be working for the Feds.

Posted by: bbirdy202 | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

How can we tell the difference. Hooray for the T party. Another great victory!

Posted by: stevevan1 | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

About damn time!!

Posted by: lek91091 | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM |

-------------------------------

If that's your attitude, then I hope your supervisor fires you. I've been a federal employee for almost 15 years, and hostile, sullen employees like you make the job harder for those of us who really care about performing well. You're a disgrace to other government employees.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

GOOD ACTION PRESIDENT OBAMA! About time! According to latest stats, they outpace their private sector counterparts!

Question is: WHEN WILL YOU ANNOUNCE PERMANENT REDUCTIONS IN FORCE??

Posted by: wheeljc | November 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What does this gain, a tiny amount of money saved and a bunch of pissed off people that voted for Obama? The mind boggles at the stupidity of this administration.

Posted by: rcokely | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This is Bull. It won't effect the deficit in any significant way. Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Great. We're supposedly the only people with jobs and now we won't be spending either. That'll help the ecomony.

Posted by: Cindy88788 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee and this is absolutely the right thing to do! I'm never been so happy about not getting a raise. I'm not a fan of Obama at all, but I'm impressed that he's made this decision and I support it 100%.

Posted by: ekcarrington | November 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, anarcho-liberal-tarian must be a rookie fed. Promotions are not affected by a pay freeze. Just the so called January cost of living that retirees wouldn't have received in any case.

Tricky dicky and "Rabbit" Carter pulled these too, just not in an election year.

Posted by: mortified469 | November 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

People can get by on freezes...it's just the nights at Matchbox I'm going to miss.

Posted by: cbmuzik | November 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey anarcho-liberal-tarian at least you have a job. Get over it; you get a pay check either once or twice a month while others don't. Get you butt to work and smile while you do it. If you do not like that then quit or retire

Posted by: HoustonTexan | November 29, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Lots of the private sector employees have taken pay cuts between 5%-10% and consider themselves luck to have the 95% or 90% intact. Sacrifice should not always be the next person's.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | November 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

About damn time! Now start reducing Gov't. Although many, many Gov't workers could NEVER cut it in the private sector!!

Posted by: lek91091 | November 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

There should be Pay Freeze on Travel for all in Congress! Cut all perks for in Govement.... Yes and Obamba and friends NO more pay raises. Cut all White House expense. Hope the people will be heard this time for you know now what happens when you do not listen to the voters

Posted by: akeegan2 | November 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Rather a freeze than unemployment; one question, does the pay freeze apply to Congress too?

Posted by: tawnybarb2 | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

There should be Pay Freeze on Travel for all in Congress! Cut all perks for in Govement.... Yes and Obama and friends NO more pay raises. Cut all White House expense. Hope the people will be heard this time for you know now what happens when you do not listen to the voters

Posted by: akeegan2 | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Pay Freeze? How about some Politicians get a pay cut? How about they start paying for their own insurance like the rest of us and use their own vehicles to go to work like the rest of us?
Pay Freeze does harly nothing it is a crumb of bread at least offer up a slice or part of a loaf.

Not even impressed with this action Try Again!!!!

Posted by: DonDon007 | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This may be a good idea as long as it applies to the new incoming members of Congress as well as the Senate. The republicans are forcing this and they should take a HUGE pay cut in their salaries or simply opt to give their salaries back to the US Treasury Department for a minimum of one year if the economy is as bad as we are hearing.

Posted by: supertoxicologist_99_2009 | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's put a cost of living pay freeze on congressmen too. And make some drastic cutbacks in their medical coverage and pension benefits. "D' Accord?"

Posted by: MickNamVet | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

For years, govt workers were considered dumb for not becoming contractors and making the bigger bucks. Now, when contractors are starting to cry, all of a sudden govt workers are "overpaid." Let's see Obama take a voluntary cut in pay first (and that includes not paying for expensive hotels when his wife decides to go on vacation.)

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | November 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Why not freezes on those fat bonus checks for the executives of big Corporations, Banks etc (particularly those who have taken bailout money) and pay cuts for politicians?

Posted by: krishnas98 | November 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"According to latest stats, they outpace their private sector counterparts!"

This is NOT true in any way shape or form. Multiple recent studies have shown that government workers on average make less than their equivalent jobs in the private sector. This is especially true at the highest levels in the government (attorneys, scientists, accountants, engineers, etc).

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse


AndyR3...please do strike. There are plenty of people ready to take your place after you are fired. Take your medicine as it is a good indicator for the country. Just be thankful that you still have a job.


Posted by: mortified469 | November 29, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@anarcho-liberal-tarian- he's PERFECT to work for the Feds!! As a senior who is affected by no COL increase...AGAIN.. I think it's only fair for gov't workers to also not get an increase. And, by the way, both of my parents are retired gov't workers- they are affected, too. Good thing the GW Bush couple have books in the top 10 so we can continue to support them and theirs- wouldn't want them to do without anything

Posted by: omg3 | November 29, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Well my wife is a government lawyer who could be making twice as much in the private sector. Several headhunters have come to her. She works so many nights and weekends I barely see her anymore. While I am sure there are a lot of lazy and unmotivated workers out there, several more bust their rear ends. This will not be a crippling blow to us financially as I make enough income to offset the hit of a freeze, but it is just another reason for her to better deal the place. And she will work just as hard in the meantime because she is a professional and takes pride in her work. Compensation should be merit based instead of everyone taking the hit. These cuts (and a freeze is a cut because the cost of living rises) should not affect the high skilled and hard working employees the government should be retaining.

Posted by: da55 | November 29, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

All governments, local, state and FED, must immediately suspend all percentage raises and return to a system of giving cash amounts to every level of employee such as $500. per year instead of thousands when a percent is used. Obama has no choice in the suspension of pay raises and I only hope that they do not get around the suspension by awarding merit raises in its stead.

Posted by: nmauriello | November 29, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian
==========================================

Wow. Do you always use extortion to get promoted?

Welcome to the REAL world.

My husband is a federal worker and if his salary is frozen, well, that's no different from the furloughs I've had for the last three years. We're both thankful that both federal and MD state governments are using frozen salaries and furloughs than RIFs (I went through THAT in the early 1990s).

Posted by: slackermom | November 29, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sounds reasonable given the economic state of the country.

Posted by: HillRat | November 29, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I believe that CONGRESS should restructure their pay scale...since they are "representatives" of our states, they should be paid based on the average annual salary for that state. If, say, Arizona's average salary is $45,000, then that is what their congressmen should be paid.

Too bad we gave them too much power to control something like that.

Posted by: erasmussen11 | November 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why can't he be a man and just annouonce an executive decision to freeze pay instead of trying to make politics out of it. What a disgrace for a chief executive.

Posted by: david_5570
----------------------------------------
Oh, get a grip, for crying out loud. He has been considering this for months and he didn't try to make politics out of it, either. We know you don't like the President, but grow up already and at least give the man credit for doing this.

Posted by: bee-bee1 | November 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Fair warning: There had better not be a pay increase for anyone allegedly serving the will of the people of this country - having been elected to do so as either a congress person or representative. The backlash to such a salary increase for the so-called "anointed" will be monumental, guaranteed.

Posted by: barbarabullas | November 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

It is about time. While the rest of us work our butts off out here for a pittance in the private sector federal workers are sucking us dry on the tax teet and walking away with rich pensions and health care.

Instead of a pay freeze, if the President and Congress had any brass ones they would roll back the pay of those drones -- except the lonely soldier out in the trenches.

Posted by: agrossman1 | November 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

This should be a no-brainer. When the administration announces that Social Security recipients get no COLA because there is no COI, how can you justify giving the federal workforce a 3% pay raise, ostensibly based on the same data.

There are a heck of a lot of folks in this country who have taken a 100% pay cut when their jobs were eliminated. It is unconscienable that the federal (and some state and local) workforce expands, gets raises, gets protected from the economic turmoil, etc.

If the federal workers want to make more money, let them either wait out their next step increase (which simply requires getting older at your desk) or apply for a better, higher paying job just like the mere mortals in the civilian workforce who pay their salaries.

Posted by: DOps | November 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What the as$hohle ought to do is fire all the incompetent czars he hired without congressional approval. Then Ms leech needs to get rid of twenty or so of her high paid servants. That would put a significant dent in the deficit.

Posted by: LarryG62 | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Montgomery County will take a hint

Posted by: Searching3 | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I understand having to "freeze" some federal employees payscale. What I don't understand is WHY the Congress (Senate and House) never has their pay cut...or why they have the very best medical insurance (which we pay for) and never have their medical benefits cut, or scaled down???
Why! Why! Why!

Posted by: Holla1 | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm much more interested in knowing when those claw backs and pay freezes on Wall Street are going to occur.

Posted by: frufflefeathers | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean the President, Congress and the Senate will be freezing their pay too? If not then this is a load of crap. I work for the government and I'm not making the $100,000 that everyone is complaining about. There are a lot of workers making below this that don't appreciate having their pay frozen. I say freeze the pay above $100,000. They are the ones that can afford it!

Posted by: djh1778 | November 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I say we downsize the government too like we hav e had to do in the working sector. I say we start with those talking about their performance decreasing in the event of a freeze. Keeping your present wage should be based on job performance and departmental savings. Throughout history federal workers are known to be the laziest workers in the contry but are paid well for doing nothing and spending a lot. I would love to see what it costs for parts to any department and then see if it can be bought for less.......I think the chances on this are good!!!!

Posted by: DonDon007 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Does this include all our political brethren? Senate, House, Supreme Court, etc.? BTW, I fail to see how cutting workers' pay, at the lowest level, will cut gov't spending WAY up at the top! But, hey, WAY TO PUNISH THE WRONG FOLKS, AGAIN!!!

Posted by: daisyrose | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

To: wheeljc. Do more research - you are WOEFULLY incorrect. Feds are NOT paid more than their "private" counterparts.

Although I'm a Fed - I FULLY support this decision - painful as it may be.

Posted by: plume928 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

As a federal worker, I understand the need to freeze our salaries but Obama could take it one step further and FIRE some federal workers. I work with people that take 2 hour lunches and do nothing. Literally, they don't do anything. If you don't have a mission and you have nothing to show for, you should be fired.

Posted by: Absolutgrl11 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

This is Bull. It won't effect the deficit in any significant way. Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM |
=========================================
You are full of Bull. If the President and Congress had any brass ones they would roll back your pay to pre-1960 levels. You aren't worth a nickel of what we pay you.

Posted by: agrossman1 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Bet the complaining Federal workers didn't care one iota when my Social Security didn't get raised this year. Let's all do our part for the economy--not just old people.

Posted by: mbrumble | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever noticed that when some talk about cutting spending in a particular area they always say "this really doesn't amount to a lot of the total budget". It doesn't matter. Every part of government should be cut. I don't like the idea of our government workers being "unionized". They shouldn't be treated any differently than the private sector. It's time to downsize meaning cutting headcount among other things.

Posted by: Jackets | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

To all the 'crats posting here on taxpayer time, get the f&ck back to work or resign. Now.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Let's see. Record bonuses for Wall Street investment bankers who do diddly, thin gruel for Uncle Sam's finest. That's about right. Alan Simpson is so happy he's thrown away his cane. And the Post's Tea Partiers are all having an extra cup of latte'. God bless you, Rand Paul.

Posted by: truthman | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

[will not impact step increases or bonuses for federal workers]

First off they should have cut federal worker pay; they should downsize the workforce; look for a lot more step increases and bonuses as a means to circumvent the proposed wage freeze.

Posted by: JuicyJuice | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I could support the Federal pay freeze if the principle of SHARED SACRIFICE were applicable. But unfortunately it's not. As long as millionaires continue to receive their HUGE TAX BREAKS, and we have two wars 'funded' by TAX CUTS and the sacrifices for these wars are borne almost exclusively by members of the military and their families, I say HELL NO to this transparent political pandering. It's just one more cave in to the right wing. Stop pandering already and fight the right!

Posted by: tancred | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Why is he blaming unions? Federal unions don't negotiate pay or benefits. If the lower grade people are overpaid, it is because the agencies over graded them. None of this, the grades, the pay, or the benefits, is negotiable.

Posted by: kamdog | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

anarcho-liberal-tarian, judging from your "name" I doubt we'd like each other, but I agree totally with you on this - and I'm not a Federal employee. This is what happens. Instead of penalizing the people who got us into this mess (let's start with Congress!) Obama is penalizing the people who can probably least afford it. This man is disgusting. This wouldn't be necessary if he hadn't added trillions of dollars to the debt by his stupid agenda.

Posted by: georges2 | November 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Why not a freeze on military pay, too, if the budget deficit is so dire?

Posted by: newflu | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I dont think he has much of a choice in the matter. We have to share the dread in the present economy and yes we feds are happy to have jobs.

Posted by: Riiinnng | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@wheeljc - This decision WILL lead to a reduction in the Federal workforce because individuals who are retirement-eligible will now be more likely to submit their retirement paperwork. By having their cost-of-living adjustments frozen, these folks will not see their potential pension calculations increase. In other words, their "high three year salary" calculation will likely not change; therefore, there's no reason to keep working in order for one's pension benefit to increase 1 or 2 percent.

Posted by: HMUnger | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm a career federal worker and have watched my private sector neighbors suffer the worst of the recession. A federal pay freeze seems right and is hardly a price to pay at all.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough, I suppose. But if any comprehensive plan does not also include letting the Bush cuts expire, restructuring defense, SS and Medicare, then this is all politics. This is not compromise on Obama's part; it's caving in.

However, I must add that any decisions like this show a great lack of understanding of human resources, motivation, etc. This is true of both the public sector and private sector. Just because the private sector does not value its people does not make it right.

Posted by: callmecarmen | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Great, now we can give to to Goldman Sschs, Carlyle Group, Blackstone and the other robber barrons..

Posted by: nowhine | November 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I hope the yahoos are happy. The saving are spit in the ocean, but facts like that never get in the way of demagogues.

Posted by: st50taw | November 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

A) The job of President IS political..that means that he must explain his rationale to us and to the the other politicians.

B) Federal jobs are jobs he has a certain control over, he can't effect private sector wages. If federal workers worked for someone private, that CEO could freeze their wages including increases and bonuses but more likely would just downsize right away.

C) Cutting jobs means people are actually out of work. Freezing salary increase is at least preferable to that. I don't have a job at all.

D) Members of Congress are federal employees, and not getting Jan pay increases is a fairly substantial amount of money.

E) In Afghanistan, children are working for 8 cents a month rumaging through garbage dumps. Count your blessings.

Posted by: awaremind | November 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Pay freeze! How about reducing the size of government by firing about 15% of all government workers. Start in the Agriculture Department, move to the EPA, and then take a meat axe to the Education Department.

In fact, why not shut down the Education Department. Since the Fed's involvement in edukashun, nothing good has happened. The quality of K-12 education has plummeted largely because of govt support of teacher unions, and higher education costs have soared because of Federally subsidized student loans.

Posted by: hartwr1 | November 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

He should extend it to three years in order to claw back the increase federal workers got last year.

Posted by: Tess6 | November 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Hallelujah. It's about time the feds tightened their belts just like the rest of the country. EXCELLENT move!!!!

Posted by: tthh | November 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hitting the middle class again. How many hits can the middle class take? The answer is not pay freezes, forced holidays, etc. The answer is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

Posted by: merry-sunshine | November 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I have worked for the federal government for over 20 years. I am willing to absorb the pain, is Congress? How about the President? Is he willing to take a cut in his pay? Will congressmen and senators give up their perks, reduce their pay or put a freeze on their personal travel/expenses. How about congress paying for their own health insurance and has anyone examined their retirement benefits. That would be a start. It is unfortunate that the Republicans who have caused the deficit find a scape goat, the federal worker. Where were the republicans when Mr. Bush caused and increased the federal deficit. As a republican, I am ashamed of the Republican party and dismayed with the bullying tactics and intimidation of the tea party. Did they all of a sudden become deficit hawks. They controlled congress, they approved and passed all the deficit spending. Too bad Mr. Obama has caved into their pressure. It's too late for him, he will be another President like Mr. Carter. One term. Too bad he seemed to bring hope to the Country.

Posted by: pharoette1 | November 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The scheduled Fed increase for the upcoming fiscal year was 1.4%. it was a negligible increase for both sides, the employee and the Fed.

Quit your job and be disgruntled over 1% if you want. It's less than a $1000 for most folks and would translate to less than $20 a pay period for the vast majority.

Posted by: oknow1 | November 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, if he (and Congress) are going to freeze federal workers pay, then I think Congress should bite the bullit as well. And, I think that they should cut the pay ( benefits) of retired and defeated congressmen and women. They get their full salaries and medical benefits for life. That is a crime when they are the ones that are denying the same medical to the public. If they are serious about cutting the costs , then they should get serious, not just talk.

Posted by: bake2011 | November 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

This is all about image. The pay Federal workers get is the equivalent of a grain of sand on the beach. Not saying we deserve raises, but to think this will help reduce the deficit is just asinine...

Posted by: eldiablo | November 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

How about freezing tax cuts and handouts to corporations and the wealthy? Or freezing pork barrel politics and lobbyists? Or freezing insane military spending and contracts that get us those fabulous hundred dollar O-rings for our tax dollars?

http://adrianzupp.blogspot.com/

Posted by: AdrianZ9 | November 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

In Afghanistan, children take a one hour break from rummaging through the garbage for 8 cents a month to attend school IF they can find one in the rubble. They would give EVERYTHING to get an education, and they have. Count your blessings again.

Posted by: awaremind | November 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"and will not impact step increases or bonuses for federal workers, according to sources."......

The devil is always in the details and this exception is big enough to drive a semi through. Observing the state of the union, the idea of bonuses for Federal workers is ludicrous.

Posted by: slim21 | November 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If this is about "big Govt", who exactly does that entail? Those of us working our tails off for Uncle Sam for 30 years or the new people hired recently? Why punish everyone? We didn't start big govt. We've just been doing our jobs faithfully for decades. A lot of federal workers stick around for the benefits. We are not looking for the glory and the big bucks. Now that you've been laid off, now you want to punish us for having a job?

Let the pay freezes start at the top and work their way down. Everyone is jealous of the federal workers because we have some security. You had the same opportunity that I had to join the federal govt back in 1972. All I knew was how to type and take steno right out of high school. Why punish me because you didn't do the same thing?

Posted by: Jimmie54 | November 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Great. We're supposedly the only people with jobs and now we won't be spending either. That'll help the ecomony.

Posted by: Cindy88788 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM
___________

Uh, Cindy: it's a pay freeze, not a job loss. This sense of entitlement is exactly why a lot of people--and increasingly, me--dislike government workers. Sheesh. Deal with it.

Posted by: scourgeofsf | November 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Really? Truly? A "freeze"? Please tell our President (yeah, he's mine too) that you don't punch a huge hole in the bottom of the ship and then try plugging it up with tissue paper. We're in the middle of deep, dark body of unknown water....good luck and grab a plank of wood!

Posted by: sharinlite | November 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Typical and short sighted. Actually, thought this was already in his FY 2011 Budget, is the announcement for FY 2012? Administration continues to throw us under the bus just like they did to Shirley Sherrod.

Posted by: chica1 | November 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame it won't apply to Congress and their staffers. I'm working in the wrong department of the federal govt.

Posted by: tbuenger | November 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I would not mind the pay freeze for 2 years but I would like to see the private corporations to follow... I would like to see our health benifits freeze for the next 2 years also. But that is not happening. Ok Blue Cross, Aetna and the rest don't raise our health benefits cost for the next 2 years. Not likely. I see this whole debacle as an excuse and the real offenders of the recession are just getting richer. Gee Comcast, Verizon, Bank of America and the rest of the major banks how about freezing your monthly fees instead of feeing the comsumer to death? Death by large unregulately Corporations to Middle America and it's work force both private and federal... The American people have become scap goats for the rich and even richer corporations. Shame on the Republicans and Democratic leaders of Congress.

Posted by: RealDeal5 | November 29, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

This is a drop in the bucket and will do NOTHING to help the current economic situation but it will effect workforce moral which is already poor. This is a poor decision, it is purely a political move that works better as a PR stunt than actually having any real effect.

We shold probably go back to a massive blended federal workforce and pay three times as much for the same services. Bet contractors salaries are not going to be frozen.

Posted by: feartheiguana | November 29, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

You can prop the DJIA at 11k.
You can exchange paper from the EU and IMF.
You can make cosmetic changes in fed pay.

But, until you strip $1 Trillion from
this debt over the next three years...
it's all for show...can food, put up ammo.

Posted by: BluePelican | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@ stevevan1, I don't understnad your victory comment. Humor me; what other GREAT victories have the TEA PARTY accomplished?

Posted by: mermer1 | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The fact that under performing workers are rewarded the same as achievers in more proof that unions have outlived their usefulness. Just look at the teachers union, The worst are paid as much as the best and the bad teachers cannot be fired.
Unions for government employees should be outlawed...

Posted by: jburo | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This is such small potatoes. Too many jobs that used to be done by Federal Employees are being done by contractors who constantly pad new contracts so they can make more money and pay numerous bonuses to the people who do these jobs. At least with Federal Employees there was a way to control some of the costs because it was visible. Contractors are not saving the government money! Also, if Federal employees have their saleries frozen then there should be no Bonuses during the next two years and no member of Congress or the Senate should be receiving anything for free any longer and if they're serious about reducing the deficit then they should take a pay cut!

Posted by: lcord | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wah wah wah

Posted by: mitlen | November 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

That's nice little bitty start. Now, let's get to business and start cutting the funds for many of the government agencies. We've got a long way to go, so let's get cutting.

Posted by: richard36 | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If our pay is going to be frozen...has any consideration been given to freeze any health care costs or taxes on our steady pay? In effect, without freezing everything across the board, we are being dealt a pay cut, not a good thing in this area where the federal goverment is the employer of some 30% of the population...more if you count those on government subsidized programs. This will negatively impact the local economy. Has there been any thought to giving up those 33 new Czars, who only double duty others in the government and using those funds for the 1/4% original pay raise. (I know that this will not happen...but I just had to make the motion.) It is such a false picture that gets painted of the "average" federal worker being so grossly overpaid. If you were to spo check people on the street, who are federal workers, the "average" person does not make anywhere near the $120,000+ mentioned over and over again in the press. People in that bracket are at the top management levels and generally manage corporate size organizations or work on Capitol Hill. One more thing to digest...if the feds here are so over paid why are feds in New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia paid more than those in the Baltimore-Washington area? People are generally paid according to the local economy. Feds in Washington State, Alabama, South Carolina, etc are paid less than here. Freezing fed pay is NOT the answer...freeze the medical costs and the taxes, then you may be on the way to helping the local economy.

Posted by: escrivere | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

As a Federal employee let me be the first to say GOOD IT'S ABOUT TIME!!

Posted by: stuckintraffictoo | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

good

Posted by: drjcarlucci | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If there's going to be a freeze it shouldn't be limited to civilian workers - it should extend to the military, too. Military truly puts the BIG in Big Government -- especially on the spending end.

Yet another Obama cave-in that won't win him any support from the ideologues who will be against him no matter what he does, at the expense of people who do, or did, support him.

Posted by: VirginiaDad | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

My concept of working is that private sector workers produce the cheddar and should get rewarded for it. Public sector workers on the federal level are a bunch of lazy drones who couldn't hold a real job if your lives depended on it. Give me a break. You blowyobs are lucky we don't replace you with monkeys and lizards.

Posted by: agrossman1 | November 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I assume that it will not affect automatic grade increases along the career ladder either. Not as much as should be done to contain Federal payroll bloat, but a good start.

Posted by: magellan1 | November 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This action would make more sense if the freeze included congressional representatives and senators.

Posted by: barbarabaruch | November 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Freezing federal pay is only a panacea to meet public expectations. It looks good, but it will do very little to solve the deficit. However, it will do a lot to further fuel people's anger at "the government" because as pay & hiring are frozen, there will be less people being able to service the public, whether it be national parks or social security checks.
What needs to be done is to maintain the tax cuts for the middle class and repeal the tax cuts for the rich. in addition, all those CEOs whose companies got bailed out, should have their million dollar bonuses redirected to the US Treasury. These things will cut the deficit and benefit the middle class much more than a freeze on government pay raise (estimated at 1.4%) and government hiring (personnel strenghth is the same as during the Kennedy administration even though the requirements have quadrupled.)

Posted by: marie30 | November 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

At the end of your article, you say this pay Freeze will "mean a big economic hit' for the Washington area. This is a pay Freeze not a pay Cut or a Layoff. Those would have a big hit on the Washington economy. What the President is doing is the least impactful action he could take and still be seen as "Trying to do something". This is just another example of the Washington mentality that says the lack of an increase in spending is akin to a massive cut. Come to the real world and see how the rest of us are dealing with the economy. We count ourselves extremely lucky to maintain the pay we had last year and being paid the same as last year is not considered a Cut in pay.

Posted by: bruce38 | November 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee in the NY/NJ metro area. This administration kept the cost of living here artificially high by bailing out Wall street. Thanks for making it harder to live in this area. This president is surprisingly disappointing. He compromises his own ideals before he even presents them to the uncompromising opposition. Hey Washington, how about a little nation building in North America? even doing it in Mexico would benefit us! at least spring break would be safe.

Posted by: ThorstenNJ | November 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, I guess I'll have more time to start my small business. All of the time that I have given freely, without asking for compensation is now available. If the well runs dry on one side, its fair for it to run dry on the other side also.

Posted by: OverlyDedicatedFED | November 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Once again, President Obama is biting the hands of one of his biggest supporters. It's starting to appear quite obvious that he is going to be a "one-term president".

The 2012 presidential election cycle is less than two-years away and it is extremely doubtful that the Obama Administration is going to accomplish very much with the Republicans in control of the House, coupled with additional Senate seats that went to the Republicans a few weeks ago. Obama has lost supporters like myself because he has failed to end the two unnecessary wars that we have been fighting for almost a decade. In addition, Obama has: (1)lost many of the independent voters that supported him in 2008; (2) lost much of the gay community because he has failed to stop the "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy in the military; (3) lost much of his Democratic base because of the perception that he is frequently too willing to compromise with their core values; (4) lost much of the Hispanic vote because he has failed to deliver on immigration legislation; and (5) lost much of the support that he received from the younger generation who are somewhat disappointed by the small amount of change that they have seen thus far; and (6) even lost some support from the African-American community.

As noted above, President Obama has some very real challenges ahead if he expects to be re-elected in 2012. The Federal work force typically leans toward the Democrats, so he stands to lose a great deal of support by imposing a two-year wage freeze upon them. No one enjoys being the first to set an example in the hopes that others will follow suit.

Posted by: kabusn6198 | November 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Mortified469, your heart's in the right place but to clarify your terminology: What Pres. Obama is doing is a one-year zero of the comparability increase that active-duty Feds get. The cost of living increase that retirees get is entirely different.

Posted by: shermaro1 | November 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

drop in the bucket. entitlement programs are the real burden on the deficit.

Posted by: DoubledownDC | November 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

When President Obama notes, "Lower-skilled workers are slightly overpaid relative to the private sector... " "And that's not surprising," he added, "because it's a unionized workforce" in government, while the private sector typically is not."

Is the message intended to be an endorsement of Unions?

Posted by: NYC_TaxiDriver | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Mortified469, your heart's in the right place but to clarify your terminology: What Pres. Obama is doing is a one-year zero of the comparability increase that active-duty Feds get. The cost of living increase that retirees get is entirely different.

Posted by: shermaro1 | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I am a retired federal employee. While working for the fed'l gov't, I saw many under-educated, under-qualified, under-performing, overpaid workers. The problem is that managers will not take steps to remove these employees. They just get passed along to someone else, and keep getting rewarded with step increases, etc. Obama needs to take a hard look at how many people it takes to do these jobs. When I worked for a particular agency, we merged with another about 60 miles away. We had duplicate personnel offices, duplicate legal offices, duplicate procurement offices. No one lost their jobs in this merger when there should have been a reduction in force! We had high school grads making over $100,000 a year--come on!

Posted by: 78vette | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Note to any fed unhappy with this:
Count your blessings and do your job.
State employees in VA and MD did not have pay increases for four years and counting, not to mention the paycuts in the private sector.

Posted by: cpwdc | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

My husband is retired DOD employee and his retirement has been frozen, his social security has been frozen, I am still employed in the private sector and I have had zilch for pay increases for the last two years. Time for everyone to tighten up their belts. Its not fun but it can be done. Hopefully when he says he has already frozen the salaries of top White House officials and top political appointees this will mean congress also. Then the country will know he means business.

Posted by: confusedwithgovernment | November 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I spent 21 years in the military protecting this country and its people and they have repaid me by trying to take my healthcare away and stopping the cost of living allowance on my retirement pay. I've continued my service to the country and its people as a federal employee working in homeland security and now they are freezing my pay. I don't know where they are getting their data, but I'm not getting overpaid as a civil service employee. My family lives paycheck to paycheck and I drive to work every day in a 7 year old truck when the private-sector contractors I work with drive their Mercedes.
All I can say is that Congress better not vote themselves a raise when the rest of the government is forced to cut back. I love my country and am proud to serve it, but my faith in those governing this country is faltering.

Posted by: brucethompson38 | November 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It wouldn't look good if Federal workers received a cost of living pay increase and Social Security recipients didn't so I agree with Obama's decision.

BTW, the CPI for last year was almost 0% so in theory there is no need for a cost of living pay increase.

Finally, did anyone watch "60 minutes" last night? The "super rich" (i.e. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Ted Turner) argue they should be taxed more, that "trickle down economics" has not worked, and that lowering taxes on the wealthy does not improve the economy.

Despite this Republicans insist on continuing the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250K. The Republicans were largely swept into power last Nov 2 with the help of working class whites who earn substantially less than $250K.

Go figure.

My theory is race and a depressed Democratic turn out had something to do with the electoral success of the Republicans last Nov.

Posted by: montana123 | November 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Fine, but only if it's accompanied by an identical freeze on raises, benefits AND the perks that elected official receive. Politicians should be required to live in the real world---just like those they claim to represent!

Posted by: cbyebyefraser | November 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm okay with the freeze. Will we still get COLA come January or is that out too?

Posted by: Loggie1 | November 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Sigh....

Posted by: Arggg | November 29, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

there are too many people "working" that are really being taken off the streets, and welfare, and basicly not doing the work that they are paid to do. clean out this garbage and save

Posted by: mario16 | November 29, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thank You Jesus for no worse.

Posted by: darlenemiller85 | November 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@lek91091 - I've been in both and I will tell you this, either way you have to put up with something that sucks. So don't be so condensending.

To the rest. I am a DoD Civilian. I will happily live with the freeze for a couple of years. It won't kill us.

To the part in the article, the "Union" only works for those jobs located in areas that allow for it. In Virginia, the Union doesn't do us any good. So please get some facts. Virginia is home to Fort Belvoir, USMC Base Quatico (including the FBI Acadamy), Arlington National Cementery, The Navy Annex, Fort Lee, Fort AP Hill, USN Dahlgren and countless other Federal Organizations. So no Union is coming to save these employees.

Posted by: nathenag | November 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

It's about time. As the private sector suffers, it will sooner or later refuse to pay for the bloated salaries and benefits of our redundant civil service sinecurees. Now how about forcing repatriation of all the ill-gotten gains of the financier class so that they can be confiscated and used to reduce national debt? Best way to avoid more "financial crisis" blackmail next time will be to nationalize
the banks. Wage and price controls on the pampered
health care industry is also long overdue.

Posted by: AlleninKerrville | November 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeeeaaah! It should have been a pay cut to tell the truth. I spent Thanksgiving next to a Federal employee who basically bragged that he didn't have to work all that hard. With this and the Wikileaks fiasco, we'll definitely have someone new in the White House in 2012!

Posted by: forgetthis | November 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

odufus is this going to inclued ALL federal employees? i think not. want to save $$$$$$? stop supporting useless foreign military/economic aid to the world and outsourcing our jobs

Posted by: pofinpa | November 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Note to any repubs unhappy with this:
Stop blaming Obama and suck it up.
Bush and consorts let the federal deficit balloon and this is the result.

Posted by: cpwdc | November 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, like all things, you get what you pay for. Forget the stupid headline-seeking stories about how overpaid feds are comparied to the average private sector worker. The feds don't have minimum wage jobs that only require minimum mental effort on the part of the worker. Feds include FBI agents, NIH scientists seeking cures for diseases, PhD program managers monitoring multi-million or even billion-dollar projects, and so on and so on and so on.

Most feds keep at it because they like what they are doing, and they are serving the public good. Most are proud to say, "I work for the government." Now the politicians are once again deriding the feds as fat and happy, or should I say "fat and worthless"? And this so happens to be the season of the Combined Federal Campaign, where federal workers are asked to dig deep and give more than last year to help the hundreds of charities needing their help. But yet all we hear in the news is "over paid, lazy feds -- cut their wages, cut their numbers". Sure, go ahead. And the tax payer will get what they ask for. The feds who have had enough bashing will leave, to be replaced by contractors. (Those contractors don't count when you count the federal work force. They are invisible, buried on the cost of contracts.) You think those companies that hire those contract workers are doing it for free? Nope, they need a profit, too, and pay benefits to those replacement workers, and it all gets paid -- quite handsomely -- by the tax payer. You get what you are asking for. Contractors working for the dollar, not federal workers working for their government and the American tax payer.

So go ahead, Obama, do as all presidents (and Congressmen) have liked to do: bash the feds, starve them to death, or at least make them bleed. You will get what you paid for: some may leave, others will just say, "Why put in those extra hours of unpaid overtime, or read my emails during dinner with my family -- it's not appreciated. When the clock rings at the end of the day, so will my work for the government who has shown how they really feel about my worth to them."

Posted by: dek10000 | November 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

If the issue here is really economic rationality as opposed to political posturing, fine. Now let's see a sensible tax code chips away at the obscene percentage of the nation's wealth controlled the richest 1% of the population (which I doubt includes many Federal workers).

Posted by: Cossackathon | November 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

So when will the State Of Washington start to look into all the double dippers that recently retired from WSU ????

Posted by: richard36 | November 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm a "high skilled" federal employee. If sacrificing my minimal pay increase will help, then I am willing and will still give 100% effort in my job as I always have. But I want to see real results; it had better rein in government spending in a tangible way and not merely be "window dressing" to appease hysterical no-nothing zealots. I'm not confident in that; I think it will barely make a dent. Where are the real cutbacks? Take an ax to Defense spending if you want some real results. Otherwise, this is all talk.

Posted by: shelley514 | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

dek10000,

Couldn't have said it better myself. My family will also enjoy me being "home" on my off time, rather than thanklessly working.

Posted by: OverlyDedicatedFED | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"david_5570: Why can't he be a man and just annouonce an executive decision to freeze pay instead of trying to make politics out of it. What a disgrace for a chief executive."

That's exactly what he's doing. Lord, I hope you aren't a Federal employee. You obviously are of low intellect and can't spell.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Does this include all senators and congressional representatives? 'Cause that's where an inordinately HUGE percentage of money goes. I have yet to figure out what they do that warrants such a monstrous salary, but if it were decreased to a reasonable level that could go a long way to making politics more a public service than the lucrative position for the power hungry among us. Such a step could improve the atmosphere of politics dramatically ... now THAT's a change I can believe in!!!

Posted by: MakBeth19 | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Of the 535 members of the House and Senate 261 are millionaires. 55 have more than $10 million in assets. Perhaps these folks might want to consider foregoing their salaries for a while, hmmm? Just a thought. I mean, do you think that a congresscritter worth $303 million (Darrel Issa) really needs that extra $200,000 a year?

Posted by: kguy1 | November 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

...and they also get to many holidays, personal days and vacations. am i jealous?? maybe, but they get paid way to much to work 3/4 of the year after all their time off!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | November 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The increase in feds making more than $100k (and more than $150k) is not due to GS employees suddenly receiving tons of promotions. It is due to all the new federal hires from the corporate and banking sectors seeking "soft landings." If there are any budget savings to be found, it should be through removing most of these new hires. In the Reagan days they would have brought these people in as high-paid consultants who would have been a waste of money but at least they would have left in short order. For some reason Bush and Obama wanted to make these type of hires a permanent fixtures of a two-class federal structure.

Freezing GS pay won't achieve any of the budgetary or performance-motivational goals cited in the article or in the linked stories. This shows the White House truly doesn't know what its own political appointees are doing, or else this is a purely mercenary move -- leaving the $160k salaries of all their friends untouched by freezing salaries of people they don't know and can't relate to.

Posted by: CesarSozei | November 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Way to go. Let's beat up the one bright spot on the job front. That will make everything better. As much as I'm glad we don't have Palin/McCain, Obama is a complete waste of time and nothing but a place marker until we can find someone with an actual brain to fill the presidency. That job has gone unfilled for at least 10 years going on 15.

Posted by: editorneal | November 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

A 1.4% "negligible" increase equaling 2 billion dollars? Tell all the hard working Americans who have been without jobs that your increase was negligible. And why are all of you feds reading the Post online while at work? I see my tax dollars are being put to good use.

Posted by: tthh | November 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

As a federal employee for over 30 years, i find it interesting to see the country's opinion on federal pay go full circle. When I started working for the federal government in 1980, Reagan was in office and life and the economy was good. I distinctly remember most of my friends in the private sector dissing federal jobs because they thought they were too good for pitiful federal pay. Fast forward 30 years later...now that our economy is in the tank, largely thanks to private industry, now federal salaries are the culprit for all that ails America and federal workers are to blame. Life sure is funny and it just demonstrates to me that those old poor paying, unprofessional federal jobs looks pretty good now. Heck I see former private sector loyalists backtracking and even falsifying their resumes in an effort to land a federal job. I suppose if the economy ever gets back on track...these same private industry advocates will go back to the private sector. We can only hope.

Posted by: ruthella10 | November 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I am happy to have a government job. Secondly, I doubt that not getting a raise for a couple of years will be a "crippling blow" to the DC area. People will still have jobs and that's what matters most. Not getting a raise for a couple of more years (my agency tied to Federal Goverment has been under a freeze for a while) won't hurt me. I realize that there are many who are far worse off.

And finally, I am not very happy with this tea-party rhetoric catching on, as in, the Government = Wasteful Spending.

Different levels of government do many good things for its people: trash pick-up, street paving, public transportation services, education (through high school), National Parks, health care for seniors, etc. I really truly wish that they would pick the reddest of states and cut all the taxes there, just to see how they will function.

While there are those who get too comfortable in their government positions and cannot be let go (no question about that), to me at least, a far greater problem is what caused this current crisis:

- WALL STREET

There should be people out there protesting in NYC every day to hold those folks responsible, and yet, they just get off the hook, and everyone forgets about them. They are back in their fancy suits, making up numbers in their fancy PowerPoint presentations with skyscrapers in the background, talking about derivatives and making it seem like everything is too complicated to explain, and, of course, back to ruining people's lives. That's where cutting of positions and entire fields needs to happen first and foremost. And we do have a reform, but the Republicans are trying to block it too. It needed to be even more regulatory.

Obama may lose his base enthusiasm with this move, as many of these folks voted for him, although he won't lose me. Unfortunately, he can't do much to lose me at this point, as his opponents have gotten to be way to extreme for a civilized society.

Posted by: sharedgum | November 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Shame on WaPo for implying this is a partisan issue. This is NOT a partisan issue. Our country is in dire financial straits, and that affects EVERYONE, regardless of their political leanings.

Let's keep the focus where it belongs: On figuring out how to heal our economy, rather than attacking each other.

FFS!

My heart goes out to those affected by this. It's horrible, no matter how you vote. :(

Posted by: bittercat | November 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Well my wife is a government lawyer who could be making twice as much in the private sector. Several headhunters have come to her. She works so many nights and weekends I barely see her anymore...

Posted by: da55
___________________________________________

Check her cell phone and credit card records. If she's a Fed, I doubt she's working. I can recommend a good attorney once you learn the truth.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

They need to cut out the millions dollars of bonus and time off awards. They also should cut out the GS-14 and GS-15 pay increases, the GS14 amd GS-15 are the one's receiveing the $6000.00 in bonus and then receives 80 hours of time off awards. I know this because I'm processing these actions at a GS-8 and I need my cost of living increase!!

Posted by: stargirl36 | November 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

So are they also going to put a freeze on our health care costs that continually go up every year? And what about those "high-skilled workers in government are slightly underpaid." Are you going to close the pay gap? Maybe you can offset the cost by reducing pay for the "lower-skilled" "unionized" employees. Oh, that's right, the Obama administration was funded by those same unions, so we know that won't happen. How can you acknowledge a pay gap and then perpetuate the problem? The government is not going to be able to keep good talent this way. Why don't we take a look at the social programs that don't work to save money instead of punishing the federal workforce over and over again? Why don't we just refuse to fund "Obamacare" and save billions of dollars a year? This is just another way for Congress to look productive while improving nothing!

Posted by: rmarmist | November 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

51 per cent of the people pay taxes to support the other 49 per cent. Throw out the tax code, and make everyone pay 10 or 15 per cent. Why doesn't Obama start by stopping his use of Air Force One like a taxi, only at 160,000 dollars an hour. Congress cutting their own pay, and 160 dollars a day in food expenses. Stop giving tax breaks to people who can afford the hybrid Chevy volt, and breaks for people who put in windows. contract with the drug companies to stop paying 100 dollars for a one ounce bottle eyedrops, or 1800 dollars for a one month supply of Zyprexa. Cut the abuse, dont make seniors pay with their lives with rationing. Dont pay for Medicaid for able bodied people with no kids who can work. The average American who has a household budget could run this country better than these idiots do...

Posted by: eaglesnest1 | November 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

This is no big deal. I'm a 20+ yr Fed employee. Inflation is extremely low, so giving up a modest increase is no problem when a lot of our fellow Americans are suffering. However, it will not result in much savings at all. People will still get their scheduled grade/step increases and even annual bonuses. They should probably suspend the bonuses too to give it any impact.

Posted by: JamesEReed | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Grow up and take a hit like everyone else. If you work for the Feds, don't complain about big government. Your sense of entitlement is staggering.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

of course the union's won't be affected...they all ready got their 'Kings Ransom' contract. The SEIU union paid government 'Pooper Scooper' will still get his raise on top of his $23.00 an hour.

Posted by: JWx2 | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

so I work my butt off for the last year managing an the development of an operational system for the military, because my management told me the way to get a raise was to take a leadership role, only to now find out that all that sacrifice and work has been negated by a shift in the political winds? Then I find out today one of me colleagues is going to a private sector job and getting a 50% raise out of it. But please, remind me again how coddled and overcompensated I am.

Posted by: tabbyj | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

This SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE 3 YEARS AGO... when the recession started, and maybe states would not be in as much trouble!
If Every single government employee, including congress, etc. took a 20% salary cut like most of private industry was forced to (paid for 4 days instead of 5).
I suggest that if the federal and state government cannot balance their budget every month, that federal and state employees take pay cuts if necessary. This
should be standard operating procedure going forward.

Posted by: ohioan | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me how all the working people are getting pay cuts yet everyone on welfare & unemployment continue to recieve the same benefits as always. Once again middle-class America will take the hit for everyone! I agree with a lot of the other comments--where is Obama & the Senate/Congressional pay cuts? The poor will continue to be taken care of, the rich will get richer and the middle class will pay for it all. You're welcome!

Posted by: staci216 | November 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am a fed civ worker and while I'll take the hit and keep performing as I should,I think this is the wrong way to cut back gov spending.I see money spent through my org that just blows my mind.brand new furniture bought,then replaced in less than 6 months.There is a lot of un-needed spending.Reform is needed,I agree,but there are other areas that need looked at.Welfare?? How about the tons of Americans that are leeching from this system.I also agree with all the users talking about the higher ups in the Senate and such that hae all their benefits paid for and make much more than they should.It really blows me away the pensions that these people get and for what?I wish our government was really for the people of United States, but they, just like other corporate business, are all about the money.It's sad really.

But,on the lighter side,I am very thankful to have a job and am paid fairly well, so i can't complain.The biggest thing that urks me though is the whole GS pay system.We need to get away from pay increases for length of service and start using performance based system (like NSPS that Obama reversed).

We can do things better than we are, to help ALL americans.

Posted by: drummachine24 | November 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Needs to go the extra mile by not only freezing the wage of Congress, but also a stop on perks. Let them pay like everyone else. Stop their special health care and go on Obamacare.

Posted by: eta3days | November 29, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bet there's no freeze on gummint contractors' salaries.

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 29, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

If the aim of freezing the pay of public servants is to limit the growth in deficits then excluding the military (20% of the federal budget) goes along way toward limiting the efficacy of this policy and contributing to deficits in the future.

Posted by: Christopherwilken | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Meanwhile many of us have faced no pay raises the last two years....oh that's right I'm in the private sector! This remarks wreaks of entitlement. Everyone is tightening their belts, and you should not be exempt. By the way, if I allowed my dismay over not receiving an increase to affect my work, I would soon be out of work. It is people with the attitude you express that gives public workers a bad name.

Posted by: chipgiii | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM |

-------------------------------

If that's your attitude, then I hope your supervisor fires you. I've been a federal employee for almost 15 years, and hostile, sullen employees like you make the job harder for those of us who really care about performing well. You're a disgrace to other government employees.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM

-------------------------------------------
I concur with WashingtonDame! As a hard working federal employee, I have sacrified many hours of my own time just to get the job done and never "expected" compensation for the nights/weekends I've given up! She is correct in that you give those of us dedicated hard-working federal professionals a bad name!!!

Posted by: PoloGuy1031 | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

While comparing salaries in the private sector to the public sector is nice and all, it doesn't take into account the non-pay benefits of the public sector.

I for one would gladly take a 10% pay cut in exchange for the type of job security that federal workers have.

Posted by: wolfcastle | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama announces 2-year pay freeze for federal workers
By Ed O'Keefe and Joe Davidson

........... So it took the AMERICAN people electing Republicans to office on November 2nd for Obama and his clueless Part to get the message.......

Yeah.....It's alot easier to start new programs and new goodies than it is to live within your means.....

Now the GOP will have to do the dirty work the Democrats are NEVER up to.......sad.

Posted by: allenridge | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Our "liberal socialist, maoist, commie" president once again caves to the cons.

Sure, Mr. Obama, take it out on workers as you and your Fed keep shoveling 100s of billions to bankers. Nice job.

Posted by: toosinbeymen | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3 wrote:

Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse
===========================================

That's a GREAT Idea ! After about a week of them being out on strike the public would see that in reality they do ALMOST NOTHING AT ALL !!!!

FREEZE the pay NOW FIRE about half of them, starting with the Education Department, IRS and EPA !!!!

Ditto for State and Montgomery county workers !!!!

Posted by: killerm1 | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Can we assume the pay freeze applies to all members of Congress? We all need to bite the bullet. As a side note, many Federal workers are covered by a "Pay For Performance" merit program. Members of Congress are also Federal workers but they can be in office 2 or 6 years at least before the voters can take action regarding their non-performance and extended time "out of the office". Their pay is never held back for lack of performance and for not getting the job done for which they are responsible.

Posted by: chessiecat1 | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The federal civilian employees will still get their "step increases and bonuses". That's the same perks the bankers and Wall St got on the bailout bucks. Thank heavens, there is a Santa. The President is listening to us folks.

Posted by: pepineagles | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I left the private sector because I was asked to do unethical things and occasionally pressured to do illegal things. I've never had that problem in Federal service. You can slam the Federal worker all you want but most are hard working, ethical people genuinely trying to provide a service to the public. I accept the pay freeze as continued service to the country but I'd like some damn respect.

Posted by: impressed1 | November 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A compromise between Government Unions/Employees/corporate interest groups and taxpayers needs to occur. Taxpayers should not pay higher rates until government workers and contractors accept lower salaries and benefits. The current approach is to have government receive more benefits and keep increasing taxpayer liabilities and taxes. A compromise must occur between government wages and benefits and taxpayers tax rates rates. Government employees and government corporate interest groups have asked to much from the people.

Posted by: cosciousness | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

What about Congress and the Executive branches of the Government. Too bad they don't feel the pain like the rest of us. Congress should cut it's pay in half. They have not really don't much in the past 10 years to earn their pay and benefits.

Posted by: mdlaf | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I am, by no means, fond of the Republican party but the recommendation of the pay freeze for all federal government workers as a means of improving the budget is, in itself, would be a tremendous start. I am a civilian federal employee and I applaud the President for his decision to take a stand on this recommendation. I'm not rich and at time,I struggle just like the rest of this great country, but I'm willing to do my part. I pray that each and every federal worker will look at this decision as a positive and hopefully profitable improvement for rebuilding our nation's economic.

Posted by: ggjackson722 | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm ok with the freeze, and certainly preferably to RIF's ( I do not subscribe to the hate-filled notion that Federal employees as a class are slackers, though it makes a wonderful target for the ignoramuses who don't know what they are talking about). I worked for the Feds for 5 years, and my daughter works for the Feds now, and is a credit to the agency).

Having said this, the alleged savings of a freeze may prove illusory. What I really don't understand, and given the Republicans seem to coopt the moral high ground in these matters for no foreseeable reason than sheer nastiness, is how the same politicos who rant about Federal salaries, 'waste' etc., can be so hypocritical as to refuse to entertain increasing marginal tax rates on the rich? Any serious analysis, including the history of tax rates, indicates the rich are basically robbing the treasury at the expense, of course, of the rest of us.

We are controlled by hypocrites all around.

Posted by: dons2 | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't like the idea, but agree with our President. If we are looking for change, comprise, and doing our part. We all have to sacrafice somewhere and at some point. There is no quick solution or answers to all this madness. I WILL SAY IF WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS, THEN START AT THE TOP AND WORK DOWN. With Republicans and all the Big Wheels on the hill that give themselves raises just because or if they get a new idea they want a 50% raise. Start there. We all have to do our part. AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS, GET A HOLD OF BOTH BUSHES AND FIND OUT WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS FROM THE OIL, WAR, AND OVERSEAS JOB .

Posted by: cynthiafox | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Why can't he be a man and just annouonce an executive decision to freeze pay instead of trying to make politics out of it. What a disgrace for a chief executive.

Posted by: david_5570
__________________________________________|

That's exactly what Obama is doing, and of course he has to announce it. It affects employees nation-wide. I hope you aren't a Federal employee as your comment reveals a lack of intelligence and spelling ability.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

In my field, Federal workers earn the same or higher cash compensation as those of us in the private sector, for far fewer hours and with far greater security - and that's before even counting the considerable benefits, including pension, they receive.

I would so take a Federal job even with a 10 year salary freeze. It's that great a deal.

Posted by: Itzajob | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee and I'm willing to do my part and I'm fine with the freeze. But do I want less government, my answer is no. I want regulation to ensure my food is safe, my money is safe! Deregulation got us into this mess and it's what corporate america wants and corporate america owns our government!

Posted by: noneckmd | November 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

To really get with the Republican program, Obama should call for, and secure the agreement of Republican Congressional leaders for an immediate 50% pay cut for all Republican members of Congress, and relieve the Federal Government (and thus us taxpayers) of the burden of paying for their health care insurance. Republicans are the ones claiming to be so close to the people, so why not let them walk the walk along with the rest of us?

Posted by: Dallas138 | November 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

About time

Posted by: blonde19 | November 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

This is mostly for show. Actual deficit reduction will be under 1%. You have to go after the contractors and military personnel. Military personnel, to include pensions, VA, disability and TriCare for life are running in excess of $300 billion a year. Contractors are in the hundreds of billions. Therefore, this is really meaningless.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

This is mostly for show. Actual deficit reduction will be under 1%. You have to go after the contractors and military personnel. Military personnel, to include pensions, VA, disability and TriCare for life are running in excess of $300 billion a year. Contractors are in the hundreds of billions. Therefore, this is really meaningless.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This is pathetic political groveling by Obama who seems to be scared of his shadow. The amount of money invovled is trivial. A member of Congress passes gas and it costs more than all the money saved from freezing salaries.

Posted by: buffysummers | November 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hate to bother some of you with facts, but members of Congress participate in the same health programs as all federal employees. All of them pay 28% of the insurance premium. Members and Senators can also choose to pay additional fees for services at the Capitol.

Posted by: rhastings1 | November 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind the freeze but can't you be considerate of those who can hardly afford to live as it stands now, let alone next year! I make less than 50,000 and have to support myself, my husband and our son. When I only make 1220 a paycheck and have to pay rent of 1500 because I live in the DC area, don't you think there are several other people in this situation! We need that increase to help get the bills paid so that we don't put this country into a worse situation by not being able to pay our bills or loose our home and become homeless. In this situation there is now way I can pay our debts from school loans and so forth. Please please please consider helping those who make less than $50,000!!!

Posted by: l_gilsdorf | November 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

About time the Federal Employees get a reality check.I think the President should lay of @ least 20-30% of do nothing Federal employees.

Posted by: Duffey | November 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If soaking the rich makes good economic sense when it comes to taxes, why not apply the same logic to freezing federal pay? Instead of freezing all federal pay, why not CUT the salaries of the 'richest' federal employees: SES and political appointees?

Posted by: kbash33 | November 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Our "liberal socialist, maoist, commie" president once again caves to the cons. /snark

Sure, Mr. Obama, take it out on workers as you and your Fed keep shoveling 100s of billions to bankers. Nice job.

Posted by: toosinbeymen | November 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

No matter what defecit we are operating at or the fact that we are in a recession this is a bunch of B.S. It is nothing more than cowering to a conservative minority. Federal workers never benefitted from the boom times in the 80s and 90s. We did not get stock options, big bonuses and extra perks at work like most of the EQUIVALENT workforce in the DC area did during that time. So unless you are willing to say that we will be the ebneficiaries of the good things when times are great, don't expect me to take a hit and lose my meager 1.4% raise when times are lean. You can't have it both ways and hope to keep qualified employees in government.

Posted by: happydad3 | November 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Amazing to see how many "hard-working" bureaucrats have time to whine on the internet at 10 o'clock in the morning.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Our "liberal socialist, maoist, commie" president once again caves to the cons.

Sure, Mr. Obama, take it out on workers as you and your Fed keep shoveling 100s of billions to bankers. Nice job.

Posted by: toosinbeymen | November 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

'Fair warning: There had better not be a pay increase for anyone allegedly serving the will of the people of this country - having been elected to do so as either a congress person or representative. The backlash to such a salary increase for the so-called "anointed" will be monumental, guaranteed.'

I think the person who made the above comment doesn't know that a Representative is a "congress person" just as a Senator is as well. Together they make up the Congress. It always makes me laugh to call a Representative exactly what the are, a Representative. They prefer to be called Congressman because they think it elevates their status and now they feel almost as important as a Senator. LMAO

Posted by: ioweioweoff2workigo | November 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, you just can't please the Repubs here...they complained that Fed employees shouldn't get raises, so Obama caves to their incessant whining, and initiates a pay freeze for two years, but they STILL biatch about his action even while getting their wish!! They gripe if they don't get things their way, and they gripe when they do. They should be renamed the Gripeublican party.

Posted by: OMG1 | November 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

RIFs would be better, save money on benefits, etc. Raise the frustration level so they start going postal, which means more money saved.
Better yet. Pay freeze and RIFs. Stick it to them. It makes good press. Everybody hates the federal government.
Then the military can fire people because they lost their security clearance because of foreclosure, etc. It's national security! Make stuff up.

Posted by: glenmayne | November 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Lots of government employees posting. The usual for any group affected .... "something has to be done but please do it to the other guy".

Posted by: dfox71 | November 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Why can't he be a man and just annouonce an executive decision to freeze pay instead of trying to make politics out of it. What a disgrace for a chief executive.

Posted by: david_5570 | November 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

----------------------------------

I couldnt agree more. Again, the unions helped him get elected and turned his back on them as well.

Posted by: Sincear2021 | November 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Pay freeze is bound to have an effect on morale. Have pay freezes and cuts made morale better in the private sector?

Posted by: ronjaboy | November 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Now will the GOP freeze congressional salaries for themselves and their staffs? How about laying off some of their staff the average American won't notice the missing committee staff members and who knows maybe we will get less stupid laws passed.

Posted by: tginmn | November 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

In a globalized economy, US compensation levels are way out of line with the rest of the world. It is doubtful in your lifetime you will see Chinese workers driving Escalades or living in McMansions. The forced downsizing of America is now only beginning to spread to the Federal workforce. Prepare yourself accordingly.

Posted by: slim21 | November 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Just talk. When it's all over and done with, they'll give everyone a raise and hire more people.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Does this include pay freeze for Congress??

Posted by: dc4life | November 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"The freeze will not impact step increases or bonuses for federal workers, according to the White House."

So how exactly is pay being frozen?

Posted by: ams1986 | November 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

So will Obama lead by example and pledge to not have an increase in his pay for the next two years..from all income sources... so he can suffer and identify with his employees. I ahve my doubts but if he did I may start to believe in his promises to be like and work with the little guy again.

Posted by: Jrebekah | November 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I am an 18 year federal employee. I think its about time that we share in the efforts to reduce the deficit. I also applaud the President for taking an unpopular but necessary step. I just hope that there may be exceptions made for those who are lower on the GS scale (GS-5 and below).

Posted by: sooeygeneris | November 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

To save real money, we should not be afraid to look at the military. Stop the needless and unwinnable wars, and take a hard look at military bases - golf courses? tennis courts? officers clubs? hundreds (hundreds!) of military bands? The military spends more on needless things than the rest of the government combined.

Posted by: rwj1 | November 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

How about a pay cut for Obama, Biden and the cabinet cronies, plus a pay cut for Congress and all bueacrats.

Posted by: mac_rob | November 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mr. President,

Why don't you just cut the DOD by 50% and be done with it? That would balance the budget tomorrow. Bring home all the soldiers. We have no business outside our borders except in UN actions. We don't have to continue to police the world.

Posted by: Mykelb | November 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I took a 50 percent pay CUT when I joined the federal government. Obama has just given me another reason not to vote for him in 2012 (as I did in 2008).

You claim you won't raise taxes on the middle class, but you have. Freezing federal salaries for two years just adds insult to injury. And, of course, military salaries are not affected!

We pay more for the salaries of military bands and desk jockies than we do for the entire diplomatic corps of the State Department. Yet military salaries are left untouched? Wasn't it a member of the military who just leaked 250,000 documents (many of them classified) because the military doesn't know how to supervise its own people? God forbid we shouldn't freeze THEIR salaries. We just keep pouring billions into the Defense Department.

Posted by: pjm1 | November 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

How about a pay cut for Obama, Biden and the cabinet cronies, plus a pay cut for Congress and all bueacrats.

Posted by: mac_rob | November 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

So will Obama lead by example and pledge to not have an increase in his pay for the next two years..from all income sources... so he can suffer and identify with his employees. I have my doubts but if he did I may start to believe in his promises to be like and work with the little guy again.

Posted by: Jrebekah | November 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Tancred, you should visit the U.S. Treasury Tax Analysis department and see who pays taxes. How about the top 50% pay 96% of all income taxes. The bottom 4% (50%) contribution dropped to 3.6% under Bush tax cut.... a 27% drop. The top 96% contribution only dropped 13%. You are simply uninformed about who pays taxes and the Bush tax cuts. Same old liberal mantra.

Posted by: Jackets | November 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Pay Freeze? How about the politicians getting a pay cut? How about they start paying for their own insurance like the rest of us and use their own vehicles to go to work like the rest of us?
Pay Freeze does harly nothing it is a crumb of bread at least offer up a slice or part of a loaf.
Because the Congress and the Executive branches of the Government are in the positions they are in, they won't be affected by this move. Too bad they don't feel the pain like the rest of us.
Not even impressed with this move!!!!

Posted by: debraroberts | November 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

DonDon007- You stated in your comment "Throughout history federal workers are known to be the laziest workers in the contry but are paid well for doing nothing and spending a lot".

I would like to know what history book you were reading because you are incorrect. I was enlisted in the military for over 12 years and worked private sector for 10 years and because I made the choice to work for the federal government when people like you were too lazy or not up to the qualifications required to obtain a fedral job that makes me lazy? Your facts are a bit off so please make sure its fact and not what your mommy and daddy cried over years ago. Oh and contry isn't a word.

Posted by: saw_main | November 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for freezing my pay while taxes, food and clothing, utility and gas, movie and cable, phone and internet, education and health insurance costs continue to rise unabated. My staff perform outstanding work for the taxpayers which I know goes against the script that is being played out in the media but it's true. We get mowed down in the cross-hairs, nothing new here. I feel sorry for the younger members of my staff who are barely getting by here in the DC area as is.

Posted by: mrterp | November 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

If our pay is going to be frozen, then they should also freeze any increases in our health benefits premiums and hold those to 2010 levels.

Posted by: MPersow | November 29, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous, I've been working for the Federal Government for 5 years have a bachelor degree, going to grad school part-time and work my butt off (put in over 50 hours a week and get paid for 40). Yes there are definitely older employees(that should retire) that don't do anything and are way overpaid. I can tell you I am in the underpaid category along with most college grad recruits. This will not sit well with them nor myself. Looks like it's time to move to the private sector if it means 15k+ more a year.

Posted by: GovMark | November 29, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"To save real money, we should not be afraid to look at the military"

Quick, trace that IP.

Posted by: dons2 | November 29, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's activate our Continuity of Operations Plans for four weeks and only perform our Mission Essential Functions. My guess is that most Americans will not notice the that the non-essential parts of the US Government are closed. How we trim the fat after that will be fun to watch.

Posted by: cdrdavy | November 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

So will Obama lead by example and pledge to not have an increase in his pay for the next two years..from all income sources... so he can suffer and identify with his employees. I have my doubts but if he did I may start to believe in his promises to be like and work with the little guy again.

Posted by: Jrebekah | November 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for freezing my pay while taxes, food and clothing, utility and gas, movie and cable, phone and internet, education and health insurance costs continue to rise unabated. My staff perform outstanding work for the taxpayers which I know goes against the script that is being played out in the media but it's true. We get mowed down in the cross-hairs, nothing new here. I feel sorry for the younger members of my staff who are barely getting by here in the DC area as is.

Posted by: mrterp | November 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

So will Obama lead by example and pledge to not have an increase in his pay for the next two years..from all income sources... so he can suffer and identify with his employees. I have my doubts but if he did I may start to believe in his promises to be like and work with the little guy again.

Posted by: Jrebekah | November 29, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Two brief points: (1) consider an exception for the janitors and couriers who probably can't afford a freeze; (2) what about retention bonuses? I hear of folks getting 15% retention bonuses, and many times it seems unjustified, in this economy with 10% unemployment.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 29, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think most people would be more impressed if the congress took a 10% pay cut. I think the muilt-millionaires in congress could survive a pay cut easier then the little people.

Posted by: donnie2545 | November 29, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

cdrdavy, you are absolutely right. If the bureaucrats were so important, they wouldn't have been able to close the government for a week straight last year with no effect. No effect. Everything was back to normal within days. They probably work a half hour a day on average and spend the rest of it whining here.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Now if they would just cut the pay for Congress persons the healing might start.
I fail to see how a pay freeze on Federal
employees can be devistating considering
they already make more than their civilian
counterparts or the military. The Fed has
grown so fast as to be the largest employers that does not generate anything
to the economy. The Tax Payers are the ones who are suffering and have suffered
since the Democrats took control in 2006.
Federal pay should be on a parity with
their civilian counterparts. Congress should not get a pay raise that is not
voted upon by the American Tax Payers. They have voted to give themselve an automatic pay raise regardless of how badly they act in office and have raped the
coutnry for years with "Special" benefits and priviliges.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | November 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's about time federal workers began feeling some of the pain that their counterparts in state and local government and private industry have been feeling for several years.

The federal government still needs to shrink its bloated workforce. The sooner that begins, the better. Short-term pain will eventually yield long-term gain as the federal budget is finally brought into balance and robust employment growth returns to the private sector.

Posted by: jjlc125 | November 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

We give boatloads of money away to countries that don't support us and/or pursue policies counter to the interests of the U.S. Yet, for the sake of appearances, POTUS decides to squeeze money out of middle-class American wage earners. Not defending 'em; just sayin'.
Local merchants can't be too happy about this.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout members of Congress? Are their salaries being freezed as Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado proposed? And, we're all facing increased premiums and cost-sharing for med. care in 2011...what is being expected of Congress. members? Everyone should be expected to make a sacrifice of one sort or the other.

Posted by: golfnut7 | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey mrterp. How much you pay for movie and cable? You can certainly cut that. It's all propaganda anyway.

Posted by: glenmayne | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Jackets, the top 1% of Americans owns 1/4th of the USA's wealth. They pay 15% or less on total income in taxes. The GOP plan is for them to pay even less.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout members of Congress? Are their salaries being freezed as Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado proposed? And, we're all facing increased premiums and cost-sharing for med. care in 2011...what is being expected of Congress. members? Everyone should be expected to make a sacrifice of one sort or the other.

Posted by: golfnut7 | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

We'll get around this through bonuses, just like the bankers and brokers did. Don't worry about your pay if you're a federal employee. You'll be taken care of.

Posted by: llrllr | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm astounded by the lack of knowledge on this forum regarding the separation of powers. No more comments re: congressional pay freezes, please!

Posted by: HMUnger | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with you magnifico1000. Obama needs to start including the military when he discusses deficit reduction. He needs to grow a spine and simply say that the sacrifice needs to be shared.

Posted by: Christopherwilken | November 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Penny wise and pound foolish. This clown WILL NOT be re-elected.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | November 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If you work in government IT, then you are paid much LESS than your counterpart in the private sector. If the Fed wants talented IT people, the pay needs to improve, or you'll see a continued exodus and more contractors.

Posted by: Handsome_John_Pruitt | November 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Let me just appropriate all of your arguments in order to perpetuate my own agenda" - Every comment.

Posted by: RandomAnon | November 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

- I think this poster had it right below:

I am a Fed Employee, I agree with the freeze and next I think we need to target uneeded travel by Congress. Especially the Christmas shopping trips that happen this time of year.

--
There should be Pay Freeze on Travel for all in Congress! Cut all perks for in Govement.... Yes and Obamba and friends NO more pay raises. Cut all White House expense. Hope the people will be heard this time for you know now what happens when you do not listen to the voters


Posted by: But-what-do-I-know | November 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with the freeze, per se, but I would like the money saved to be used to pay down the deficit, not to boost ratings of some congress person on projects that help only one state. Nor should it be used to bail out banks and companies who can't make it on their own but continue to offer huge bonuses and salaries to their Sr mgmt. Speaking of Sr Mgmt, perhaps bonuses for Federal Sr Mgmt should be frozen, as well. Will Congressional salaries be frozen during this time? I also wish the administration would ask the health insurance companies to freeze rate increases for the same period. It's sad that our salaries will be frozen but health insurance rates will go up and up and up during this time.

Posted by: pkp1 | November 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Is he really a closet republican? Why in heck would he wait until after the election to do this? Fear of offending gov workers? What does this buy him now?
Incredible.

Posted by: Saladin3 | November 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"I think most people would be more impressed if the congress took a 10% pay cut. I think the muilt-millionaires in congress could survive a pay cut easier then the little people.

Posted by: donnie2545 | November 29, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse"

-That works out to only about $30 million of savings a year. A drop in the bucket in the scheme of things. The pay of 550-some Congressmen/women and Senators is minute in the scope of the full government taking a freeze. And previous posters have commented, a pay-freeze is a pay cut given annual increases in standards of living.

Posted by: SW6Blues | November 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

My company's prospering and my colleagues and I are all great performers, but last year (and maybe this one), management rightly judged that we did not need pay increases. The logic: The cost of housing is falling, inflation is low, and where else are we gonna go to get a better deal? It's tough but fair. It's called economics.

You people are a bunch of sissies, I swear. The same attitude pervades all levels of society. You are what's wrong with America.

Posted by: Wallenstein | November 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I dont mind a pay freeze. I still think they should consider Early outs, 100k to 300k people would be off the books by the end of 2012, saving billions and billions.

Posted by: Sincear2021 | November 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Unions protect people's jobs, even lazy ones. It's time for union leaders to man up and tell the members they are expected to give a full days work. If not, the employer can fire them. Why should this have to be said. The tail cannot wag the dog. I game my employer 50-60 hours a week....and nobody asked me to. I did it because I wanted to and to do a really great job. Shame on you folks who take two hour lunch breaks and steal from your employer.

Posted by: Jackets | November 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Big deal. A 1% pay raise would likely have been all the Prez would have proposed anyway. Even at the highest pay level, the ones in the six figures, after taxes and deductions, that probably amounts to less than $25 additional a week. So you sullen feds and you wannabe fiscal conservatives chew on that a awhile. Dummies!

Posted by: dgal | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bonuses. That's a good way to stoke the coals.

Posted by: glenmayne | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

HMUnger...don't mean to mix "branches" oaf gov't. All I am saying is that Congress. members should be expected to make a sacrifice as well.

Posted by: golfnut7 | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It is time for Congress to make a sacrifice for the American people and take a reduction in pay and benefits.

Posted by: builder701 | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"I think most people would be more impressed if the congress took a 10% pay cut. I think the muilt-millionaires in congress could survive a pay cut easier then the little people.

Posted by: donnie2545 | November 29, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse"

-That works out to only about $30 million of savings a year. A drop in the bucket in the scheme of things. The pay of 550-some Congressmen/women and Senators is minute in the scope of the full government taking a freeze. And previous posters have commented, a pay-freeze is a pay cut given annual increases in standards of living.

Posted by: SW6Blues | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I hope people realize that the pay freeze will not affect members of Congress. Congress, though they are technically federal employees, do not consider themselves as such. Congress votes each year as to whether or not to give themselves a pay raise. I cannot remeber a time when Congress did not vote a big fat "yes" to that vote.

Posted by: cafm70 | November 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

A totally misguided decision based on misperceptions promulgated by the right-wing noise machine. I hope he got something back for kowtowing to the Republican meme machine. the federal workforce is smaller and less-well-paid than it was in the Kennedy administration.

Posted by: wd1214 | November 29, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Big deal. A 1% pay raise would likely have been all the Prez would have proposed anyway. Even at the highest pay level, the ones in the six figures, after taxes and deductions, that probably amounts to less than $25 additional a week. So you sullen feds and you wannabe fiscal conservatives chew on that a awhile. Dummies!

Posted by: dgal | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what fields some of you are in, but in IT and the legal fields, the federal government in no way, shape or form pays as much as the private sector.

It's not even close. my wife and I would make less than half what we make if we worked for the government...IF that.

Posted by: squatty2 | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So Obama has finally done something right. There should also be a freeze on hiring and downsizing of agencies whose functions have been reduced during the recession. As a former CSRS employee I am also in favor of a freeze on retirement pay. The private sector is hurting, and it is the right thing to do for Federal employees and retirees to share in that hurt.

Posted by: leberk | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Great. We're supposedly the only people with jobs and now we won't be spending either. That'll help the ecomony.
Posted by: Cindy88788 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse
Then I guess that you’re already not spending. This doesn’t cut your pay, it just doesn’t raise it!

Posted by: parent6 | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, regardless of what sector we work in the thrill of watching other citizens lose a portion of their salary, benefits, always amazes me. The rich are are siting back and smiling as the republicans protect them from any type of economic pain. Corporations are siting on a few billion dollars as the unemployment rate remains high. So what do we do, WE APPLAUD when our fellow citizens lose a portion of their income while the rich has their hands out to put this money in their pockets. Yeah, the republicans definitely are back in power

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | November 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The freeze will result in a net PAY DECREASE for federal workers.
Federal health care premiums will be increasing in 2011 by the usual 10% which the cost of living allowance usually just covered. Each year, insurance cuts coverage, resulting in an increase in out-of-pocket expense too.

So the nation's largest non-military workforce will be tightening its belt overall, can't imagine this will help the economy. Got to keep those tax benefits flowing to the millionaires though!

Posted by: LTrixie | November 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Wall Street employees get 6 figures bonus!!! 2% pay raise for federal employee..big deal!! Go reign in the financial sector bonus/retention policy...

Posted by: guess1000 | November 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If my measly pay increase is taken away, my performance will suffer! I HAVE NO FURTHER INCENTIVES TO DO "THE RIGHT THING" ANYMORE. Obama is an embarrasment to the federal workforce. He never had to skip a meal or sleep on the street corners to pay for a parent's nursing home!!!

Posted by: saudadesmith | November 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As a government employee, I honestly do not mind the freeze in the cost of living. But why now is this the prime focus of our government to cut spending? We spending a billion dollars a day on a war that really is going no where, but no one seems to want to cut that excess. I am not saying I am against the military or our troops, but that is a lot of money flying out the door. Combine that with Congressional ear marks and "favors" that is easily 10 billion a year we could save. But I guess it is easier to say government employees are overpaid. Funny though, I have dabbled in the private sector and I would get close to three times the amount at what I make now, yet I have held on to my government job. Some of us Feds really do work for their country and not let the country work for them.

Posted by: duckie86 | November 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As a fed, I'm happy to just have a job, so no pay raise for 2011 isn't a big deal. I'm no fan of Obama, but I do give him credit on this one, although I think he was bowing to a lot of pressure and would not have done this if the Dems had kept control of the House.

Posted by: RB1019 | November 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

hah no Federal worker should vote for Obama, now!

It's not like we get huge pay increases when the economy was great.

Posted by: khornbeak | November 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If the following is true and Obama is aware of it:
The administration had examined pay levels, "and the data we get back indicates that high-skilled workers in government are slightly underpaid. Lower-skilled workers are slightly overpaid relative to the private sector," Obama said.

why wouldn't you just adjust the pay of those low skilled workers to the market rate?
The current policy of 2 year freeze will only result in the high skilled workers who is able to and willing to find employment else where and those low skilled and unmotivated employees will remain. Anybody who works at the private sector knows that is what will happen.

This shows just how inexprienced (for the least) Obama and the people he hires are!!

And how does he think this will effect the economy? I would say "adversely". Again another wrong decision.
I guess we should all work for the bank or car manufacture so we can get bailed out and the tax money. Anybody else is on their own!!

I guess majority of the population is just not smart enough or does not have the education or knowledge to see how flawed his deicsions are. ECONOMICS 101, anybody??

Well, i forgot, only those who doesn't have edcuation or a job have a voice in this administration.

Those of us who works hard so we can pay our mortgage and health insurance don't get anything, oh, I forgot, we do, we get higher taxes!!

we should just bail out on our mortgage and start getting wellfare program.

Those of us who have to support our parents (who are having limited income and no interest in their saving) and save for our own retirment and pay for our kids college are just getting the rotten end of the deal.

WHERE IS HIS BRAIN?


MERRY XMAS!!

Posted by: lynyan1 | November 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

It's getting out of hand when enlisted soldiers, in high cost areas like DC, can make over $100K with allowances. It's getting out of hand when they can retire at half pay at age 40, for life. And, it's getting out of hand when they can further receive disability payments for life for things like sleep apnea and arthritis, because these conditions "occurred" on active duty. Pay just the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan the big money. Not the thousands sitting behind desks at the Pentagon, doing nothing but PT (sports, volleyball, etc.) all day!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I didn't say that President Obama should freeze Congressional pay. Is Congress going to set up to the plate? They enjoy the fruits of Federal employment, they should also suffer the pits. There isn't enough space to discuss what is wrong with congressional perks in this forum.

Posted by: pkp1 | November 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Surely the whining will be loud, but at the end of the day this will not encourage federal employees to quit, or stop others from applying. Somehow the workforce will get around this with step and/or grade increases.

This is just window-dressing anyway. Much more drastic changes are really needed. For some federal workers it would be far cheaper to pay them unemployment for 99 weeks than to have them show up to work for the same level of output. It would also help the environment.

As expected, the Post is working diligently to make sure the "Republicans" get the black eye from this, suggesting that Obama is reluctantly bowing to them.

Posted by: raym39 | November 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The freeze will result in a net PAY DECREASE for federal workers.
Federal health care premiums will be increasing in 2011 by the usual 10% which the cost of living allowance usually just covered. Each year, insurance cuts coverage, resulting in an increase in out-of-pocket expense too.

So the nation's largest non-military workforce will be tightening its belt overall, can't imagine this will help the economy. Got to keep those tax benefits flowing to the millionaires though!

Posted by: LTrixie | November 29, 2010 11:50 AM
_________________________________________

My health care is going to increase 17% in 2011. My pay increase is scheduled to be 3%. A 10% increase in health care would be cheaper for me with no pay raise!

Posted by: parent6 | November 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I can't feel any sorrier for federal employees than I do for Social Security recipients not getting a COLA. My paycheck, like that of many of my fellow employees in the private sector, has been inching down for several years. I'd be HAPPY to have a pay freeze at this point.

Posted by: lizgwiz | November 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

To everyone on here who lost their job and wants federal employees to pay - get off your lazy, fat rumps and get some work! It is not the government that owes you a job - you are full of hate because you don't even have enough skills to work at the 7-11, Right? Stop blaming others and be a real American-

Posted by: BigR1 | November 29, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The COLA this year wasn't going to cover the increased health premiums anyways.

Posted by: abcd4 | November 29, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Some of these comments posted sound like disgruntled people who didn't think twice about taking a private industry job to make more money while those of us who decided to work for the government have lagged behind in salary as long as I can remember. Not all government employees are lazy and most of us take our jobs seriously and work very hard. How is reducing the government workforce going to help the economy by putting more people out of work. That makes no sense at all.

Posted by: countisscl | November 29, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

There is so much information & hate in many of these comments. Fed Employees pay for their health insurance like any other private person who works for a corporation. The sad thing is that this may reduce the deficit but it will also further slow the recovery - because people will stop spending - this will affect many private businesses --

Posted by: pottsmlp | November 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Cutting government spending in the midst of the slow recovery from the recession is poor fiscal policy. Politically-driven decisions are usually poor policy. The danger of a double-dip recession becomes greater the more that the White House bows to right-wing political pressure.

Posted by: samkaplan@hotmail.com | November 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

My question is why don't we save the country far more money by freezing the salaries of our Congressional folks, for say, 2 years. After all they do not pay into Social Security and have literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax write offs...

Posted by: bed_21 | November 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

How about freezing federal contractors?

Posted by: yatest | November 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It quite remarkable to hear the whining of public employees amongst these posts. The rest of us tax payers have been ignored while the budget deficit has balloned and OUR jobs have been lost! As for you COLAs helping the economy, well so did the jobs of many colleagues and friends and they still lost them because government top to bottom has talked down the economy for 2 years while threatening industry after industry.... Wake up America, if you aren't employed by government then all you are is a blood donor!

Posted by: lovinliberty | November 29, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Didn't vote for him in the first time. Won't vote for him the second time either.

Posted by: dadcoachump | November 29, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

They should be rolled back...reverse any raises given while so many out of work. They want everyone to "share" the pain...let them too.

Posted by: njtou | November 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the OMB ever tell us what percentage of the work force receive step increases? Why doesn't the Post ask? It can't be that hard to figure out.

Posted by: shhhhh | November 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is a good first step. Now Obama how about an immediate end to all contractual employees and a 25% across the board cut in federal jobs? Every dept other than law enforcement to take the hit. It too is the right thing to do.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"This is Bull. It won't effect the deficit in any significant way. Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days"

Oh no...please don't strike and withhold all of those vital services the Fed provides.... If my weekly paper doesn't get pushed by some desk jockey the whole system will come crashing down...

Posted by: kbalderson | November 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Individuals making more than $200K should see their tax rates return to Clinton-era tax rates (when btw, the economy was BOOMING) and quick fyi - there are no federal employees earning more than $200K.

Posted by: dc1020008 | November 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

You all missed the important sentence! Federal workers won't hurt!

I use Obama's quote below with my capitals
and parentheses.

"The freeze will not impact step INCREASES
(That's a raise folks) or BONUSES(That's a RAISE in pay folks) for federal workers, according to the White House."

Why are we giving BONUSES to Federal workers?

Everyone is howling about Private employees getting bonuses! That's private money!

These "BONUSES" to FEDERAL employees are tax dollars out of your pocket and mine!
They already get paid more than the private sector...so why are we giving them BONUSES?

Posted by: marylou1 | November 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

some of the federal employees who commented are whining about their pay freeze. they are a bunch of cry babies. they should try collecting unemployment so they can see how tough it is for a family to survive.
. also it was the gop and the democrats who got us in this terrible mess so they too should take a pay cut. i took a cut in my social security with no more cola. if the government does'nt wake up i would not be surprise if the people of america start a revolution. middle class and poor are literally getting screwed while the bankers,wall street big wigs,and senators and congress keep getting richer. none of them are better then any of the common people. as a matter of fact the majority of them are pieces of crap with their backroom deals and lobbyists giving them lots of money. it's time for america to wake up and have a 10 million person march on washington d.c. and 3 million should be people in wheel chairs. let's see if that does,nt shake up the power brokers who rule us with thievery and back room deals. WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: teenytar | November 29, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

To federal workers (and my father was a federal employee): I'm sorry about the pay freeze, but keep it in perspective: My own private-sector company cut my income by about 15 percent last year, including a 10 percent pay cut. And a younger family member's company has a pay freeze in place. And then think of the millions of taxpayers without jobs.

Posted by: richbard | November 29, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Start here: Cut all congressional pay, pensions, and perks. Require our "public servants" to contribute to Social Security and Medicare. And reduce the elections cycle to three months and public financed only, max $300,000/candidate.

Then: Cut bureaucracies by the numbers of people who are idle most of the time. The ones reading pocketbooks. You know who you are.

Yes, I know. Dream on.

Posted by: bsimrell | November 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to hear what the federal unions have to say about this! If George W. Bush had proposed this you can bet there would be h3ll to pay. A pay freeze is only the beginning. As this tactic fails to dent the deficit, look for furloughs. If that fails (or maybe in addition to them) look to RIFs (reductions in force). Of course, the unionistas will be singing Obozo's praises all the while he's throwing them in the unemployment line. I am chuckling over this. Now, it's time to start cutting every single program the feds pay for. No more of this "I'm special" or "my program is just a small part of the problem" crap. Everybody has to share in this. Some will pay more than others, but everyone has to pay something.

Posted by: panamajack | November 29, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Penny wise & pound foolish. Just like many of our American Negro friends...

Posted by: TooManyPeople | November 29, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Couple of points: Congress has in fact voted to freeze their own pay for the last two years. Congress also voted down legislation to freeze Federal workers' pay earlier this year.

Feds need to take their lumps along with the rest of the country. Adept federal managers will find ways to compensate good employees regardless.

Posted by: Scratch3386 | November 29, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the coward Obama, check with George Soros before this measure ?

If Obama had any guts he would freeze government spending.

Posted by: Defund_NPR | November 29, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

A freeze coupled with an increase in my blue cross/blue shield insurance premiums (Yes, tea morons, FEDs pay for part of their own health insurance) is a pay cut for me. Thank you Mr. President, Merry Christmas to you too you spineless weakling. After serving my country in the Corps, I choose to serve again as a civilian employee and not as an overpaid contractor. Guess I was stupid for being patriotic.

Posted by: dcliving | November 29, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

My rent goes up every year. Without the pay increase, I will have to get rid of cable TV or something similar. I can do this, but won't cable companies and similar businesses suffer, and hurt the economy? At least a 2 percent raise keeps up with my rent.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 29, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Federal government employees have been over paid for many years. They never want to discuss their benefits because it reflects their TRUE PAY! For those who are condemning
Obama for not doing it earlier I would remind you the Bush never did it in his eight years in office although we were running historically high deficits every year after 'his' tax cuts. Maybe it was because VP Cheney was saying, "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Have you ever heard a more stupid comment in your life? I often wonder where all the 'fiscal conservatives' were during the 2001-2007 spending was done by the GOP and Bush? Deficits are sometimes necessary but were not during the good economic years that the GOP continued to spend as Sen. McCain said, "Like drunken sailors." Both parties are to blame for our fiscal crisis.

Posted by: jslivesay | November 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Well of course the leftist scum want to go after the pay and benefits of the armed services members. That goes without saying.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse


"I support the troops until it comes time to pay them."

- Typical leftist

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

About time. My pay has been frozen for 3 years. We have 4 positions empty and will remain unfilled indefinitely. State workers have been downsized, pay frozen and forced furlough days.

Posted by: Wrigleygirl | November 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Hooray! It's about time. My salary (and many people I know) was frozen two years ago. What took them so long? Bonuses should be frozen as well. The bonus mentality in this country (started by Wall Street of course....) has GOT to be decreased. Pay for a job. That's it. Bonuses should be very few and far between - especially in government jobs, banks, real estate, and investment companies. No one will stop working. Remember Gary Hart? It was predicted "no one will run for office". That didn't pan out and neither would anyone lose a good employee who is paid well but not getting bonuses. It is that simple. Stop all the hype!

Posted by: julieo | November 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

40% of our Government spending and 70% of the deficit is on the military.....it is by far the single biggest reason for our huge and increasing deficit.

And yet Obummer doesn't have the grapes to even talk about this key issue....the US can't afford to keep being the military for the World. We especially need to pull out of the middle east and Afghanistan.

We have a military of mercenaries. If they ever restored the draft (a real draft) where everyone served.....our hegemony and imperialist ways with our military would quickly end....and we'd get a balanced budget.

But today....very few Americans pay any consequence for our huge and wasteful military....whether it be serving on the front lines or in taxes (the funding is being deferred to the next generation thanks to the Bush tax cuts while we're at war).

Obummer is as much of a coward on this subject as Bush.

Posted by: go2goal | November 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Freeze is not enough. All fed employees making over $100k should have the amount above $100k reduced by 20%. Including Congress.

Posted by: LoudounClear | November 29, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I was wondering how he planned to pay for the soon-to-bankrupt the US Govt Healthcare Bill. I guess this is the first step. Of course he will continue to send billions of $ in foreign aide overseas. But that's ok, I'll just keep busting my hump in my DoD cubicle. My bachelors plus 2 masters degrees shouldnt be worth even a microscopic payraise I guess. Has someone asked him if HE took a pay cut himself??

Posted by: rwadams81 | November 29, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I have mixed feelings about this. Selfishly I think of the 7% increase health insurance that takes quite a chunk out of my check for my family, of which the government does not pay as much as the private sector does for their employees. I can't stand that people have the impression that gov't workers are lazy, overpaid, and work less. I would like the private sector employees to spend a week in the Social Security office and tell me that federal employees don't work hard. The public service agencies formerly under the Department of Health and Human services work the hardest. I, for one, as a government worker feel that ALL government employees get a pay freeze, including all executive branch, in fact, if they want to cut the deficit, why don't they go ahead and take a pay cut. Also, why the heck is the government paying thousands of dollars to "stimulate" the economy for homebuying?? We are no better off than we were before, only further in debt. Lastly,(unselfish note) having worked under the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, it aggravates me to no end that they increase Medicare costs but there is no benefit increase. There are people who unfortunately rely on their checks every month that can barely make the rent and lets go ahead and raise the health care costs and leave them struggling to get by with less, and we wonder why the country has problems. It trickles down to the state level and means more money spent by the state, and where does that money come from. So, on one hand I disagree with the pay freeze because as our pay stays the same, the cost of living increases which brings financial hardship to those who depend on that measely COLA every year. On the other hand, if you plan on freezing federal pay, then why not use a portion of the billions of dollars being saved to help out the people who really need the increase.
And we wonder why the country is in trouble...

Posted by: run4fun07 | November 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It is a hoot to see Obama already shifting right in response to the election debacle for the liberals. That was sure fast. It must really, really tick off the lefties. We all know that this is just the beginning. Obama's only goal is to get elected. Of course the left decries the Republicans for the same goal. Obama will now sell out the left, but he won't change any votes and he won't be able to convince anyone that he is doing anything but a Charlie Crist and simply will let the polls guide all his policy decisions. This is what happens when a president has no courage of his convictions and doesn't care about his party, only his massive ego. Priceless. He is a total phony and just another immoral politician, but many of us already knew that.

Posted by: beachbum09 | November 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Come on, anarcho-liberal-tarian, you really don't work that hard anyway. Do you? I work with people like you. Their favorite sayings are, "that's not my job", "that's above my pay grade" and "why didn't I get an outstanding?"

STRIKE?? Are you kidding me? Ask the air traffic controllers how their strike worked for them.

Posted by: pkp1 | November 29, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Even though I'm a federal worker, I realize the pay freeze is necessary. My only entertainment in all this will be to watch the national presidents of federal unions somehow spin this into a message of "we're doing our part and we're all in this together" simply because a democratic President ordered the freeze. If Bush or any republican had done this, you'd drown in the flood of negative comments from the unions.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | November 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is falling into the trap that all before him have done. Try to balance the budget on the backs of Federal employees because it looks good, not because it works. It has never worked, never will. It is a political ploy to hold the Federal employees up as a scape goat because they are a capture audience. Again, my question is: Who the hell is advising the President these days? They need to go as evidenced by the midterm elections results.

Posted by: pkbishop1 | November 29, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

He didn't have the backbone to freeze the management bonuses. Cut the GS-5s and make sure the managers keep their bonuses. That is certainly the same model the private sector uses.

Posted by: andynnj | November 29, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@AndyR3: Please do go on strike, maybe then you can be fired. The vast majority of the Federal employees are leeches anyways. It's not like you actually do anything. For the first time in Obama's presidency, I actually support this but would take it one step further. Trim the fat at all Federal agencies. Fire people.

Posted by: Jsuf | November 29, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I left the Federal Government for a 50 percent pay increase for the same job in private industry. With some exceptions, federal employees are under-paid especially when one considers the BS they must endure from politicians and the public. I'm losing faith in the President...this will just put less money into the economy and will further hinder economic recovery. He should not roll-over to the Beckerheads,Tea Baggers and other assorted wing nuts currently trying to return the country to 1950.

Posted by: changeisconstant | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

While they tout these alleged savings, they fail to realize that they are in fact removing billions of dollars from a fragile economy.

I am a longtime Democrat, but I strongly disapprove of this proposal. It is actually sad that we have reached this point...the government has finally decided to follow the lead of the private sector in purposely driving down wages of American workers. The rate at which we are outsourcing jobs, and freezing wages is unsustainable. This is not the answer...

Posted by: rwbaccus | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Obama. I'm not going to buy anything. I'm sure that will help the economy. You're an idiot.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. Now we need to reduce the federal government payroll. Too many doing too little in government.

Posted by: brandip_77 | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Congress will vote themselves a 5% pay increase.

Posted by: trambusto | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

There are 1.8 million civilian federal employees. This plan will save $5 billion over two years according to Reuters reporting. That equates to each employee earning an average salary of $2,777.77 per year. These are not your high paid, do-nothing employees. These are a collection of high-to-low paid middle-class people. Moreover, the White House says that this "two-year freeze" will save "$28 billion" over five years. Maybe I'm just a sensible person who lacks the delusional abilities of these mathematic wizards, but that comment displays only deceit.

And maybe I'm just a baffoon with no reasoning capabilities, but I see Ireland getting bailed out, Portugal and Spain on the near-term spectrum, France rioting over the raising of the Soc. Sec. age, and now the US taking austerity measures which equate to toothpicks in the broadest forest. Governments do not do these things when the recession you are recovering from ended in 2009.

We are in a Great Depression and it has only just begun...so by all means, continue flooding the massive chain stores to reap the great deals on overpriced, high-margin Chinese electronics and other assorted Chinese garbage which creates absolutely no new wealth within the United States, yet creates sales tax and profit for China and the same greedy rich in the USA that we all seem to despise so much.

But I guess the clerks at Walmart and Kohl's are doing pretty good compared to federal employees.

Posted by: TheFreeMan | November 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

is he going to freeze inflation too!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rwbaccus | November 29, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

As a Disabled Vet and a Fed Worker I make 41,000 a year I am an Administrative Assistant. As a GS7 My job in the privcate sector would be $60+. We do not get OT or "holiday Bonuses" If my performance eval is high enough you can gt a $350 or a $700 bonus (before taxes) ONCE a year. Im ok with the pay freeze because my husband has had his pay frozen for the last THREE years with Fairfax County in NoVA. But I take GREAT offence at the "over paid" and "lazy" comments. I have been cussed out, yelled at and berated while talking to members of the public who didnt get what they felt was "owed" to them by the government. I maintain my professionalism and do the best job I can. I pay taxes and I pay (alot) for healthcare, dental and vision. I did a simalar job in the private sector before they shipped the job overseas. I guess I just would like people to "Walk-a-mile" before making judgments.

Other than that I think all federal workers from the top down can share the burdon and give up the COLA with dignity. The whole country is suffering . . . but for the grase of GOD go I.

Posted by: Bravo411 | November 29, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"If my measly pay increase is taken away, my performance will suffer! I HAVE NO FURTHER INCENTIVES TO DO "THE RIGHT THING" ANYMORE. "

--------------------------------------

If you worked in the private sector, you would have the "incentive" of keeping your job But since you have a government job for life regardless of performance, I guess you don't have to worry about that.

Posted by: wpost16 | November 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

You can also say goodbye to filling any of the vacancies being created by the exodus of retirees, those who get promoted within government, transfer to other agencies, and leave for private sector.

A pay freeze is not an attractive recruiting tool.

Posted by: trambusto | November 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Good first step, now Obama needs to reduce the federal work force by 10% in all departments, and we will REALLY see savings, with little or not reduction in services or productivity......time to cut the dead weight.

Posted by: Realist201 | November 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope this applies to Congress as well. I understand they get a yearly pay raise by NOT voting on it. They also get mamy other perks that are expensive for tax payers. I think it is time to look closely at the way they are paid. It is also my understanding that Congress retires at 100% of their pay regardless of the time served. I think they should put in their 20 yrs also or no retirement pay. Most of them are wealthy before they are elected. To pay them for the rest of their lives for a couple of terms or less in office is such a waste of tax payers money. So much for public service, more like the tax paayers are serving them. A pay freeze for federal workers would not be such a hardship if the cost of living would remain stable. With every pay raise, the health insurance companies raise their prices. We can't win.

Posted by: johnmary | November 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Was Issa clamoring for a pay freeze when Bush was president?

Posted by: GeneWells | November 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Leftist weasels should not even mention civilian government workers in the same breath as the men & women serving in our military forces.

Armed forces members are sworn to fight and die for this country if called upon to do so. When is the last time you saw a GS6 civilian getting his arms or legs getting shot off in the line of duty? If you can even refer to what some of these unionized hacks do as "duty" which is a stretch.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

WOW!!! Typical Democratic move, just walk out on the American Public.

Posted by: saw_main | November 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My spouse works for a federal agency and does the work of some one at least two pay grades above him. Unfortunately, there's also two guys in his hall who make twice his salary and do no work. One of them doesn't know how to use Microsoft Office. So while the median salary might look great it would look a lot worse if OPM allowed agencies to fire incompetent employees.

Posted by: Elizabeth8 | November 29, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I am a "federal worker" by definition but my salary nor any other expense in my agency is paid for by tax payer dollars. I should not be affected since freezing my salary will not impact the federal deficit in any way. However, if my pay is frozen, I am told it is for "appearances." Ok - that's fine. I am ok with the freeze - I I do my job because I enjoy it and am rewarded by good customer service with an occasional pat on the back. If anyone - federal or otherwise needs more pay to do a good job - then to heck with you! I think federal workers get a bad reputation because those who criticize us put us in the same bucket as all civilian workers, including the service personnel in state and local governments who, lets be honest are not paid well but have to put up with a lot of stuff from the general public.

But if your are going to freeze my salary - while you're at it - freeze my property taxes, sales taxes, and all other taxes so I can live! It's not cheap to live in D.C.! Everyone, including state and local officials, should sacrifice!

Posted by: sagesmom1018 | November 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Cmon 2012.

Posted by: votingrevolution1 | November 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big government liberal and a federal employee... and I still agree with this decision.

Posted by: mjs0713 | November 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

this isn't the type of change i voted for in 2008...suddenly some of Bush's policies don't look all that bad.

Posted by: rwbaccus | November 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Leftist weasels should not even mention civilian government workers in the same breath as the men & women serving in our military forces.

Armed forces members are sworn to fight and die for this country if called upon to do so. When is the last time you saw a GS6 civilian getting his arms or legs getting shot off in the line of duty? If you can even refer to what some of these unionized hacks do as "duty" which is a stretch.

****

You really are stupid... I'm a veteran and a federal worker, just like %75 of the people on my floor. Shut up and go back to collecting you medicaid checks.

Posted by: dcliving | November 29, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I say this is a good thing as long as there is a cessation of increases or even corresponding decrease in the cost of utilities, food, rents, mortgages, medical care, etc. While many in the military face very dangerous situations, they should not be exempt from a pay freeze. They are well-paid and receive benefits that are the envy of the rest of the world's military establishments. I remember hearing that on average they make about $70,000 per person in pay and allowances. I served during the Vietnam era and believe me our total compensation was much less than half of that. While I respect what the military does and the sometimes harsh conditions under which they must serve, I still remember they are ALL VOLUNTEERS. There is no draft or other compulsory military service requirement imposed upon them as there was until the early 1970s. They, too, should be required to have a freeze on their already very generous pay and allowances. Moreover, when is greedy Wall Street going to do its share to help reduce the deficit?...NEVER! They used taxpayer money to aid in their recovery from the brink of total financial ruin, are the cause of most of the economic mess we're in today, and some companies are balking at repaying OUR money!

Posted by: Ranger01 | November 29, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I support this. And I'm also okay with the reduction in the transit subsidy. At a time when millions of Americans are losing their homes and jobs, I can handle not having a raise for a while.

I agree with the posters who have commented that Congress should also agree to a freeze on Members' salaries. But seeing as Congress exempts itself from all the Federal labor laws that it enacts, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Congressional perks and travel don't change one bit.

I have to note that $2 billion is "chicken feed" in terms of the size of the overall budget. I wonder if any of our esteemed Members of Congress will do anything to make a real dent in the budget (Afghanistan, Iraq, all our various security theater programs, means testing for entitlement programs)?

Posted by: NW_Washington | November 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

To: AndyR3, mortified469, et al.
Federal employees are prohibited by law from striking.

For those of you that believe unions are bad: Collective bargaining at all levels of government creates a fair and balanced work environment which in turn leads to a more fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers. If TSA was paid based on "performance" just how intrusive would the searches be then? If customs was paid based on seizures, how long would the lines at the border become? If the IRS was paid on commission, how overbearing would the collection practices become?

Think about it.

Posted by: Revenooer | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee and this decision is LONG OVERDUE. if we are truly public servants we need to sacrifice just like the rest of the citizenry.

Posted by: gadc | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I am completely flabergasted at some of the misconceptions people have on Federal workers. I think many confuse congress with federal employees. I am sorry that so many American people are suffering and having to go on uemployment, but it sounds somewhat like a "misery loves company" situation. I am losing my job on the 16th of December as our contract was lost. My husband is a federal employee. Grade 9 Step 3. He acquired the position after 8 years in the marine corps. We will not be able to make it on his salary alone. Even if I apply for unemployment, we will barely be able to make the mortgage on a MODEST townhome. I have 4 children. I am not asking for any pity, but for pete's sake, to hear some of you talk, we are all rolling in tons of money and living the high life. There are people on the lower rungs of the ladder in government, and this is who it will hurt the most. As far as bonuses as concerned, my spouse has NEVER received one. We were hoping that a yearly increase would help some, but that seems to be out of the question. I'll being see you all in the unemployment line and foreclosure list.

Posted by: dembraced | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Another sorry chapter in the book on using federal employees as scapegoats for stupid decisions on Capitol Hill and in the White House. (Where was mortage and financial regulation for the last three administrations?) This freeze is simply a tax on federal employment. We're singled out because we're an easy target. Our "friends" on the Hill don't have the guts to raise taxes for everyone which is what should occur along with programmatic spending cuts. This action just supports the public's impression that feds are lazy and over paid. We are routinely sold out by politicians who have done everything they could to reinforce that perception. Disgusting.

Posted by: DC112 | November 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 |

Andy--It's illegal for federal workers to strike. If any do so, they will be fired.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

With all the money Senators and Congressmen make on the side, I think their salaries should be cut by at least 10%. Also, if the private sector does a better job in providing health insurance, then let's cut the Federal health insurance program for Senators and Congressmen and make them buy plans in the market place.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | November 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

People are only going to miss out on the annual 2-4% increase, and then maybe locality pays won't increase. But, people can still get their promotions, they can still apply for jobs with higher pay and grades, and we still get our step increases. It won't have as much of an effect as people are letting on, but unfortunately, this ant will become a mole hill and hurt Obama. I mean if not getting that extra few hundred or thousand a year, which after taxes doesn't really amount to much, will save that much money, why not take the hit? It could be a lot worse, like the unpaid furloughs the states have had to do.

Posted by: ms_trish1979 | November 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Now let's get rid (RIF) of some government dead weight. How about a 10% reduction in employees across the board. Weed out the bottom 10% of under achievers. That would be a good 'start'!

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | November 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse


Kudos to the federal employees who see the fairness of their sacrifice.

The rest should be thankful for their continued unique job security and benefits.


Posted by: Gidgmom | November 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM
_________________________

If you're Federal employee it's already likely that you produce no work, abuse your leave, and are mainly parasitic.

Posted by: Smarg | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

How about Congress freezing their own pay as well, for at least two years!!!!!!!! Don't hold your breath on this one.

Posted by: Jimbo77 | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Federal Contractor and have been for many years. We the Contractors do all the work, the Federal Employees hardly do anything. The majority of them get to work late, go for 2-hour lunches, and then leave early. I said the majority, not all of them. There are some Feds who work hard, but the majority of the work is being done by the Contractors.

Posted by: CommonSense83 | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

My bro left the world of big three accounting firms as a upper level manager to go work as a fed as an auditor in an IG shop. He took a $30k cut in pay not counting his yearly bonus, unlimited sick leave, 8+hrs of annual leave a pay period and paid healthcare to be GS14.

Reason he took the job was to cut back on his travel from 20 days a month to 10 days a month and he doesn't have to spend his weekends at home doing proposals for new business.

Also remember in the white collar fed world the unions do very little they dont set pay, pay raises , work rules, bennies or anything.

Remember its that Special agent, air traffic controllers, program analyst, intell analyst and security specialist that help keep all you tea party whiners save and secure.

Try living in the DC area with your family on hat the average US worker makes. You cant if you want good schools for you kids and a safe neighborhood.

Problem is the contractors will get their raises because its in the contracts.

Man Obama just killed Christmas spending in DC.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight: as a fed I make about half of what my private sector colleagues make with the same advanced degree, the DC area gets more and more expensive and I won't be making a nickel more in the next two years. And most Americans still think us Feds are overpaid parasites. Way to boost morale, Barry.

Posted by: trezmartin | November 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

While I'd rather have my COLA in January, this wasn't totally unexpected.

Two things will happen:

(1) this isn't a freeze on bonuses, step increases, and promotions from one grade to the next. So expect to see a lot of step increases and promotions particularly at the GS-13 and above levels to retain highly skilled talent (doctors, scientists, economists, lawyers); and

(2) this WILL clear out people who are planning to retire in the next 3 (to 5?) years. Why stay on when you know that you are now frozen for two years??

(2)

Posted by: MJ1031 | November 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I am a Federal employee. I have a Security clearance. I live in the Washington DC area. Trust me I do not even make $70,000 a year. It is barely enough to stay in a small condo. We do not get raises. I have to wait 4 or 5 years between steps for the long-awaited raise and it is far less than the private sector. And every year that we get COLAs, our medical goes up almost the same amount. I am the average employee.

Posted by: juliepost2010 | November 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

there's about20% waste in fed gov, having said that, there are also some really good fed employees. Fire the useless 9-5 drones, give raises to the productive good workers. you'll still save more and also weed out the fat that drags gov down.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | November 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that something does need to be done, I must point out something everyone seems to be missing... NOT EVERY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE MAKES 100K++++... my husband works his butt off as a federal employee and makes way less than he would in the private sector ($2000 every paycheck - sounds great but not when you have student loans and rent that equal that!). We know because he has been offered other positions. Obama, do something, but don't punish the ones who can't afford to live as it is. Freeze the pay, but only if you freeze the cost of health insurance and rent in the DC metro area!

Posted by: gagirl1 | November 29, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee, hard working and dedicated, and I saw lots of co-workers who has this attitude

"My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance." They look at federal employment as entitlement and they think they deserve to be paid handsomely just for showing up and it is left for the rest of us to carry their load. Very unfair. Yet they are the first to demand bonus, award, step increase and they usually get it too.

Posted by: bigpeony1 | November 29, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Fed employee (on lunch break) and I am fine with the pay freeze. It is tough out there. I just hope the pay freeze isn't in vain. Obviously, it will take a lot more to trim the deficit ($5 billion is sadly not even a drop in the bucket). There needs to be a comprehensive plan (and not let's just cut everything by 10%) to get rid of the deficit. So hopefully, this will be the start of serious action.

Posted by: mikepcfl | November 29, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Republican Plan:

Transfer most gov jobs to China or India. Easy to do with "free trade." Average worker salary $2 per hour.

Complain about "high priced" federal workers and lay many of them off. Bring the DC unemployment level to 50% and then blame Dems.

Use money saved to further cut taxes for top 2%. Top 2% that owns over 1/4th of USA's wealth and currently pays a staggering 15% of income, or less, in taxes.

Reduce taxes on top

Posted by: magnifco1000 | November 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The pay increase for Govt employees next year was going to be less than 2% anyway so this pay freeze will not hurt most people. It might even help by keeping us in a lower tax bracket. If you really want to see a savings, cut spending on all Govt travel, stop end of the fy spending that is done just to use up funds, get contracts awarded on time, and how about early outs to get the higher paid older workers to retire and bring on lower paid new hires. Now that could save money!

Posted by: smileya7 | November 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

This should have been done 10 years ago. Fire 50% of them and freeze the rest. Cut their gold plated benefits to -0-, let them see how the rest of the world lives.

Posted by: porter-stephen | November 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I predict that not many will quit his or her job because of the pay freeze.

Posted by: etronsen | November 29, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I think this is long over due. Obama can't break the bank spending $ we don't have then say oops, my bad, I need to raise taxes. The big question is will the pay freeze include the politicians or will they once again be above the rules for the little people. Like Charlie Rangel being given a walk for 280+ ethics violations. Apparently his peers have no ethics either. They found no fault in what he did. I'm sure I would be rotting in jail now, if I did half of what he is accused of doing. They make the law but only "we the people" must follow them.

Posted by: AmazedattheBS | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The orfice of manglement and mudget is still looking to cut back on thumb tacks after secret documents exposed a lack of cork boards at goberment orfices.Wickie creeks will leak documents the chinese that supply the thumb tacks have laced them with lead and the point is flat.

Posted by: jmounday | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Why does it seem like the 'private sector' is so hostile toward government employees?

As a former private sector employee that made tons of money during the IT boom, my fellow private sector counterparts LAUGHED at me when I decided to take a pay cut and work for the government.

Now that the economy is doing 'not so well', and the private sector is being hit...I guess misery loves company.

The bottom line is that when the private industry was making all kinds of money, buying over priced houses and cars....they weren't complaining. Now that things have changed and your over priced houses and cars are being repo'd.....down with government employees. lol

I say that it's the private industry that needs to get a grip and quit criticizing government employes...hopefully we are all in this together. THE REAL ENEMY IS NOT EACH OTHER...but is large than us.

Posted by: mccaskid | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3 wrote:

Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse
===========================================

Ask how that worked out for the Air Traffic Controllers who struck during the Reagan Administration.

As a Federal Retiree I think this is a necessary move. SS and CSRS retirees didn't get a COLA because the cost of living has not increased, neither should current Federal workers.

Posted by: voxlapidis | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

You all seem to be forgetting that we feds are just like everyone else. We pay into medicare, Social Security etc. I dont get an outragous salary, its enough to live on. We get bonus for going above and beyond our normal duties. We do our jobs and take on more responsibility because there is a hiring freeze. We have quotas except we have to be accountible to the American People.

Get real folks, in my home we work 3 jobs to make ends meet.

If they freeze my salary , thats fine I'll still have job security and for all you feds out there things could be worse. Whether I get 50 cents more I like other feds will do our jobs with the pride.
As we have always done

Posted by: betsayramirez | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Thats not good enough, Obamas pay went from 100.000 to 400 hundred thousand. So Gongress got a raise too. I demand them roll back and pay back what they stoled! It was unjustified when America is in a Depression. They have to know we are not gonna no longer let them get away with this!

Posted by: JWTX | November 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm this smells of B S how does freezing the pay of Gov't workers figure into the deficit that is??? Let's see the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the millions of dollars we've sent to Haiti, Indonesia to name a few in trouble nations all the different other monies that has been sent to whomever is suffering this is the cause of the deficit not paying gov't workers...how about let's freeze the cost of living which keeps going up, let's freeze gas prices and or cut them see the politicians will continue somehow to fill their pockets and think we know nothing of it huh will save $2 billion how much do we spend daily/weekly/monthly/yearly on Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti to start with who's going to repay those debts oh I see the middle east countries won't have to pay that back just fatten up the big oil companines pockets as well as the politicians...get real so now I guess we're going to have to pay more taxes???

Posted by: papaskynz | November 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I am a long time Obama supporter. However, I am a little disappointed in a few things. Health care reform for one, he should have pushed it through while he had the support in both houses, before Sentor Kennedy passed. Instead, he wasted that time trying to talk things out with Republicans, when their leaders have even gone on national t.v and said. " no matter what you say, the answer is NO".. Now he is pandering to them again with this, although this is what the Republicans want, because come 2012, its going to hurt his chances of getting re-elected. He compromises to much and its not only hurting him but the American people who elected him. Good luck Mr. President and please remember you are a Democrat :)

Posted by: laura_dc | November 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows this was a cave in to political pressure put on the administration by the Tea Partiers and GOP. Federal employees have always made less in salary than their private enterprise counterparts but Republicans have wanted this for a long time. Instead of cutting the salaries of federal workers, cut the tax breaks to the wealthy and stop sending jobs overseas. Federal workers were an easy target since the unemployment rate is so high. Since private industry has laid off so many workers or outsourced jobs, it just seemed like the Federal workers needed to share the burden as well. Expect more when the new GOP takes office . . . you may not have a job at all, if they get their way.

Posted by: cricket35 | November 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well don't you think Obama should roll back the gigantic pay raise he gave all the government employee's, then freeze it? He gave these people humongous raises a year or so ago. Not to long after he hit the office. Obama is weak and a coward he should sign and executive order that he likes to use for everything else instead of leaving it up to congress. Obama is a weak one that is for sure. I hope Congress then rolls back the big raises then freezes them. That would be cool...

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama is weak and simply continuing his pattern of throwing his allies and supporters under the bus in efforts to appease his political adversaries.

Like father, like son. Obama's father threw his wife and child under the bus to go to Harvard. He didn't have to do that. He had other options as does President Obama.

It is sad and so disappointing.

Posted by: rmarsh1970 | November 29, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

How about getting serious on debt reduction and freeze all government contracts for two years??????? Is the pay for federal contractors going to be frozen too, or is this supposed to allow them to catch up to our "outrageous" salaries...what a joke!

Posted by: rwbaccus | November 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

All Federal Government employees should DEMAND that any savings gained from this pay freeze is used to pay down the debt and not used to pay for other programs.

Posted by: ahashburn | November 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

An across-the-board freeze is unwise. Many federal workers are underpaid. Some are overpaid. Some work too many hours without any chance for extra compensation, while some sit around and twiddle their thumbs. A more-thoughtful, fair and non-pandering approach would have been to force each department to decide how to live with a 3-5% cut in budget--reduce workforce, not hire non-essential replacements? Managers work better when they are empowered. Where's the incentive here? Stop whining or we'll take your jobs so we can give more bonuses to the bankers we bailed out without strings cause we thought if we kowtowed to greed we might get a few crumbs???

Posted by: wd1214 | November 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

According to the article, the pay freeze does not apply to members of Congress or Congressional staff, or federal judges. Does anybody else find it more than a bit odd or ironic that calls from conservatives/Tea Party/Republicans to cut or freeze federal employee pay DOES NOT include theirs? If painful decisions have to be made and sacrifice shared, how about having them do their share? Typical conservative rhetorical garbage. The next 2 years is going to be fun (sarcasm).

Posted by: Europa58 | November 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Most federal employees don't make as much as their private industry counterparts, so this won't amount to much. Congress should also have the pay frozen instead of being exempt. Start from the top, down, Mr. President!

Posted by: GenuineRisk | November 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama has to find programs and money to cut ,,, so he can give the tax cuts to the top 2 % and keep increasing his middle east war Bush stated.
Don't get my statement wrong it is not the freeze he put in place which is bad,,, but his republican statement about it which he said...

The top level is under paid and the lower level is over paid, and this is because of the unions.

Obama's policies are the same as Bush's policies.

The only difference is most of our wealth and power has already been transferred to the top 2 percent.
The deletion of U.S. citizen's right , freedom and democracy has also already taken place under the previous Bush's republican administration..
So all Obama has to do is carry out Bush's destructive policies and add to them as he goes along.
How can anyone call the policies which Obama has passed progressive or to the left.
Obama and Emanuel kicked the progressive in the a.. right after taking office and now they are shaking hands with the right wing republican extremist.

Posted by: Sporty1 | November 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama message and strategy fail. He didn't tie it to the expiration of the W tax cuts. he got nothing for it legislatively. Lost political capital and federal unions for his reelection in the process.

This President (whom I supported and donated to) is an abject failure.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If obama really wants to save some money, he'll give Air Force One a much-needed rest.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

GO PRESIDENT OBAMA!! I am a Federal worker who has been with the government for over 25 years. I do not mind having the pay freeze as long as it is for the greater good. I only wish he would have done it across the board with an exception of the military. GREAT JOB MR. PRESIDENT!!

Posted by: xxpepper | November 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Chief, Barry the incompetent boob Obama is getting around to screwing you too.

Barry the inept bungler also wants to cut your Tricare For Life benefits and wants to stiff current active duty members who have been in for 15 years, out of their pensions. That's right: Barry the inept bungler would change the rules for people with only 5 years until retirement, and make sure they do not get one thin dime of their pension until age 57. For some would a 19 year gap without pension in return for 20 years of service.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How about a pay rollback for these worthless gov't scum. Also, let's rollback Congress's pay to 1980 levels + cut their staffs by 2/3 & not allow any increase in either until our National Debt is below one-third of GDP.

BTW, do you people realize the number of Federal [sic] workers taking down more than $150K per year has doubled under the idiot's watch (idiot=Obama).

Posted by: vince33x | November 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

We've had our pay frozen for three years now but I feel it is a small price to pay for the job security I have. I feel the same attitude would be appropriate for Federal civil servants as well. Perhaps for all public sector employees?

Posted by: ben9 | November 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

As usual, 99.9% of those bashing federal workers do so b/c it makes them feel better blasting workers that they think are lazy and stupid.

In reality, most federal workers are very intelligent and hard-working and MOST could be making 2x-3x more in the private sector

Posted by: Bious | November 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The next budget cut should the elimination of pension and medical coverage for life, for members of Congress after serving only one term in office. Why do our representatives think that they deserve same.

Posted by: kjatexas | November 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

For the next two years I am going to work like they pay me - a little every two weeks.

The cost of rent, mortgage, food etc is not going to freeze for the next two years.

What are people suppose to do when their rent increases - move.

Posted by: poptart2 | November 29, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Freeze Congress too.

Posted by: FLvet | November 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Nothing changes with people at the top. They make rules for others and then don't apply the rules to themselves. Obama should have said that he and all members of congress will also get a two-year pay freeze.

Posted by: mafox1 | November 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I am a retired federal employee. While working for the fed'l gov't, I saw many under-educated, under-qualified, under-performing, overpaid workers. The problem is that managers will not take steps to remove these employees. They just get passed along to someone else, and keep getting rewarded with step increases, etc. Obama needs to take a hard look at how many people it takes to do these jobs. When I worked for a particular agency, we merged with another about 60 miles away. We had duplicate personnel offices, duplicate legal offices, duplicate procurement offices. No one lost their jobs in this merger when there should have been a reduction in force! We had high school grads making over $100,000 a year--come on!

Posted by: 78vette | November 29, 2010 11:01 AM
- - - - - -
Perhaps we need more high-school grads in leadership rolls in the Federal work force. Former President Harry S. Truman was the last president of the United States without a college degree and most historians rank him as one of the most efficient and effective presidents of our time. In Congress, roughly 95-percent have a college degree and we know what a wonderful job that they do.

Based upon the sorry mess that all of these college grads have put us in, I highly question the value of a college education. We simply could not have been in any worse shape had the country been run by the likes of Harry S. Truman and other high-school grads. We need more, not less, individuals with common sense than formal education. Of course, it would be great if more college grads also possessed the attribute of good old fashioned common sense.

Please note that I was one of those high school grads who made around $100k per year while in the Federal work force. And, I took great pride in the fact that I almost always had college grads on my team. Their text book knowledge, coupled with my experience and common-sense approach, resulted in excellent team work.

Posted by: kabusn6198 | November 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This is great news for all the local stores hoping to have a good holiday season in the DC area, eh?

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | November 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Under the bus with you!

The only people Obama doesn't throw under there are repugs in congress and rich people!

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 29, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Note of irony -- this news item being posted with the preceding post's title being "OPM's John Berry: 'It gets better'"

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I voted for Obama. He's been a spineless wimp cowering before the Tea Party. We're just on the verge of saving our house and he screws his supporters. Where's the sacrifices Wall Street was supposed to be making? Obama is a disgrace!

Posted by: Douggysaurus | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

drdavisdr

What gigantic pay raise did all the Feds get? When was this? Punk what are you smoking.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's the straight skinny:
The gargantuan Federal Bureaucracy is a pain and a drain on the well-being of the U.S.A. Everybody knows it but getting rid of it is difficult because of Richard Trumka AFL-CIO-AFSCME-SEIU-ACORN-AFGE etc. In other words Marxist Socialist Big Labor.

In the Old World (Europe) people are used to the King's bureaucracies and the King's bureaucrats. Here in the New World, we don't mind them as long as they keep their place. Lately (for the past 50 years) U.S.A. bureaucrats are getting too big for their britches. Time to cut'um down to size! Chop-chop!

Posted by: ironmule | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

After reading all these comments I can see alot of people dont know what the heck they are talking about. I am a federal worker. I work hard for the measly pay I do recieve. I am also a Taxpayer just like everyone else. Secondly as Federal workers we are not allowed to Strike. I say that upper gov't are the ones who need to have more cuts and leave us hard working lower civilian workers alone

Posted by: scorpio1970 | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The exemptions are rediculous. Everyone needs to contribute their fair share - military, contractors, Congress and the Judiciary.

Posted by: hsolares | November 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry I voted for Obama. He's been a spineless wimp cowering before the Tea Party. We're just on the verge of saving our house and he screws his supporters. Where's the sacrifices Wall Street was supposed to be making? Obama is a disgrace!

Posted by: Douggysaurus"

DITTO!!!!

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Chief, Barry the incompetent boob Obama is getting around to screwing you too.

Barry the inept bungler also wants to cut your Tricare For Life benefits and wants to stiff current active duty members who have been in for 15 years, out of their pensions. That's right: Barry the inept bungler would change the rules for people with only 5 years until retirement, and make sure they do not get one thin dime of their pension until age 57. For some would a 19 year gap without pension in return for 20 years of service.

***

Bonehead. The fact that military service members can get a full pension in their forties and early fifties has always been a joke and raid on the Treasury. As a former service member, I'm appalled by the number of former service double dippers who get a pension and continue to contract or work as civilian employees.

You sir are a fool.

Posted by: dcliving | November 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I am a Fed and I knew that this was coming. The irony is that it doesn't affect the 7+ million "shadow workforce" that the government employees in the private sector.

Also - for all of you complaining that you are underpaid in the private sector: Why not ask your employers why that is? If your CEO took a 50% pay cut, could your employer afford to pay you more?

It seems to me that the fed model is the way you would want your compensation to be handled. (i.e. cola increases, ANY benefits) Why do we let these large corporations make millions or billions of dollars and yet the average "worker bee" continues to get stiffed?

The complaints of the private sector employee seem to me to be akin to a homeless person claiming that NO ONE should have a home if he/she doesn't..

Posted by: samps | November 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian

======================================


This is funny...an anarchist libertarian working for the Feds...probably an SES.

I agree with the freeze for two reasons. First...federal salaries are above the general public wage structure. Second, it demonstrates to America that this President still doesn't get it. It isn't the salaries of the workers that is the problem...it is that there are TOO MANY of them in the first place. There are too many cabinets; too many programs requiring paid GS workers to run them; too much infrastructure to pay for; there is just too much government...end of story. Cut the departments, cut the staff, cut the programs...then worry about the salary structure. This lates action is why America should never, ever again elect Democrats to any office where they have control over our money.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | November 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This president just doesn't "get it", does he. So he's going to punish just about all that is left of America's middle class to save $2 Billion. Just exactly HOW does that help the TRILLION dollar deficit??? More "symbolic" responses instead of real and responsible action. Kind of fits in with the TSA thing, don't you think???

Why can't this President, who we had such high hopes for, understand that it is the MIDDLE CLASS and MAIN STREET that needs REAL (not symbolic) help, not his good pals on Wall Street?

OK, so I'll "symbolically" vote for Obama in 2012. See how much that will help him win the next election.

Posted by: John10000 | November 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Disclosure: I do not understand politics or economics, so don't trounce on me too hard. If these cuts help the economy, so be it. What about the rich people with their tax cuts, offshore accounts, tax shelters, etc.? Shouldn't they have to make a sacrifice like the rest of us? I am sure it's not the simple, but I was just curious.

Posted by: terriand2000 | November 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

While the freeze is understandable it means a pay cut for most because hospitalization rates have going up....

Posted by: steve44122 | November 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I do personally do not mind the Pay Freeze. It should not adversely affect my wife and I. I am 100% behind giving our Military Serving abroad a raise.
But to exclude members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers; says that they should not suffer as most of the feds. Members of Congress need to suffer like all of us in todays world; esspecially Member of Congress.
Any way there has always been the congress which has little or no ethics, and then the rest of us, that do have ethics and are willing to sacrifice.

Posted by: eddie_suiter | November 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it interesting that after 8 years of Republican "Borrow and Spend" policies during the Bush Administration, we in Blue America, once again, have to clean up the mess.

Oh, those of you half-wits who are smirking and shaking your head right now seem to have forgotten (or most likely never knew) that George W. Bush presided over the largest increase in the U.S. National Debt that this country has EVER known. That's worth repeating: REPUBLICAN President presided over the LARGEST increase in the National Debt in United States history.

Don't take my word for it though...go to the U.S. Treasury website and see for yourself. The day Bush took office the National Debt was about 5.7 Trillion; the day he left office it was about 10.6 Trillion...Republicans are the ones who are fiscally responsible? What a joke.

Oh, and before you blame Congress who holds the purse strings...The U.S. Congress was Republican controlled for 6 of the 8 years Bush was in office.

It's okay to be upset about the US Debt and Deficit, but let's be honest about who's at fault here...

Posted by: dram805 | November 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And just why not are these people included in this pay freesze:military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers?
If you want to freeze pay to save money, then so be it. I'm more interested in the reasoning behind the people not included.

Posted by: kdb5004 | November 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm a fed, and I'd even take a pay cut *if* it were part of larger package of hard-nosed efforts to get our spiraling deficit under control. But of course that's not what's happening here. Congress and the Administration will likely extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Congress is considering cutting more $250 checks for Social Security recipients. We'll likely still be in Afghanistan til 2014. And on it goes.

To those who think this is a fine idea: it's your products & services in the DC area that feds will be cutting back on or not buying anymore. This will have a deflationary effect on the local economy. Don't think the "pain" of this stupid political gesture won't get spread around; it most certainly will.

Posted by: SuzNats | November 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I do personally do not mind the Pay Freeze. It should not adversely affect my wife and I. I am 100% behind giving our Military Serving abroad a raise.
But to exclude members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers; says that they should not suffer as most of the feds. Members of Congress need to suffer like all of us in todays world; esspecially Member of Congress.
Any way there has always been the congress which has little or no ethics, and then the rest of us, that do have ethics and are willing to sacrifice.

Posted by: eddie_suiter | November 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA PLAN to screw military service members that Barry is trying to ram through Congress:

1. Three year pay freeze for military including all allowances not just base pay.

2. Cut military Tricare For Life benefits and increase out-of-pocket expenses for veterans and their families.

3. For new enlistees, do not pay them one dime of their military pensions until they reach age 60, even though most servicemen who retire after 20 years of service are only around age 40.

http://www.stripes.com/panel-eyes-tricare-hikes-federal-pay-freeze-1.125236

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This won't even be a drop in the bucket. The folks behind this screwed over the economy and took us from surplus to huge defice, and now they're going to beat their most popular whipping boy for their own short term political gain. Bet they don't have the balls to attack the real money programs - Social Security, Medicare, and what? Farmer welfare? Congressional salaries and benefits? The useless pork defense projects in their home states? Let's keep a real eye on the pork barrel, which usually swells to bursting under the Republicans. And let's see what happens with food, drug, mine, and oilfield safety when we slice the budgets for those functions even further. The ONLY thing that will pull us out of deficit is economic growth, and I don't see how this will help that.

Posted by: BlueDot3 | November 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This won't even be a drop in the bucket. The folks behind this screwed over the economy and took us from surplus to huge deficit, and now they're going to beat their most popular whipping boy for their own short term political gain. Bet they don't have the balls to attack the real money programs - Social Security, Medicare, and what? Farmer welfare? Congressional salaries and benefits? The useless pork defense projects in their home states? Let's keep a real eye on the pork barrel, which usually swells to bursting under the Republicans. And let's see what happens with food, drug, mine, and oilfield safety when we slice the budgets for those functions even further. The ONLY thing that will pull us out of deficit is economic growth, and I don't see how this will help that.

Posted by: BlueDot3 | November 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Combine this with allowing Federal Government Managers the freedom to can the slackers and you will have a winner. Get rid of the government workers unions and you will have a complete home run.

The rest of us have had no raises, some even have gotten pay cuts while government workers are getting steady raises and bonus payments. Time to join the real world and feel the pain. But be thankfull for the raises you Federal workers got over the last two years, it more than any of us got.

Posted by: Pilot1 | November 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Notice how they hide the fact that the freeze will affect those on the lower half of the pay scale. Those who make the most will continue to get raises.

Government of, by, and for the RICH.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | November 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM
_________________________

If you're Federal employee it's already likely that you produce no work, abuse your leave, and are mainly parasitic.


Posted by: Smarg | November 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And Congress will be freezing their and their staff salaries accordingly, right? They'd better.

Posted by: Rivery | November 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers. "
Why not scr@w EVERYONE equally?

Posted by: jwarren21 | November 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For those stating government employees are overpaid and the ranks should be diminished, you are ignorant of the facts, do some research instead of just believing the twisted stories.
Compare actual demographic groups to each other instead of believing the statistical lies of glory seeking editors.
For example, education requirement, some Federal positions are only available with a degree so only degreed personnel should be included in that demographic set for the numbers.
Another example, someone stated that Federal pay and benefits aren't talked about, hinting at the "true pay" being too high, super clueless. Federal worker pay and benefits are ALL public knowledge so if you say they aren't talked about, it's probably because it's all public knowledge.
By the way, civilian Federal benefits aren't as good as many private sector positions.

Any headline seeker can use the numbers to depict any story they want, authors often use them incorrectly and inappropriately and of course, those readers without any common sense just believe it as fact.
Do the research yourself, figure out what the truth is, then come back with an accurate and supported opinion...or quit spreading the overabundance of lies regarding Federal employees and their salaries.
For the Federal workers bragging about not working or not having enough to do, you need change positions, move agencies or quit.
You are further tarnishing the Federal employee image and we need to be doing it better than those that ruined it to this point. Get with it or get out.

Thank you dek10000, well put.

Posted by: travis5344 | November 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I support reductions in spending - however can Obama take this action legally - doesn't Congress set the salaries of Federal workers?

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to make the sacrifice, but I don't understand why we are the only ones? Civilian military, congress, contractors...they get just as much (and often MORE) than the Federal employees. Pure politics. Obama and the American people will feel this for months to come. Hope this little bit of T-Party butt kissing was worth it for you Mr. President.

Posted by: POFed | November 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

We have 15,000,000 (million) plus federal employees and 90% of them make way more that the private sector in the same type jobs plus they get their great benefits hand pension packages we in the private sector don't get. The number of employee's in the US government that make over $100,000 a year had tripled if not more since Obama has been in office. Same with those making 70,000 to 95,000. This is mind boggling and we the TAX payers are paying not only the wages but benefits and pension plus others goodies. Mercy me wish I could of got their pension plan before I got AXED and my job was sent to India sure would of been nice. I am lucky to get 28% of what I was making. I am glad I get the pension I get but not right that my tax dollar pays a government worker who get and 80% pension or better plus free HC. Government needs to be made SMALLER big time. WOW 15 million way to many people and this does not count the military.

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Good first step. Now freeze grades and steps for two years.
Second, start cutting military spending. The defense vendors have had their own pipeline to this nation's treasury and it is time to stop.
Third, let Bush tax cuts expire for two-three years before they are reinstated. Let's see what our balance sheet is then.

Posted by: abc1 | November 29, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

It is truly amazing and quite disturbing to see how much ignorance and even hatred is displayed on these types of postings. First, some facts. 1)Federal workers DO pay for a significant portion of their health insurance (in my case, about $5200 a year in 2011), contrary to what many posters seem to believe. 2) We're not all total idiots who couldn't make it in the private sector, contrary to what many posters (agrossman is particularly ignorant and uninformed) seem to believe. In my case, I have two masters degrees and am close to a PhD and am actually quite marketable. I somehow imagine I could land a job at my local 7-Eleven, which the last time I looked is part of the vaunted "private sector". 3) We're not all lazy folks who do nothing all day, contrary to what many posters seem to beleive. I work for the State Department and regularly work between 10-11 hours daily with zero additional compensation; I do it because I see my job as a public service calling, and there are hundreds of thousands more like me. 4) Has the US completely turned into Sparta where the military is on such a pedestal that not one contributor calls for a similar freeze for them? I don't begrudge anyone in a war zone (including my State Department colleagues) getting paid well, but the hundreds of thousands of military people on bases and in Pentagon offices around the country should be treated the same as everyone else. They are not any higher order of being; let's keep things in perspective.

But what frustrates and saddens me the most is what sheep the average middle-class American has become in my 62 years on this earth. I remember when workers had a voice and when companies had a conscience. It really was different in the 60s and 70s. Now private sector workers have all been so beaten down by their "masters" and "bosses" that we tolerate HUGE disparities in income growth between the super rich and the rest of us and take glee when someone else not in the upper 2% (today, federal workers) gets screwed too. Our politicans are sticking it to everybody who isn't super rich - public or private sector - and we're sniping with each other over the crumbs thrown our way rather than uniting against the obscene profiteers and exploiters who are running and ruining all institutions in our formerly-great country. This is a recipe for failure in any democracy and is rapidly proving the downfall of the USA.

Posted by: ewq21cxz | November 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

dram805 - In your striving for intellectual integrity, please don't insult our intelligence by saying "Blue America" is cleaning up the mess. You're right that Bush and the Republican Congress made things worse, but the Obama Administration, the vastly Democratic Congress of the last two years, and "Blue America" with its hands outstreched to grasp more government giveaways has actually worsened the trend. Is that your idea of "clean-up"?

Posted by: BillyBob4 | November 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

A pay freeze is better than being unemployed. I understand why people are upset but try being without a permanent job for 17 months and then start complaining. Federal employees have it better than the millions of people who are unemployed!

Posted by: jlb2802 | November 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Congressman make more than 90-95% of federal workers yet they don't have a pay freeze. It's ironic that Congressman throughout the years are mainly responsible for the huge debt. Along with that, American taxpayers again take the brunt of the paycuts while there are many millions of illegal immigrants paying no taxes and costing Americans billions of dollar every year. American taxpayers are being treated like second class citizens in their own country!Welcome to the futute United States of Latin America.

Posted by: baz987 | November 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

That extra unwise decision easily translates into loss of support for democratic party in an areas, where federal workforce presence is high. Likely result is Democratic party will be defeated at 2012 congressional and presidential elections in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Too high prize for such a miserable budget cut. Also, what is that buzz about overpaid federal workers? Is it a joke? I am working for government at high tech industry area for 15 years, and my daughter, just jumping off the college to the private sector, gets higher monthly check then me, no matter my PhD, expertize level, etc... Government work is for loyal people, and the last presidential decision will make the loyalty joke-full.

Posted by: imor | November 29, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we put a freeze on the Congressional pay as well...so they can't just vote themselves a raise??

Posted by: sue97car2004 | November 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The level of ignorance in this country is astounding! How quickly inaccurate information gets passed on is amazing. Too bad truth does move this fast. First of all, the proposed increase was 1.9, not 3%. Second, all of you with so much disdain for feds should try exisiting without them. Good luck. Third, to all of you Social Security recipients that aren't getting a COLA ( because the COL DID NOT go up!), wait until the GOP invests your contributions in the stock market and you DON'T GET A CHECK. Thank goodness for CSRS. My only complaint is that the President bowed to the pressure.

Posted by: Fed1 | November 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

While I appreciate the fact that we have jobs while many others do not this is still a burden. Many of us are at the top of our grade and get no other pay increases except for the cost of living increase and two years is a long time! Yes, I probably will find a way to pay all my bills, but I still do not like it that businesses, state and country governments, and insurance carriers etc. get to raise their rates without regard to the economic situation. I think Congress' suggestions which spread the burden around everyone receiving government money are better than this!

Posted by: badams2 | November 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse


Maybe you're a vet ... and then again maybe you ain't. Either way: If you had served your 20 years then you would have your military pension by now too -- and you would have earned it.


Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Consider this:

1) A de facto hiring freeze for most civilian workers due to the disincentive of no possible pay raise.

2) A possible increase in military hiring due to the fact military increases are currently left alone.

3) Federal civilian retirements increase due to the "high-3" being de facto capped, thereby reducing payroll, but increasing retirement payouts.

Even with all the civilian hiring 0 has been doing, the majority are those security bozos going thru your wives' and daughters' privacy at the airports. Think that will stop voluntarily? Not likely, since the population is being trained to be sheep, or cattle -- take your pick.

#1 and #2 will likely offset each other somewhat. #3 may have some offsetting action as well. Hard to say without some hard numbers on what the retiree COLAs will be along with sheer numbers.

Point being, this is window dressing. Real cuts will have to be in the entitlements. Top 3:

1) Medicare
2) Medicaid
3) Social Security

The cost cutters will have to deal with these or the real deficit generators will not really be addressed.

Furthermore:

EXEMPT --

Postal workers
Members of Congress
Congressional staffers
Federal Court judges
Federal Court workers

Posted by: Real_popoli | November 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a good idea.

The gov't employees overall, are overpaid.

There are some that really make the wheels turn, but there are admins making about 100k to play solitaire. Then there are the young ones who come in from the city and buy a fancy new SUV to drive to and from work.

Posted by: DannyP1 | November 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as the tax cuts are at 250K; and Congress takes a pay freeze too.

Posted by: number91 | November 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government." ...Well, SOME of the federal government. The ones who are paid less than their peers in the private sector. Not Congress. Not the contractors. Really? So much for attracting the best and brightest, or making government cool, again. Or was that just lip service, too, Mr. President?

Posted by: dcsusan | November 29, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

That federal employees are being slapped with a freeze is less surprising than the fact that it wasn't done before. Private employers have periodically instituted pay freezes for hundreds of years, not to mention lay-offs. I don't recall federal employees getting either of these things done to their ranks.

The good news is this will likely increase the satisfaction with Obama. There's the silver lining.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

awaremind said:
"Federal jobs are jobs he has a certain control over, he can't effect private sector wages." In general, this statement is true, but in the two glaring instances when he could have effected private sector wages, Obama chose to (1)screw the workers in the case of the GM rescue and (2)reward the thieves in the case of the bank bailouts. It's clear where this so-called Democrat stands - not with the workers, but with the capitalists.

Posted by: PuntaPete | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, this is fine with me. But I'm amazed (well, not really) at how there's money to buy thousands of those scanner machines that are so controversial, and no one seems to be proposing reducing the purchases of those.

Posted by: rjm1 | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

No big surprise. Feds are always convenient fall guys for politicians on both sides of the fence.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

FYI: The first American casualty in Afghanistan was a CIA agent--a federal civilian employee


screwjob22, yes I want me pension, but getting it when you're forty, even if you did do your 20, is just wrong. I know guys who spent their 20 filling out supply requisition forms and farting around. They don't deserve their pension until they reach retirement age.

Posted by: dcliving | November 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

WHILE IN WALL STREET... THINGS ARE LOOKING SO BRIGHT! TAX CUTS FOR US WHO DO NOT WORK AND LOVE TO PLAY WITH 401K ((GAMBLING$$). BAIL OUTS. CHEAP MONEY FROM THE FEDS.WORKING CLASS DO NOT NEED PAY INCREASES BECAUSE IT MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY! CONGRATS OBAMA... JUST PLAYING THE WAY WE REPUBLICANS WANT. HOHOHO MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted by: lucavalcanti | November 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Jimbo77: I'd also like to see Congress agree to a pay freeze for the members (not the staffers).

mbrumble: I did care when your social security increase was cut, knowing that prices are still going to go up. We Feds aren't all heartless folks who only care about ourselves.

I'm not complaining about the freeze in federal pay, and not just because I'm retiring soon.

But consider what services provided by the government are unnecessary. There will be belt-tightening all around.

What are you willing to give up?

Posted by: RetiringFed | November 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

15 million Federal employees? Really. Okay punk provide a cite for your figures. Try living in DC, NYC, Boston or LA with a family on less then $100k.

Punk do you really want intel analysts, Special Agents, air traffic controllers and security specialists paid what you and your buds make working at working at Wal Mart.

And cutting pay makes the Federal work force more likely to be bribed etc. Great move. Is the average IQ of Hannity and Limbaugh followers above 50?

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the rest of the federal government should go on the GS Schedule--that means members of Congress and their staff. There is no way a freshman representative with absolutely no experience should be making $174,000 per year. The top pay for the government employees whose pay is being frozen is $155,300--by law (5 U.S.C. 5304 (g)(1)). Government employees with education (including advanced degrees) and experience are routinely hired at GS 12, which, in Washington is $74,872 this year, next year and the year after that--so, with 70 new members, that would save $7,000,000. Further, adjusting all of the other members to the GS schedule with the maximum of $155,300 would save at least $8,695,500 each year, over the next two years, reducing Congressional Salaries to levels that make sense, using the GS Schedule will save more than $30 million and it will let the Congress have a better idea of how their constituents live.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | November 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

LOOK FOR A MASS EXODUS OF ELIGIBLE RETIREES AT THE END OF 2011.

Posted by: a39YearDODemployee | November 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Well CommonSense83 I was a COTR in the Federal Gov and had contractors do good work but the reason why they were doing more work is the Fed Gov was paying 150-200 dollars per hour per contractor to do the job while I was a GS12 (You do the math) making sure that the contractors were performing. And anybody out there that thinks that contractors aren’t lazy think again, they too pass the buck, lie, cheat and in general are lazy to a degree so please get off your soap boxes.


Posted by: saw_main | November 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a retired federal worker. Let me make a couple of points:

1. The Republican claim that federal workers are paid more than private sector counterparts is based on a comparison of apples and oranges. It's nonsense. The federal work force comprises a far higher percentage of professional, rather than clerical or labor jobs than does the private sector. The Republican party must start using statistics that compare private sector and federal jobs at similar professional levels to end this big lie.

2. Members of Congress, their staffs must accept the same level of cuts and ethical scrutiny as the exectutive branch. The fact that they are not proposing a similar freeze and a review of benefits such as business class travel speaks volumes to the corrupt air of entitlement that prevails on Capitol Hill.

3. Obama's "preventive capitulation" on this issue is emblamatic of his flacid governing style. While I truly believe that the majority of my Federal co-workers are motivated to significant degree to do public service rather than obsess on benefits, I think that Obama's not standing up against prevailing winds will be reflected in their attitude to his administration (rather than to the work at large which they are duty-bound to do). Tying these cuts/non-raises to inflation, or a responsible indexing of private sector raises (or non-raises) would have been more fair and served as a retort to Republican criticisms, as statistically ill-founded as they may be.

These are tough times. I think most feds are grateful to serve and appreciative of their benefits.

What we sorely lack is real political leadership from either party. The Republican victories are phyrric. The party is in shambles. Enough said about Obama's governing style.

The country needs a unifier. For 2012, I would look to see such an individual more likely rise from the Republican side. And I only see one individual capable of doing this--General Petraeus.

So like others that have known or followed the work of this great American, here's hoping that he is ready to take the plunge and that a Republican party, riven by Tea Party lunacy, a conservatism that would enshrine one set of moral values in a theocracy and a lost center of social progressives/fiscal conservatives would accept him with open arms as a unifier of party and country.

Just a few thoughts to provoke comment. pjkove

Posted by: pjkove | November 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Boy this sure looks like the Carter Years ! I was there when he put in parking meters and carried his own bag to the plane. O is done - and for other great news check out The Justice Depts big case they caught a guy selling fake Gucci bags! Please read this note and do not run again . I hate to say it but Hilary would never have pulled this crap. This guy is clueless. He needs to write a great novel - the Invisible Man Part 2. I promise 4 years from now he will be invisible. PS I-voted for him.

Posted by: 33jayave | November 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

While I appreciate the fact that we have jobs while many others do not this is still a burden. Many of us are at the top of our grade and get no other pay increases except for the cost of living increase and two years is a long time! Yes, I probably will find a way to pay all my bills, but I still do not like it that businesses, state and country governments, and insurance carriers etc. get to raise their rates without regard to the economic situation. I think Congress' suggestions which spread the burden around everyone receiving government money are better than this!

Posted by: badams2 | November 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It should first hit members of Congress and Congressional staffers. Why does it not touch them?

Posted by: CalmTruth | November 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If Congress was of good character & integrity, they would impose the same "...broad sacrifices, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," that the employees have to bear. This sacrifice is not braod is is narrow. Congress is excluding themselves from the sacrifice...as they always do. When are we going to actually have a Congress that is fair and just? When will Congress stop throwing us under the bus, so to speak. If it's not good enough for them, it shouldn't be good enough for us. Congress, when will you start holding yourselves to the same standards to which you hold others?

Posted by: ThisIsJustice | November 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

DonDon007 - Care to back-up your statement saying "Throughout history federal workers are known to be the laziest workers in the contry" with some supporting evidence?

Posted by: huristm | November 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that a pay freeze of 1 year, not 2 years, might benefit our deficit spending, however, I respectfully disagree with the President's decision NOT to implemenmt an across the board freeze that would effect all employees, to include congressional pay and benefits. As a result, there seems to be an element of unfairness to the pay freeze. Since the pay freeze is inspired and fully supported by the Republicans in Congress whose pay is unaffected by the pay freeze, I'll remember that at election time. SCOUNDRELS!!

Posted by: VeteranCivilian | November 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

My wife has not had a raise in 2 years, and was due in January. So this will be a four-year pay freeze for us. I'm not sure how many public sector employees would sit still for 4 years with no increase.

This would have made more sense a year or two ago. But the economy is rebounding (slowly). This is just weird timing.

Posted by: Fisk202 | November 29, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder hey PUNK where have you been the last two years???? Sleeping obviously Hope your sheep are OK it is for sure you have not been paying attention for two years.

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why not cut military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers?
And, I'd bet most of you in favor of the cuts are government contractors... you'll be next. Don't think they can't -- there's a clause in all government contracts that allow them to be cut.

Posted by: edoandco1 | November 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that a pay freeze of 1 year, not 2 years, might benefit our deficit spending, however, I respectfully disagree with the President's decision NOT to implemenmt an across the board freeze that would effect all employees, to include congressional pay and benefits. As a result, there seems to be an element of unfairness to the pay freeze. Since the pay freeze is inspired and fully supported by the Republicans in Congress whose pay is unaffected by the pay freeze, I'll remember that at election time. SCOUNDRELS!!

Posted by: VeteranCivilian | November 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

drdavisdr wrote:
We have 15,000,000 (million) plus federal employees and 90% of them make way more that the private sector in the same type jobs plus they get their great benefits hand pension packages we in the private sector don't get. The number of employee's in the US government that make over $100,000 a year had tripled if not more since Obama has been in office. Same with those making 70,000 to 95,000. This is mind boggling and we the TAX payers are paying not only the wages but benefits and pension plus others goodies. Mercy me wish I could of got their pension plan before I got AXED and my job was sent to India sure would of been nice. I am lucky to get 28% of what I was making. I am glad I get the pension I get but not right that my tax dollar pays a government worker who get and 80% pension or better plus free HC. Government needs to be made SMALLER big time. WOW 15 million way to many people and this does not count the military.
_________________________________________

I'm sorry your job was outsourced. It may have had something to do with your illiteracy.

Posted by: ludditegirl | November 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Rep. Darrell Issa and the other members of Congress won't be lowering their salaries or limiting any pay increases that they routinely give themselves. Hypocrites all.

Posted by: bendleton1 | November 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee but spent nearly 40 years in the private sector. I have been laid off so many times I have lost count; I have been RIFed, had my pay cut and my salary frozen. I had been offered promotions only to have them withdrawn due to hiring and promotion freezes. So I know what is is like to take a hit in income. However I cringe when government gets involved, remember the 80’s and trickle done economics and RIFs (Reduction in Force)? How about 2001? This pay freeze will be especially painful to me and my family and other feds in a similar situation; we are barely making it now and were counting on the pay raise to give us some breathing room and hopefully buy a home. Has anyone noticed the price of gas creeping up? Have you noticed how much less you for your money at the grocery store? Food banks in the DC area have empty shelves these days because those who gave before are keeping it for their families. This freeze will have serious repercussions in the government and on employment because the best and brightest will probably accept the offers they constantly get from headhunters and many retirement age workers will be forced to keep working thus reducing the number of jobs available for younger workers. Many of us who were hoping to buy a home will not be able to so the real estate market will remain depressed, we won’t be buying car so the auto industry will continue to suffer. One really has to wonder if anyone has thought this through rather that just bow to the political pressure. Did anyone look at alternative measures such as eliminating government waste, eliminating unnecessary or excessive government travel, aggressively pursuing teleworking programs which can drastically reduce government real estate costs (office space, utilities, parking, etc.)? Remember, salary freezes only work if everything else is frozen too.

Posted by: twfed010 | November 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Reference:
"Government should have to tighten its belt as well. We need to do it in an intelligent way," Obama said in October. "We need to make sure we do things smarter, rather than just lopping something off arbitrarily without having thought it through."

Unfortunately Obama has only recently come to the conclusion that doing something "without having thought it through" isn't "the way to go!"

But it appears that the election results have proved to be educational (to some extent) for him. Let's see what happens Thursday when it will be John McCain's turn.... and he'll be entitled to say in countering the president's thrust, "Barack, the election is over!".

Incidentally a freeze on Congressional pay and perqs would be usefully symbolic.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | November 29, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the person Obama should be most compared to is Sherman. Obama is clearly marching on his own party and laying waste to it. What part of his base will he alienate next?

Posted by: Fisk202 | November 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers should be making minimum wage, no more. And they should be happy to get that! Most have the skill set of a trained chimp, with less fashion sense.

Posted by: Axel2 | November 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It should first hit members of Congress and Congressional staffers. Why does it not touch them?


***

Yes for members of Congress. But they compensate their staff out of a fixed allowance that also covers all their other office expenses. And, most Congressional staff make less than their counterparts on the executive side who in turn make less than their private sector counterparts. Case in point, I have a Harvard Law educate friend who left a law firm job paying 275K to become a counsel to a member of congress, his pay?? 75K How's that for a pay cut.

Posted by: dcliving | November 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Since Bush got in office in 2001, he cut our pay increases (which are a mechanism to keep salaries leveled with inflation) because of War. There was always an excuse.

Now we're having them frozen for two years because of economic recession/depression.

We've been sacrificing for longer than that. Meanwhile private sector employees were sitting high on the hog and didn't give a rip how much we made, but because they don't have job security they envy what we have.

Now we're scapegoated and demonized and our President has once again thrown us under the bus. If ever there was a time to make Democrats turn into Republicans, this is it.

However, to all of the corporatist private sector snobs who love to judge our job performance, I have this to say to you. I do not come to your job and pretend to know the expectations of your performance. I do not call you lazy. I do not call you overpaid. I do not get a 1-2 hour meal break. I do not get an expense account or any of the other perks you do. I do not get to have conferences in Las Vegas or Hawai'i. And contrary to your opinion, because I am in Management, I do not have a Union to represent me when my supervisor is being unfair. I do put a full day's work each and every day and I work just as hard if not harder than you, because my motivations are to work for the American people, not to work for some CEO's bottom line profits. Your government provides you with services at the lowest possible cost. If we raise costs, then you complain. If we try to opperate at cost neutral or on a profit, then you complain. We could get higher salaries based on our educations, our skill sets and our lifetime experiences in the private sector. But we don't generally pursue those options in favor our dedication to our Nation.

To those of you who say we aren't worth comparing to the military, many of us our Veterans. We served our time in active duty and in the reserves, and many of us still serve in the reserves. Many of us our Vietnam veterans, Gulf War veterans, and Iraq veterans. And no, not all of us are Republicans -- sorry to burst your bubble. And also, many of those vets are gay. surprise!

If you believe that ALL military personnel deserve to be exempt from the pay freeze, remember that not all military are combat specialized, and not all are in a combat zone. So don't generalize that they are over there risking life and limb. Because they are not. Further, don't use the tired patriot excuse that they are "defending our freedom" because that is also not true. They are over there exerting American dominion. There is a difference.

Lastly, if you are so fond of pay freezes -- give your salary increase this year to charity. They can use it. Surely you won't miss it.

Posted by: trambusto | November 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I love how people like to bash fed employees when our pay is WAY less than our private company (contractor) counterparts. We have two people I can name off the top of my head in my branch who are BOTH making $250 per hour and doing much less than I do PLUS they are BOTH FOREIGN NATIONALS to boot.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

My company hasn't given any raises in two years. What's the big deal? Several companies around here actually did pay cuts.

Posted by: hdimig | November 29, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Axel2, a trained chimp wouldn't take a sh!t all over a toilet seat. A bureaucrat will.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The freeze DOES NOT apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers.

I totally understand the exemption for active military, but think that the freeze should apply to the rest of ALL Gov't.

Posted by: NW_Washington | November 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. President. Now, by freezing executive branch employees' you've given all federal employees a reason to think much more carefully about how qualified you REALLY were and are to be the POTUS.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | November 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

drdavisdr

Paying attention and not listening to Rush little boy. Now lets have some cites to back up 15million Feds and those great pay raises huh. Lets stop making stuff up.

Now little boy isnt it time for you to get ready for your 3-11 shift at 7-11.

Now why not tell me what the pay raises were for DC area Feds for the last 3 years? Big I dont think so. Moron.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Last year, the President said he would freeze wages but Congress went ahead and gave federal employees a modest increase. So, some complainers need to do a fact check.

It is part of our shared sacrifice and duty as Americans to help the nation. With inflation nearly zero and deflation in some areas, there's little reason to complain.

Posted by: HH-Higgins | November 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Bye-bye Obama. Hope you had a nice four years.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | November 29, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

it just seem like a lot of you men and women get into the government for the pay and beneifits and dont really care about the work you do, if u really feel that badly about your job maybe u should quit, but i look at it like this i would take a pay freeze over being fired any day

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | November 29, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

We see how it is.

The gambling banks get bailed out at 100 cents on the dollar.

But the people have to "make the hard choices."

Okay, that makes all kinds of sense.

Posted by: roberthurst | November 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how this will effect CFC contributions. I'm not a govie, but I have friends who are and they'll surely look to make up for this somewhere considering that their HC costs are going up 10% or more like the rest of the country.

Posted by: downtowngirl | November 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

People choose the federal government for the stability and work. Government employees made a trade-off of less pay for more stability, and now they get punished? When the economy was booming and everyone in the private sector mocked Federal employees was there an outcry for a decrease in private sector pay? Of course not. The few times that Federal employees made a good choice by picking stability over high dollar amounts they get attacked for their choice.

And what is this?

-"Look at all those bureaucrats cry when they should be working! I bet none of those Federal employees could cut it in the private sector!"

Federal employees get 15 minute breaks too so of course they will be able to post comments.

As for the second comment, the Federal employees I work with can easily make it into the private sector.

I'm going to get some comments about "typical Fed, probably been there forever," but I am graduating from my University and made the choice to go with the Federal government over any private accounting or public accounting job (both of which had a starting salary of $15,000 more).

When times are nice and the economy is booming you can gloat without recourse, but when times are tough you want to piss and moan as well. Stop looking at how unfair life is and at what others have, and begin looking at what you can do to better your situation.

Posted by: erik_mex | November 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the pay freeze does not apply to Congress or their staff. The President knows he needs Congress to vote for this proposal and he is smart enough to realize those folks who will vote on this proposal are OK with others making sacrifices, but when it comes to themselves they may not be.

Could the President not save some money for the government by reducing the trips he and the vice-president take or by asking members of Congress to reduce the campaigning they do under the guise of doing government business?

Posted by: drawde1 | November 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the pay freeze does not apply to Congress or their staff. The President knows he needs Congress to vote for this proposal and he is smart enough to realize those folks who will vote on this proposal are OK with others making sacrifices, but when it comes to themselves they may not be.

Could the President not save some money for the government by reducing the trips he and the vice-president take or by asking members of Congress to reduce the campaigning they do under the guise of doing government business?

Posted by: drawde1 | November 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, this is fine with me. But I'm amazed (well, not really) at how there's money to buy thousands of those scanner machines that are so controversial, and no one seems to be proposing reducing the purchases of those.

Posted by: rjm1 | November 29, 2010 1:02 PM


Why would you be? Tom Daschle's wife is making millions off that deal.

Posted by: Pilot1 | November 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

About time. I have been a contractor for the federal gov't for five years. I have met hard working gov't employees, but I have also witnessed a lot of worthless filth that do the bare minimum, and still get raises, an hour for lunch, an hour for exercise, "compressed" schedules, etc. These are my tax dollars at work. It's a good start Mr. Obama, but will you go farther and actually solve the problem for good?

Posted by: gchris01 | November 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, I'm okay about taking a pay hit under the current economic conditions. NOT that I deserve it...

However, to take a pay hit and leaving Congress off the hook, is an incredible insult. I feel like I have just been slapped in the face and kicked int he guts.

You are all COWARDS! That is why we, as Democrats, are losing grounds, BECAUSE NOBODY WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH COWARDS! Get it!

When Republicans say we make too much, fight back... tell them that they pay too little! ...that we wouldn't have these health care debates if they payed for the the services that they received from their workers, in cash and benefits.

Yes, government employees get paid better, but is wasn't always the case. We use to be the lowest paid, but we had a simple, annual Cost of Living increase... and that, over the long haul, has proven to be better than the private sector, especially "small business" gouging.

Get a spine or I am going to quit the party.

Remember: Republican political operatives maybe mean, cruel, scum - but they're not cowards - and nobody like, loves or cares about a coward.

Posted by: ArcticObserver | November 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Better idea.

Take a day off from war each week for a year.

Posted by: toxicsalami | November 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

What is breaking this country is in the Russian History books and that is they tried to get Afghanistan under some type of reasionable control and went broke doing it. Look at Russia now and you will see. We will save alot of our $$'s and we can work towards this country becoming strong again. Let's all work here in the U.S. and not overseas. They are breaking us folks, financially breaking us...

Posted by: jonacameronsr | November 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

dram805 writes: Isn't it interesting that after 8 years of Republican "Borrow and Spend" policies during the Bush Administration, we in Blue America, once again, have to clean up the mess.

ironmule says: yo dram! If you want a mess to clean up, get on over to Detroit, Michigan. It's a doozie! 40 years of Big Labor Democrat politics and what? Burned out people, burned out buildings, lawlessness and corruption are the way of life. Yeah, Marxist Democrat politics really do the trick. Not! Detroit: poster city for Marxist failure in the U.S.A.

Posted by: ironmule | November 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I am a fed.
This is no surprise. Money is tight and the raise was going to be very small anyway. BFD.
My only issue is why only SOME get a freeze. Why not ALL?

Posted by: Island_Boy | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The pay freeze is nice but still a joke. The overpaid, attitude-infested, arrogant public employees are a disgrace. I can honestly say that I have never run into a public employee that I liked; they are all sullen, surly, lazy, and think anything they do is a huge favor to me - and this includes motor dept employees, state department, airport, immigration, police, many teachers, etc etc.

That these fools still make 20% to 30% more than comparable private sector employees, and which does not even include health and other benefits (which hike up the total comp of a public employee to nearly twice that of a private employee) is a joke, disgrace, and revolting.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the freeze is "The first of many difficult steps ahead."

WRONG!!! This is the easy step. The first steps should have been reform so we are not in this situation again. The difficult step would have been a one time windfall profit tax on wall street bonuses for the bailout received by American taxpayers. now the administration can say that they have made gains towards decreasing the deficit. I bet you dollars to donuts that the Bush era federal tax cuts are extended for everyone. Shared sacrifice... sure.

Posted by: ThorstenNJ | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Now that feds are taking one for the gipper, it's time to share a little of the pain across the board. Let's raise taxes on the wealthy (+250K), eliminate the mortgage deduction (no more housing bubbles), make everyone work until they are 70 (never mind rampant age discrimination), and reduce social secrity benefits or eliminate it and replace with 401K's (forget the recently tanked stock market). Oh happy day!

Posted by: devomon | November 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

They should also freeze ALL promotions since this allows raises, or if promoted no raise this would be OK. I do not object to someone being promoted but at this time no raises you stay at the same wage you are promoted from ..

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I am a GS-12 and while it wouldn't hurt me too much because I have other means of making money, really and truly they should not freeze federal pay below GS-8. They are not paid enough to even live. I don't think the SSA cola should have been frozen either. I think the politicians should start paying for health care, drive their own cars, and stop getting perks. Those should be cut and we would really save a lot of money. The federal workers didn't start the economic turn down and everyone seems to forget what really happened on a few fronts.

Posted by: cmauro3927 | November 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong about including the House and Senate with freezing their wages? With all the days they take off as "Holidays" maybe a reduction in wages would be in line
at this time.

Posted by: golfinggail | November 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Glad to do my fair share. The pay freeze hurts but others have been hurt far worse.

Posted by: winwooduk1 | November 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

What baffles me most about this is that Obama is essentially pissing off the people who voted him into office. How in the world does he expect to get voted into office next term with these actions?

Posted by: Cerberus136 | November 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Ok - you Federal Workers - do you think THIS is ok?
"...but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers".
So, the one's that get paid the MOST are exempt from this. What a joke...
Strength in numbers people - start complaining or this BS will continue for 2 more years...

Posted by: faircma | November 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments state that Federal Workers make more than the private sector ... I just read an article today that the President states Federal workers do not. When will people stop believing everything the media says??

My only question: Why is Congress ALWAYS exempt from everything?

Posted by: laseay1 | November 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

oObama is cowering to the republicans. I am not a federal government worker, but this is a preface to the remaining time he has left in office. I voted for Obama but next time I will vote for the democratic opponent. If he retains as nominee, I will not vote in 2012. His is an enormous disappointment and especially to himself for lacking the courage to forge ahead.

His rhetoric of republicans working for corporate America is true. republicans consistently bend over to corporate American. They do not represent or support their constituents.

Both parties have put America in financial peril.

Posted by: water11 | November 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

You could save that by cutting one weapon system in about 15 minutes with DOD. Health insurance premiums are going up again.. we will actually lose money this year. Not sure why Congress isn't sharing the pain.. seems a little hypocritical... wait we are talking about Congress. I am serving 2 years in Afghanistan... I serve my country and work hard... I grow tired of the argument that Government employees arent dedicated and work hard.

Posted by: jekaufman1 | November 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What about a pay freeze for Congress and Congressional staff? Or perhaps even cuts to Congressional staff. They are the ones calling for sacrifice, let them lead by example.

Posted by: shogun_5 | November 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama is cowering to the republicans. I am not a federal government worker, but this is a preface to the remaining time he has left in office. I voted for Obama but next time I will vote for the democratic opponent. If he retains as nominee, I will not vote in 2012. His is an enormous disappointment and especially to himself for lacking the courage to forge ahead.

His rhetoric of republicans working for corporate America is true. Republicans consistently bend over to corporate American. They do not represent or support their constituents.

Both parties have put America in financial peril.

Posted by: water11 | November 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ironmule
Here's the straight skinny:
The gargantuan Federal Bureaucracy is a pain and a drain on the well-being of the U.S.A. Everybody knows it but getting rid of it is difficult because of Richard Trumka AFL-CIO-AFSCME-SEIU-ACORN-AFGE etc. In other words Marxist Socialist Big Labor.
---------------------------------------------------------------
What does Federal bureaucracy have to to with the unions? Except to give righties a chance to yell socialism.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | November 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I will say that the some of the people exempt can only be part of this if the congress allows it.

Congress votes for the staffers and their costs. I believe the same is done for the judges and their workers.

So the president can suggest but at the end fo teh day congress makes the move. Now in this case he is our "boss" so he can name us. Of course this still needs congressional approval.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I just tore up my pledge sheet to the CFC. Gotta save 1.9% somewhere.

Posted by: brothertobrother | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Eveyone needs a reality check. Read toxicsalami above who hits the nail on the head!

Posted by: devomon | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Well well well...."but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

So the staffers of the Rethuglicons don't take a hit nor do their bosses.....how convient.....

Posted by: nowhine | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

What about a pay freeze for Congress and Congressional staff? Or perhaps even cuts to Congressional staff. They are the ones calling for sacrifice, let them lead by example.

Posted by: shogun_5 | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

When the economy gets better and it will get better next year, there will be a mass exodus of high capable qualified people who work for contractors, be contractors, or work for the private sector. I dont mind the pay freeze but quality personnel do mind it, so they will be leaving shortly.

Posted by: Sincear2021 | November 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think its hilarious how republicans have the audacity to say that fed workers should have their pay frozen and benefits cut but never even thought about giving themselves a pay cut! Hell, even Obama froze the salaries of his staff - if that's not a good faith effort then I don't know what is. So, the single parent that makes 40,000 a year gets a freeze, but our lovely representatives will probably get a raise and still get to keep BOTH of their resdiences and fly all over the freaking country while everyday Americans suffer? It's just wrong - freezing federal pay isn't even going to put a dent in our deficit. Republicans act as if Obama personally put us in debt - like it happened overnight. I'll tell you what, when your grandma's SSI check is processed wrong, or your tax refund takes too long to come back, or a terrorist attack happens because there weren't enough Border Patrol or TSA officers due to reduction in force/furloughs, just remember that this is what Republicans wanted.....

Posted by: dominos_sis | November 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think its hilarious how republicans have the audacity to say that fed workers should have their pay frozen and benefits cut but never even thought about giving themselves a pay cut! Hell, even Obama froze the salaries of his staff - if that's not a good faith effort then I don't know what is. So, the single parent that makes 40,000 a year gets a freeze, but our lovely representatives will probably get a raise and still get to keep BOTH of their resdiences and fly all over the freaking country while everyday Americans suffer? It's just wrong - freezing federal pay isn't even going to put a dent in our deficit. Republicans act as if Obama personally put us in debt - like it happened overnight. I'll tell you what, when your grandma's SSI check is processed wrong, or your tax refund takes too long to come back, or a terrorist attack happens because there weren't enough Border Patrol or TSA officers due to reduction in force/furloughs, just remember that this is what Republicans wanted.....

Posted by: dominos_sis | November 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the people complaining about federal workers actually work in an industry propped up by federal or state tax dollars. As far as I'm concerned, if you work in the auto industry, real estate, banking, investing, food, energy, defense, technology, biotechnology, education, etc., you probably wouldn't have a job if the federal government wasn't around.

And as for employee competency: there is no more incompetence in the public sector than the private. Think about how wonderful Microsoft products operate, or how well the AT&T billing department functions, how courteous the cable company's employees are. Incompetence is found everywhere, especially in a country that values sports and Dancing with the Stars as much as America does.

Posted by: thesilverback | November 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Well that makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

www.privacy-web.edu.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | November 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


The pay freeze is nice but still a joke. The overpaid, attitude-infested, arrogant public employees are a disgrace. I can honestly say that I have never run into a public employee that I liked; they are all sullen, surly, lazy, and think anything they do is a huge favor to me - and this includes motor dept employees, state department, airport, immigration, police, many teachers, etc etc.

That these fools still make 20% to 30% more than comparable private sector employees, and which does not even include health and other benefits (which hike up the total comp of a public employee to nearly twice that of a private employee) is a joke, disgrace, and revolting.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

----------

First, maybe if you didnt' come in with an attitude of being owed a special favor as so many of the public do when interracting with a government official, then you wouldn't be met with attitude back. You probably come in acting like you're exempt from policy, procedure and protocol and are told to get back in line and wait your turn.

Second, can you give an example of one government job that earns 20-30% more than comparable work in the private sector? No? didn't think so.

Posted by: trambusto | November 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee and agree with the pay cuts. One, it is for a limited time. Two, it will help the deficit. Three, demonstrates to other companies by example., I have a question though. Why aren't Congress (House and Senate) pay cuts implemented? Why isn't the military made to contribute? Their pay should be cut too. The military has VA, Va hospitals, etc. If everyone is aske dot help with the budget they should be too. What in incentive to stop wars. Why aren't postal workers affected? We see plenty of stories of the waste commited by both groups! Rememebr the hammers for $200 a few years ago? How about poor delivery of service by the postal workers? Or the increase of people not using the mail system? As a federal I believe in everyone not just a select few making an impact an ddoing what they can to help the budget. Yeah, welfare recipients can cut back as well.

Posted by: Marion_Johnson | November 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What about a pay freeze for Congress and Congressional staff? Or perhaps even cuts to Congressional staff. They are the ones calling for sacrifice, let them lead by example.

Posted by: shogun_5 | November 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@laseay1

I lived in Howard County, the third richest county in the nation over the past few years. When I was a freshman in high school (5 or so years ago), our history teacher took a poll of how many students have 1 or 2 parents working for the government in some way, shape, or form. Everyone in the class stood up except for me for both the option of 1 parent working for the government and 2 parent's working for the government.

It's not all media perception. If 29 of 30 kids all had parents working for the government, and the county was the third richest in the nation, how can you say the private sector makes more?

Posted by: Cerberus136 | November 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious from reading these comments that this whole country is full of morons.

Posted by: Pete433 | November 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess if the elderly on Social Security will not receive a raise, Gov't employees should not be exempt from trying to live on frozen income while the cost of living rises.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | November 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Simply amazing! We have spent over $1-trillion dollars, and continue to spend around $12-billion per month, on two wars of choice and nation building exercises. And then, our president decides to shave a couple of billion from the federal budget by freezing the wages of hard working Civil Servants. Go figure!

Posted by: kabusn6198 | November 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee and I think this is awful that they aren't putting a hold on all fed salaries across the board. Congressional members, their staffs, contractors, the court and their staffs as well.

There are many of us who work hard and pay should reflect your duties and performance. If underskilled employees are being paid more than they should...they need to rectify that. How can the government retain top talent if they freeze pay?

This is really disappointing.

Posted by: skybluez13 | November 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Cerberus136---

are you in the "rich" or "middle-class" part of the county? I mean Montgomery County is rich but if you live in Damascas you probably make way less than the person living in Potomac. Plus, did you go to a private or public school? Private school is where the "rich" people go.

Just asking

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't each member of Congress lead the nation and voluntarily take a 25% pay cut. After all, each gets so much money from lobbyists and speaking engagements they hardly need taxpayers' money at all. And why don't they pay for their own healthcare?

Posted by: aspidistra95 | November 29, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't each member of Congress lead the nation and voluntarily take a 25% pay cut. After all, each gets so much money from lobbyists and speaking engagements they hardly need taxpayers' money at all. And why don't they pay for their own healthcare?

Posted by: aspidistra95 | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

So Steny Hoyer thinks we ought to freeze the military's pay too, ostensibly because service members work with civilian employees. Please, Mr. Hoyer, explain that to the men and women of our armed forces that have been away from the families on 18 month deployments facing death and dismemberment everyday for the last 10 years. Then please consider a pay cut for you and your wrongheaded cronies before removing what little financial compensation there is for serving your country in uniform.

Posted by: angusyoung | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes but not much of a sacrifce in that lots of workers have been getting decreasing pay for decades not frozen. Yet corporate profits, benefits, and political and lobbyist spending has been going through the roof. Less pay for these workers is going to amount to less profits somewhere else and if the campaign and lobbying spending stays the same as it is then all one can do is suspect more creative accounting and scheming in the CFO department stores...

Posted by: Wildthing1 | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The term "pay freeze" is misleading and I wish the headlines would quit phrasing it that way. Employees are still eligible for both raises and bonuses.

Also, I'll add the comment that federal workers often work long, hard hours - just ask anyone in my family who has done it. Quit generalizing entire groups of workers as lazy or unmotivated.


Posted by: Woodbridge45 | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Folks, please read the article thoroughly... members of Congress, Congressional staffers, federal court judges and workers are still getting COLAs....

Posted by: shadeau | November 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Citing deficit, Obama freezing federal worker pay"

A typically pusillanimous, insufficient effort by the lacking-a-pair lunatic-left socialist-in-charge. A REAL leader would mandate that the bloated federal government employment levels - and salaries - be set back to year 2005, with NO increases in salaries or benefits until there is PARITY with private sector salaries and benefits, then annual increases no greater than those of the private sector. Furthermore, any government bureaucrat that owes the government for unpaid taxes (over $1 BILLION is now owed by these reprobates should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY.

...but real improvements and meaningful, effective actions will have to wait for Jan 2013 when our new president takes office. She'll do the job that the effete d-crat socialists can't.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | November 29, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It's really sad how many Americans believe the tripe that Federal government workers actually make 20-30% more than the average American. It's just not true and never has been. That "study" was designed from the beginning to conclude exactly what its authors wanted it to in order to make a political point.

I can accept a freeze because I'm getting a step increase, otherwise I'd be out the door. I imagine I'll be out the door for a better job out of the government sector sooner rather than later anyway. People may not like the sentiment stated by anarcho-liberal-tarian but thanks to the Democratic controlled Congress that option is available to anybody who's dissatisfied. We had a pay for performance system within DOD that benefited a large number of workers and made it somewhat easier to get rid of those who slacked off. Congress made DOD get rid of it because the slackers complained. Now we're back to the old GS system that rewards service time over merit.

What I cannot accept is this President has decided to put deficit reduction on the backs of Federal government workers while he still supports health care "reform" that will do nothing but balloon the deficit. Obama, as usual, has no idea what he's doing and is counting on the stupidity of the American people who, I'm quite sure, will credit him for deficit reduction and forget all about the added costs in that health care bill that will far outstrip whatever savings come from today's announcement.

Furthermore, for those of you who complain about the quality of government workers, what do you think today's announcement is going to do for the government's recruiting efforts? You're going to get even fewer quality people who want to work for the Federal government.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | November 29, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing but a political stunt and actually hurts the unemployment problem by signaling to employers its OK to cut salaries and lay people off.

Bad move.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for Congress members who support this move turn back or donate their pay increases- also all of the pay increases for their staffers. Also hope to see them reduce their own benefits if they intend to reduce my benefits. I've worked for the Federal government for over 32 years and I haven't seen it happen yet.// Oh - and apparently government contractors are more important and financially needy then Federal workers - especially those GS-3 and 5's who don't have increases to their living expenses like the contracted employees do.// When constituents want to know why their claims aren't being processed timely, we'll have to talk to your representatives who decided we can "do more (work) with less", especially if they start giving us furloughs like the state of MD is doing.

Posted by: mykrycekboy | November 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers"

I guess Congress was exempted because they have been doing such a fabulous job.

Posted by: menopausequeen | November 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Lots of difficult decisions must be made to get our country back on track fiscally. Federal workers should not complain - private sector workers already have taken the hit, and it's about time they share the pain as well. Plus federal workers have never had to worry about pension or retirement savings losing value like we have when the economy tanked. I applaud President Obama - and I'm a Republican.

Posted by: nancytropoli | November 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Case in point, I have a Harvard Law educate friend who left a law firm job paying 275K to become a counsel to a member of congress, his pay?? 75K How's that for a pay cut."
---------------------------------------

Not related, that was THEIR decision. This a farce unlese it cuts across all levels of government, including the staffersm, their bosses, and the military.

Posted by: nowhine | November 29, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

How about decreasing the number of contractors in the government? Surely, that should help! I say, give federal employees more responsibilities and accountable. Yes we make good/decent salaries and we all want to work but when jobs are outsourced and contractors are brought in to do our work, it leaves little for us to do. Consider cutting back on contractors and let us do our jobs!

Posted by: Lovely3 | November 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

intcamd1 - You redefine the term idiot and bring it to a much lower level. Are you capable of changing your own diaper or do you need a "government" subsidized caregivers help?

Posted by: mleofric | November 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

In the first two years Obama pumped 100's of billions of tax payer dollars to the union goons that finance Democratic campaigns. He also raised federal pay to record levels.

Now, he is going to freeze it.

PATHETIC!

The President of the United States is a pathetic stooge for the labor unions.

Posted by: TECWRITE | November 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Can't understand the logic about freezing pay, but allowing bonuses. Seems that these should be linked.

Posted by: almelbe | November 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea!!! How about decreasing the number of contractors in the government? Surely, that should help! I say, give federal employees more responsibilities and accountability. Yes we make good/decent salaries and we all want to work but when jobs are outsourced and contractors are brought in to do our work, it leaves little for us to do. Consider cutting back on contractors and let us do our jobs!

Posted by: Lovely3 | November 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

nancytropoli---

Now that is funny....almost all of my co-workers have nothing left in their retirement savings...they were in the high risk market where their money was being traded. If you stayed in the govt bond interest accounts (like me) then you didn't lose but if you were like many of my co-workers you are out TONS of money.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Federal workers should not complain - private sector workers already have taken the hit, and it's about time they share the pain as well." -

I agree 100% We have had no raises here for 2 years already. Many companies around here have had pay/benefit decreases or layoffs. Not to demean federal workers, but that is the reality of the current job market.

Posted by: hdimig | November 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

For all those wondering why the freeze did not affect Congress or Judicial staff: It is unconstitutional for the President to do so. Take a gander at separation of powers sometime and you'll figure out why.

Posted by: spartanindc | November 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, I support the pay freeze. When cost of living isn't really increasing, there isn't a reason to have a cost-of-living raise.

However, let's set some facts straight. Yes, there are useless federal employees that collect a paycheck and nothing more. But useless employees weigh on society wherever they go - their lack of production would drive up prices of consumer goods and services if they worked in the private sector. The best solution is to increase productivity, not blast all feds for being overpaid because a few are unproductive.

Feds aren't unproductive. This pay freeze hits the FBI agents and CIA analysts fighting the war on terror at home and abroad. It hits NSA employee trying to break North Korea's encrypted communications, it hits the VA doctors caring for wounded vets, it hits FDA scientists keeping poison out of your food, it hits the NIH researchers trying to cure Alzheimer's, AIDs, and cancer. It hits US Marshals that transport felons, it hits the US Attorneys that convicted those felons, it hits the federal prison employees that keep those felons locked away.

I understand that it sucks to go to the Post Office to stand in line for the one window that's open while you see postal employees standing around. But don't lump all feds into the same wagon - the vast majority of us do our work well, with pride, and in service to the American people.

Posted by: asupps | November 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

And there you go again - those exemptions that make any regulation or attempt to truly attack the deficit/debt pointless. Why do members of congress get a pass on the pay freeze? They have voted themselves pay raises while the rest of us have lost our jobs, had our hours cut, or lost the small bonuses we used to get from our employers - yet they, and their staffs will continue to get raises and bonuses....and just who is it that PAYS for those? The Tax Payer.

Its a good start, Mr. President, but just not quite good enough. Make it across the board for two years or until the economy improves for the private sector who are ones paying those salaries...remember?

Posted by: LMW6 | November 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Freeze on wages should be accompanied by a freeze in hiring. Wages should also be readjusted downward to reflect the fact that the TAXPAYER is footing the bill. If you do not want to SERVE the taxpayer, you need to get a job in the private sector.

Posted by: bcullum1952 | November 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

And there you go again - those exemptions that make any regulation or attempt to truly attack the deficit/debt pointless. Why do members of congress get a pass on the pay freeze? They have voted themselves pay raises while the rest of us have lost our jobs, had our hours cut, or lost the small bonuses we used to get from our employers - yet they, and their staffs will continue to get raises and bonuses....and just who is it that PAYS for those? The Tax Payer.

Its a good start, Mr. President, but just not quite good enough. Make it across the board for two years or until the economy improves for the private sector who are ones paying those salaries...remember?

And those millionaires in Congress really need those pay increases don't they?

Posted by: LMW6 | November 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

dominos_sis: This is your OBAMA's pay freeze did you not read the above new item. If Republicans would of been involved there would of been a pay cut along with the a freeze.
I also think CONGRESS should take a 20% cut in pay until the budget is balanced and they get JOBS back in sight and created in the private sector. Then no raises for two years to let the dust settle. It is going to be a long hull for sure.

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Comrades: How much will the WH staff, especially those feeding at the First Lady's trough, be cut????

Posted by: rep15 | November 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@spartyinmd

I went to public school. I'm in one of the richer part's of the county, but definitely not the richest part. While I do see your point, there are government employees all over the county. My girlfriend attends a different high school and almost everyone she knows has parents who work for some sector of the government. The same is with a friend who lives on basically the other side of the county.

More than anything, you are proving me point more than disproving it. If the rich sectors of the county all have public employees, and the "Not-So-Rich" sectors do not have as many public employees among them. Does that not show that in general, at least in my area, government workers make more money than private-sector workers?

Posted by: Cerberus136 | November 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly the yearly increase in federal salaries is so miniscule that I hardly notice it. However, I don't see how the president and members of congress can be such hypocrits as to not undergo the same pay freezes.

Posted by: browneri | November 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

.
Hey Ed,

more than half of the "federal workforce" works for or through or as contractors.
So, no, this does not affect "most" of the ~6 million who work for the federal government.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | November 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As a retired Disabled Vet I have not recieved a pay raise in Two years. No Cola, none, zip. And I can tell you that the cost of living HAS gone up. Not only did I not recieve any cola raise on SS, they raised the cost of medicare. Now they are talking of raising the cost of Tricare, which we were promised free for life. I have lost spending power, and now they want more. So all you fed workers, stop whining, you got a job, and get paid well. At least you have not got the cuts we have for the last two years, and it looks like more.

Posted by: XParaman | November 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I work very hard at my Fed job. I put in lots of unpaid hours and do work for others that are double my age, so while I respect the concept of freezing my current piss poor wage for 2 years, I do not support cutting my pay. As a recent college grad and DC resident where prices for everything are ridiculously high, this is really going to hurt. They could've went about this in a much better way. I knew I should've went to the private sector

Posted by: GovMark | November 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We are spending 150 billion a month, 10-15 million dollars a day in Aghanistan, what the heck is 60 billion over 10 years, when one month at war triples that.

Posted by: Sincear2021 | November 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Another way to really cut back is for newly appointed SES candidates in the Federal Government to refrain from hiring friends of friends to federal positions that never existed. New directors often bring in their buddies (good ol' boy days are back) in positions to build their empire during their tenure in the federal government. There should be a limit to these kinds of hirings. They always start at the top but no one looks there when it's time to make budget cuts.

Posted by: Lovely3 | November 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Lovely3----

Finally...I have been saying this at my job for years. I would love to have MUCH more work that I enjoy on my plate than to do the boring work I am doing. I was hired to be a person who created new things at my office. I have not done that in at least five years....guess when we hired the contractors...five years ago. They were "subject matter experts" on the new technology we were rolling out. I was fine with them being there to train us but they are still there and we are not being allowed to take on the work even though we know it.

And before anyone jumps on me for not working...I am off today.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Federal employees should not worry or complain about this or a possible two-week furlough being pushed by some members of Congress.
These cuts are just a very, very small part of a truly comprehensive plan the Government has to greatly reduce the Federal defecit within 20 years. Federal employees should be proud to do their patriotic part in saving Americe from this looming economic disaster.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Santa Claus.

Posted by: jeadpt | November 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Well doesn't this do a lot of nothing. This does not lower the deficit. It only makes it harder to get anything done. I am not a federal worker, but I back the employees who are getting screwed because of petty jealousy by those with less, or just plain angry at the feds in general. Get a grip people, this solves nothing, but can potentially create lots of problems. A stupid idea by stupid people.

Posted by: dougw3 | November 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

What short memories. Just two days ago, the FBI thwarted a terrorist attack that would have left many people dead or severely injured,,,and the thanks of the American public...freeze their pay, those lazy government workers. Ungrateful citizens.

Posted by: AnnsThought | November 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, with some hope, Obama will get serious about job creation and stop flailing in the wind everytime a Republican walks by him.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Well doesn't this do a lot of nothing. This does not lower the deficit. It only makes it harder to get anything done. I am not a federal worker, but I back the employees who are getting screwed because of petty jealousy by those with less, or just plain angry at the feds in general. Get a grip people, this solves nothing, but can potentially create lots of problems. A stupid idea by stupid people.

Posted by: dougw3 | November 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice symbolic gesture, but essentially meaningless. In the big scheme of malfeasance, the problem is not whether federal workers do or don't deserve a COLA. Do the math. The projected savings of this pay freeze is said to be $2 billion for FY 2011. That's barely a blip on the meter of federal spending. Interest alone on the federal debt is projected to be $414 billion this year. The projected budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is 850 billion for the same period. That would be the money going from the taxpayers' pocket (and supplemented by the debt incurred in their name) into the pockets of people for "entitlements." So, before we start begrudging the value of work actually being performed by federal workers (however efficiently), maybe we should start with the elephant in the room represented by the near trillion dollars per annum being forked out for the so-called entitlements.

Posted by: Rico00 | November 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Another way to really cut back is for newly appointed SES candidates in the Federal Government to refrain from hiring "friends of friends" to federal positions that never existed in previous administrations. New Directors/Administrators often bring their buddies (good ol' boy days are back) in positions to build their empire during their tenure in the federal government. There should be a limit to these kinds of hirings. Try making those budget cuts from the top (newly hired administration positions)instead of cutting back from worker bees.

Posted by: Lovely3 | November 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Did everyone read the same article that I did?
This freeze will freeze the 'within grade step increases' as well as the yearly 'COLA' that employees normally receive. This is only fair in the given economic environment and I believe many federal workers understand this. It will not affect Congress, nor will it affect any employee who is PROMOTED into a higher grade (although it will freeze any subsequent within grade step increase for this promoted employee.) For the record.

Posted by: whatsthetruth | November 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The pay freeze is nice but still a joke. The overpaid, attitude-infested, arrogant public employees are a disgrace. I can honestly say that I have never run into a public employee that I liked; they are all sullen, surly, lazy, and think anything they do is a huge favor to me - and this includes motor dept employees, state department, airport, immigration, police, many teachers, etc etc.

That these fools still make 20% to 30% more than comparable private sector employees, and which does not even include health and other benefits (which hike up the total comp of a public employee to nearly twice that of a private employee) is a joke, disgrace, and revolting.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse


----------

First, maybe if you didnt' come in with an attitude of being owed a special favor as so many of the public do when interracting with a government official, then you wouldn't be met with attitude back. You probably come in acting like you're exempt from policy, procedure and protocol and are told to get back in line and wait your turn.

Second, can you give an example of one government job that earns 20-30% more than comparable work in the private sector? No? didn't think so.

Posted by: trambusto | November 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

-----------

That's right; blame it on the customers. Your nasty public employee attitude is alright because the scum private sector customer deserves it; and of course your lifelong multimillion $ benefits+retirement package is well justified and earned, and let us tax every one to death so you can get your pay and benefits package till death. If the private sector employee loses his job and can't pay the taxes towards your benefits, well that aint your problem, no?

There is a an elaborate table in USA Today which lists profession after profession and how much the public sector buffoon makes more than the private sector bee. Google it and read for yourself.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Did everyone read the same article that I did?
This freeze will freeze the 'within grade step increases' as well as the yearly 'COLA' that employees normally receive. This is only fair in the given economic environment and I believe many federal workers understand this. It will not affect Congress, nor will it affect any employee who is PROMOTED into a higher grade (although it will freeze any subsequent within grade step increase for this promoted employee.) For the record.

Posted by: whatsthetruth | November 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Long overdue...Congressional pay cuts. Let their rich corporate friends pay their salaries.

Posted by: clairevb | November 29, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama cops out, as so many presidents before him have, making federal workers the poster children money savings techniques. This will supposedly make him look good because he's "doing something." How many in the private sector expecting a pay raise are going to say "Oh, I can't go for that or accept it because federal workers are not getting a raise?" And when their employers say "Can't give it to you because the President has set the tone for thrift," everyone will be totally understanding, right? Obama has lost many previously supportive constituencies, now it's federal employees turn to jump ship on him.

Posted by: wp318676 | November 29, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Cerberus136---

Actually it could also say that the people who live by you are the "richer" feds...the ones on the top of the pay scale. I for one am in the mid range GS level and could not afford to live in any inner county of DC. I commute from the panhandle of WV every day in order to afford to live in a home. My mortgage is less than it would cost to live in a single bedroom apartment in the DC metro.

Many of the people in my pay range or just below it live in apartments with two or three roommates in order to make ends meet. They live in the inner DC area but they made the choice to live with roommates in exchange for living closer to work.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Whoa here! So,watch out the Trickey Kenyan
Barack Hussein Obama is deliberately busy
trying to distract you from the Wikileaks of the foul ups and incompetence of both
Obama's Sec of State Hillary Clinton and
the State Department along with the total
incompetence of Obama's Sec of Defense Robert Gates and the Defense Department and
its potential damage and embarassment to the USA along with Barack Hussein Obama may
be deliberately trying to embarass and disgrace Hillary Clinton to stop her from
running for President in 2012 by this Red
Herring Federal Employees Pay Freeze! Yep,
more Obama Chicago Dirty Politics at it's
finest here folks. Impeach Obama now!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | November 29, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder

So sorry I rounded up.
The "true size" of the federal government stands at 14.6 million employees, said Paul C. Light, the study's author and a government professor at New York University. Which was derived from the labor bureau

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder

So sorry I rounded up.
The "true size" of the federal government stands at 14.6 million employees, said Paul C. Light, the study's author and a government professor at New York University. Which was derived from the labor bureau Bummer

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

After 25 years as a federal contractor, I recently started working as a federal employee (full-time civil service). Over the years, I've seen federal employees furloughed and go without pay raises, but not once, as a contract (pseudo-private sector) employee, did I go without a 5% (or higher) annual pay raise. Govt contractors pay their employees with federal dollars -- they may act like it's the private sector, but it just isn't (and govt contractors definitely do NOT work any harder than civil service employees, I've been on both sides of the fence -- the majority are hard working, and there are slackers on both sides of that fence). I believe an "across the board" pay freeze should apply to federal contractors as well. (PS You can't believe what some of those contract executives are making off your tax dollars -- FAR MORE than their civil service counterparts!)

Posted by: anon75 | November 29, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Let's put a cost of living pay freeze on congressmen too. And make some drastic cutbacks in their medical coverage and pension benefits. "D' Accord?"

Posted by: MickNamVet


Oui! And for their staffers too.

Posted by: GoodGracious | November 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Sheephearder,

The "true size" of the federal government stands at 14.6 million employees, said Paul C. Light, the study's author and a government professor at New York University. Just .4 million short of 15 million. Bummer isn't it.

Posted by: drdavisdr | November 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Clairevb--you appear to have overlooked this phrase in the body of the article:

"..does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers. "

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Everybody should sacrifice. How about freezing CEO salaries and bonuses and making sure that money is used to raise the lowest
salaries? How about increasing taxes on luxurious yachts and McMansions? How about freezing your own salary if it is many times that of people working for you and giving a raise to those poor slobs? The economy will not shrink since the money will still be in circulation.

Posted by: serban1 | November 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Federal employees have been getting a lot of bad press lately, as they are supposedly grossly "overpaid." Perhaps this will shut up the critics. In any event, it's better than a big pay cut.

Posted by: John991 | November 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Why give excemptions to Congressmen, judges and others for the Pay cut. Why not include everybody in the federal pay roll starting from the President. Show the public that they are also americans at heart and willing to sacrifice their fare share of pay. If you leave some one out of this pay cut, it is sheer hypocracy and lip service to the difficult times

Will the President have guts to show everyone that all in executive, judicial and legislative branch also ordinary citizens first and should bear the pay cut

Ramakrishnan

Posted by: sramakri43 | November 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Federal employees have been getting a lot of bad press lately, as they are supposedly grossly "overpaid." Perhaps this will shut up the critics. In any event, it's better than a big pay cut.

Posted by: John991 | November 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Why give excemptions to Congressmen, judges and others for the Pay cut. Why not include everybody in the federal pay roll starting from the President. Show the public that they are also americans at heart and willing to sacrifice their fare share of pay. If you leave some one out of this pay cut, it is sheer hypocracy and lip service to the difficult times

Will the President have guts to show everyone that all in executive, judicial and legislative branch also ordinary citizens first and should bear the pay cut

Ramakrishnan

Posted by: sramakri43 | November 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Why give excemptions to Congressmen, judges and others for the Pay cut. Why not include everybody in the federal pay roll starting from the President. Show the public that they are also americans at heart and willing to sacrifice their fare share of pay. If you leave some one out of this pay cut, it is sheer hypocracy and lip service to the difficult times

Will the President have guts to show everyone that all in executive, judicial and legislative branch also ordinary citizens first and should bear the pay cut

Ramakrishnan

Posted by: sramakri43 | November 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many Congressmen/women will "man-up" and do the right thing by freezing or taking a pay cut and pension cut? Let's see if they can really "walk the walk" while shooting off their mouths and wringing their hands over social security and medicare benefits for people who have a lot less money than any of them have.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh No, a lot of people who voted for Obama just got a pay freeze! Since the economy is bad it's about time for federal employees to share some of the pain.

Next, let's rein some of this so-called necessary travel for work: such as, DOD conferences all over the world, DOE trips to Europe, Capitol Hill junks all over place, State Department and HHS/CDC travel to health care summits around the world-- for some reason Paris is a top spot.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers went on strike last week and no one noticed.

Posted by: bal503 | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

this nothing new State and local government have already been affected by this. In the future hopefully they'll manage the governments finances better

Posted by: pusha-d | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I think I will take OPMs stance on teh size of government over anyone else since our pay comes from OPM and not other entities.

Per OPM it was 4.5 Million in 2009.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Inflation is not much of a problem, but it does exist... 1% may not matter to those who have unlimited wealth, but it makes a difference to those who live on the lower edge of the economic scale.
What does it matter if the people have less in their pockets to spend?
Unemployment will not decrease until there is demand for products and services. (Sorry folks, but tax breaks for small businesses didn't work.)
There will be no demand unless there is disposable income -- 30 years of stagnant wages for 90% of our workers is not the way to grow our middle class or reduce unemployment.
If you want to increase revenue you must put people to work at sustainable wages.
The income tax is our main source of revenue. The more people who are working and paying taxes the faster we will be able to address the deficit and our debt.
OTH, we could place tarriffs on every import that enters our country. How many in corporate America would vote for that? lol!!
There will come a time when the 'little people' will no longer be able to support our economy or be able to purchase anything, imported or domestically produced. Will the Europeans or Middle Easterners be able to sustain our CEO's bonus program?
Will Wall Street crumble as many of our Main Streets have when no one is able to buy anything... My goodness, what will happen to WalMart?

Posted by: VinnieTheSnake | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It's all about the entitlements people! Think about it. Your neighbors (and possibly you) have been sending people to Washington to pass laws that guarantee payments to individuals under various programs that can be correctly termed welfare - although you rarely see that term used anymore. These payments must be made whether you are working, laid off, or suffering a decline in income. If (as has been the case for the past 40 years) insufficient revenues are received by the government to pay off these self-assumed obligations, then money is borrowed in your name to make payment. So in addition to what has already been taken from you, you can also expect to have to pay off the debt incurred in your name as well. That is, unless you can finagle your elected reps into foisting that obligation onto someone else.

Posted by: Rico00 | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh No, a lot of people who voted for Obama just got a pay freeze! Since the economy is bad it's about time for federal employees to share some of the pain.

Next, let's rein some of this so-called necessary travel for work: such as, DOD conferences all over the world, DOE trips to Europe, Capitol Hill junks all over place, State Department and HHS/CDC travel to health care summits around the world-- for some reason Paris is a top spot.

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | November 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Why give exemptions to Congressmen, judges and others for the Pay cut. Why not include everybody in the federal pay roll starting from the President. Show the public that they are also americans at heart and willing to sacrifice their fare share of pay. If you leave some one out of this pay cut, it is sheer hypocracy and lip service to the difficult times

Will the President have guts to show everyone that all in executive, judicial and legislative branch are also ordinary and patriotic citizens first and they also should agree for the pay cut

Ramakrishnan

Posted by: sramakri43 | November 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Local State and County Governments plus School Boards have not had a raise in 2 years already. It is about time the Federal Government follow the example set by Local Governments. It should also apply to Congressional employees/staffers.

Posted by: maberry1 | November 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Why do it for most, but not all? If most are going to sacrifice, but not all, what's the point? Congress and federal judges are exempted? WHY? Have that be put to a vote as well, you COWARD.

This is nothing but politics, as this won't save much at all - just piss more people off at the Obama Administration. What a fantastic implosion. I really hope that somebody to the left of him runs - Obama has proven to be very ignorant of why people have grown not to like him. He makes poor impulsive actions - he lets Republicans push him into things, way too easily. FIGHT BACK, YOU F_CKING COWARD.

Posted by: fbutler1 | November 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally puzzled by the Obama administration. Three surefire ways to address the deficit (leave Iraq, leave Afghanistan and expire the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy) are all quite popular with the electorate. And yet there seems to be only glacial progress, if any, on all three fronts. I don't get it. We know the president and his staff is at least smarter than the last president. What's the deal here?

Posted by: CardFan | November 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry hoss but as 2008 there were less than 3 million Federal govt employees. US Census Bureau. Not sure where that idiot prof got 15 million Feds. Light is an idiot. About 2.5 million are full time.

Please learn to read maybe thats why your fing job was outsourced.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Most federal workers are currently on strike, they just come to work, get paid, and don't do anything productive.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's a novel idea: How about BO and the Wookie fly on commercial flights and leave Air Force One in the hangar. Maybe they should take a break from all the foreign travel.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | November 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Most federal workers are currently on strike, they just come to work, get paid, and don't do anything productive.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I love it - this freeze will not affect members of congress, most of whom are already wealthy. It'll be the people at the low end of the income spectrum that will be most affected.

Posted by: bethechange1 | November 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I can live with the pay freeze. Now how about going after ALL the tax dodgers out there you owe Billions in unpaid taxes, that includes civilian and government alike.
I bet that I am paying a great deal more, percentage wise, that the wall street brokers and bank presidents.
How about giving the IRS authority to give a percentage of recovered taxes to the IRS departments that recover the overdue taxes.

Posted by: joli1 | November 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Congress and Federal court needs to experience the freeze also! They are superior beings!

Posted by: mlj1130 | November 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I would be much happier with this wage freeze if it included members of Congress. Somehow, once again, the "haves" aren't giving up anything while the "have-nots will be feeling the pinch.

These people already have the cushiest benefits package known to humans. They should be ashamed if they don't voluntarily join the ranks of those who won't be getting increases for the next two years.

Posted by: haveaheart | November 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I would be much happier with this wage freeze if it included members of Congress. Somehow, once again, the "haves" aren't giving up anything while the "have-nots will be feeling the pinch.

These people already have the cushiest benefits package known to humans. They should be ashamed if they don't voluntarily join the ranks of those who won't be getting increases for the next two years.

Posted by: haveaheart | November 29, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LMW6
"Why do members of congress get a pass on the pay freeze? They have voted themselves pay raises while the rest of us have lost our jobs, had our hours cut, or lost the small bonuses we used to get from our employers - yet they, and their staffs will continue to get raises and bonuses....and just who is it that PAYS for those? The Tax Payer."

Because they are not a part of the Executive Branch of Government.

Posted by: jeadpt | November 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone in congress will get a pay freeze, or how about a pay cut! they get paid much more than my fed wage and work less days a year! and i do reluctantly support a freeze on my pay because i am happy to at least have a job. stinks though!

Posted by: rmk1122 | November 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

How bout you all stop wasting time and get back to work....

Posted by: jbatt01 | November 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

How bout you all stop wasting time and get back to work....

Posted by: jbatt01 | November 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, it's never made sense to me that I get two raises in a year (Cost of living and step/grade increase). Hopefully, Congress and the President will get rid of the COLA for everyone who is getting a grade/step increase.

When I started in Federal service, a higher-up showed me a picture of a working class family and told me: "This family is sending 25 percent of their earnings to pay your salary. Be worthy of their money."

Posted by: Jacknut | November 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

But not the contractors. No, no, never the contractors......

Vote out the incumbents.

Posted by: Over-n-Out | November 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

How bout you all stop wasting time and get back to work....

Posted by: jbatt01 | November 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post article on November 26, 2010 where $250 million was awarded to a contractor. How about discontinuing some of these contracts? How about offering early outs? How about freezing the insurance premiums? My insurance is increasing 7.1%. Why should my net salary decrease to provide profit for insurance companies? I may have to cancel my health insurance so that I can have enough money to pay my mortgage.

Posted by: taylorp47 | November 29, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow! We'll save $28 billion over five years. Only about $9972 billion to go on retiring the federal debt. Neat how Obama exempted Congress.

How about raising taxes on rich people back to 1960's or 1970's levels?

Posted by: risandy | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a good move, but these people shouldn't received their pay raises in the first place would have helped considerably. They need to pay back the seniors they robbed in using their SS money and not giving them a raise this year and next on Social Security.

Posted by: doyle_whitesel | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a step in the right direction but not even close to what is needed. We need massive government reduction and reform.

1. We need to cut in half or more the dodo and fed security force spending and veterans admin and various war additional appropriation- from $1.3 TRILLION this year to half or that or more.....end these senseless and unethical wars and bring our troops home and close nearly all foreign bases, cut in half all fed security forces and reduce head count in half and cancel ALL weapons projects.

2. For all government workers grade 11 and above an immediate 10% pay cut as well as matching contributions for benefits and cut in half all pensions.

3. Change policies and close down ineffective agencies such as doe, doa, dea, irs (flat or fair tax- not 70,000+ pages of loop holes and write offs), nida, dept of education (states can handle their own education needs), reduce the intel agencies to one agency, reduce to one all the weather departments, etc, etc,- i.e. real reform not window dressing...

4. A 10% cut cut in all politicians pay until they balance the budget and as well matching funds for benefits and reductions in all admin and staff.....

This would be a REAL START on reform of government and the same type steps need to be undertaken by the states and municipalities.

Posted by: ticked | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The federal workforce is bloated. While private sector employment has stagnated and their comps have stayed flat or even trended down, the surly and lazy public sector workforce has increased in numbers and getting paid more every year. And this does not even include the ridiculous healthcaRE AND PENSION PACKAGES GUARANTED FOR LIFE.

Normally, when a company's headcount increases by 20%, one would expect that is due to increasing revenue, or at least to support future rev growth. SInce I cant think of one single useful thing that the public sector employees do, I am hardpressed to see why their numbers and comps continually rise. Well, of course, their "revenues" can rise, as in "taxing the private sector employees more".

In New Jersey, the train system NJ Transit recently increased fares by 25% while cutting the number of trains at the same time. This was done bcause in the recession, fewer people are taking the trains. Normally, when a company's revenues dip, that company slashes prices (to induce more sales - think the multitude of electronics, and other consumer products), and at some point lay off employees and cut other costs to adjust their cost structure inline with their revenues. However, a scum public sector entity like NJ Transit can get away by raising fares and cutting services, just so that their lazy and surly workers (that is right Trambusto - these NJ Transit ticket conductors and other employees are surly and sullen even when the customers are quiet; I see it every day) can enjoy their benefits and pensions.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse


No problem, I'll rob banks in my spare time to augment my salary.

Posted by: nuke41 | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

stunningly stupid, craven and slimey.

It saves $28 billion over five years- it's not even a drop in the bucket, just so Obama can have a "zinger" talking point in 2012?

but hey, DON'T take a stand against the republicans forcing us to borrow $700 billion from China to give the top two percent an extra tax cut. No, Can't have that.

Better to pander to the teabaggers, who won't vote for him anyway.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a good move, but these people shouldn't received their pay raises in the first place would have helped considerably. They need to pay back the seniors they robbed in using their SS money and not giving them a raise this year and next on Social Security.

Posted by: doyle_whitesel | November 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a step in the right direction but not even close to what is needed. We need massive government reduction and reform.

1. We need to cut in half or more the dodo and fed security force spending and veterans admin and various war additional appropriation- from $1.3 TRILLION this year to half or that or more.....end these senseless and unethical wars and bring our troops home and close nearly all foreign bases, cut in half all fed security forces and reduce head count in half and cancel ALL weapons projects.

2. For all government workers grade 11 and above an immediate 10% pay cut as well as matching contributions for benefits and cut in half all pensions.

3. Change policies and close down ineffective agencies such as doe, doa, dea, irs (flat or fair tax- not 70,000+ pages of loop holes and write offs), nida, dept of education (states can handle their own education needs), reduce the intel agencies to one agency, reduce to one all the weather departments, etc, etc,- i.e. real reform not window dressing...

4. A 10% cut cut in all politicians pay until they balance the budget and as well matching funds for benefits and reductions in all admin and staff.....

This would be a REAL START on reform of government and the same type steps need to be undertaken by the states and municipalities.

Posted by: ticked | November 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And just why not are these people included in this pay freesze:military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers?
If you want to freeze pay to save money, then so be it. I'm more interested in the reasoning behind the people not included.
******************************************
For all of those who don't understand the exclusions.... this is being done under an Executive Order. Remember checks and balances from history class? An Executive Order applies to the Executive Branch, not the Judicial Branch (judges and court workers) or the Legislative Branch (Congress and their staff). As for contractors, since when can the government dictate private salaries? The next exclusion is the post office, and, while I am not knowledgable about the details, it has something to do with the way the postal system is structured. As for military personnel, that was simply Obama's choice to avoid the backlash over freezing pay for those dying for our country.

Posted by: amusedreader | November 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a good move, but these people shouldn't received their pay raises in the first place would have helped considerably. They need to pay back the seniors they robbed in using their SS money and not giving them a raise this year and next on Social Security.

Posted by: doyle_whitesel | November 29, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

getjiggly

Yeah right punk and then you wouldnt be getting your disability check for stupidity. And no one would have gotten to their destination over Turkey day if they were flying. And maybe that teenage terrorist in Portland would have had real explosives and killed scores of innocent Americans. So moron you have anything else to day about Feds. Te reason you can run your pie hole and spout what Rush tells you is because of the combined efforts of the military and Feds.

When AQ is successful in US with a terrorist attack I am sure you blame the Feds but hey they were just being lazy and not working since they didnt wanted to make you a liar scumbag!

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

This is a step in the right direction but not even close to what is needed. We need massive government reduction and reform.

1. We need to cut in half or more the dodo and fed security force spending and veterans admin and various war additional appropriation- from $1.3 TRILLION this year to half or that or more.....end these senseless and unethical wars and bring our troops home and close nearly all foreign bases, cut in half all fed security forces and reduce head count in half and cancel ALL weapons projects.

2. For all government workers grade 11 and above an immediate 10% pay cut as well as matching contributions for benefits and cut in half all pensions.

3. Change policies and close down ineffective agencies such as doe, doa, dea, irs (flat or fair tax- not 70,000+ pages of loop holes and write offs), nida, dept of education (states can handle their own education needs), reduce the intel agencies to one agency, reduce to one all the weather departments, etc, etc,- i.e. real reform not window dressing...

4. A 10% cut cut in all politicians pay until they balance the budget and as well matching funds for benefits and reductions in all admin and staff.....

This would be a REAL START on reform of government and the same type steps need to be undertaken by the states and municipalities.

Posted by: ticked | November 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

It's not the salary levels that are the problem...There are TOO MANY people on the federal payroll(2.15 million)...end of story. there are TOO MANY Departments. There are TOO MANY programs. There is way TOO MUCH duplication of effort...way TOO MANY bureaucratic levels. CUT...CUT...CUT.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | November 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts to the super wealthy better be left to expire or else it's gonna get ugly.

Posted by: rryan007 | November 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Does this include all senators and congressional representatives? 'Cause that's where an inordinately HUGE percentage of money goes. I have yet to figure out what they do that warrants such a monstrous salary, but if it were decreased to a reasonable level that could go a long way to making politics more a public service than the lucrative position for the power hungry among us. Such a step could improve the atmosphere of politics dramatically ... now THAT's a change I can believe in!!!

Posted by: MakBeth19

Ditto, but add in their staffers, their pensions and the excellent -- subsidized by us -- health benefits.

Posted by: GoodGracious | November 29, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"And that's not surprising," he [Obama] added, "because it's a unionized workforce" in government, while the private sector typically is not."


Dear Mr. President. You of all people should know that the federal employee Unions to not get to negotiate pay and benefits. Why do you think you get to propose (or not propose) a COLA in your budget every year? Do you really think Congress would have given up their authority to control federal pay and benefits? Shame on you Mr. President. Not for making the decision to freeze federal pay, but for purpetrating the public's false understanding of how federal pay and benefits are determined. It's Congress's perogative, and Unions have no say in the matter.

Posted by: Frazil | November 29, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight all federal workers will not get a pay increase for two years, but it "..does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers. " The military and maybe postal workers I can see, but every one else should have to bite the bullet just like I have to....something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Posted by: dbarnes1 | November 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

In other words, only the people they can target that won't get them negative press.

Why not military personnel?
The Secretary of Defense recommended it last year.


Why not Government Contractors?
Most of them are being paid according to contracts already signed by the Federal Government so their pay is secured and untouchable.


Why not Postal Workers?
They already have special privledges such as health, vision, and dental plans other federal employees can't use and receive additional benefits over regular Federal employees.


Why not members of Congress and Congressional staffers?
It was only last year that Congress elected not to vote themselves another pay raise. They did it reluctantly and only after Obama shamed them by freezing Federal Employee salaries.


Why not federal court judges and workers?
Is there any reason not to?


Posted by: cgteddy911 | November 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

With all the conditions attached, sounds like hardly anybody in the federal government is affected by the pay freeze. Of course, the fat cats on the hill aren't at all affected by it, and neither are their staffers.

Posted by: futbolclif | November 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I am a proud federal employee of the Executive Branch. I am prepared to sacrifice a few pay increases in order to help this country become fiscally stable. I will not let it affect my job performance because I am proud of the agency and government I represent. Unfortantly the federal government can not easily unload workers who refuse to pull their weight. That would save even more money!

I do hope the other branches of government will follow the same standard. I am sure the legislative branch will have no problem passing this and I hope they will do the same for their workers. Judicial branch too. I do not think it is fair for just one branch's employees to suffer. We need to be in this together.

Posted by: hollyjean380 | November 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah!! No one should make more than MEEEEE!
Except those exceptional CEO's.

Posted by: knjincvc | November 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Every time the budget needs to be reigned in cuts are taken from the lowest wage earners or social progrmas set up to help the sick,poor and elderly. If they are going to suspend pay raises for federal employees they need to do it for ALL federal employess except military personnel. Government contractors, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges raises far exceed what an hourly worker would get. Very disappointing to see the same segment of our population repeatedly being treated this way. Once again the poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer.

Posted by: kat88 | November 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Pay freeze? Look how many pay increases the federal workers have gotten since Obama has been in office. Obama gave them enough money to freeze four years instead of two. It's Washington who escaped Obama 2 year pay freeze, so I don't know what Obama is talking about when he said we all must sacrifice something.

Posted by: houstonian | November 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder, my disability check is direct deposited. A trained monkey could do that with less facial defecation than you.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

lol I'm a federal employee. What benefits? I pay 400 dollars a month for health insurance and contribute 12 percent of my income towards my retirement. Anyone that thinks there are a lot of persk to being a federal employee is on crazy. I'm an attorney and made more as a FEDERAL CONTRACTOR!!! How does that make sense? The days of federally paid for retirements and healthcare ended 20 years ago, folks.

Posted by: nsu1203 | November 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

houstonian---

first of all the rpesident can't give us a pay increase....congress has to vote on that.

second...he wanted to freeze our pay last year...congress voted against it.

I have no clue where you are getting these increase in pay from but we have not had a pay increase the size of anything we received from Bush since Obama came in office.

Posted by: spartyinmd | November 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I just LOVE reading all these comments from people who have never worked for the Government and the idiotic sterotypes they place on people they've never met, that work for the Federal Government: they're lazy, they don't work, etc. Let me tell you all something, I work for a branch of the Dept of Defense and I work my @ss off!! I don't know about the rest of the U.S., but where I work, there is NO down time....EVER! We're working with half of the staff we're supposed to have and due to all the new rules and regulations (that make NO sense whatsoever), we have more paperwork to do and we're doing it more and more with fewer and fewer resources. Also, all Govt workers within the AF have to take out their own trash (and this is an Air Force wide policy). I don't mind doing that at all, but what sense does it make to pay a GS-12 to take out their own trash? Half the time, I have to supply my own office supplies because our office doesn't have enough money for printer paper or toner. I'm spend an average of 9 or more hours at work a day and usually work two or more weekends a month just to keep up. The people I know who work for contractors (or the public sector) that do the EXACT same job I do make $20K more a year than I do!! The majority of the time, when we do get raises, they never amount to more that 1 to 1.5%. Do you really think THAT matches the cost of living increases? Before some of you make blanket statements about Government workers, why don't you actually talk to a few and find out what they do. And instead of pointing your fingers at so called "lazy Govt workers", point them at our idiotic President and Congress we have now that spent millions of taxpayer dollars on "programs" that DO NOT work, and but yet they somehow never forget to give themselves raises EVERY year in some form or another. BTW, most Government workers are middle class and aren't rich in any stretch of the imagination. AND ONCE AGAIN, the middle class gets the shaft. That's pretty much par for the course in America now. What else is new??!!?

Posted by: tayloralderado | November 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I spent the past 24 years in the private sector (academia and health care) in Alabama, the last 4 without a raise, and had two cuts in my hours last year on top of it. Two months ago I moved to Maryland to take a civilian position with the Army as a GS-12, at a salary which is practically double what I had previously made when I was last full-time. I have a full-time job that I like with a salary that I would never have imagined a year ago, so I won't be running back to the private sector anytime soon. Am I happy about the freeze? Of course not, but it could be worse - I've lived it.

Posted by: kwalt53 | November 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I really don't see what the problem is here. I'm glad to give up my entire salary, as long as we can keep giving Goldman Suchs, JPMorgan Chase, et al (through the Fed. Reserve) LOTS AND LOTS O' OUR MONEY, HONEY!!! The election was on Nov. 2nd, and of course, you're probably not aware (duh) that on Nov. 3rd our nice Federal Reserve created ANOTHER TRILLION DOLLARS of debt. Do you know what they did with it? They bought U.S. Treasury debt with it? Isn't that great? They created money (and thereby DEcreasing the value of our money) to buy their (our) own debt with! Yayyyy! We're screwed.

Posted by: shred11 | November 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian
-------------------------------------------

I doubt anyone would even notice if you stopped "working" altogether.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Why not apply it across the board?

Posted by: davidromeo246 | November 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This is Bull. It won't effect the deficit in any significant way. Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

PUULLEASE ! The rest of the country won't even notice. Get a grip on your actual place in the importance of things.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | November 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Children whatever you do, do not go to work for the federal government. You are a perpetual target subject to the whims and aspirations of the politicians.

... and they wonder why they cannot hire professionals to fill positions vacant for years....

Posted by: wonderingstevie | November 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse


So, NOW we know WHY sales at local stores were FLAT this Black Friday instead of having gone UP, which is what they would have done if the Deem-n-RAT Depression were REALLY over.

The Freeze was KNOWN or SUSPECTED by the locals as COMING SOON.

BUT. It COULD have been a CUT, yet ISN'T.

So, NOW, there is a little SPENDING ROOM and I expect local sales to BOOM from this point to the post-New Years period.

Posted by: notinsc | November 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Although I am a fed, I think it was to be expected and not unreasonable. Now we should let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire for the same reason. We cannot afford to waste money for ANY particular group. Those of us with jobs and those of us with wealth should all help our country back to economic health. They have had the tax cuts in place but did not create jobs to avert the mess so the cuts should end.

Posted by: Sharon1949 | November 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

This will be another opportunity for republican to call for the elimination of the minimum wage.

Get ready for a race to the bottom of the wage scale, good-bye middle class.

Aren't we special AND "EXCEPTIONAL"!

Posted by: knjincvc | November 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Government contractors, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges are exempt. I just want to vomit every time I see this president.

Posted by: rappahanock | November 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

my problem is why is the congress and the contractors excempt? Include all of them, and its fine by me!!!!

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

my problem is why is the congress and the contractors excempt? Include all of them, and its fine by me!!!!

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

my problem is why is the congress and the contractors excempt? Include all of them, and its fine by me!!!!

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"and the data we get back indicates that high-skilled workers in government are slightly underpaid. Lower-skilled workers are slightly overpaid relative to the private sector," Obama said.

And as a highly-skilled worker, I'll be rethinking moving to the government. If the government could fire the bloat and incompetents that run rampant and pay lower-skilled workers what they actually deserve, that's a good cut. A general freeze is a terrible idea. They already have enough trouble attracting good employees.

Posted by: jlowery1 | November 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama is starting to pay attention? I have decent benefits, as do Federal employees, but no one in my company has had a raise in three years. We don't expect one next year, but I'm not whining (yet)..... thankful to still be EMPLOYED.

Posted by: robnot | November 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of everyone that says things like Federal employees should be "happy they have a job" and that we should suck it up and take a pay freeze and be happy about it. You know what, I wouldn't mind freeze on my cost of living if they could actually show us how exactly it's going to help the economy. Really, saving $2 billion in a year? How much would be saved if we stopped letting the rich deduct most of their salary for "business expenses" and charitable donations? How much would be saved if we stopped letting people use bipolar disorder and depression as reasons to go on welfare? How much would we save if we stopped letting people have children when they don't have the means to support them? This would freeze my salary, but I guarantee you that the government will still be doling out more than that to pay for all of the contractors we don't need.
Here's an idea, how about we start having the Federalbemployees

Posted by: Snoopdog12 | November 29, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama already knows what's going to happen in Nov 2012. If this passes congress? The republicans is going to rule again. And it will be serval decades before a Democrate sees the white house.

Posted by: billyrowland | November 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

To really get with the Republican program, Obama should call for, and secure the agreement of Republican Congressional leaders for an immediate 50% pay cut for all Republican members of Congress, and relieve the Federal Government (and thus us taxpayers) of the burden of paying for their health care insurance. Republicans are the ones claiming to be so close to the people, so why not let them walk the walk along with the rest of us?

Posted by: Dallas138

Giggles! Like that'd ever happen. Even if it were suggested that all senators and congressmen/women of both parties took a cut, the Republicans would come up with some BS about their being "targetted" by a Democratic administration -- Eew! Eew! A Conspiracy against them!

I so agree with you, but the Republicans will never agree to such a thing during our lifetimes. I surely would like to see it suggested just to be able to hear the comical, around the bend defense cr.p they'd come up with. Just look at them defending Wall Street and the extremely wealthy and see how well they're succeeding with that BS. Not gonna happen.

Posted by: GoodGracious | November 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This is a dumb policy move. He needs to cut the Pentagon budget, especially where there have been huge cost over runs with no bid contracts to Halliburton (Dick Cheney's corporation). There also need to be more penalties against Wall Street banking houses that have misused Recovery Act funds.

Federal workers have a bad deal anyway, so why make it worse?

Posted by: sentheru1 | November 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama already knows what's going to happen in Nov 2012. If this passes congress? The republicans are going to rule again. And it will be serval decades before a Democrate sees the white house.

Posted by: billyrowland | November 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah make federal employees sacrifice, just not Congress. They (Congress) never waste money.

Posted by: ronkpro | November 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

my problem is why arent congress and postal workers included, and what about contractors? they make much, much more than their counterpart civilians.

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama already knows what's going to happen in Nov 2012. If this passes congress? The republicans are going to rule again. And it will be serval decades before a Democrate sees the white house.

Posted by: billyrowland | November 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This is a dumb policy move. He needs to cut the Pentagon budget, especially where there have been huge cost over runs with no bid contracts to Halliburton (Dick Cheney's corporation). There also need to be more penalties against Wall Street banking houses that have misused Recovery Act funds.

Federal workers have a bad deal anyway, so why make it worse?

Posted by: sentheru1 | November 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So this means that people will actually have to start living within their means and think before just spending money frivolously...basically what the rest of us have been doing for awhile now....too bad someone has to make you do it though.

Posted by: LadyT1 | November 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

they might force the hand of people that could retire by waiting out to peak their salary; therefore they could get rid of lots of people that should retire anyway by doing the freeze

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a DOD ORSA. I make much less than the 100-125k you hear about. I have a contractor (ORSA) sitting next to me. I'm looking at him right now. He makes about 175k a year. I know. I review and approve the receiving report (use by contractors to bill govt.)each month.

Next will be a freeze on hiring. Govt. has about 20% turnover each year. (Some agencies more than others) Expect to see an increase in contractors, just as we saw when Bush took office in 2000.

But hey, if it makes you feel good go ahead.

Posted by: GabsDaD | November 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Another political ploy with exceptions!!

A Freeze should cover everyone particularly Congress and the Judiciary!!

Posted by: jjcrocket13 | November 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Why is Congress exempt from the wage freeze? Obama is kissing butt - again.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | November 29, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Why not apply it across the board?

Posted by: davidromeo246 | November 29, 2010 2:42 PM
--------
David

Because the President can only affect the pay of people who work for him (the Executive Branch).

The President made an executive decision not to flat-line the pay of the military. OK. They're getting shot at, I'm not.

The Post Office has its union contracts, though with the hemmoraging of money by the USPS, any pay raises should cause the governors to be thrown out on their collective ears.

Contractors are private sector. That's up to the company and the clauses in the contract.

Congress sets its own pay. They said they're not going to take any raises, and if they do, they have to wait until the next election cycle to get them.

The judiciary rates are set by Congress through a law.

However, with the pay freeze, what is the effect on the amount of projected tax (fee) income for the surrounding states and counties? Maryland, for example, has a nice big budget shortfall. How is Gov. O'Malley going to get the revenue to fix it?

Look for the things we've taken for granted as government provided stuff to be reduced / cut to make ends meet.

Oxes are going to be gored and the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the sacred cow constituents is going to be interesting.

Posted by: joecct77 | November 29, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Time to look at all my finances yet again and make sure I'm sending as little money to the Treasury as possible. Max out TSP...check! Screw me once shame on you...won't screw me again.

Posted by: rwbaccus | November 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The President helped the car dealer's and the bank's out of debt, with their payback money and interest we the people should be able to get our COLA, this is the second year no COLA as a retiree is shameful, Obama you will NOT BE ELECTED again, rest ashore on that, first and last time you are truly a disappointment to all except the bank's and car dealer's.

Posted by: onesugar | November 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Technically speaking, Obama isn't asking us to sacrifice, he's telling us that we're going to sacrifice.

Posted by: ronjaboy | November 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

More information:

"Congress is not covered by Obama's order, but lawmakers voted last April to freeze their pay, with the House and Senate opting to forgo an automatic $1,600 annual cost-of-living increase. House members and senators now are paid $174,000 a year. Their last pay increase was $4,700 a year at beginning of 2009.

The president's pay of $400,000 a year was fixed by Congress in January 2001. It has not changed since then."

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Ways to actually make meaningful changes to federal spending:

A) Cut defense spending by half or more by getting rid of cold war relics and no-bid contracts.
B) Have a 10% or more RIF that carefully reviews employees based on production rather than time of service.
C) Dump the current time-in-service based promotions for performance based promotions.

But more importantly for fixing the economy, raise taxes on the super-rich and down-size the banking industry. The middle class, left and right should be fed-up with making sacrifices while the rich and super rich do as the please and crash the economy.

Posted by: AMHV2772 | November 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

HOW ABOUT ERIC CANTOR'S FAT PAY IN CONGRESS AT TAXPAYERS' EXPENSE?

Does this pay freeze include the pay of members of Congress? If not, why not? This is another political shell game aimed against the poor and middle class. Period! Obama freezes pay, but does nothing about fat Wall Street bonuses and plans to extend the Bush Tax Cut for the rich for another year or two. What a big contradiction! This President has lost his sense of balance--and is caving in so readily on every issue to the right wing Republican and Tea Party mantra of governance. Good luck in 2012 for progressive votes.
Dr. Sam

Posted by: drsam8 | November 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

HOW ABOUT ERIC CANTOR'S FAT PAY IN CONGRESS AT TAXPAYERS' EXPENSE?

Does this pay freeze include the pay of members of Congress? If not, why not? This is another political shell game aimed against the poor and middle class. Period! Obama freezes pay, but does nothing about fat Wall Street bonuses and plans to extend the Bush Tax Cut for the rich for another year or two. What a big contradiction! This President has lost his sense of balance--and is caving in so readily on every issue to the right wing Republican and Tea Party mantra of governance. Good luck in 2012 for progressive votes.
Dr. Sam

Posted by: drsam8 | November 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is time to include all senators and congressional represenatives in this freeze. I still can't fathom what they do to warrant such outrageous salaries. Maybe if their salaries were decreased to be more in line with the federal employees, that would definetley help in making politics a public service, which it started out as. Not to mention save us tax payers alot of money.
Maybe it is time to ammend the constitution to have congress serve the same length of term as the president. No more than 2 consecutive terms in a row.
That would be change.

Posted by: faithwill13 | November 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

....just like Jimmy Carter, the gutless wonder. Take it out on the people who can't fight back.

Posted by: sameolddoc | November 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, I'll except the pay freeze, but I think we are entitled to an explanation regarding the rational. My wife is a civilian DOD employee. She wont get a raise, but her boss, a uniformed member of the service will. Why? Is it because he has served overseas and put his life on the line? If that's so, then what about federal law enforcement who have also served overseas, in many cases working side by side with the military. If that's got nothing to do with it, fine, just let us know how the decision was reached. In the meantime, I'll start working the numbers on how my household is going to adjust our budget with no raises for the next two years while the private sector, such as Aetna, Exxon, Bank of America and Verizon continues to charge me more for the same goods and services services.
The reality is that the vast majority of federal employees will continue to work hard for this country regardless of what the taxpayers choose to pay us or how often you tell us what lazy slobs we are. But when we lock up that child predator, terrorist, or serial murderer, we'll be reminded why we do it.

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Considering the job security, benefits, lower job expectations, federal workers should be getting pay cut.

At the local level, the government staffs are standing around, taking breaks, have low job expectations and few qualifications or professional training.

This is California -- where government employees have been hired unnecessarily and work loads are light compared to private sector.
More hires, more pensions, more benefits and bankruptcy soon.

A freeze now by Obama is very late at best, pay cuts better, and staff cuts even better.

Posted by: pjcafe | November 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Do you think republicans will man-up and insist the freeze should affect them and their staff?

Posted by: knjincvc | November 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Darrell Issa should look first at his own staff: He gave his Chief of Staff a 5.1% pay raise from 2007 to 2008 and a 4.7% pay increase from 2008 to 2009. Check it out on Legistorm (his COS is Neugebauer). Hypocrite.

Posted by: youngdupont | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Now, let's see Congress and the Congressional staffers push through a pay raise for themselves. Are they going to freeze their own pay?

Posted by: Ali4 | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of everyone that says things like Federal employees should be "happy they have a job" and that we should suck it up and take a pay freeze and be happy about it. You know what, I wouldn't mind freeze on my cost of living if they could actually show us how exactly it's going to help the economy. Really, saving $2 billion in a year? How much would be saved if we stopped letting the rich deduct most of their salary for "business expenses" and charitable donations? How much would be saved if we stopped letting people use bipolar disorder and depression as reasons to go on welfare? How much would we save if we stopped letting people have children when they don't have the means to support them? This would freeze my salary, but I guarantee you that the government will still be doling out more than that to pay for all of the contractors we don't need.
Here's an idea, how about we start having the Federal employees actually do the construction jobs or engineering jobs, instead of hiring contractors that make twice as much money and then we wouldn't have to pay not only the contractor but also the Federal employee that administers the contract? Then we could do something crazy and only pay one person to do one persons job? I'm sure that would save the government well over $2 billion/year.
Just because I was smart enough to get a job in the federal government because of the security instead of being greedy and getting a job with little job security but a whole lot more pay does not give anyone the right to criticize me or the job I do. It also does not mean that it is ok for you to say I should be happy about a pay raise. I am a taxpayer and I contribute to the economy. I do not have millions saved up and I do not hoard my money. However, neither do I spend money that I don't have. The problem with the economy is not my piddly 1-2% pay increase each year, the problem is that our country is full of lazy, greedy, selfish people that buy things they can't afford and don't pay mortgages they can afford. The result of that? We have to bail out these idiots and the banks that loaned them the money.

So, am I upset that my pay is being frozen when I am not at all responsible for the state of this economy? Am I upset that the federal government is punishing me because of the ineptitude and selfishness of others? Yes I am.

Posted by: Snoopdog12 | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

------------------------------
Federal workers must consider..
-------------------------------

Mr. Edwards found that federal civilian workers had an average annual wage of $81,258 in 2009, compared with $50,464 for the nation’s private-sector workers. Average federal salaries rose 58 percent from 2000 to 2009, compared with 30 percent in the private sector, according to his study.

Posted by: guru21 | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Dept. of Education does NOTHING...zip, zero, nada.

Cut THAT and save TENS OF BILLION$ ANNUALLY.

Dept. of Education HAS NO BRIEF in the Constitution.

'Ed ain't Fed'

Posted by: notinsc | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

What's up with the right-wing race to the bottom? "Cut their pay!!! They should suffer like everyone else!!!" No jerk, you should move to where the jobs are. I have a family to support just like you. Instead of spending your time posting crap on the internet, how about applying for a federal job instead of crying about the plant/call center/Walmart closing. This stuff is idiotic.

Posted by: nsu1203 | November 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

HOW ABOUT ERIC CANTOR'S FAT PAY IN CONGRESS AT TAXPAYERS' EXPENSE?

Does this pay freeze include the pay of members of Congress? If not, why not? This is another political shell game aimed against the poor and middle class. Period! Obama freezes pay, but does nothing about fat Wall Street bonuses and plans to extend the Bush Tax Cut for the rich for another year or two. What a big contradiction! This President has lost his sense of balance--and is caving in so readily on every issue to the right wing Republican and Tea Party mantra of governance. Good luck in 2012 for progressive votes.
Dr. Sam

Posted by: drsam8 | November 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

justanotherguy, you have a very big opinion of yourself but clearly can't manage your money well enough to avoid bank fees.

You should be fired.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Dept. of Education does NOTHING...zip, zero, nada.

Cut THAT and save TENS OF BILLION$ ANNUALLY.

Dept. of Education HAS NO BRIEF in the Constitution.

'Ed ain't Fed'

Posted by: notinsc | November 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

1) Obama should have made this decision without the fanfare. But then there would be no PR about cutting costs. 2) After many years of pay increases, federal pay scales are out of whack and need freezing to allow public sector jobs to catch up. 3) The congress should be included in this freeze and should get no pay raises until the budget is balanced. They should also undergo and entrance and an exit audit abd be required to explain any large increases in family wealth! 4) There were some comments about cutting workers salaries. After 32+ years in the government contracting world, I witnessed the government forcing contractors to pay workers less and less for the same jobs by recompeting contracts and hiring the lowest bidder every time even when they knew the bid would result in inferior work performance.

Posted by: fcrucian | November 29, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

If you cut the Department of Education, we might accidentally spend some of that money on the children.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Gutless. Issa is a turd. Obama will see that this accomplishes nothing except to alienate Govt employees - it certainly won't placate Repubs/baggers. This hands them a propaganda victory & won't help balance badget.

I grow less impressed with Obama's (lack of) courage every day. It seems he'd rather fold than fight. Sad.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | November 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS should have their pay raises frozen too... This is just WRONG!

It says: "The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Posted by: deborahjbrown | November 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS should have their pay raises frozen too... This is just WRONG!

It says: "The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Posted by: deborahjbrown | November 29, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I have not been a federal employee for long but when I made the switch from private to government, the pay was basically the same. Also, like a lot of Americans, I have to work 2 jobs to get by. Some of the people posting on here have gross misconceptions on what really goes on with respect to government employees. We are not all lazy and we certainly are not overpaid. Working in the private sector I encountered many workers who were highly overpaid, did a horrible job and passed off their work on to other hardworking people. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter where you work, your always going to encounter people like this. I don't think it's fair to stereotype people based upon something you think you know about someone elses' career. Every agency is different and, similar to other private industry, there can be periods of downtime, however there are other times where these people work their butts off. No one wants to be the first to sacrifice but I believe that it should begin with those who can afford it. Taking away our minimal yearly increases is going to do very little when you look at the big picture. You might save a few million dollars meanwhile we are spending billions elsewhere. It doesn't make much sense.

Posted by: C1130 | November 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

------------------------------
Federal workers must consider..
-------------------------------

Mr. Edwards found that federal civilian workers had an average annual wage of $81,258 in 2009, compared with $50,464 for the nation’s private-sector workers. Average federal salaries rose 58 percent from 2000 to 2009, compared with 30 percent in the private sector, according to his study.

Posted by: guru21 | November 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

###########################################

How about a more appropriate comparison.

Federal attorney v. Private sector attorney

Federal doctor v. Private sector doctor

Federal engineer v. Private sector engineer

That's an actual comparison. Comparing federal workers, who are usually more educated, to people working at the car dealership/Walmart isn't an accurate comparison.

Posted by: nsu1203 | November 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

So...instead of actually doing something real about "sky-high deficit spending" (like pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq ahead of schedule), we get a symbolic gesture that will reduce federal spending by less than 0.05 percent?

As for fighting the GOP's attempt to force America to borrow $700 billion for an extra tax cut for the top two percent... oh, he doesn't want to take a stand.

BTW- Because it's being done through an Executive Order, Congress will not be affected.

It's shameless, gutless pandering to ignorant teabagger-types, and a slam on the middle class and his base.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | November 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It's not just federal employees who will suffer as the result of this decision. This Republican-driven budget cut may serve to kill the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) once and for all.

For those unfamiliar, the CFC was established in 1961 and is the largest workplace charity campaign in the U.S. -- and the only campaign authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in the workplace on behalf of carefully screened charitable organizations. As the world's largest and most successful annual workplace giving campaign, more than 350 CFC campaigns throughout the U.S. and internationally help to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes each year - causes devoted to feeding the hungry, seeking cures for diseases, protecting our natural resources, etc.

Considering that CFC giving is already down considerably this year, this fed pay freeze may well be the kiss of death.

Posted by: bobby4 | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

While this is the right political statement to make, it doesn't do much. Let's put away the pen knife and bring out the band saw.

Posted by: richard36 | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Glad to do my part, but saving $28 billion over 5 years by freezing fed wages while spending $3 billion weekly on Iraq + Afgan wars - what's the point? A little over 9 free weeks of pointless spending? And why not Congress? Are you kidding me? They get paid to overspend as it is.

Posted by: fedstateemp | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

What can I say? When millions of Americans lose their jobs, lose hours, lose benefits, this is a symbolic and fair step that I have long anticipated. I personally don't like it, but it's certainly understandable.

Regarding earlier posts, the Pres. has no authority to change the pay of Congress or their staff, as well as the Judicial Branch. Separation of Powers is the term if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: falconflight | November 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

GOOD ACTION PRESIDENT OBAMA! About time! According to latest stats, they outpace their private sector counterparts!

Question is: WHEN WILL YOU ANNOUNCE PERMANENT REDUCTIONS IN FORCE??

Posted by: wheeljc
========================

LIKE
getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Until Congress freezes it's salaries this is all smoke. Anytime a federal worker thinks they have it bad or are mistreated they can always resign and go to work in the private sector. Few if any private sector companies even remotely match what the Local, State and Federal governments in pay or benefits. Again if any government employee feels they are being wronged they can resign. Yeah right!~

Posted by: KBlit | November 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

What can I say? When millions of Americans lose their jobs, lose hours, lose benefits, this is a symbolic and fair step that I have long anticipated. I personally don't like it, but it's certainly understandable.

Regarding earlier posts, the Pres. has no authority to change the pay of Congress or their staff, as well as the Judicial Branch. Separation of Powers is the term if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: falconflight | November 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

What can I say? When millions of Americans lose their jobs, lose hours, lose benefits, this is a symbolic and fair step that I have long anticipated. I personally don't like it, but it's certainly understandable.

Regarding earlier posts, the Pres. has no authority to change the pay of Congress or their staff, as well as the Judicial Branch. Separation of Powers is the term if I'm not mistaken.

Posted by: falconflight | November 29, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pjcafe

"Considering the job security, benefits, lower job expectations, federal workers should be getting pay cut."

Soo pjcafe ... since you and I had to take pay and benefit cuts .... everyone should??

"At the local level, the government staffs are standing around, taking breaks, have low job expectations and few qualifications or professional training."

Well pjcafe I don't think that is the case so let's see some documentation to back up your claim.


"This is California -- where government employees have been hired unnecessarily and work loads are light compared to private sector."

Once again pjcafe, what do you have to support your claim?

"More hires, more pensions, more benefits and bankruptcy soon.

A freeze now by Obama is very late at best, pay cuts better, and staff cuts even better."

Soo bottom line pjcafe, you don't want anyone to earn more than you do, including benefits.

Should we let republicans do away with the minimum wage?

Posted by: knjincvc | November 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Glad to do my part, but saving $28 billion over 5 years by freezing fed wages while we spend $3 billion each and every week on the Iraq and Afgan wars - what's the point? Little over 9 weeks of free pointless spending? And why not Congress? Are you kidding me? They get paid to overspend as it is.

Posted by: fedstateemp | November 29, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Glad to do my part, but saving $28 billion over 5 years by freezing fed wages while we spend $3 billion each and every week on the Iraq and Afgan wars - what's the point? Little over 9 weeks of free pointless spending? And why not Congress? Are you kidding me? They get paid to overspend as it is.

Posted by: fedstateemp | November 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

How sad. What a craven, meaningless gesture on the part of the Obama administration. A freeze on pay raises for federal workers will have a demonstrably negative effect on the economy, as federal workers rein in their personal spending. Economic theory is clear; a raise denied is effectively the same as a pay cut.

It seems as if all the commenters here agree that George Bush’s disastrous economic policies left us with a budget deficit of epic proportions. Everyone further agrees that something needs to be done about it. The question is, “what to do, and when?”

It’s not as if the deficit were a major obstacle over the short term. It is normal and prudent to run budget deficits during hard economic times. What we need is targeted economic stimulus to rid us of these hard times; deficit reduction will naturally follow. We’ve been here before; President Clinton used a combination of tax increases and a booming economy to eliminate the budget deficit left over from Ronald Regan’s mismanagement.

A second option, for those who feel we must act immediately, and who don’t wish to raise taxes, is to end the futile war in Afghanistan. Using the more conservative Congressional Research Service figures, the Afghanistan war costs $2 billion per week. That’s equal to the fiscal year 2011 savings from the federal pay freeze.

Posted by: DaveBrown1 | November 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned the CFC:

To date, Federal employees in the national capital area have donated $28,114,386.18 to the campaign.

That is as of today.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

My spouse works for a federal agency and does the work of some one at least two pay grades above him. Unfortunately, there's also two guys in his hall who make twice his salary and do no work. One of them doesn't know how to use Microsoft Office. So while the median salary might look great it would look a lot worse if OPM allowed agencies to fire incompetent employees.

Posted by: Elizabeth8

Well, that's one part of Issa's plan that I hope will work. It's common in most work places, but whatever their equivalent of "human resources" often side with the suck-ups, not those who report them.

There should be a way to expose them anonymously. At least then, they might be investigated and fired or severely down-sized.

Posted by: GoodGracious | November 29, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

As a former federal employee I remember how nice it was to be in the well protected cocoon of federal employment. I could see that waste was rampant and that many federal employees were just marking time until they could retire. I worked for two different agencies during my federal employment. First I worked for the Department of Defense where sloth and marking time was the name of the game. Next I worked for the IRS which liked to tell Congress that it was the only agency that actually earned its pay.More IRS employees more taxes collected.As a lawyer I have seen how often the Department of Justice wastes money on investigations and puts many people in prison for alleged crimes that in most countries would be treated as civil matters. I know that there are hundreds of Doctors in federal prison after being prosecuted for things which should have been treated by civil penalties. This at a time when most communities are served by Doctors who went to medical schools in India or other third world countries. The Department of Justice will spend a million dollars to put a Doctor in prison for making a mistake on an insurance form. Often a corrupt US Attorney will use their office to prosecute a corrupt competitor. Our society would be better served if the Justice Department was actually about "justice" and if half of its prosecutors and investigators were forced to get "real" jobs.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | November 29, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

You know, if it wasn't for the media, this country might be able to heal some of the open wounds with the divisiveness..did this headline HAVE to say "Bows to GOP" what does that have to do with it? He actually made a sound decision..as to how much this is SAVING us, that is like me going shopping at Macy's when they are having a sale, and coming home to tell my husband how much I saved him. Don't just freeze the pay, cut JOBS! Like eliminate the EPA for starters..

Posted by: CaPatriot | November 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It's not just federal employees who will suffer as the result of this decision. This Republican-driven budget cut may serve to kill the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) once and for all.

For those unfamiliar, the CFC was established in 1961 and is the largest workplace charity campaign in the U.S. -- and the only campaign authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in the workplace on behalf of carefully screened charitable organizations. As the world's largest and most successful annual workplace giving campaign, more than 350 CFC campaigns throughout the U.S. and internationally help to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes each year - causes devoted to feeding the hungry, seeking cures for diseases, protecting our natural resources, etc.

Considering that CFC giving is already down considerably this year, this fed pay freeze may well be the kiss of death.

Posted by: bobby4 | November 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

getjiggly1 - Not sure how you came to the conclusion that I can't avoid bank fees, but I'm not even sure how that's relevant. I'm simply pointing out that if private sector companies are raising fees for providing the same goods and services, somebody is making more money.
Regarding how I feel about myself, I am extremely proud of the work I have done, both here and overseas. I am also proud of the work that many of my coworkers have done and are doing. Every day there are examples in the press of federal employees putting themselves in harms way while people take cheap shots at them. There are also many examples that never make the papers.
Your attitude that I should be fired because I simply asked "why" is disturbing but typical of many people who are somehow able to reach extreme conclusions with little or no facts.

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I would support this if the billionaires get their Bush tax gift taken back. Otherwise, is class warfare

Posted by: pvogel88 | November 29, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

So when is the Congress going to "man up" and freeze their and their staffers pay as well? I find it absurd that the Congress did not set the example on pay freezes by imposing the freeze on themselves first.

Posted by: megfalkathome | November 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of all the stoic individuals who believe this will work - it won't. Performance will go down particularly if the step increases are frozen. Lower performance has a cost.

I can live without an annual cost of living increase. Taking away a step increase is another matter.

Posted by: stellamaris | November 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more snoopdog12.

... The problem with the economy is not my piddly 1-2% pay increase each year, the problem is that our country is full of lazy, greedy, selfish people that buy things they can't afford and don't pay mortgages they can afford. The result of that? We have to bail out these idiots and the banks that loaned them the money.

So, am I upset that my pay is being frozen when I am not at all responsible for the state of this economy? Am I upset that the federal government is punishing me because of the ineptitude and selfishness of others? Yes I am.

Posted by: fedstateemp | November 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

2010 CFC Campaign Dates & Goal

2010 CFCNCA Goal: $67 Million
OPM granted the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) an extension of the campaign solicitation period through January 17, 2011.

# CFCNCA raised more than $66.5 million in 2009 for people and communities in need.
# 41.2 percent of more than 350,000 Federal civilian, military and postal workers in the National Capital Area gave through the CFCNCA last year, compared with the national CFC average of 27.0 percent.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I understand that Gov't workers don't deserve 1/5 of their salary because of the work(or lackthereof) they do, however I do not understand why O'bama would want to alienate the base of people that voted him in.

Posted by: tmi1 | November 29, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why other federal workers are not included in this list. I do believe the military should have a pay increase. I work for a local school system as a teacher librarian, and for the 3rd year we are not getting a raise, nor a longevity step. Administrators have told us we will not get anything for at least 3 more years.

Posted by: MU76 | November 29, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

With all the money Senators and Congressmen make on the side, I think their salaries should be cut by at least 10%. Also, if the private sector does a better job in providing health insurance, then let's cut the Federal health insurance program for Senators and Congressmen and make them buy plans in the market place.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon

Absolutely!

Posted by: GoodGracious | November 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Getting a RAISE would be ludicrous given the economy. How about a 10-15% pay CUT just like the private-sector has gotten for the past three years? Now that would be an appropriate message...

Posted by: fritz101 | November 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Congress needs to include themselves and their staffs in this pay freeze.

Will they never figure out that the public dislikes Congress because they exempt themselves from everything that hurts other Americans?

Posted by: Kathy8 | November 29, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Reduction in force, or RIFS, should come to play. We need to get rid of the dead weight, and beleive me, there is a lot of it. I'm with the ORSA, contractors that are our counteparts make at a minimum a third more, and guess who pays for it? The government, stupid!! Every contractor is worth much, much more than a civilian...everytime they try what they call an A-76, they reduce the force of civilians and then supplement the force with contractors that are more expensive and have a huge overhead to manage! Makes a lot of sense, right? Like everything else this administration does. CUT your OWN pay first and stop bailing out wall street and all your cronies!!!

Posted by: meds | November 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

This should apply to ALL congress persons, congressional workers, senators and their minions as well. What's good for the goose...

That's typical of the Republicans, screw everyone else but take care of themselves.

By the way, government workers get paid to take all kinds of abuse from the tax payers.

Congressmen do what they like, fatten their own wallets by taking graft from FOX news and lobbyists, and we're cutting the pay for people who actually work!

We should abolish congress. The GOP thinks that they are paid to be obstructionists. I don't think we should pay them at all.

The GOP hasn't enacted any legislation that helps the middle or lower classes since Hollywood took over in 1980! King and Queen Reagan!

Boehner, McConnell, Bachman etc. none of them will suffer in any way and they even have their constituents believing their obnoxious lies!

Posted by: davidbronx | November 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that the President is willing to cut (which is what a freeze is) the pay of Federal employees, people just doing their jobs and once again caving to the GOP. I'm fed up. I worked my ass off for him in 2008. Don't call me for 2012. He's the biggest disappointment ever. He'll cut the pay but he won't make the insurance companies that service the Federal employees hold their prices. He won't issue larger Metro checks so DC employees can get to work using public transportation rather than driving. He won't enforce the same freeze on people on Capitol Hill. Typical. He's more republican than the GOP.

Posted by: joerf1 | November 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

As a federal worker I would support this 100% if the same was done on the congressional level.

Posted by: itissmall | November 29, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee. I am far from happy about this but can partially understand. He has lousy timing tho - due to health care reform my insurance premiums have raised dramatically and the other member of my household is unemployed and trying to navigate the Social Security Disability system. Try doing that on my pittance of a salary!

Posted by: pooeva1 | November 29, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

As a federal worker I would support this 100% if the same was done on the congressional level.

Posted by: itissmall | November 29, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Fine. For further cuts? How about we start with Rep. Issa and his salary, staff allowances and health benefits?
ALL of Congress. Any cut to a Federal employee or the American people should start with Congress-ALL Federal employees. Absurd to say 'sacrifice' and deficit burdening grandchildren when they keep pay grade, staff allowances, health insurance,job!
(BTW Fed. gov't started growing since Hamilton/Jefferson. Idiots JUST NOTICED it's big???)

Posted by: dcunning1 | November 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Instead of spending your time posting crap on the internet, how about applying for a federal job instead of crying about the plant/call center/Walmart closing."

Yeah, let's all work for the government!

The nastiness and sheer lack of intelligence shown by the fed employees on this comment thread is pretty shocking.

Posted by: bobmoses | November 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

So Obama courted the federal employees when he was running for office; now he is selling our souls to the devil so he can make nice with the republicans. Are members of Congress going to freeze their salaries? Freeze the salaries of their staffs? Is the President going to freeze the salaries of his staff? I mean if we are going to make a cut, then let's make it a deep one. This is nothing more than posturing for the incoming members of Congress....an olive branch of sorts. What is good for the goose is good for the gander....let's make it fair and equitable. If we have to endure a cut, then let's spread it around. The first cut is the deepest.....

Posted by: pgresident | November 29, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to do my part to help reduce the deficit, have no problem with the pay freeze. But how about the wealthy, $1M-plus-per-year Wall Street/Corporate VPs, etc? Why can't they accept that going back to the pre-Bush-era tax rates would be doing their part to bring revenue in line with spending?

Posted by: Raysmom | November 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

This should make Republicans happy! - while local economies will be hurt.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

fritz101 - where are you getting the numbers that the average private sector salary is being cut 10-15%? The reality is that private sector companies, on average, have still been providing raises. The have been extremes, such as Google that gave 10% raises this year, but the average has been around 2%. Not a lot, but much different than a 10-15% cut.
Source: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2009/sep/16/average-pay-raise-likely-to-be-less-than-2-percent/?careers

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the dublication, I'm a federal employee.

Posted by: falconflight | November 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm a federal worker and completely agree with a two-year across-the-board pay freeze for women, but Obama's plan is way too broad of a brush to be effective. Talented workers will just end up leaving the government for better paying jobs in the private sector.

Posted by: steves_friend | November 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This should make Republicans happy! - while local economies will be hurt.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

bobmoses, shocked by nasty and idiotic fed employees? Where have you been?

RIF & furlough, now.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Your Politics Afternoon teaser head reads: "FEDERAL EYE: Obama bows to GOP on federal pay" PULLEZZZEEEEE...........drop the spin....."bows to GOP?" You make me sick............

Posted by: alfalfabill | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

All you people railing against the fact that Obama didn't cut/freeze Congress' pay, or the judiciary's - read the Constitution, please. Obmama only controls pay in the executive branch - he can't cut Congress' pay, and NO ONE can cut federal judges' pay. Remember the Constitution? That thing, with all the rules in it? That's why Obama didn't freeze pay across the board. Uneducated idiots, you lot are.

Posted by: asupps | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If Federal workers must take a pay cut, why are Congressional workers, judges and their staff excempted? I am a Federal worker and if my pay is frozen "ALL" Federal workers pay should be frozen except for the military.

Posted by: Tysha1 | November 29, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse


Here's a little tidbit for the leftists to ponder, who like to propose inane nonsense like only "combat specialized" military members deserve to be exempted from a pay freeze.

July 2010, two U.S. Navy sailors were killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban: a cook, and a hull maintenance specialist. Every sailor in the Navy takes the same oath, and they all go where the Navy sends them and for most that includes some time in harm's way. Those who serve in a combat zone do get a small added incentive pay, that will get a lot smaller if Barry the inept bungler gets his way. Apparently the leftist scum also think the cook who serves on a submarine or an aircraft carrier does not deserve a pay raise either.

Navy Times article:

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/07/navy_afghan_sailors_072710w/


Posted by: screwjob22 | November 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Reading many of the comments here from government employees and various government employee union reps in the article, a question arises to me: Just how much of government employee pay is devoted to their various unions? Is it 5% or more per paycheck? Seems to me if a government worker can opt out of union membership, this 5% or more would be a pay increase. Discuss.

Posted by: drowningpuppies | November 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom wrote>>>But how about the wealthy, $1M-plus-per-year Wall Street/Corporate VPs, etc? Why can't they accept that going back to the pre-Bush-era tax rates would be doing their part to bring revenue in line with spending?

It's called GREED - and Republicans love UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Federal employees are taxpayers too!!! Sick of hearing that taxpayers are tired of paying for federal employees salaries. Federal employees are also paying for their own salaries. And those of us living in DC are paying our taxes without representation.

Posted by: ipaytaxestoo | November 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee and I get a fairly decent salary. I am not opposed to the freeze, but why not do it on an annual basis to see where the economy is at. I believe POTUS is grand standing on this one and trying to appease the Republicans and Tea Party. He is only alienating a lot of folks who voted for him. I believe he does not want to be re-elected and is doing every thing he can to look bad, so he will not be re-elected. He should understand the very folks he is trying to appease will never like him and will never vote for him.

Posted by: jlwadd123 | November 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it's good the GOP doesn't want to get anything done.

Posted by: Nymous | November 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Why is the Postal Service exempt from this freeze? They always best their Executive Branch peers for every perk and benefit.

Posted by: Zontag | November 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drsam8 | November 29, 2010 2:59 PM:

HOW ABOUT ERIC CANTOR'S FAT PAY IN CONGRESS AT TAXPAYERS' EXPENSE?

Does this pay freeze include the pay of members of Congress? If not, why not?Dr. Sam
____________________
Nope. It does not. What's even more galling is that Cantor (when he becomes majority leader)is considering changing House operations. He wants the House to hold sessions in Washington for TWO weeks and allow congressman to do "District Work" at home for ONE week. They already spend about half their time outside of Washington: (a) working only 2 1/2 days a week, (b) they take a week to 10 days for one-day holidays like Independence Day, (c) they don't do any legislative work in January and usually adjourn at the end of November or early December, and take the whole month of August off to run for re-election, or to go on junkets. Not only do they not work, but they have 20-30 people in their Washington office to do their work for them, and then some more staff in their District office. Note that congress hasn't even passed the 13 appropriation bills for fiscal year 2011 which began two months ago. This is the only/main job prescribed by the US Constitution and they still haven't done it. All of this time out of Washington is to reassure their re-election and NOT to do "constituent service." That's why they have staff. Now, they want to cut their time and work 1/3 less, but at the same salary. Note that starting salary for congressmen is $174,000 annually. That's more than the annual income of 90% of the American households.

Posted by: Paaa | November 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey people, I was recently hired by the government as an engineer. Many of you from the private-sector are saying "OH MY GOD! STOP WHINING! YOU SHOULD SUFFER LIKE THE REST OF US!" I am extremely thankful I have a job. Yes. But, keep in mind that for positions requiring extensive education, public employees are paid SIGNIFICANTLY less than their private-sector counterparts. Compared to what the average person makes in my position nationwide, I am below the fifth percentile (And I'm close to NYC! A high cost of living area!). So, while some private-sector employees are saying "Well, I haven't been getting my pay increases, so you should suffer too," keep in mind that if your position requires a bachelor's degree or higher, and you work in the private-sector, you already make much more money than your government counterpart.

I also see people saying things about government employees wasting their time on here... but, OF COURSE WE ARE TRACKING THIS! You would be too if it affected you.

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't like it, but what can I do? I don't want to uproot myself and family.

I will say I don't understand these people who seem angry/jealous at the federal workforce. If all federal workers are overpaid, and federal jobs are so attractive, why didn't they apply and get one themselves? It's not an especially exclusive club.

Posted by: wwc4g | November 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Cheap political shot, Mr. President. Federal employees are an easy, convenient target. Yeah, let's subsidize Wall Street and failed companies on the backs of government workers. Of course, when the next crisis hits ask for help from Goldman Sachs' executives.

Posted by: sero11 | November 29, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the pay freeze is a good thing on one hand but on the other,,Again you slapped the face or the working class and let the fat cats slide.Why are you afraid to tell the american people the truth.Why do you let big business like banks and C/C co.s make the standard and run over everyone in the prosess.Yes thats what your doing,don't even try to denigh it.You came on T.V and said,,We are ALL going to have to make sacrifices". Where are the sacrifices in big government and where is the help you promised to the middle class.If you think for one minute the american people don't see whats going on,you better think again.Congress is NOT working for the people,there working for themselves.Pay raises they vote for themselves.Deals to make themselves richer while the poorer class is paying the fright on there high lifestile.The upper 30% are pounding the rest of us into the ground like a tent stake.And what are you doing ? Going on a trip. Well heres something to think about.I voted for you but i won't do it again.You've kept vary few of the promises you made when you were running for that office.You could have brought the truth to the light and let congress know you were here "for the change". You haven't done much that you promised the american people.All you have done is play the same game as its always been and you think were too stupid to see it. "WRONG" We see all to well.The shame of it is.You have the power to make the change,,you just submitted to the will of the crooks in government.I'd hoped you'd be differant.What a disapointment. You better start renting storage space to rat whole things you too can steal from america.You don't have much longer to do it at the rate your going.There won't be a second term to sell the american people another bill of goods.

Posted by: ga_mountain_rider | November 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

If I'm guaranteed not to get a raise why should I bother to bust my hump in the slightest?

I think it's AWESOME that congress will still get their raises under the plan. Mr. Obama if I want to be screwed by Republican economics I would have voted Republican. Why are you currying favor with people who've vowed to oppose anything you do anyway?

Posted by: shadow27 | November 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Does not Obama realize one cannot reduce the deficit or debt with first creating well-paying jobs? His actions seem like politicking for no useful purpose.

Obama needs to take on the business lobby and business in general if he is ever going to create jobs. And stay away from this rinky-dink stuff.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree sacrifices are in order. However, does this mean that the Bush tax cuts for the richest 1% will be allowed to expire. It not, Obama can try looking for votes some place else come 2012.

Posted by: DATADUKE | November 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

As a Federal employee myself, I was pretty much fine with the idea of a pay freeze for Federal workers (although I think it's a little unfair that we alone have to bear the burden of fixing the deficit) BUT the fact that the freeze does not apply to members of Congress is TOTAL BS!! HYPOCRITES!!!

Posted by: eminemeni | November 29, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

So, what a pitiful attempt by the trickey
slippery Chicago community organizer conman
Barack Hussein Obama here to distract our full attention to someother dirty Democrat
Lame Duck Congress passing the Dream and full blown Illegal Alien Amnesty,as well.

And,then we have desperation Chicago Dirty
Politics at it's finest as Barack Obama
desperate to stop Hillary Clinton from a
2012 run against Obama re-election uses the
WikiLeaks Scandal to discredit and destory
Hillary Clintone and now Obama quick tries
to change the subject with this phony federal government employees wage freeze!

Why hasn't Barack Hussein Obama been thrown
out of office by Impeachment by now?

Posted by: redheadclaudine | November 29, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It would be more appreciated if Congress persons would be forced to pay for their health care, saving taxpayers great sums, while showing the American people that legislators share the burden of paying for health care, just like you and me.

Posted by: leonh741 | November 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

True the freeze on the salary payments to Federal Govt employees (I am not a govt. employee) will save some money. How much more money would be saved if we trimmed our bloated defence budget which is larger than the total amount spent on defence by the rest of the world. Other suggestions to reduce the national debt and balance the budget would be:
(1) a pay cut and cut in healthcare and other benefits for all the politicians (no exceptions)
(2) a freeze on corporate welfare and subsidies to special interest groups such as farmers etc.
(3) a freeze on bonus payments and a salary cut for the executives of firms that took a bailout.
(4) A cap on total salary and benefits paid to executives in the private sector so that they do not exceed that paid to the US President.

Posted by: kms123 | November 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

To Paaa------so the moral of your story is: become a congressman/woman :-) you'll then meet the stereotype that all of these people have for government employees.

Posted by: Snoopdog12 | November 29, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"I will say I don't understand these people who seem angry/jealous at the federal workforce. If all federal workers are overpaid, and federal jobs are so attractive, why didn't they apply and get one themselves? It's not an especially exclusive club."

Posted by: wwc4g | November 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. I've heard stories of many people who elect to take private-sector jobs because they pay more, then lose their job, and regret not taking a more secure job. When, they could've applied for a federal position to begin with, and probably could've gotten it. It is no harder to get a job as a civilian government worker than it is to get a job in the public sector. Especially now.

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Federal employee but I know that we could afford to give the robber barons billions and yet slap the face of those asked to protect us from fraud, spies, terrorists, dangerous foods and drugs, control our aircraft to safety, inspect and assure safe travel, investigate enviromental concerns, study disease and prevent it, monitor our borders, make safe our president, assure our public properties & parks, assure justice in Feederal courts, provide our Medicaid, Medicare and Veteran health services, etc., etc.
Deny our own employees but provide AIG & Golman Sachs; shame.

Posted by: boudy1 | November 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Why exempt members of Congress and judges?

Posted by: sober1 | November 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Federal employee but I know that we could afford to give the robber barons billions and yet slap the face of those asked to protect us from fraud, spies, terrorists, dangerous foods and drugs, control our aircraft to safety, inspect and assure safe travel, investigate enviromental concerns, study disease and prevent it, monitor our borders, make safe our president, assure our public properties & parks, assure justice in Feederal courts, provide our Medicaid, Medicare and Veteran health services, etc., etc.
Deny our own employees but provide AIG & Golman Sachs; shame.

Posted by: boudy1 | November 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I wholeheartedly agree with KAW5059. Public sector employees are expected to have professional education and experience but are paid less than private sector employees (where the company decides what to pay an employee and can change that at any time). There are other ways to impact the budget without feezing federal employee pay, retiree benefits or social security. This freeze is likely financial rather than political, especially when you consider the fact that the continuing resolution will expire on December 4. There had to be a sacrifice and my 2.4% for the next two years is it!

Posted by: dtayres | November 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What good is this freeze if it does not cover everyone in the Federal System. Judges don't work 40 hrs. but get paid hugh salaries. US Representatives and Senators only waste money, don't work 40 hrs. and get hugh salaries and perks which I might add they don't deserve. This is nothing more than a Political stunt. Freeze the pay of everyone in the system or don't do it at all.

Posted by: sumo1 | November 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Why exempt members of Congress and judges?

Posted by: sober1

It's in the Constitution--he can't. Doesn't mean that they couldn't avail themselves of the OPTION.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So what?
It should have been done ages ago.

Federal employees/Tax Feeders make on average TWICE what the rest of us do.

Posted by: grannymiller1 | November 29, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the pay freeze,but what about federal judges,Senators and Representatives. Shouldn't we all share in the pain. As a senior my benefits were frozen 2 years ago. I was self employed all my working career except when i was in the army and the only time I made more money when I was a civilian was when I worked harder and did a better job. If this were the case with our politicians a lot of them would be homeless.

Posted by: melfowler82 | November 29, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

ALL Federal workers EXCEPT for the Armed Forces should receive this freeze. To exclude Congress from the freeze is a slap in the face to all Americans, Federal workers or not! Their salaries are enormous compared to the Automated Office Clerk or Program Assistant and those positions and many much like them are the back-bone of the Gov. Their benefits are FANTASTIC compared to other Federal workers and their Civilian counterparts, too. Who get's to be a Senator for 3 years and then qualify for a retirement...OURS do! You couldn't have said it louder Mr. President. Politicians mean more to you than the American people...thanks.

Posted by: IGHT | November 29, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's Budget Director bashes Republicans.....

- We need "a higher tax burden on the upper income."

- "After 1985, the Republican Party adopted the idea that tax cuts can solve the whole problem, and that therefore in the future, deficits didn’t matter and tax cuts would be the solution of first, second, and third resort."

– The 2001 Bush tax cut "was totally not needed."

– On claims that Reagan proved tax cuts lead to higher government revenues: "Reagan proved nothing of the kind and yet that became the mantra and it just led the Republican Party away from its traditional sound money, fiscal restraint."

- Former Vice President Cheney "should have known better" than claim the Bush tax cuts would pay for themselves.

- "I’ll never forgive the Bush administration and Paulson for basically destroying the last vestige of fiscal responsibility that we had in the Republican Party. After that, I don’t know how we ever make the tough choices."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/28/stockman-slams-gop-taxes

Posted by: angie12106 | November 29, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers"

Congress is where most of the waste is!
Yes, freeze raises for the workerbees but keep the others fat and happy.

And by the way, it's a lie. There will be raises for those who need to be paid.

Posted by: hebe1 | November 29, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay boys and girls... now that you're done slamming us Federal Employees, who by the way, are actually fewer than there have been in the last fifty-something years (since there was 1 Fed for every 78 people in the mid 1950's and now 1 for every 140 people)... why don't we talk about things that actually shrink deficits. Things like actually making corporations with trillion dollar profits pay taxes and millionaires pay their share. Or things like realizing that if you want to fight two wars and massively increase Medicare by adding part D (see Bush, George W- 2003) you actually need to pay for them. Or that it costs more to hire contractors who make six figures but don't seem to actually contribute anything (see Dana Priest's articles from a few months ago) than it does to pay actual Federal Employees. Or decide to not remove regulations that prevent Wall Street from pulling the same sort of shennanigans that put us here (I'm looking at you Tea Party) instead of allowing CEO's to give themselves million dollar bonuses. Don't forget that the highest paid Federal Employee makes $400,000 annually, and there's only one of him. Most of the rest of us make far, far less than our private sector counterparts, but since we actually believe in serving our nation, we accept the less pay.

Remember, the next time you enjoy a breath of fresh air, a sip of clean water, eat food that isn't going to make you sick, planes that don't crash due to lack of air traffic control, a paved road that allows you to drive fast, or a car that doesn't explode on impact, you have a Federal Employee to thank.

Posted by: mkelm441 | November 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

What does this gain, a tiny amount of money saved and a bunch of pissed off people that voted for Obama? The mind boggles at the stupidity of this administration.

Posted by: rcokely
_____________________

Love it! Save money, don't spend, balance the budget! But not with federal employees help. Oh no, not in my backyard.

Posted by: arancia12 | November 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. I find that a lot of government employees have started the cry baby routine that cuts shoud be made in someone elses back yard and to leave the hard working federal employees alone.
Get a clue folks. The President has said many times over that all must share in the effects and recovery from the financial down swing. Federal employees...take your lumps like everone else.

Posted by: ISWEDE | November 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I haven't received a raise in three years, like most in higher education and I make under 30K with a bachelors and masters degree. So, whoop dee doo that someone is finally freezing salaries that are just a millstone around this government's neck; aka government employees.

Posted by: candyzky | November 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM

------------------------------

Like you did any work anyway.

Good move, Obama.

Posted by: Benson | November 29, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

If Speaker-to-be Boehner is serious about cutting the deficit and spending, he should encourage/order Congress to rescind any pay increases for themselves for the same period as for federal employees as a sign of good faith to the American people. He must also encourage/order Congress to fail any bill that includes pork spending as a way to cut the deficit even further. Then and only then will I consider the president's call for a pay freeze legitimate.

Posted by: luv2bikva | November 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This is hardly a concession to the GOP. If GS workers had gotten a raise, I think he would have a revolution on his hands. A concession would be if he cut their wages by 5% and laid off 5% of the entire work force. This NIMBY mentality must stop, and, if Obama is serious, he will start with his own house. I started working for the DoD when the GS pay schedule was meager compared to private wages. I'm not complaining--I could have left. However, I have watched the pay schedules and am amazed that it has taken so long for the public to be outraged by the ballooning of the work force and pay. I believe in paying for expertise and wages commensurate with private employers, but, benefits must be factored into the equation. 'Do as I say, not as I do' didn't work when I heard it as a child, and I would never tell others to do it. Some people have been warning that this day would come, but, many of us just stuck our heads in the sand, while others took advantage of all they could get at the expense of others. Now, we must all pay equally--if I must take a 5% cut, you must, too.

Posted by: coffic | November 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't received a raise in three years, like most in higher education and I make under 30K with a bachelors and masters degree."

I doubt you earn that little with an engineering or mathematics degree.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I am glad everyone is quick to take their frustrations on Gov. employees. Lets bail-out Banks and everyone else including private sector, - 850 Billion, but we will freze Gov. employees salary and save just about 4 billion. Another great return on your dollar. This is done by your current politicians to appeal to their political base, - they could not care less about working people. I started working for DOD almost 20 years ago, and began with 12K a year with a Bachelor degree. What a pay-off. The reason, people join Gov. is to benefit after retirement, not before. Finally, Gov. employees cought-up with private sector after been behind for at least last 30 years, and look what is happening. I did not hear anybody protest on our behalf in the past. Perhaps, we should cut the establishment, and hold politicians responsible for what they do. Power to the people, death to the political parasites and their not so bright supporters and ideological demogogs.
You can get a degree from the most prestigious Univercity(for free), but you can't get "common sense", and that is what is needed to be a successful government servant. Thank you everyone.

Posted by: TheZ-man | November 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

There is a distinct problem with this plan... The "performers" (there are many), will leave government service for the private sector; whereas the "free-loading, non-performers" (they know who they are) know that the Gub-nent is their gravy train and will stay put. What you end up with after 2 years is a much less productive gov't workforce.

Posted by: spidermonkey | November 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

drowningpuppies - not all federal employees are in unions. Many of us are prohibited from doing so.
One of the issues that makes this conversation so difficult is that we cast all federal employees under one umbrella. There are many different types of government workers, just like there are many types of private sector employees. Using one type of government employee to describe all of us is no more appropriate than me using NFL players or movie stars as typical private sector employees.

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Salaries should be CUT 20%. And pensions greatly reduced. I am tired of supporting incompetent, lazy, good for nothing federal employees. Hundreds of thousands should be fired.

Posted by: txengr | November 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I would think, you could eliminate 25% of all federal jobs, and it still would be a excessive waste of taxpayers money, to keep the workforce minus 25%. Goverment is one big fat porky pig.

Posted by: davidtrottier2002 | November 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

What a joke all of you pay freeze supporters are. You have no outrage when wall street and mortgage bankers take trillions of our $$$ and line their pockets as the economy went into the Bush crapper, but now you are ready to wail like a stuck pig in support of the 6 billion a year freezing federal pay will save. Wallstreet has done more damage to your life and bank account than a few over paid federal employess ever will. GET A CLUE!

Posted by: CapHillDC | November 29, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM
_________________________

If you're Federal employee it's already likely that you produce no work, abuse your leave, and are mainly parasitic.

Posted by: Smarg | November 29, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I have no REAL problem with the freeze, although health insurance, taxes and inflation will increase. That will result in a loss for the economy because less money will be spent. Not a well though out plan in my opinion. If you really wanted to decrease federal government expenditures, ALL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should have been frozen, including the military, contractors and Congress (their pay is not being frozen). So, THIS IS not a true cost cutting measure but more like FEDERAL EMPLOYEES being used as scapegoats.......

Posted by: common2 | November 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see if Congress freeze their salary and benefits as well as put a freeze on the salary of their staffs.

How about congress giving up their special packages and opting for what all the other people get that are paid by the Federal Government?

Maybe then I will think that Congress is serious as opposed to being a two party joke.

Posted by: rsleonard9 | November 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Pay freezes and furloughs are red herrings. Government must CUT PAYROLL!

Posted by: bscook111 | November 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It's understandable why the freeze does not apply to military personnel and government contractors, but why doesn't it apply to postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers? Postal workers are notoriously overpaid when one takes into account benefits and retirement. Congressional staffers and court workers probably are overpaid too.

Posted by: gmdim | November 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Our government went about the cuts all wrong. Why penalize all the employees with a pseudo pay reduction. You reduce the incentive to produce. It is time for a reduction in force. Weed out the weak and lazy and then make hire only the essential positions with highly qualified personnel.

I have been a federal employee for 18 years between military and civil service and I welcome open competition and a RIF. The ‘cuts’ will have a minor impact on my standard of living as long as they don’t stop promotions.

Posted by: Mas0n | November 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What would be the incentive in working for the federal government as 1000s are eligible to retire each year. What would be incentives to work your but off, when you're not getting a raise the next two years. Sure, Greatful for a job, but why work hard with to get nothing but a paycheck.

Lets not kid ourselves private sector employees or contractors get massive bonuses which sometimes more than a years pay for many federal employees...........A contractor making 50k a year, performs well meets the contracts goals get a 10k bonus, the lonely ole federal employee trained the contractor and produces more his or program gets a certificate of recognition or begins to look for newer federa positions, why though, he or she still wont get a raise if they out perform where every they land...........

Posted by: Sincear2021 | November 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Our government went about the cuts all wrong. Why penalize all the employees with a pseudo pay reduction. You reduce the incentive to produce. It is time for a reduction in force. Weed out the weak and lazy and then hire only the essential positions with highly qualified personnel.

I have been a federal employee for 18 years between military and civil service and I welcome open competition and a RIF. The ‘cuts’ will have a minor impact on my standard of living as long as they don’t stop promotions.

Posted by: Mas0n | November 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Three points:
1.) As the head of the executive branch, President Obama cannot freeze the pay of the Legislative or judicial branches, but they usually voluntarily go along with what ever he does.
2.) To the extent that the justification for freezing our COLAs is that the cost of living isn't increasing, that justification ignores the fact that the cost of health insurance for government employees is now significantly higher as a result of the health care insurance reforms.
3.) Usually civilian and military government employees receive the same raises. Last year, when President Obama decoupled civilian and military raises, he said it was a one-time only situation. By freezing only civilian employee pay he is clearly breaking that promise.

Posted by: coachWag | November 29, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Congress sets its own pay scale. . .NOT the President. If you think your Senator or Representative is overpaid, write to him/her and insist on some sort of sacrifice from their side. Good luck with this, by the way.

The President is stopping the pay raises of those he has in his direct line of hire.
Good for him!!

I know many federal employees who knew this was coming and most of them are NOT
against it--understanding that they are part of the solution if their pay raise is nixed. Good for them!

Those federal employees who think they can get a better deal from the "private sector" should do so. . .and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Times are hard. This is a very good move.

Thank you, Mr. President, for doing the hard thing. This is good for all of us!

Hoosier Grandma

Posted by: wwIIbaby | November 29, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I love o'keefe's lead in. "Bowing to" Obama hasn't bowed to anything else. Why not say "Obama made a tough decision like many business owners have had to make. This is largely due to a series of bad government decisions that have backfired."

Posted by: mtest | November 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

As a member of the middle class, if I wanted to get screwed I would have voted for a republican.

"The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes." ---Aristotle

"I need to shaft the middle class just like the republicans, so that I will have a good "zinger" to throw out in the 2012 elections." -President Obama

Posted by: losthorizon10 | November 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

gmdim - why is it understandable that pay freezes would not apply to military personnel?

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Many posters seem to believe that everyone in the private sector is perfect, everyone in government is bad. Sounds like typical G O Tea party bigotry.

To fed employees: no raise will be the good old days when Palin gets elected.

Posted by: bc112 | November 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Why are the cons commenting on these boards only in favor of increasing unemployment? Where are your solutions for creating jobs? Thought so.

Posted by: acindc007 | November 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

As a federal employee, I do not mind doing my part, but why are Congress,federal court judges and workers, and postal workers excluded from the pay freeze? I would leave the military alone, but if a freeze is appropriate for civilian workers, then let it happen to ALL civilian workers!

Posted by: susanatdoj | November 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

These cuts are like a Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky chess match (1972). Local businesses will suffer as millions of Feds spend less. Taxpayers will be angry when the cuts over the years, at some point, affect computation of social benefits, air traffic control or whatever. (Want a WalMart greeter working a double-shift to bring your plane into JFK in a few years?) I understand the Fed bashing, but at some point this is all connected - bank bailouts, the never-ending wars, Medicare, the bureaucrats.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

getjiggly,

But some poor Fed had to approve your disability payments. Filing out the application in all 64 colors in crayon box, writing die Fed die on each page, and use the application for disability to wipe your b*tt were just your way of saying thanks right punk.

Sorry most of the Federal work force are no clerks or secretaries anymore. Reagan outourced those jobs to contractors.

Now Rush is over and its time for your WOW with your buds before mom says you have to do your homework. Maybe this is the year you pass 5th grade. 7th time is the charm.

Posted by: sheepherder | November 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3 wrote:

This is Bull. It won't effect the deficit in any significant way. Federal employees should strike and see how the country likes the country grinding to a stand still for a few days.
____________________________________

If this is your (and others like you)position, then I hope you all get fired, like Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. Then you can stand in the unemployment line. There's no shortage of qualified folks looking for work.

Pathetic...

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | November 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder, I'm in 4th grade thank you very much. I got demoted after I sodomized your mother.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought she was a sheep.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

But sheep aren't that ugly.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ok, we all knew that "Scapegoat Politics" would eventually claim someone and suprise, suprise its the Federal Government Employee! Like many, I am completely dedicated to my federal career and I take great pride in my efforts to make a positive contribution to the American way of life. Unlike many, there is NO WAY that I am happy, nor will I pretend to be happy about my salary being frozen for 2 years while the prices of everything else (clothing, food, shelter, transportation, utilities etc.) continue to escalate. So in all fairness if wages are frozen for 2 years, why not freeze prices on EVERYTHING and for EVERYONE for 2 years? I personally don't mind doing my part as long as the proposed remedy does NOT penalize me because my employer happens to be the American People. Remember folks we "Feds" are your friends, neighbors and family. We are NOT out to get you, we ARE you!

Posted by: LisaOBrien623 | November 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I really have no problem with a pay freeze. Personally if given an option I would have taken the 2 week furlough over a pay freeze but whatever...

However, the main point that I want to make is that while times are bad now it hasn't always been bad. The public sector versus private sector is like the tortoise and the hare respectively. We govies have taken our pay raises in very small chunks over the years. I have been with the gov't for 22 years and have taken very small raises from year to year to get where I am at. I know my skill set is worth 150% in the private sector. 10 years ago, the gov't employee was treated like a second class citizen. We were ridiculed for working for the Feds and told we were stupid for selecting that career path. We could not compare our paychecks to the private sector. Now the tables have turned and we are at the top of the food chain. Everyone wants to see us taken down so we can feel it like the public sector. I've got news for you, we already felt it when times for you (private sector) were good.

Despite the pay freeze, I am very content with my career path and will strive to do the best I can. It won't affect my morale. I am glad that it will not affect the military. My son is serving in the USMC and stationed in Japan. The sacrifices he has made for his country should not be diminished by a pay freeze to the small paycheck he receives now.

Posted by: dutchydawg | November 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

As useual,,Pound the working class and let the fat cats slid.Do you think were so stupid we don't see whats going on here? The big money isn't effected.There the ones that can stand it the most.Instead of making any real differance you once again pound the working class into the ground like a tent stake,and let the big business continue to plumel the american citizen.Of all the cuts or freezes that could make a real differance,you hit the smallest piece of government and let the big money continue to sail on uneffected.Obama (could have) made a differance in this country.I even voted for him.I am so disapointed in his lack of energy to do the right thing.Too afraid to blow the whistle on big government with waistful spending and just out and out theft of the peoples money. In this time in which he has ask all of (us) to make sacrifices.He gave a pass on Co.s that are rapeing the average american.Banks,C/Card Co.s and the CEO of big business that make the big money,while joe average is loseing his home. And oh yes,congress that votes them selves a raise for slowing down or totally stopping the good that being interduced to really help the country. We need a presadent that have the guts to go on T.V and tell the truth.Name names.Here we are ( the average citizen ),going belly up,while your on vacation. Nice going (prez). I'm real disapointed in you Obama.And i'll convay that feeling at election time.

Posted by: ga_mountain_rider | November 29, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As a federal government worker, I am not thrilled by this but I understand the need for sacrifice. I do think that another good way to help battle the deficit would be to not make permanent the Bush era tax cuts.

Posted by: Wmcfam | November 29, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

In Mexico the pay freeze for federal workers started in 2000 and will continue in 2011.

This is the first stone.

Ther are many options, this is a show.

Remember the narco rise from 2001.


Posted by: mxfma | November 29, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

While it may please Republicans, who have made their careers demonizing federal workers, the pay freeze is an empty gesture. It will demoralize the workers and do next to nothing to address the federal debt. Political window dressing.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | November 29, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

He hardly has a choice, federal worker's compensation is out of control paying double that of civilian counterparts, see citation below.

While he talks a good game, most people know how the game works: awards, bonuses and other shenanigans will continue under this "freeze" ensuring huge annual salaries through hook or crook and the public will be none the wiser.

California is learning their lessons the hard way, I suspect the feds won't make any serious attempts to bring salaries in line with the real world until it's too late.

cite: USA Today, 8/13/2010, http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

Posted by: JR_Hanahan | November 29, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

My issue with this is twofold. First, during the boom years, federal workers were told that they didn't deserve the higher pay of the private sector because they have less risk (less negative impact when things go bust). Now that things have gone bust, federal workers are told they must share the pain, when they were denied the upside during the boom. Second is that federal workers should not be scape goated. The federal deficit will not be fixed on the backs of federal workers. If a pay preeze is part of a braoder package that covers all the bases, then fine. But do not throw the federal owrkforce under the bus because congress can't get its own house in order.

Posted by: jhalldc | November 29, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Some comments I have read:

"Salaries should be CUT 20%. And pensions greatly reduced. I am tired of supporting incompetent, lazy, good for nothing federal employees. Hundreds of thousands should be fired."

"Federal employees/Tax Feeders make on average TWICE what the rest of us do."

I don't think you people are understanding that government employees make more on average because most government positions require a bachelor's degree. Our cleaning people, technicians, secretaries, and such, are mostly contracted out. Those contractors are included in the private-sector averages. So, when you're comparing the public-sector to the private-sector, you're lumping 18 year olds working at Walmart and McDonalds, and other people with ZERO education into that private-sector average salary calculation. Jobs like that don't exist in the public-sector. I know that, I, as an engineer in the government, get paid much less than my private sector counterpart at the moment.

Get your facts straight folks.

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

There appears to be a lot of mixed emotions with regard to the fed pay raise freeze, so I'd like to express my opinion on some of your comments, ladies and gentlemen.

We all know that the cuts are in order, that's very apparent, and as some of you have already addressed, nullifying the federal pay raise is a drop in the bucket. However, if it has to be done, for the people, for the budget, for the economy, then lets do it.

To all those who gripe about your tax dollars feeding the lazy federal workers, and etc., last I checked the federal workers pay taxes, too. Also, something to consider, not all federal agencies are funded by the tax dollars, some are fee funded, very much like a private corporation, such as the US Patent and Trademark Office. I don't know of any other entity that would be on par as responsible for promoting economic growth, not only domestically, but also globally. Those folks will have to worry about cuts as well.

I am deeply sorry to all those who have lost their employment (I know exactly what that feels like) or have had their salaries cut in the private sector and public alike, but not ALL private sector jobs have been lost or cut, and as the matter of fact, some are doing fine and growing steadily. That said, the fact that ALL federal workers have to bite the proverbial bullet is absurd. The generalization that ALL federal workers are wasteful and lazy is also absurd. As some have pointed out, there are agencies in the federal government responsible for many facets of our lives and work extermely hard and diligently to keep all of you safe, for instance, the air traffic controller.

Anyway, modest projections take us into 2014 until we are back on track. Who knows, perhaps we won't have to worry about it if the Mayans had accurately predicted our demise. So, enjoy your time OFF before the world explodes, lol, and quit your bickering about who owes what...

Posted by: alsolacol | November 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

RE: "41.2 percent of more than 350,000 Federal civilian, military and postal workers in the National Capital Area gave through the CFCNCA last year, compared with the national CFC (Combined Fed Campaign) average of 27.0 percent.

Not for long! --

"...I just tore up my pledge sheet to the CFC. Gotta save 1.9% somewhere.

Posted by: brothertobrother | November 29, 2010 1:32 PM |"

Posted by: bobby4 | November 29, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

freeze for everyone except soldiers

Posted by: lhovde | November 29, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This is total Bologna. If the freezes apply to all those who do the legwork it should apply across the board to include Cogressional Workers and ESPECIALLY CONGRESS ITSELF! There is absolutely NO REASON why they should be excluded. What this amounts to is exactly like the corporations that cut hours and salaries for their hourly workers and then vote themselves a big fat raise and bonuses.
...... THE NEED FOR A PUBLIC OUTCRY IS NOW! Let your congressional representatives (in particular those NEWLY ELECTED that the people of the United States will no longer stand for the unmitigated gall they are showing by not freezing their own wages while they still the advancement of those who do the work.

Posted by: JohnS-WRJ | November 29, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Regarding: Rather a freeze than unemployment; one question, does the pay freeze apply to Congress too?

Posted by: tawnybarb2 | November 29, 2010 10:39 AM |


Congress is the Legislative Branch, not Executive Branch, so they are not affected. HHS is in the Executive Branch.

Posted by: mammam | November 29, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

lhovde - - I've asked this question before but never received a response. Why?
Why no raise to the CIA Agent working undercover in Afghanistan, why no raise to the DEA Agent in Mexico City? Why no raise to the FBI Agent in Saudi Arabia? Why no raise to the ATF Agents, Secret Service Agents, State Department employees, US Marshals, Federal Protective Services, DHS Agents???

Posted by: justanotherguy | November 29, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Vintage, gutless Obama. Instead of shafting the people who really caused the problem -- the rich and the Wall Street snakes -- he rat-buggers people who have no choice but eat his manure sandwiches. Chicken little preppie son of fortune.

Posted by: editorneal | November 29, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Good move.

Next, cut some government contractors.

Posted by: Benson | November 29, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope this includes the bloated salaries and perks of the congressmen and the senators. Normally, they will vote to cut the worker's pay, but give themselves fat pay raises. Tea-party or not. Once they come and enjoy the good life in DC, they all forget why they came here in the first place.

Posted by: patriot0523 | November 29, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Typical Obama, give the bullies something for nothing. When, oh when, we will this man stand up to the GOP on anything? Oh yes, after he is defeated in 2012 by some raging Tea Partier with a simple soundbyte campaign...

Posted by: pblotto | November 29, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

There are millions of federal workers and retirees that will remember they have been singled out to bear the brunt of HOPE and CHANGE Obama style...bye bye Hussein in Nov 2012....

Posted by: vinnie777 | November 29, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

When I got laid off by Reagan in 1982 (RIF), I was back the next week as a contractor with a 10% pay increase. Until you look at government contractors, you don't have the full picture. And the contracting companies have lots of executives to pay and buildings to pay for.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 29, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Again, most comments reflect Obama's lack of fortitude in dealing with current Republicans and those the people just elected. To answer several commentaries written, No it does not deny pay increases to members of Congress! They will continue to milk the middle class dry and in all honesty I hope it doesn't change because you deserve to be sucked dry in your continued efforts to vote against your own interests election after election! These are the same people who play like they actually believe Republican care about the deficit and with everything they do all they have to say is that it will help just like this pending vote on maintaining the Bush Tax Reductions and people have little enough sense to buy into it over and over again! The last two years had been frustrating but now I understand why Democrats are so weak. People are weak and ..... and Republican use those characteristics to defeat Democrats! The simplest thing in the world that people could have done this past election was to have voted for no republicans or tea party activists. The latter is more fickeled than the others but people in their infinite wisdom could not even see through that. I'm convinced that the media understands that so they write and produce shows based on that lack of sophication (giving the people what they want and understand)because they are most like "Michael", give it to him, he'll eat anything. The Republican managed to convince people "Jobs" were are number 1 issue and the public never asked when and what caused jobs to be lost? Just that Obama hadn't created sufficient numbers of new jobs and his Democratic Congress was to blame. Again, great job media - you really did a magnificent job informing and educating the public so we could make informed decisions. Don't let me forget how important fixing the DEFICIT is but I guess I shouldn't ask how and when did we get 11-trillion dollars in debt? I know, I already know the answer to that - Its Obama, Nancy Pelosi and those Democrats since January 21, 2009 that have spent us into oblivion! In spite of all the reputable economists, I know the best way to improve the economy is by cutting spending and letting our infrastructure continue to crumble and we can go back to gravel and dirt roads and also that will improve our environment. Better yet, the world won't be destroyed by fire or water until Jesus Christ returns. This is what we have been dumbed down to believing - Great Job media.

Posted by: mcgeenate | November 29, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Hope he rolls salaries back to "pre-bailout" levels.

Posted by: AG1231 | November 29, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It is truly amazing that someone who claimed to know everything about everything before being elected now knows nothing about nothing!

Posted by: rteske | November 29, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It is truly amazing that someone who claimed to know everything about everything before being elected just 2 years ago now knows nothing about nothing!

Posted by: rteske | November 29, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"I really have no problem with a pay freeze. Personally if given an option I would have taken the 2 week furlough over a pay freeze but whatever...

However, the main point that I want to make is that while times are bad now it hasn't always been bad. The public sector versus private sector is like the tortoise and the hare respectively. We govies have taken our pay raises in very small chunks over the years. I have been with the gov't for 22 years and have taken very small raises from year to year to get where I am at. I know my skill set is worth 150% in the private sector. 10 years ago, the gov't employee was treated like a second class citizen. We were ridiculed for working for the Feds and told we were stupid for selecting that career path. We could not compare our paychecks to the private sector. Now the tables have turned and we are at the top of the food chain. Everyone wants to see us taken down so we can feel it like the public sector. I've got news for you, we already felt it when times for you (private sector) were good.

Despite the pay freeze, I am very content with my career path and will strive to do the best I can. It won't affect my morale. I am glad that it will not affect the military. My son is serving in the USMC and stationed in Japan. The sacrifices he has made for his country should not be diminished by a pay freeze to the small paycheck he receives now.

Posted by: dutchydawg | November 29, 2010 4:36 PM "

---------------

Now THAT was a thoughtful comment from someone who obviously has served his country well in good times and bad, and with a boy in the Marines has passed his values onto the next generation. A tip of the hat to you, sir or madam.

I notice that Social Security payouts have also been frozen for 2011, because the overall inflation rate is at a near record low. The problem with inflation is that it affects some people much more than others: Those with chronic illnesses or medical emergencies, and those with school-aged children. Those like myself, in good health with no children to support, and with a low mortgage, see almost no inflation in our monthly expenses. In fact with refinancing, our mortgage payment has dropped about 50% in real dollars since 1991.

This is a great country, but it would be even greater if people thought of ourselves more as a "we", and less as you vs. me. Federal workers for the most part are no different from anyone else, and why we persist in demonizing them is one of those things I guess I'll never understand. I hate red tape as much as anyone, but there's as much waste and inefficiency in the private sector as in the government. And I've yet to see a branch of the government that's any ruder and more dismissive of ordinary people than Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Comcast or any one of a hundred large corporations.

Posted by: andym108 | November 29, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm ready to do my share of sacrificing. Will my federal health insurer do its share and refrain from raising my premiums and from cutting back on my benefits?

Posted by: walterm1 | November 29, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Next up should be government contractors.

Posted by: Benson | November 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Please alert us when President Obama does something real instead of the bait and switch of raising the price 100% then discounting it 50%.

Bloated worthless government employees having their salaries frozen at outrageous levels instead of incredibly unbelievable levels. What a gift, and the media says the GOP wins, I guess the "Big Lie" is still in vogue.

Posted by: DrMysterious | November 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It's true that most federal workers are paid to much and have many more benefits that in the private secftor and they need to have their pay frozen. The flaw in the plan is they didn't include members of Congress and a couple of other departments that are worth no where near what they are paid. By omitting these groups Obama just show again what a coward he is because he knows that his peopel in Congress would never approve a paycut for themselves. They are all for taxing us at higher rates. Reducing our benefits and doing nothing about the lack of jobs or the 1 in 4 children that now go to bed hungry in this country. We can only hope that in 2012 we can elect someone that will work for the good of the country and not a select few like Obama. Plus the pay won't be reduced because the union won't allow Obama to do it. They own him body and soul. It would be nice to have a president with leadership skills and the guts to use them instead of this sorry excuse for president that is infesting the White House now. He has done nothing but force a few things down our throats while disregarding the people's wishes and demands. They only thing he seems to be good at is taking vacations and campaigning. No wonder we have lost our standing in the world. Why should any ally trust us when we have a president like Obama and a Congress that was controlled by people like Pelosi. They know are current goverment is in a shambles. It is time to fire all politicians and hire public servants that have the best interst of this country at heart. Not just a select few that Obama kisses up to to try to get votes regardless of the demage he does to this country everyday.

Posted by: Hopinghere2 | November 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Waaaaaaaaaaahhh.

Welcome to the real world.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | November 29, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the people complaining about federal workers actually work in an industry propped up by federal or state tax dollars. As far as I'm concerned, if you work in the auto industry, real estate, banking, investing, food, energy, defense, technology, biotechnology, education, etc., you probably wouldn't have a job if the federal government wasn't around.

And as for employee competency: there is no more incompetence in the public sector than the private. Think about how wonderful Microsoft products operate, or how well the AT&T billing department functions, how courteous the cable company's employees are. Incompetence is found everywhere, especially in a country that values sports and Dancing with the Stars as much as America does.

Posted by: thesilverback | November 29, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I've worked for the government for 23+ years. I can live with a pay freeze for 2 years, but I don't understand why it applies to federal employees, but not members of the House and Senate and their staffers. Shouldn't they be setting the example, especially all those "newbies" who think us folks in DC don't know what we're doing, or are overppaid for doing it? Oh, and while we're at it, let's share the joy and assure that government contractors also experience the same pay freeze we're getting.

And how come the Hill got to go home (on our $s) to campaign, then return for a few weeks of work, then off again for the holidays, and - oh by the way, they STILL haven't passed the federal budget for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1st? I don't think they should get to leave town to campaign for reelection if they're not doing the job we're paying them to do in the first place. OK, time to get off my soapbox now...

Posted by: government_drone | November 29, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Would you idiots please learn how to use your computers and post a comment only once.

Posted by: Axel2 | November 29, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

How about a pay freeze for ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, especially congress and their staff???

Posted by: bonesinsc | November 29, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting on that cut in government contracting, which is where the real bucks are.

Posted by: Benson | November 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Stop you whining, You didn't get a raise so it's only fair to you that everyone else skips theirs? Freezing Federal Employees pay won't put a dent in the problem America faces. Also, I find it sad how Congress exempted themselves from the freeze?

Posted by: undermedikated | November 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, the freeze should certainly include "government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, and federal court judges and workers."

Especially government contractors.

Be interesting to see how many federal employees retire and go to work for a contractor at twice the salary!

Posted by: dottie_b | November 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

If you're working for the federal government for the money, you need to reassess your motivations and goals.

If the increase in the cost of living in the past year is negligible or nonexistent, then the president's pay freeze is in fact costing the workforce very little in 2011 beyond the ability to offset increased medical costs (which are affecting all Americans, including those who have lost their jobs but are clinging to health insurance to protect themselves and their families from catastrophic debt). If inflation heats up and the cost of living climbs considerably in 2011, then loss of a 2012 COLA may be meaningful. But that's a one-year hit and a year away, so there's time to plan financially.

Everyone of course has the right to complain, but hunkering down and planning might be a wiser strategy.

Posted by: Twystof8 | November 29, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, it certainly took long enough for this novel idea of freezing government raises. The taxpayers have realized the president, czars, and the “do-nothing but spend congress” is overpaid. Senior retirees on Social Security have been told there is no inflation; therefore there is no justification for the COLA adjustments for two years. Obama “feels your pain and has a dream!” I would hope in addition to freezing federal wages that some financial consideration be given to eliminating "do-nothing" government departments and agencies such as TSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service, Treasury, FTC, Post Office, Agriculture, Interior, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), foreign aid to dictatorships and corrupt governments such as North Korea and Mexico. In addition, these cuts could be made:
1. Take measures to amend the constitution to restrict all Senators, Representatives and the office of the president to one term as a simple method of reducing pork barrel spending and corruption.
2. 25% salary cut for all Administration and Congress.
3. Elimination of current government exclusive healthcare privileges, use whatever is on the market.
4. Auction off Pelosi's jet and stop this perk ASAP.
5. Fire Bernanke and Geithner - their performance does not warrant giving their further paychecks.
6. Stop funding NPR.
7. Send Charlie Rangel and Maxine Walters home, they are black spots in the legislature and do not deserve to be in congress due to ethics violations.
8. Put an end to all fake-cabinet, “czar” positions, the tax payers haven’t elected these people and should not have to pay their salaries.
9. End foreign aid to Mexico, the have oil, they can fund their own corruption, we have enough to pay for with Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Frank running amuck.

Posted by: Templeton62 | November 29, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

IF ONLY he'd included members of Congress in the pay freeze! Then at least they'd get a taste of what the rest of us will have to deal with as a result of "spending cuts."

Posted by: suzannium | November 29, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers."

Contractors? Postal workers? Post Office is in big trouble and yet they will get a raise. Go figure?

Posted by: turtletrot11 | November 29, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Please explain to me how Obama ended up being any different than McCain.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | November 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Normally I would agree to any move to bring public sector wages in a direction to bring some balance with an equal private sector wage. (for similar job responsibility)

But not after all the bailouts of the industries that caused this mess in the first place. How can we continue to stomach huge bonuses paid to to execs, using deferred tax dollars.

Now you have to tell 150,000 people they cant get a 1.5% raise. (not even cost of living?)

Just drives the the obscene disparity between wall street and main street further.

Then the attempts to make new rules to regulate certain industries are lobbied and watered down so they are toothless.

Then tomorrows headline turns our attn. away from the real issues. Problem gets swept under the rug...

Posted by: itzariot | November 29, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)...But Obama also should have cut pay for some military personnel, Hoyer said in a statement.....NOTICE how this lowlife sleasy Democrat didn't mention anything about cutting his pay?...I bet this sleasebag wants charlie rangel to handle the congress pay raise's.

Posted by: JWx2 | November 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers are being asked to tighten their belts. I hope the top two percent of the wealthy will be required to carry their fair share of the burden.

Posted by: fasm7700 | November 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Welld, that's one way to insure that nobody in the Federal government votes for you in 2012.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | November 29, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

How about a pay freeze for ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, especially congress and their staff???

Posted by: bonesinsc

Can't. It's in the Constitution. They can vote a pay freeze or cut for themselves, but it cannot happen by executive fiat.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama made a mistake by not changing military pay.

They claim they are underpaid, but actually they have a different system which is very generous. Their housing is furnished, their medical is furnished, they have a retirement system which is not only free but one of the most generous of all. A man can retire as young as 37 and we pay him for life.

Most military are not in combat. They are stationed on bases which are very safe. It is far more dangerous to be a policeman than to join the military.

The pay is very different when you realize that the civilian pays for all those things out of his salary after taxes.
I think it should be changed to a point system where those in combat would receive more benefits than those merely wearing a uniform.

I never had so much spending money as when I was in the Marines.

Posted by: taicho | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

This would be comical if it weren't. First of all, this affects workers by negating a promised raise. People love to equate all federal workers to the part of the economy they work in. Federal workers range from completely uneducated telephone answers to multi-degree'd analysts and executive who keep basic services running.

Dollar for dollar, you'll find that most private sector employees ALREADY make more money that government personnel. Further, the so called "golden pension plan" Is not very golden, and doesnt provide enough to live on in retirement - hence the supplemental 401K like program to supplement it. Retirement was crippled when FERS replaced CSRS.

Funny, when the economy was booming, noone was crying for federal employees to get extra raises to match the private sector. I made my choice you made your, I shouldnt have to pay because the company you chose to work for is struggling.

Federal employees pay taxes just like everyone else. Cutting our pay is actually going to amount to less than 1 half of 1 percent of a drop in spending. On the other hand we give more than that to Israel and Egypt, two countries with their own governments and taxpayers, who are quite capable of paying for their own military equipment. Why isn't congress taking a pay freeze or a CUT for their part-time jobs. Why should we face a freeze or cut to help the budget while Billionaires will get a tax cut? Currently, the DoD is facing demands around the world. Deployments are at an all time high for CIVILIAN employees, who I might add are all volunteer and well compensated to say the least. How, in this complex and dynamic environment, with emerging threats being exposed constantly, an ever-present threat of terrorism, where federal employees are on the front line defending their fellow citizens, how is it okay to go messing with their money?

Cut/Freeze my pay when you resinstate 90% tax rate on millionaires

Posted by: keirreva | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

HELLOOOOOOO.......If pay is to be frozen, do it across the board, with the exception of the deployed military personnel. Congress should have no advantage here. What's good for the other federal employees should be good enough for them as well. After all the money to pay them comes from the same place. Why should the Judiciary be exempt from the freeze? Same rationale!!

Posted by: OregonStorm | November 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, it certainly took long enough for this novel idea of freezing government raises. The taxpayers have realized the president, czars, and the “do-nothing but spend congress” is overpaid. Senior retirees on Social Security have been told there is no inflation; therefore there is no justification for the COLA adjustments for two years. Obama “feels your pain and has a dream!” I would hope in addition to freezing federal wages that some financial consideration be given to eliminating "do-nothing" government departments and agencies such as TSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service, Treasury, FTC, Post Office, Agriculture, Interior, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), foreign aid to dictatorships and corrupt governments such as North Korea and Mexico. In addition, these cuts could be made:
1. Take measures to amend the constitution to restrict all Senators, Representatives and the office of the president to one term as a simple method of reducing pork barrel spending and corruption.
2. 25% salary cut for all Administration and Congress.
3. Elimination of current government exclusive healthcare privileges, use whatever is on the market.
4. Auction off Pelosi's jet and stop this perk ASAP.
5. Fire Bernanke and Geithner - their performance does not warrant giving their further paychecks.
6. Stop funding NPR.
7. Send Charlie Rangel and Maxine Walters home, they are black spots in the legislature and do not deserve to be in congress due to ethics violations.
8. Put an end to all fake-cabinet, “czar” positions, the tax payers haven’t elected these people and should not have to pay their salaries.
9. End foreign aid to Mexico, the have oil, they can fund their own corruption, we have enough to pay for with Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Frank running amuck.

Posted by: Templeton62 | November 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Again, our government at work - everyone who should have their pay frozen is not and those that are, shouldn't. Members of Congress, government contractors, postal workers, Congressional staffers and/or federal court judges should have been the "chosen ones" to have 2 years of "No Pay Raise" but in Washington it's still the same old BS and the worst part is - they get away with it.

Posted by: Ruffian613 | November 29, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

My only issue is with the restriction to executive branch workers.
What about Congressional pay - why is that not frozen since they make much more and have extremely generous benefits?
How about the military - benefits for them are exceptional?
Obama tends to knee jerk reactions - like ARRA - no strategy for execution and very short sighted.

Posted by: Wizard26 | November 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Instead of taking it out on federal employees living pay check to paycheck how about targeting the corporations and their government contracts/contractors who are milking your tax dollars for billions.

How about freezing the health insurance increases premiums while your at it Obama.. OH that's right you got to look out for the corporations.. what a joke.

Also stop support illegal immigrants. You support them and penalize us...

Posted by: howduyudo | November 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's always sad and always unfair when the government gets into financial trouble and the politicians try to solve the problem by placing the burden of sacrifice solely on federal civilian employees and retirees. You can bet the politicians and members of Congress won't forego their own pay hikes and perquisites. It's utterly shameful, especially since federal retirees and social security recipients haven't had a COLA increase for the past two years.

Posted by: dsrobins | November 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Obama's inability or unwillingness to lead, make decisions, etc. has led to the framing:

"Obama Bows to Republican Pressure"

It is a shame this man cannot express a vision for America, cannot lead and cannot articulate anything other than Republican policy 'solutions'.

We need a real Democrat to run in 2012. Obama is not one. And, if he is, he so poor it is time - past time - for him to signal he will not run in 2012.

When we lose, let's lose with a real Democrat, not a nominal Democrat.

Posted by: theworm1 | November 29, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

a federal pay freeze is NOT enough

america demands

bloated

overbearing

overpaid employees

feeding at the federal trough be

FIRED

and it WILL happen

once obama realizes that federal employees are even more unpopular

than he is

and FIRING Federal employees will gain at least 10 approval points

federal employees–thin the herd

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

There would be a lot more than 2billion saved if this freeze applied to everyone in the Federal Govt. Why should the workers get the shaft and the politicians and judges go on as if nothing has happened. What's good for the geese is good for the gander!

Obama is not a man of the people!

Posted by: rvs1105 | November 29, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama blamed Bush again for the problems:one newspaper reported it this way:
Look, Bush was fiscally irresponsible, prolifigate president. No question about it. But Obama spent $2.4 trillion in his first 500 days a president, burning through money three times faster than Bush. If belt tightening is needed, it's not just the fault of everyone that came before Obama. Further, the idea that ramping up the federal deficit to record levels in record time was necessary to get the economy moving again (if 9.6 percent unemployment consitutes "moving") is an obviously debatable assumption.

Posted by: tonyjm | November 29, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

To all those who say that federal workers do nothing, that you wouldn't notice if they stopped working for a week, well, would any of us notice if you stopped working for a week? Unless you worked at the grocery store, or delivered the food there, I doubt most of us would notice if you stopped working or a week, or longer. So does that mean we should get rid of you? Just because youi have no real contact with a federal worker during a week or a month doesn't mean their job isn't important- it just means their job doesn't overlap with what you are doing during that time.

Posted by: barbaramusser | November 29, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Kelley said. The union represents more than 150,000 federal employees nationwide.

++++++++++

LoL, good luck with that.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 29, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be a "few" who need pay cuts:

http://rightwingnews.com/2010/11/us-government-crapped-away-125-in-billion-in-2010-via-improper-payments/

Posted by: drowningpuppies | November 29, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

pssssstt.......”workers” feeding at the federal trough

a confidential PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS

(might as well tell you before it wikileaks)

you are familiar with the Cost of Living increases

well soon republicans will introduce a

Cost of Depression decrease

essentially when GDP declines government workers are fired
by the same percentage

and since this is a VERY popular idea

Obama will STEAL it just like he did your pay freeze

and more to come............

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Congress will "VOTE" on this "FREEZE"!? I wonder if this means Congress can't get another raise for within the next 2 years?? Poor Congress, can they really wait 2 years before THEY get a raise too?

Posted by: jkthomas | November 29, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

BON BON for Billionaires. Millionaires and Billionaires pay $0.00 in estate taxes in 2010

Freeze federal salaries, lay off workers, cut Social Security to Billionaires can pay less in taxes.

It's good to be a Billionaire!!!

U.S. Gulf Coast Faces $350 Billion in Climate Damage by 2030, Study Shows

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-20/u-s-gulf-coast-faces-350-billion-in-climate-damage-by-2030-study-shows.html

“With the multiplier effect, the amount of economic loss to the Gulf Coast could rise to $700 billion, the gross domestic product for the entire region for one year,”

The Koch brothers are worth $21.5 Billion each and tied for the 5th richest persons in the World (let them pay for the global warming damage costs which they are responsible for)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/22/AR2010092206003.html

“Charles Koch, the 74- year-old chairman and CEO of Koch Industries Inc., tied for fifth with his brother David Koch, 70, with $21.5 billion.”

Billionaires RULE!!!

Posted by: Airborne82 | November 29, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good example of a civilian federal position from today's USAjobs - who wants to be a doctor treating inmates in a federal prison for $106,810/year?

Submit your application by December 11th to receive your Obamafreeze sign up bonus. Don't forget that this position requires a minimum of 11 years of medical education, plus medical license and clinical experience.

Without medical treatment people will be coming out of prisons with active tuberculosis, etc. How much would this doctor make in a safe private practice?

Job Title: Medical Officer (General Practitioner)
Department: Department Of Justice
Agency: Bureau of Prisons/Federal Prison System
Sub Agency: Federal Bureau of Prisons
Job Announcement Number: BOP-N-0602-002

SALARY RANGE:
$106,810.00 - $153,200.00 /year
OPEN PERIOD:
Friday, December 11, 2009 to Saturday, December 11, 2010
SERIES & GRADE:
GS-0602-14/15
POSITION INFORMATION:
Full Time Permanent
PROMOTION POTENTIAL:
15
DUTY LOCATIONS:
many vacancies - Throughout the Nation

Posted by: Hye-phenatedAmerican | November 29, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

With this salary freeze how will people live? ill the economy be frozen as well. Gov't worker are already behind the economy and are trying hard to keep a float. This would be a very hard pill to take, if the economy continues going up. As it was we only received a third of what the economy was and now this. What next, please help me understand why the average Joe and not congress and the senate? The average Joe gets cut and congress and the senate continue to get rich? This needs more work and thought.

Posted by: crazy2 | November 29, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

candidate #1 for immediate FIRING:

"My grade increase is pending. If it's affected so is my performance.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 29, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse"

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Whether we like it or not, we'll all have to take part in paying down the debt. That includes cuts in federal, state, and local spending. That also includes tax increases. Perhaps it is a bit soon to actually implement these policies, but they will need to happen if we are really serious about reducing our debt.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | November 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

PREVIEWS OF COMING REPUBLICAN ATTRACTIONS

shark budgeting.............

no one knows the waste fraud and abuse

of govt agencies

quite like other agencies

under shark budgeting one agency can get its Cost of Depression budget cut reduced

if it can show waste in another federal agency

this will be incredibly popular in america

you know–that flyover country beyond the beltway

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

How about putting a lid on executive salaries and bonuses at the big banks and brokerage houses?

Posted by: jimmyaj451 | November 29, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Everyone else in government (state and local) are taking pay cuts, if they have jobs at all, and the unemployment rate (real rate) is above 15%. I say it's good and I'm a liberal. For God's sake, let's have our leaders (public and union, etc.) start to govern, not politically posture. This is a Depression, folk, not an itsy bitsy recession. I just want the people in Washington to be adults and govern which we sent them to do. During WWII, we had rationing. We lived through it. The years of entitlement are over. Live with it.

Posted by: diamond2 | November 29, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

My husband has been a civilian engineer for the Navy [non-union] since college graduation, and he is now in his 60's. He ALWAYS made less money than his friends in the private sector, and sadly, he STILL makes less than our 30 year-old son who works in the private tech area, but he stayed for the benefits, which we PAY a large amount of money for. To attack these federal employees now for political purposes is ludicrous. How many federal employees are affected by this??? Important question, Obama, because that is the number of votes you just lost in 2012! You made your bed.

Posted by: chappy4 | November 29, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a federal employee. Having my pay frozen doesn't thrill me but I support the decision...I just wish it went further and included all except the military...ESPECIALLY Congress!

Posted by: msb1 | November 29, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

mleofric,

You must be a no-good government-employed, sullen, public-money feeding parasite. People like you are the reason this country's finances are in such lousy shape. WHy dont you get a real job instead of fedding off the tax-payor money and do something useful, as opposed to working for a lousy government that taxes the productive private sector employees to death so scum like you can live for ever?

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

When will our elected officals have the guts to reduce their pay, benifits, and perks? Also will they be willing to reduce pensions and benifits when they retire? If cuts are good for the workers then why not our elected officals?

Posted by: cur69ious | November 29, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

psssstt.........wash po media allstars

INSIDER TRADING

do a FOIA request for

all federal salary increases in nov 2010

we are talking pulitzer

for YOU

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The government in this country is just way too big. And why? Just what exactly does it produce? Have you ever used a computer invented or made by the government, or a TV, or a car or a washing machine (well, GM in the last yr may be), or any thing else? The few things run exclusively by the government are always horrible - public schools (where we are at the bottom of the developed world, test scores-wise),and many other examples.

The interactions that most regular folks have with public employees is almost always bad and leaves a loust taste in the mouth - be it the sullen idiots at DMV, or at immigration counters when coming back, at the airports, in the trains, the municipality, IRS, etc etc. For the most part, the government employees behave as if they own the government and hence, us. It is time, their headcount numbers were cut by half, and their comps were cut meaningfully; most importantly, their health benefits for life and their bloated pensions (padded by their last 2 years of work to insane levels) are just disgusting. Private sector folks work like dogs and dont have any of that, and have to save for their retirement. It is time the lazy and sullen public sector employees did the same.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Obama just approve an increase in salary for federal employees? Now he freezes them so they don't lose anything! Oh boy, secure federal employees who can't be fired with secure salaries.
As everyone else is going broke, we'll have financially secure affirmative action federal employees going full steam ahead screwing things up..

Posted by: TexRancher | November 29, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

just do it

any federal employees anywhere

who can make more in the private sector

just do it

america can use productive citizens

and the 99.99% of federal excess who can NOT survive outside the govt

SHUT UP

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

How aboput addressing the loophole in the pension law that allows politicians to collect pensions when resigning and then government allows these people to be rehired just like the sherrif who just comitted suicied in Wells, Maine because of this crime.

Why doesn't Obama get after Patterson in NY State for his allowing this high way robbery of the people? I am certain he is aware of this!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | November 29, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen any cha boards where private sector workers posted in droves in protest against salary freezes? Heck, most private sector employees are just glad to have any job these days. You see, they live in the real world. Their employer's revenues are not guaranteed, and need to be earned on a daily basis. When their revenues go down due to a bad economy, these employers dont have the power to steal money from the rest of the country like public sector does thru raised taxes.

And the private sector workers can only dream about what it is to have guaranteed health benefits and pensions for life, which are usually padded upto insane levels in the last 2 years of their employment. And yet, these guys are all posting here in the thousands as if the worst crime on humanity was committed. If you get out for a day and work in the private sector, you would know what it is in the real world.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse


The longest journey begins with a 1st Step.

A "freeze" is only the 1st Step of many necessary to clean up the quagmire in Washington and other govt. offices.

Obama made this announcement for political 'cover' that prevents a Republican demand for same. If he were a true LEADER, he would demand that Congress propose legislation to reduce their own pay and benefits. I suggest not less than a 15% reduction across the board [includes 'retirement bennies'], and a 20% reduction of workforce via "attrition" over the next 7 - 10 years.

The US has been in [economic] decline for at least 3 years. Govt. is too large and too intrusive. The Dumb-ocrats will never support reduction of government. So Sad!

Too many of us are at fault for letting govt. trample on us ... but what comes to mind most are "Baby Boomers". They never learned what their parents sacrificed for their comfort.

... looks like a forced education ...

Posted by: esquire2 | November 29, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who have worked for the federal government for over 30 years, it is hard to reconcile how we are overpaid suddenly because of a dip in the economy. What about the decades of unparalleled growth in the economy when federal employees were getting single digit raises while people in private industry were getting bonuses that were 30% of their salaries?

When I first started with government my pay annual salary was 4 figures. So, okay now after more than 30 years on the job I am making a 6 figure salary. That doesn't seem to be a rip off to me. Yet to hear people outside the beltway talk, you would think that I am a robber baron.

So, take away my big 1.4% raise and save 2 billion a year on a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit. I can survive a year without a raise, but don't tell me I am overpaid just because you are out of a job.

As your mother may have told you, slow and steady wins the race. I have no regrets about becoming a federal employee, and I will have no regrets about retiring this year either.

Posted by: millerroberta | November 29, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

psssssstt....obama

CUT Federal employees salary 10%

and give the money to the military for salaries

every week attack bloated overpaid govt employees

if you don't

the republicans will

obama--even a broken clock is right
twice a day

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I guess if he can go along with no COLA increase for seniors for two years, he will want federal employees to also not get a raise. It seems they are making enough money to handle the burden, but what about the seniors in this country? They are not.
All those who voted for him........how are you liking all that change?? Good luck.

Posted by: jcole6320 | November 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

First, they needed to freeze and reduce the salary of both Houses of Congress by 20%. They need to reduce their staffs and their salaries. They also need to quit all their junkets around the world. Cut out all the other perks they get.
Second, comrade obimbo needs to stay the heck home. He has taken more trips in his first 18 months then any other President I know. Millions of dollars will be saved if he quits taking vacations all over the worlds. Quit taking the second jet just because there is no room on Air Force One for their dog. Why is a federal employee having to take care of their dog?

Posted by: California_Irishman | November 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

intcamd1, your observations are myopic at best. Although all the fine inventions you have just recited have, indeed, been invented by the private sector, the patent and trademark rights were acquired through the US Patent and Trademark Office, which is a federal entity staffed by nearly 10,000 lawyers and engineers. To play devil's advocate, some folks in the private sector have it made, and hardly work at all. And some folks in the public sector work like dogs, too.
You have been introduced to federal employees in the IRS, for instance, and it may not have been pleasant. But, that exposure is not representative of the entire federal force. Due to that limited exposure with the federal world, I would abstain from making absurd comments if I were you. You'll be surprised to learn how many federal agencies in this country have a tremendous impact thanks to the hard work of the federal employees. Remember the failed bomb plots?? How do you think it happens, movie magic??

Posted by: alsolacol | November 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I guess if he can go along with no COLA increase for seniors for two years, he will want federal employees to also not get a raise. It seems they are making enough money to handle the burden, but what about the seniors in this country? They are not.
All those who voted for him........how are you liking all that change?? Good luck.

Posted by: jcole6320 | November 29, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

more addictive than morphine...............

the poll increase to obama from freezing govt salaries

and like an addict obama will require larger hits

FIRING govt employees

and then ELIMINATING entire departments

good. very good.

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

alsolacol

I am all for increasing R&D. I totally agree fundamental research where the payoff is not immediate is a place only federal govt can play a role. SO is the defense, national security, running some hospitals for poor that cant afford to pay, parts of higher education, and many such parts of our economic life. However, the reason that public employee headcount ballooned is not because we are spending so much more on R&D; at least not the last 2 years anyway. Ditto on national security etc.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a good step. Now, Obama should get rid of the unions!!

Posted by: annnort | November 29, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

millerroberta wrote in part:

When I first started with government my pay annual salary was 4 figures. So, okay now after more than 30 years on the job I am making a 6 figure salary. That doesn't seem to be a rip off to me. Yet to hear people outside the beltway talk, you would think that I am a robber baron.


]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

ProCounsel replied:

there are some very good federal civilian employees

i have met with several

you sound like one

6 figures is NOT overpaid for you

but ProCounsel has met many more federal employees

who could best serve america

by NOT showing up for work

and would be overpaid at minimum wage

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry. You can be sure the President will freeze all health insurance premiums for the next 2 years for federal workers.

Posted by: MrSagacious | November 29, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I for one am more than willing to forego my 1.5% so that the millionaires can get their tax cuts extended. That's the American way. I'm confident the millionaires will trickle it down to us like they always have and I'll be most appreciative of their generosity. Yes, I know MY place.

Posted by: bobwhite1 | November 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

This is just a start, next a 10 day furlough and a 3 year freeze on hiring will help to fix the waste in govt. Civil Servants had the opportunity to stem this if they had embraces P4P with NSPS instead they fought it and ended being held accountable.
So they cooked the golden goose and they get to fight over the bones

Posted by: mandinka2 | November 29, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is just a start, next a 10 day furlough and a 3 year freeze on hiring will help to fix the waste in govt. Civil Servants had the opportunity to stem this if they had embraces P4P with NSPS instead they fought it and ended being held accountable.
So they cooked the golden goose and they get to fight over the bones

Posted by: mandinka2 | November 29, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

intcamd1, ok, so we agree that federal employees have played a vital role and that perhaps the angry outcry permeating through this blog is unwarranted.
I want to make one thing clear, I am for the freeze. I think it is necessary, and a lot of hard-working federal employees agree. I just do not see the necessity to bash the entire federal employee force simply because some of "them" represent a contingent who are the bad apples, who are the so-called slackers. I am ashamed to say, they are out there and they are plenty, too. However, the private sector is bursting at the seams with the bad apples, too. I served my country, I have worked in the private sector and now I am a highly skilled federal employee, so I have been exposed to a few sectors.

Posted by: alsolacol | November 29, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I am a newly hired fed and this kind of sucks for me...actually it REALLY sucks for me. I love being a civil servant, I work hard, and I dont expect a raise for anything that isnt merit based. But when I see defense spending raises and contracts going through the roof- this whole thing rubs me the wrong way. Why am I getting hit for pennies when we are fighting 2 BS wars that are costing billions in both dollars and lives? I have no control over THOSE decisions- I only can go to work each day, and do my job well. And for THIS I get screwed? And here is why:

1) Obama CANT freeze the pay of Legislative or Judicial branch. He is in charge of the executive branch- ONLY

2) I TOTALLY agree that members of congress should follow suit- but the prez cant mandate that. End of story. THEY need to step up and do it themselves... will they? If not, us 20 million fed workers might feel the need to find greener pastures- leaving who to do the jobs that WE have trained for years to do on behalf of ALL OF YOU...

3)Nobody even DISCUSSES a reduction in defense spending- the biggest chunk of our deficit. Stop spending billions on useless wars- problem solved.

Now, the issue of retiring high paid feds might, as one poster pointed out, might even the scale. those who leave give the opportunity for others to move into higher grades that may have been out of reach to them for years. However, that leaves low level positions vacant. So..now, how does the govt fulfill its various missions with nobody to support critical functions? The govt is like any other corporation. you dont have qualified performers, you dont succeed. You dont reward good employees, they leave. More redundancy, more sub par work for the US taxpayer.


Posted by: tiaracara | November 29, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Many of my friends in the private sector questioned the wisdom when I joined the federal government after a voluntary tour in the military, at a fabulous salary of $7,000 per year. I watched as many of them quickly rose to 6 digits of income with all the perks, trips, credit cards, Christmas bonuses, and MacMansions while my fellow workers and I soldiered on, often working 50 and 60 hour weeks, and sometimes waiting for many years for a promotion opportunity. We are now in our 50's and 60's and many of us are still working in the federal government, while now that the bubble has burst and their 6 and 7 digit stock accounts have floated down the toilet along with their large salaries, many of these critics are among those and our "leaders" that criticize myself and my fellow dedicated federal employees that work for the American public.

These are smart people, they to need refocus and blame earmarks, federal contracts that produced little, stimulus funds that did not produce permanent job opportunities, and most of all, misguided Capitol Hill politicians and an Administration that tells you to do as I say, not as I do.

I've never vacationed in the Spanish Riviera; many of my friends and I spend a few days in Ocean City each year, an American Atlantic seaboard destination that provides jobs for Americans and income for American small business.

Give that man another teleprompter, he needs it.

Posted by: LMikeStamp | November 29, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Not the kind of news you want to hear during the holiday season!

Posted by: eabgarnet | November 29, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I was expecting this last year. It seems that in times of such dramatic deficits this is a small and incremental step that can be contributed to solving the problem. No objection from this Federal employee. However, I hope that Federal sector workers do not become the easy fall guy to disproportionately bear the burden of erasing the deficit.

In this regard, I’m not particularly impressed by the argument that, as the private sector suffers, so must the Federal worker. The argument might make some sense if Federal workers‘ salaries and benefits were enhanced in a healthy economy (and in like degree), but nobody in the private sector rallies around that proposition. If they had, Federal workers would have been paid much, much more prior to 2007 (during the boom years), and, once this depression is over, would be paid more in the future (the boom years to come, and they will come).

Another irritating aspect of how this "contribution" to resolving the deficit is framed is that it seems to suggest that Federal employees will somehow not be absorbing the other pain that impacts all citizens: unfavorable changes to medicare,unfavorable changes to social security (sold as a component of the FERS retirement package),tightening on disability, and tax increases. It also suggests that Federal employees will somehow be unaffected by dramatic cuts in contractors (whose work we will pick up)and attrition of positions (leaving yet more work for remaining employees). And this is to say nothing of the giddy topic of eliminating programs and agencies.

Logic is too much to expect from critics who post indiscriminate calumny about Federal workers and the workings of the Federal Government (of which most of them know close to nothing). In good times, we all know that working for the Federal Government is no way to bask in the sun of an up economy. Now, it appears, the scions of conservatism (who greatly exacerbated this fiscal storm), wish to make sure we all know that Federal Government employment also provides less shelter from the pelting rains.

There is pain, and then, apparently, there is the special pain to be absorbed by those who had the temerity to forego the risk and potential for high reward and take the relative security and other rewards of a Government job. So, they complain about the quality of the Federal workforce. Think it could get worse? For those planning the other deficit reduction cuts, just remember, as regards Federal workers and most other things, you only reap what you sow.

Posted by: finserra | November 29, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem sacrificing for the good of the economy. What I don't like is the finger-pointing by Congress. Don't they realize they are federal workers, too? And we're going to implement a pay freeze but they want to reinstate the Bush tax cuts? We need some coherence!

Posted by: gparnes | November 29, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I was expecting this last year. It seems that in times of such dramatic deficits this is a small and incremental step that can be contributed to solving the problem. No objection from this Federal employee. However, I hope that Federal sector workers do not become the easy fall guy to disproportionately bear the burden of erasing the deficit.

In this regard, I’m not particularly impressed by the argument that, as the private sector suffers, so must the Federal worker. The argument might make some sense if Federal workers‘ salaries and benefits were enhanced in a healthy economy (and in like degree), but nobody in the private sector rallies around that proposition. If they had, Federal workers would have been paid much, much more prior to 2007 (during the boom years), and, once this depression is over, would be paid more in the future (the boom years to come, and they will come).

Another irritating aspect of how this "contribution" to resolving the deficit is framed, is that it seems to suggest that Federal employees will somehow not be absorbing the other pain that impacts everybody: unfavorable changes to medicare,unfavorable changes to social security (sold as a component of the FERS retirement package),tightening on disability, and tax increases. It also suggests that Federal employees will somehow delight in the dramatic cutting of contractors (whose work we will pick up)and attrition of positions (leaving yet more work for remaining employees). And this is to say nothing of the giddy topic of eliminating programs and agencies.

Logic is too much to expect from critics who post indiscriminate calumny about Federal workers and the workings of the Federal Government (of which most of them know close to nothing). In good times, we all know that working for the Federal Government is no way to bask in the sun of an up economy. Now, it appears, the scions of conservatism (who in large measure brought us this fiscal storm), wish to make sure we all know that Federal Government employment also provides less shelter from the pelting rains.

There is pain, and then, apparently, there is the special pain to be absorbed by those who had the temerity to forego the risk and potential for high reward and take the relative security and other rewards of a Government job. So, they complain about the quality of the Federal workforce. Think it could get worse? Fpr those planning the other deficit reduction cuts, just remember, as regards Federal workers and most other things, you only reap what you sow.

Posted by: finserra | November 29, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it is fair to the federal workers who dedicate their lives to the government to have a pay freeze. Why is it that every time the federal budget comes up the federal worker gets thrown under the bus? Just like everyone else, we feel the strain of the economy, I personally am living hand to mouth. I don't appriciate this at all. I know that we need to fix the budget, but taking away the only thing some of us federal workers look foreword to at the end of the year is just plain mean. I don't think this president care about federal workers at all, and I am ashamed that I voted for him. I will take this to the polls with me next election year.

Posted by: CCDC1 | November 29, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I was expecting this last year. It seems that in times of such dramatic deficits this is a small and incremental step that can be contributed to solving the problem. No objection from this Federal employee. However, I hope that Federal sector workers do not become the easy fall guy to disproportionately bear the burden of erasing the deficit.

In this regard, I’m not particularly impressed by the argument that, as the private sector suffers, so must the Federal worker. The argument might make some sense if Federal workers‘ salaries and benefits were enhanced in a healthy economy (and in like degree), but nobody in the private sector rallies around that proposition. If they had, Federal workers would have been paid much, much more prior to 2007 (during the boom years), and, once this depression is over, would be paid more in the future (the boom years to come, and they will come).

Another irritating aspect of how this "contribution" to resolving the deficit is framed, is that it seems to suggest that Federal employees will somehow not be absorbing the other pain that impacts everybody: unfavorable changes to medicare,unfavorable changes to social security (sold as a component of the FERS retirement package),tightening on disability, and tax increases. It also suggests that Federal employees will somehow delight in the dramatic cutting of contractors (whose work we will pick up)and attrition of positions (leaving yet more work for remaining employees). And this is to say nothing of the giddy topic of eliminating programs and agencies.

Logic is too much to expect from critics who post indiscriminate calumny about Federal workers and the workings of the Federal Government (of which most of them know close to nothing). In good times, we all know that working for the Federal Government is no way to bask in the sun of an up economy. Now, it appears, the scions of conservatism (who in large measure brought us this fiscal storm), wish to make sure we all know that Federal Government employment also provides less shelter from the pelting rains.

There is pain, and then, apparently, there is the special pain to be absorbed by those who had the temerity to forego the risk and potential for high reward and take the relative security and other rewards of a Government job. So, they complain about the quality of the Federal workforce. Think it could get worse? Fpr those planning the other deficit reduction cuts, just remember, as regards Federal workers and most other things, you only reap what you sow.

Posted by: finserra | November 29, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I was expecting this last year. It seems that in times of such dramatic deficits this is a small and incremental step that can be contributed to solving the problem. No objection from this Federal employee. However, I hope that Federal sector workers do not become the easy fall guy to disproportionately bear the burden of erasing the deficit.

In this regard, I’m not particularly impressed by the argument that, as the private sector suffers, so must the Federal worker. The argument might make some sense if Federal workers‘ salaries and benefits were enhanced in a healthy economy (and in like degree), but nobody in the private sector rallies around that proposition. If they had, Federal workers would have been paid much, much more prior to 2007 (during the boom years), and, once this depression is over, would be paid more in the future (the boom years to come, and they will come).

Another irritating aspect of how this "contribution" to resolving the deficit is framed, is that it seems to suggest that Federal employees will somehow not be absorbing the other pain that impacts everybody: unfavorable changes to medicare,unfavorable changes to social security (sold as a component of the FERS retirement package),tightening on disability, and tax increases. It also suggests that Federal employees will somehow delight in the dramatic cutting of contractors (whose work we will pick up)and attrition of positions (leaving yet more work for remaining employees). And this is to say nothing of the giddy topic of eliminating programs and agencies.

Logic is too much to expect from critics who post indiscriminate calumny about Federal workers and the workings of the Federal Government (of which most of them know close to nothing). In good times, we all know that working for the Federal Government is no way to bask in the sun of an up economy. Now, it appears, the scions of conservatism (who in large measure brought us this fiscal storm), wish to make sure we all know that Federal Government employment also provides less shelter from the pelting rains.

There is pain, and then, apparently, there is the special pain to be absorbed by those who had the temerity to forego the risk and potential for high reward and take the relative security and other rewards of a Government job. So, they complain about the quality of the Federal workforce. Think it could get worse? Fpr those planning the other deficit reduction cuts, just remember, as regards Federal workers and most other things, you only reap what you sow.

Posted by: finserra | November 29, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone could see this coming with the news that federal employees earn "twice" what the "private sector" employee earns. In days past, they always said that public employees got paid much less than private sector employees. But in today's economic climate and out-of-control government spending, with some 10% plus unemployed, it is better to have a job and be frozen in pay than to be unemployed. Let's not forget that a pay freeze for federal employees also means a tax freeze for the government and curtailed spending by millions of federal employees in that private sector, so the effect is cascading economic slowing. It is too bad that the freeze by the president cannot apply to Congress but that is the reality of the checks and balances of our three-part government. Still, when one considers that TRILLIONS of dollars were freely passed out to financial institutions, Wall Street, unions, various states, not to mention the free spending on federal contractors and the waste, fraud, and abuse of federal funds in federal contracting, saving just $28 billion over 5 years is a pathetic token effort. We could operate the government on half of what Congress spends if we cut out the pork and corruption.

Posted by: richards3 | November 29, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that it is fair to the federal workers who dedicate their lives to the federal workforce to have a pay freeze. I know we have to fix the federal budget, but throwing the federal worker under the bus won't help. I feel that this president don't care for us at all. I am ashamed that I voted for him and I will take this to the polls next election year. Like every one else we feel the strain of the economy. All federal workers don't have money to burn. Some of us are living hand to mouth. Every year at this time the government just have to mess with the federal worker. WHY?

Posted by: CCDC1 | November 29, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm a federal employee. Does this mean when I sit down with my supervisor during my next evaluation I can tell him to not bother asking me for an increase in work performance?

Oh, and by the way, I get paid $30k LESS than my unfortunate private industry counterpart. It feels good to be on welfare.

Posted by: fowleropolis | November 29, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Do all of you who are praising this action not realize that the government competes for the same talent that the private sector competes for, and do you not realize that, while a bus driver or facilities maintenance worker makes more than their civilian counterpart, those people that actually make or influence policy, ie: GS-10 or above in the State Department, Intelligence Agencies, DOD, and DOE actually make less than equally skilled workers in the private sector. As a person in the process of getting a job with the federal government I am already going to be getting paid more than $10,000 less than I am making right now and my family and I will be moving from an area that has an average housing price of $200,000 to an area that has an average housing price of $400,000. My wife is ok with this because she and my daughter realize that this is something that I want to do to help the country. I am tired of hearing that Federal workers are overpaid, yes they might be compared to someone in Little Town, USA but they are barely average in the Washington DC metro area. One final though, as was pointed out earlier, who wants to tell those intelligence officers killed in Afghanistan that they did not really deserve to make more than a "private employee" in a nice safe American town. All of you go home this weekend and root for your football teams because these federal workers are still at work making sure you can.

Posted by: Don30 | November 29, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I have read in disgusted the comments from everyone that loves to blame government employees for all the financial woes of the world. I have been a badge and gun carrying law enforcement officer for over twenty years and prior to that, I was 13 years in the Army. All my adult life I have been in the public sector, not to make money but to serve my country. If I wanted to become rich, I would have gone into the private sector. When I started in the government, as a law enforcement officer, with a bachelor's degree, the high school grdauate secretary at the local company made more money than me. The guy at McDonalds had better working conditions than me. Private Investigators, that got to pick and choose cases had better hours and made a heck of alot more money than me. After five years in service, new hire agents, made less than someone on welfare but because they worked for the federal government, they weren't even eligible for food stamps. We have had agents killed or wounded in the line of duty as federal civilian law enforcement officers and if you compared to KIA and WIA percentages of civilian law enforcement officers to the military, you would find it staggering. And these officers are patrolling in a hostile forgein country but right here in the United States. So when you jerks start ragging on civilian federal government employees, remember not everyone works in a safe, soft, comfortable cubicle. Every night when you gio to bed, remember it is the local police officer or deputy sheriff, or State Trooper, Special Agent, or Investigator or Fire Fighter that keeps you safe and out of harms way. Because here in the states, we go where no one else would ever go.

Posted by: California_Irishman | November 29, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Now is the perfect time to de-certify all public sector unions. They are no longer needed. Time to cut wages and benefits without union intrusion. These union fatcats need to start sharing their wealth.
Whenever a state union nurse makes $177k in overtime pay and earns over a quarter million dollars a year as a Calif. prison nurse we have a problem as taxpayers. Funny how tax dollars pay the wages that the union members then give to dems for elections. Time is NOW to de-certify while we can. Let them riot and they will get over it.
Call your senators tomorrow! Tell them NO to the Dream Act. We have more than enough legal immigrants coming in annually to the tune of 1 million a year.

Posted by: usmc1969 | November 29, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Cut ALL of their pay by 25%, then use the money to hire more workers at the new lower pay scale. You will cut unemployment while at the same time getting lots of new working people paying taxes instead of collecting unemployment or worse. Win-win.
Oh and to all the government workers posting complaints (like the gentleman whose wife is an attorney and supposedly could make more in private practice). Quit working for the government, no one is forcing you to work for the government, and go work for a non-government job... oh there aren't any, I forgot. BTW my neighbor is an attorney and was just laid off. I bet she would rather have a "lower" paying government attorney job than her now non-existent private practice job.

Posted by: garykevin | November 29, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

So, the corporations owning 90% of all U.S. dollars want to blackmail us into giving them 700 Billion Dollars to pay off for them huh? I applaud President Obama. I love you. You are a great man, I will never forget. I am not sure how this will work for the postal service... but I sure hope it makes these poor poor corporations lose a few prime deals. I sure hope it helps get the Republicans working for the people again and forces them to stop blackmailing/blackballing the public. I sure hope it does something. First hope I have seen since they started blackballing our President who REALLY IS FOR THE PEOPLE. He doesn't want the corporations and Republicans to make slaves of us all. I love you President Obama.... and so does God!

Posted by: Tab3 | November 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is not an ideological comment. Just a pragmatic question. Can anyone name one company in the private sector who both stayed in business AND increased market share after a major program of pay cuts and pay freezes? I can think of dozens of companies that have done this and all have walked through bankruptcy court. Capitalism, as I recall had a driving engine. That was self improvement. A society that continually reaches for the panacea of pay cuts, while giving massive bonuses to people, whether or not they perform is NOT a capitalistic society. Nor is it socialist. It is a plutocracy and our forefathers fought a revolution to end that. So please, if you know of a company that grew after making pay freezes and cuts a part of the business plan, I would love to hear of one. ADP and other private sector companies make education and self improvement as part of their company structure. Very often they reduce staff and costs by having head hunters from other companies hire their employees, usually with a raise. They are one of the most stable growth companies I can think of. They are run by capitalists. Mars candy during the great depression put rather than reach for the pay cut, job loss panacea, had their workers rebuild, improve the plant and introduce new products. Made millions doing it. Not out of Altruism, out of a unique business plan. Please, name a company improved by panacea. I am a pragmatist, I am a capitalist. Just curious, if anyone else remembers what capitalism actually is.

Posted by: GriffBennett | November 29, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Although.... I think it would have meant more if President Obama would have cut Congress' pay.... I missed that it would not cut postal service and federal court.... I could stand missing out on the foreclosure notices, etc.

Posted by: Tab3 | November 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

OBAnezer Scrooge shows up just in time for the holidays. Awesome.

As a Fed, I am used to having politicians balance their budgets on our backs. But since when do the Dems model themselves after Reagan? And why am I being taxed (through pay denied) to pay for the bankers' bailout? Why is my pay frozen when they took home millions? Why, if this is so necessary, don't we also freeze contract payouts for the federal contract workforce that outnumbers us and makes many times what we do? Where is the equity? We are not the only ones receiving pay from the treasury; Every defense contractor dollar, every bailed out banker's bonus should be tied to my pay too. Why isn't the private sector employee who ran his company into the ground and had to be bought out by the GVT not treated as a public employee?

I am ready to sacrifice for my country. I am NOT ready to be singled out for the privilege.

Posted by: Evolver | November 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Federal employee and I'm all for freezing salaries in the current economic climate -- if a freeze is applied fairly and evenly. However, as the article points out, this freeze "does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers." Is that fair? Certainly not.

Posted by: DCTransplant47 | November 29, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of liberals are crying that if only we stopped the 2 wars then we would not have deficit issues. Totally disagree. First of all, I agree that Iraq was a BS war but not Afghanistan. Even your liberal hero Obama thought so. But anyway, our entire defense budget, even if cut to zero, we would still have a big deficit because the current rev shortfall is higher than the deficit. Defense is a big item, but that alone will not solve the deficit problem.

Posted by: intcamd1 | November 29, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

What I wish is that someone would crunch some numbers to help discern what this really means. Example:

A 50 year-old employee earns 100K year as a Fed. S/he would stand to earn 1.5 - 2 percent [raises] over next 2-3 years -- but the salary is now frozen. A percentage of those raises would normally have gone into the Thrift, say into one of the L funds and would have stayed there for 15 years, perhaps earning 11 percent a year. How much did they lose with the pay freeze?

Posted by: 41shots | November 29, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Ugggh, a really poor solution on many fronts. First, why single out federal civilian employees? If cuts need to be made, make them across the board, including Congress, the military, contractors, etc. Military pay increases have already far outpaced civilian increases recently. I often hear the argument that the military is risking their lives for Americans, but many civilian employees also risk their lives for other Americans, including LEOs, intelligence agents, firefighters and civilian defense personnel. If we really want to award military personnel for risking their lives, then increase combat pay but leave their base salaries alone.

Second, if the federal workforce is inefficient and bloated, what do across the board pay freezes accomplish? Sweet, no reason to go that extra mile. My suggestion is make the workforce more efficient by having more performance related pay. In my 6 years with the feds, I can't recall a single person that received an early step increase for performance, and I also can't recall anyone that was denied their step increase for poor performance.

Lastly, this just feels like more piling on against federal employees, blaming them for our economic troubles and budget troubles. How about looking at the real reason for our budget problems---two wars and unsustainable entitlement programs. As for the recession, that was sparked by the housing bubble and financial markets, yet little has been done to curb executive compensation or even strenghten regulation of the financial markets. Of course, who could they even hire to regulate the markets, since those with the training to do so properly would make $100k as a government employee and many times that in the private sector.

Posted by: evanpickford | November 29, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

If this was to happen in any other country the federal workers would be striking. Let the government know that we will not be picked on every time they cannot find a way to deal with the budget. Freezing pay will not help the budget. It will not help the middle class. It won't help anybody. I say we should take it to the streets. STRIKE!!!!!!!

Posted by: CCDC1 | November 29, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, why is Congress not having their wages frozen? Oh, that's right; this is about the little guys, not the fat cats ...

Posted by: Aramis1 | November 29, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

There is waste in the federal government. However, it is not in the mid to lower ranks. The SES'ers make money beyond what they can be paid each year and the rest is put into a differed account that they pick up on their way out. THIS MUST STOP! It is a work around that they can't be paid beyond a yearly capped rate. There are too many of them and they are largely overpaid as a result. That is the case at my agency. As a result the infrastructure of higher grades has gotten out of hand.
Having said that - the lower graded employees are badly affected by this decision. I am not a lower graded employee - but they need the minor raise each year to stay ahead of the rising cost of living in the DC area.
CONTRACTING is out of control. Most in the IT area are here on special visas. We have an outrageous number of non-feds doing the work of our agency - over 1,000 contractors for a relatively small agency. They deliver a huge amount of junk, way over budget and incomplete. The agency won't hold them to a strict requirement because it is their experiment and it must appear to be successful. It is too bad that our leadership (which also approved this new structure) doesn't pay attention to the waste.
In regards to the pay freeze - most of my co-workers work more than 40 hours a week and the agency refuses to pay us OT - but the contractors get OT for doing the same work. So I expect that without a pay raise many will just say no to working the extra hours.
BTW - these types of decisions don't help the economy - but cutting waste will better help the budget. Check the NSA, Defense Dept.
I worked hard to get Barack Obama elected. However, the scalpel approach doesn’t even come close to fixing what ails the federal government. I’m not impressed.
I’m retiring next year anyway and wasn’t expecting a pay raise (COLA). However, the failure of the Congress to do the right thing for this country – and not for their party --- will lead us to ruin. The middle class is dying – pay attention to that while you cheer on wage reductions – if you aren’t yet affected by that …just wait….you are next.

Posted by: sskepticall | November 29, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

This will last until the unions step in then Stinkie (BO) will roll over

Posted by: biorep1 | November 29, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I have been in the federal work force for 10 years now and I am really considering going overseas for a job insead of working Federal in america. I can't understand what the president is thinking. He spends all this money bailing out banks, but when it comes to the people he should be helping, he turns his back on us. Some federal workers need help with bills and paying mortgages and buying food for their families. Nobody think of us that way. They all think we are living like fat rats when some of us are 1 pay check away from being homeless. I am really considering going overseas now. I am tired of american politics. I am tired of going to work everyday for someone who don't care if I am about to be homeless. Someone who don't care if I don't have any food to feed my family. I am tired of going to work every day and putting up with a bunch of dumb stuff and I am still broke. For all the federal workers who think that what he is doing is right, you must have money in the bank, because I don't, and I don't think it's right. For all you non-federal workers who think this is right, you are all a bunch of federal haters.

Posted by: CCDC1 | November 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

anarcho-liberal-tarian ...Your first statement tells the whole story, your just another unionized gov't worker that's over paid and shouldn't be working for the government. You do no more than you have to, to keep your job and expect the best in benefits and the highest of pay for doing a lot less than someone doing a like civillian job.
You sir should be fired just for the statement you made.

Posted by: jhnjdy | November 29, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

anarcho-liberal-tarian ...Your first statement tells the whole story, your just another unionized gov't worker that's over paid and shouldn't be working for the government. You do no more than you have to, to keep your job and expect the best in benefits and the highest of pay for doing a lot less than someone doing a like civillian job.
You sir should be fired just for the statement you made.

Posted by: jhnjdy | November 29, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I work at the Patent Office where we are a huge cash cow for the Government. Every employee that is added is an asset for the Treasury which will receive more than what it costs to bring on the employee. In addition, hiring will help us reduce the backlog and to issue more patents - one of the number one drivers of job growth.

So tell me then, how does this decision make any sense to an agency such as the PTO?

Posted by: zackool | November 29, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

OKAY EVERYONE - CONGRESS WILL NOT GET A PAY INCREASE IN 2010 or 2011 - THEY VOTED TO "NOT" ACCEPT THEIR AUTOMATIC PAY RAISE,

AND...THIS IS FOR THIS GUY...
__________________________________________

Now is the perfect time to de-certify all public sector unions. They are no longer needed. Time to cut wages and benefits without union intrusion. These union fatcats need to start sharing their wealth.
Whenever a state union nurse makes $177k in overtime pay and earns over a quarter million dollars a year as a Calif. prison nurse we have a problem as taxpayers. Funny how tax dollars pay the wages that the union members then give to dems for elections. Time is NOW to de-certify while we can. Let them riot and they will get over it.
Call your senators tomorrow! Tell them NO to the Dream Act. We have more than enough legal immigrants coming in annually to the tune of 1 million a year.

Posted by: usmc1969 | November 29, 2010 8:30 PM
__________________________________________


My union co-workers are both Democrats and Republicans. Working in the government as we try to call attention to fraud waste and abuse requires union protection. Shutting out the unions will only shut us up. Also, Federal employees pay very little directly to candidates for national office. However, the contractor companies contribute huge amounts. Do you care about that? Didn't think so.
My union does not use my dues to support candidates; I contribute modestly to a PAC with my union.
If someone is earning that much money in overtime don't you think that the real problem is understaffing and poor management????? I can see logic isn't your strong suit - and your USMC rage is showing....
How about that I think that the VA needs to be cut because it wastes too much money....ooops maybe that might be your special interest. But I'd rather end Medicare and Social Security (none of which I will participate in). I'm all for everyone sinking if that is the national mood. I too am an USMC but I am not angry at those that work hard for this country. Or even nurses (if that story is true) ….no facts but a hellofa story to get everyone excited.
Hurry up ---- Fox News is still on.

Posted by: sskepticall | November 29, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers are the middle class. My private market peers make 2-3 times my federal salary and I just got done working at 9 pm and care about my job. My peers don't struggle to pay their bills, afford childcare, and wonder how to move with their underwater mortgages. We bailed out the rich people on Wall Street and this is how we're thanked? When will we get a Democrat leader who won't blend in with conservatives everytime the country whines? If Obama wants to call himself a liberal leader, then tax, cap, and freeze rich people's income. Show some resolve and commitment and bring what you said you would when you asked for my vote. I might as well vote GOP next time, they bring change and don't care one bit what anyone else has to say about it.

Posted by: LovedClinton | November 29, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, as a FED who works long hours (many times those hours are paid for) to get the job done, it is offensive the way folks want to "Fed Bash" the average "Joe or Jane" in the GOVT. As for the pay holds for the Federal Workers: (1) Leadership starts with doing no less than what you expect your workers/troops, etc to do, i.e. if you levy a pay hold on Feds - then Pres & Congress should take their fair share. A Fact: Congress have their own retirement and health care plans because what THEY vote for the Fed employee - including the Military - "isn't good enough for them". A question: What part of the "tradition" (entitlement) of the First Lady redecorating the White House Living Quarters has contributed to the deficit (cuts should start at the top)? Now, as a person who deals with contracts and contract workers on a regular basis: (1) most labor contracts seem to have over 50% profit for the company - the actual laborers do not get the pay nor do they get any benefits; (2) many contracts have mega $$$ built into them for "administrative costs" when the Fed Govt Managers/Representatives do most of the administrative portion themselves; (3) much of the Govt spending is contributed by the Contract Vendors who overcharge Unc Sam because "Unc Sam has deep pockets". (Note - the Govt Reps for these contracts should be monitoring them closely for waste, fraud, etc and reporting it too!) And, finally - I have no problem with doing my fair share to reduce the deficit by a pay freeze even though the cost of living where I am is as outrageous as it is in DC. I DO have a BIG problem with the leadership in our country not taking their fair share of the cuts too!!! Thanks for letting me "vent".

Posted by: Bondini1 | November 29, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh and that's a special touch that the people who vote on this freeze, Congress, won't face the same "sacrifice."

Posted by: LovedClinton | November 29, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

This would be easier to take if the haters were commenting out of something other than ignorance and petty jealousy. But at the end of the day, whatever is making them miserable in their lives will still be the same and I'll be out the $2/day pay raise.

Posted by: ronjaboy | November 29, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually as a federal nurse for the VA I make exactly the same as other nurses (adjusted for experience) in the MPLS/ST Paul metro area. When I went to work for the VA as a new graduate I actually started at a lower rate of pay than RN's who work for the state of MN.

I think that there needs to be a reality check. ALL workers are underpaid whether private or public sector. Cutting wages only feeds economic deflation as it reduces economic demand.

As to VA medical costs we deliver better care at lower cost than the private sector. (As a nurse I witnessed an employee being assaulted by a patient today. I don't think many people have the skills, knowledge and ability to work mental health that I possess.

For those who complain about skilled workers being overpaid feel free to go back to school and get the credentials needed to be a nurse or other highly skilled worker. Most of the complainers here about federal jobs/employees lack the ambition to acquire the skills to develop the ability to perform highly skilled work and then be paid on average 8% less for being a government employee.

As a professional employee for the State of MN I never made over 200% of poverty for wages. As a professional nurse I am on par with the private sector.

Posted by: hm2vikingrn | November 29, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Fine. Now, Congress, step up and announce a two-year (or longer) freeze on salaries for all members, staff, and those working in support agencies. In fact, Congress should announce a 10% cut to their office budgets in addition to salary freezes.

Congress--time to put up or shut up. I don't want to hear word one from Congress until they trim their own budget and feel some real pain.

Posted by: BwanaDik | November 29, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Of course,what a great idea. So, cutting salaries will pump more money into the economy and bring down the deficit. Its is so obvious. As a federal worker I am ready to do my part. We discussed this today and now it is being spread throughout the federal work force for all to get on board. We all use to think by buying things we were helping the economy by pumping money into businesses thus creating demand which would create jobs, which would cause more people purchasing. etc.My family for instance was planning to get out of this apartment and buy a house. But, not now. Many were planning on buying a better car and other things that would help the economy. But, we have all decided not to. Although we don't really understand the new thinking we are going along with it. We will cut our buying down to as little as we possibly can and save as much as we can. This will force others to cut back on their pay as people cut down on their spending and will have to cut down on pwople's salaries also causing those people to have to cut down on their spending and the debt will be paid faster. Just brilliant and so simple.

Posted by: jjdenton | November 29, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI Congress did not take a raise in 2010 and will not take one in 2011

Posted by: shadow27 | November 29, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Why can't I have the same health insurance as my congressman? Isn't he my employee?

Whatever happened to term limits?

I think congress should step up and freeze their salaries until the budget is balanced. No cola, no nuttin.

Posted by: 21stCenturyCaveman | November 29, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Only one problem with this: the list of fat-cats on the hill who are EXEMPTED from this freeze (members of Congress & their staffs, Federal Judges and their staffs)! Why should these VERY highly paid leaches NOT have to bear their portion of "pain" while the rest of the nation suffers. NO MORE RAISES FOR CONGRESS!!!

Posted by: NYCBruce | November 29, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be kidding me...the congress isn't affected by the freeze? How special!!! I didn't believe a co-worker today when she told me that. Why should I be surprised?

Posted by: barfinkl1 | November 29, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

More sleight-of-hand from the master Snake Oil Salesman who hoodwinked half the country with his "Hope and Change" traveling road show.

What he conveniently failed to mention was that these government employees will, rather than being given a raise, be raised up in grade from their current grade. A GS-11, level 3, for instance, will simply be raised to a level 4, obviating the need for an actual increase in his current salary, but effectively achieving the same end dollar-wise.

This is but another subterfuge that taxpayers will catch on to eventually.

It is astonishing that these folks in the WH have yet to realize that November 2 was a resounding rejection of the kind of federal malfeasance that has the average American enraged. They are tired of subsidizing parasites who could never make it in the private sector, and, come 2012, they are going to speak with even more vehemence than they did a few weeks ago.

What's funny is that this amateur and the other Democratic delusionists actually believe that they've pulled one over on the electorate.

Posted by: Rocks66 | November 29, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

More sleight-of-hand from the master Snake Oil Salesman who hoodwinked half the country with his "Hope and Change" traveling road show.

What he conveniently failed to mention was that these government employees will, rather than being given a raise, be raised up in grade from their current grade. A GS-11, level 3, for instance, will simply be raised to a level 4, obviating the need for an actual increase in his current salary, but effectively achieving the same end dollar-wise.

This is but another subterfuge that taxpayers will catch on to eventually.

It is astonishing that these folks in the WH have yet to realize that November 2 was a resounding rejection of the kind of federal malfeasance that has the average American enraged. They are tired of subsidizing parasites who could never make it in the private sector, and, come 2012, they are going to speak with even more vehemence than they did a few weeks ago.

What's funny is that this amateur and the other Democratic delusionists actually believe that they've pulled one over on the electorate.

Posted by: Rocks66 | November 29, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Zients told reporters ahead of Obama's official announcement. "Federal employees are hard-working and dedicated and essential to delivering services to the American people. Today the president is clearly asking them to make a sacrifice."
----------------------------------

Please spare us the crap! Union workers in general and Federal union workers specifically, are among the lowest form of scumbag. There is no service. There is no sacrifice. They didn't go far enough. Not only is a freeze needed, it is needed after they reduce the pay by at least 30%. The next step is to reduce the number of federal employees by at least 35-40%. It may take until after the election of 2012....but I can see it on the horizon.

Posted by: steelers01 | November 29, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. Another move of stupid capitulation.

Great, let's give simpletons, Republicans, and Tea Party idiots that can't do math and have no conception of the Federal budget or Economics something to cheer about, while simultaneously further squeezing aggregate demand out of the economy. Brilliant move.

Can I do-over my primary vote and give it to Hillary? Maybe she would have had some more balls.

Posted by: mike_silva | November 29, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, was this person SURPRISED that congress writes in its own raise? Feds need to vocalize this more and expose it for what it is. Oh, they also get summers off and allow bailouts for the real culprits in this financial mess. Bailouts without any accountability and that have been used to fund bonuses and raises for poor performance. funny how nobody is talking about them. All about the feds now, and immigrants. they screw up, they get bailouts. We do our jobs and never had anything to do w/ cheating anyone into signing mortgages they couldn't afford and somehow the whole economic mess is our fault. wonder how much revenue we could get out of them if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. they haven't contributed to the economy as they were supposed to with the original intent of the cuts. again, the President isn't talking about this, so we need to start talking.

Posted by: bethesda1 | November 29, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Government employees is that they don't move easily since their jobs are protected. Some departments need serious downsizing while others need to attract more employees. The solution is to ask everyone to reapply for their jobs or seek other jobs within the government.

Posted by: Terminator2 | November 29, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Where's mine? I gots to get mine!

Posted by: mhammel22 | November 30, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I have been a federal employee since I graduated college about 8 years ago. My colleagues went onto to become mortgage bankers and loan officers making a about $10,000 to $20,000 a month driving fancy cars and big house; while I began a job at grade 7 with starting salary of $42,000 a year. And where are my colleagues now? Out of a job and broke. During this time I stuck out with the government and traded risky high salaries, for job security and benefits with the government and not for high salary. And because of my colleague’s poor financial planning – now my pay and benefits are impacted! I am grateful I have a job. Maybe what everyone can learn from this economic crisis is financial responsibility – living within your means – so we can all be prepared the next time there is a crisis!

Posted by: ctine4220 | November 30, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I have been a federal employee since I graduated college about 8 years ago. My colleagues went onto to become mortgage bankers and loan officers making a about $10,000 to $20,000 a month driving fancy cars and big house; while I began a job at grade 7 with starting salary of $42,000 a year. And where are my colleagues now? Out of a job and broke. During this time I stuck out with the government and traded risky high salaries, for job security and benefits with the government and not for high salary. And because of my colleague’s poor financial planning – now my pay and benefits are impacted! I am grateful I have a job. Maybe what everyone can learn from this economic crisis is financial responsibility – living within your means – so we can all be prepared the next time there is a crisis!

Posted by: ctine4220 | November 30, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

This guy can forget about running in 2012...Better yet! Why don't he step down now and let Biden finish out the last two years!

I REALLY DISLIKE THIS GUY...AND WILL MAKE SURE EVERY BLACK PERSON KNOWS NOT TO VOTE FOR HIM IN 2012

WHAT A DISGRACE!

Posted by: danders5000 | November 30, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to remind Barky that members of Congress and Congressional staffers ARE Federal employees and should have their salaries frozen, too. I'm a nurse in a VA hospital, and I earn less than nurses in local hospitals because the VA cannot be the pay leader in any locale. I don't mind biting the bullet if everyone else will do the same. But you know Congress will quietly vote themselves a pay raise on some quiet Friday afternoon before going on break.

Posted by: LapWalk | November 30, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman would say this pay freeze is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done to fight the Great Recession. Krugman's economic model emphatically professes that we need more federal stimulus not less. And his logic implies that the best way to assure that the money gets spend is to give 100% of it to government workers and none to the private sector (which can't be trusted to spend it where and when it is needed). Given the chance, Krugman would posit that each government worker, including military personnel, should get a $100,000 stimulus bonus - tax free if they spend it all in 6 months on American made goods and services. This would assure the money actually gets into circulation.

Anyone see anything flawed in this logic?

Posted by: frumious | November 30, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse

For all of you vocal insane Federal Government workers who can not see beyond yourselves, isn't taking a pay freeze better than layoffs and furloughs? State, county and local governments across the country are laying off or furloughing teachers, fire fighters and police? You are not in jeopardy of losing your jobs. You just have to work for the same wages for the next 2 years. Unless, of course, you'd like to join the ranks of the unemployed. If you strike, I hope Obama replaces you permanently with nonunion employees. Sheeeeeesh!

Posted by: neil64 | November 30, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

If anyone believes this will make a difference, I've got a bridge to sell you!
It's a mere drop in a bucket, compared to the out of control debt this president and the Democrats have gotten us into.

Posted by: ThruHeavensEyez | November 30, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

scourgeofsf, she didn't say she was losing her job, she said gov't employees would stop spending money! If you thought you might get furloughed or knew you weren't getting any raises for two years wouldn't you stop spending money and start saving for the next rainy day announcement? That's not entitlement, that's being finacially responsible. The fact that you're happy for other people's misfortune speaks volumes about the type of person you are. It's saddening how so many people on here are making comments celebrating fellow American's taking a pay freeze. Yes, I know it's not as bad as some people have suffered but you didn't see gov't employees rejoicing in their bad luck. Most of us reached out to help others and we mourned for their losses. This is America's problem, we don't stick together and we certainly don't have each other's backs.

Posted by: staci216 | November 30, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

The President and Congress need to be fact checked and kept honest! If you go to USAJOBS.COM you will see that the average gov't white collar worker makes less than 40,000 per year. Most gov't workers do not make anywhere near what private industry does. For example I can't seem to find a job in private sector so I applied for a job with a gov't agency the starting pay is 34,000 per year! The average rent for a one bedroom is 800-850! I have a masters degree and still cant seem to find a job making at least 40,000 per year!

I have just returned from living in South Korea working as a teacher for 3YEARS because I could not afford HEALTH CARE here in the USA! Now I come back and cant find a good job! Unless its a low paying Gov't Job! Is this really the American dream?

For all of you complaining about federal workers, dont get mad when your income tax is late, or when you call the Social Security office and your on hold for 10 mins. Most of these workers have to have a BA degree or more for these jobs and are living pay check to pay check because most federal jobs are in very expensive cities.
So when everything is all messed up, nothing is getting done no one is on the job cause they retired and the others are under staffed. Just thank congress and the President! I voted for him! I dont think I will again!

ANGRY HEARTBROKEN NAVY VET!

Posted by: tarheel4ever | November 30, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

The article says that it won't affect government contractors, but that's not necessarily true. Some government contractors pay raises are tied to their client's (government) receiving pay raises....

Posted by: chibiaingeal1989 | November 30, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Next step freeze step increases for five years then freeze retiree COLAs for same and raise the minimum age to pull retirement to 65. Don't like it? Try a real job in the private sector where fogging a mirror isn't considered sufficient reason for a pay increase. Welcome to the real world.

Posted by: citizensane1 | November 30, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Lifelong Democrat here! [For those who didn't pass third grade in command of the language and actually think Rush is intelligent,that says Democrat not liberal!]

Waste of effort and good air time Barak!
But then, your idiot advisers have no concept of the real politics of governing.
And thankfully, Larry is gone without having done too much harm!

It's not time for bi-partisanship! It's time to defend the American people from these mindless, un-American authoritarians. [Read that as Republicans for those tea partiers who don't understand the phrase or who they've jumped in bed with!]

A wage freeze will effect the deficit about as much as eliminating ear marks. That's slim and none! Nixon tried it. Didn't work!

All the Republican "profile for the camera" crew will do is claim they forced the President into it instead of just admitting that the deficit is theirs.

The President, apparently, hasn't learned over the past two years that Liar equals Republican and Republican equals Liar.

While this has been going on, no one noticed that careful management, during the Obama administration, has reduced Georgie's TARP bailout of his crooked friends from 700 billion to 25 billion.

No one seems to have noticed that Georgie's war against the man who had threatened Daddy, Saddam Hussein, is being wound down. [Gee Republicans it's a long time since "Mission accomplished". But, Republican=Liar/Liar=Republican] And, that the war, all be it much too late, against terror is now being waged in Afghanistan where it shuold have been all along.

And, it's about time that Democrats stopped being polite about the fact that a few of the American manufacturers [Ford, General Motors and Chrysler] that the Republicans didn't, entirely, sell out to overseas, are making a magnificent comeback.

And, posters such as steelers01, ProCounsel, et al like to run off at the mouth about firing Federal employees. They'd be the first ones screaming if their phone call, about their pet program, wasn't answered instantly.

Want to look at unemployment and debt folks? Go look at the totally inappropriate tax cuts under Reagan and Dubbya - two largest defecits ever! Look at the tax breaks given to companies who moved jobs overseas. And, look at the monies Dubbya borrowed from the Chinese to finance his "lovely little war". [And friends, most of that comes from Ronnie's Budget Director, David Stockman.]

Congressional Democrats hard ball is called for! Let those tax reductions die and then let the Republicans scamper to give their rich buddies a break while trying to claim it's to protect the middle class! Protecting the middle class tax rates could have been done last week if it wasn't for the Mitch and Johnnie show!

Posted by: JohninConnecticut | November 30, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Over the 24 years I have been a Federal employee, in times of economic crises (real or imagined) Federal employees have taken the brunt of the burden while the private sector has benefited. The average wage information in the media is false and totally untrue. The average salary is NOT $150k!!! It is likely in that range if one includes all lawyers and physicians at CDC, NIH, etc. The actual average federal salary is in the range of $45k-$52k.

There has also been a significant parity between Federal and comparable private sector jobs. It is likely that lower wage Federal employees do make better salaries than the private sector. The reverse is true for higher wage federal employees whose private sector counterparts are paid 24-125% MORE. I am also at a loss where people get the idea that Federal employees have such a "soft" cushy retirement. We do not get the benefits that Congress gets...they are completely separate! (FYI: the Fed is also NOT a Federal agency or part of the federal govt).

Freezing Federal salaries is a joke especially when members of Congress et al (see article) will NOT be affected! These are the primary people who created this mess yet they just voted themselves another raise in the last month!!

We are ALL to blame! We vote these people into office who destroy our country and then we complain. The bottom line is that WE need to stop being mindless compliant voters and not believe everything in the media or internet. The conventional media is owned by a political party anyway so there will be bias. The internet is full of absolutely false, inaccurate information.

Posted by: paradocs1 | November 30, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"For years, govt workers were considered dumb for not becoming contractors and making the bigger bucks. Now, when contractors are starting to cry, all of a sudden govt workers are 'overpaid.'"

What a perfect statement.

I think everyone needs to stop complaining. Federal civilian employees need to stop complaining about the pay freeze, and private-sector workers need to stop complaining about public-sector workers making too much.

If i can remember, growing up (in the 90's/early 2000's) government jobs weren't considered so prestigious. They were actually considered poor because of the much lower pay.

Now, the tables are suddenly changed and everyone wants to cry about it?

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh yes, if one reads the "wonderful" healthcare reform law, members of Congress are actually exempt from ALL of the cuts everyone else is suppose to take! Did I mention they voted themselves a raise??? The american public would be very, very suprized to know what is really in the bills that are passed into Law....

Posted by: paradocs1 | November 30, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Why can't I have the same health insurance as my congressman? Isn't he my employee?
Posted by: 21stCenturyCaveman | November 29, 2010 10:19 PM

You're kidding, right? BCBS, MDIPA, Kaiser, etc. They're all available to you. Unless the question is whether or not they're available to you through your employer (larger pool usually equals lower premium cost to you)?

Feds do have to pay premiums, co-pays, federal taxes, etc.

Ah well, this simply signals the return of the Pay Day Cake, instituted in 2009 and retired in 2010. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you can make a sheet cake for co-workers to enjoy.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 30, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

If my pay is going to be frozen, making way less than military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers, then they should be frozen as well. That is where all the big spending is!! All the big bonuses!! We are being punished and a lot of us work 2 jobs!!! Were they don't pay for their healthcare, we do, a lot. I pay over $300 a month for health insurance alone. And after all the taxes, insurance and social security etc is taken out, I am left with less than half my check!!! This is crap. I am so upset. GS-8 and unders are losing their homes, being taxed to death, and talked about on the news like we have control over anything.

Posted by: PayFrozen | November 30, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Lots of thoughts out there but to those in the private sector that feel federal workers should not get an increase because they don't; please know you have a choice in where you work. The private sector does not pay federal wages. Lots of hard working people deserve a cost of living increase to offset the high cost of insurance and some people depend on it. In the long run, this two year freeze will not help because there is way too much waste in many areas of the federal sector. I am sure the same funds would be saved by eliminating car service for high level people and getting rid of waste. Perhaps the overpaid should go without an increase while the regular people, single people and single parents, are given a COLA if nothing else.

How do we improve the economy if food and gas continue to increase as well as tax yet...pay does not? Well, let's see how things look in two years. For those folks that have never had an yearly increase, perhaps you should find better employment, I was in the private sector for over 20 years and always received a pay increase as well as bonuses.

Posted by: VoicefromVA | November 30, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Everyone thinks that all government workers get so much more than civilian workers. I have been in the civil service system for 25 yrs and still don't equal the pay of my contemporaries. It is the higher ups that need the freeze, when they are making hundreds of thousands of dolloars. We little people need to be left alone and have Congress and the politicos freeze their pay.

Posted by: msgrnise | November 30, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

So please let me understand this correctly; Obama is concerned about wasteful spending so he freezes federal workers pay. With all of the options at his disposal this is what he does to make make the American public happy? How ridiculous. He doesn't choose to end their meetings in Hawaii or other extravagant locations? How about saving millions and keep them in-house or via a video chat? But no... How about firing the workers that aren't pulling their weight and rather sleep at their desk than perform? (This happens all of the time from what I have been told from multiple sources.) I think this move is simply the lazy man's way of P.R. and not doing what should be done; removing wasteful spending and bad employees. Just another classy move brought to you by a lazy American government. Thanks again for the "change" Obama. The more things "change" the more they stay the same...

Posted by: pakr_fan | November 30, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

About damn time!!

Posted by: lek91091 | November
------
F-k you. Hater!

Posted by: WaterzEdge | November 30, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ok, crats, it's almost 10 am so a few of you are at work by now. Let's see if you can whine this past 1000 comments.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 30, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

About damn time!!

Posted by: lek91091 | November
------
F-k you. Hater!

Posted by: WaterzEdge | November 30, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the President and members of Congress should also have their pay frozen. It is only fair. And freezing the health insurance premiums would help those who will have their pay frozen.

Posted by: jsy592 | November 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Freezing step increases would be a disaster. The government would lose all of its competent employees. When you get rid of step increases, and opportunities for promotions, it's the good, hard workers who will leave the government and search for better paying jobs in the private-sector. The deadwood, who knows he cannot get a job elsewhere anyway, will be content with hanging around getting nothing done.

Then you end up with a government workforce that really is useless. So, be careful what you ask for.

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 30, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Why exempt members of Congress and judges?

Posted by: sober1

It's in the Constitution--he can't. Doesn't mean that they couldn't avail themselves of the OPTION.

Posted by: Skowronek | November 29, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse
------

I agree with your sentiment. It's funny - the Constitution was written for the "People" and Congress is installed to work for the People, yet they seem to benefit the most. Had I known President Obama was going to quickly move from Main Street back to Wall Street, I would have never elected him. He's forgotten his working class roots. A Federal freeze should affect all Federal workers, not just a select few; bureaucracy before Democracy; that's the American way. Thanks, Obama!

Posted by: WaterzEdge | November 30, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I tell you one thing, since my pay will be frozen for 2 years, thats 2 years I wont be spending an extra dollar!!! I need my pennies!!! I won't be buying anything big (house, cars, etc) because right now I just can't afford it!

And all you people who think Federal Employees have it so big, please!!! I can think of a few who are living from check to check, who are working 2 jobs, who don't have health insurance because it's too high. And, our children in college? Insurance dropped them! It didn't matter what the President said, they said OPM didn't approve it!!! We are underpaid. I know my counterpart in the private sector makes $10k more a year than I do!


Government contractors, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers are the very highest paid government workers. Why isn't their pay frozen??

Posted by: PayFrozen | November 30, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your sentiment. It's funny - the Constitution was written for the "People" and Congress is installed to work for the People, yet they seem to benefit the most. Had I known President Obama was going to quickly move from Main Street back to Wall Street, I would have never elected him. He's forgotten his working class roots. A Federal freeze should affect all Federal workers, not just a select few; bureaucracy before Democracy, that's the American way. Thanks, Obama!

Posted by: WaterzEdge | November 30, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't barack start slashing the pay of the congressional scum...they are merely revolving door vampires that will be rewarded as lobbyists years from now...they can afford the haircut.

Posted by: hippie1367 | November 30, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You have to love all the bureaucrats who are so irresponsible that not getting a 1% increase is disastrous to their budgets.

Next time, skip that iPad you couldn't afford in the first place.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 30, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Imagine that -- private sector workers complaining about federal employees with respect to being overpaid and congratulating Obama for his latest initiative?! Please! I've worked for both government and private, and I know first-hand that the average private sector employee is paid significantly more than the average government employee. The hierarchies working in the private sector are being paid salaries that far exceed government hierarchy. The disparity is vastly disproportionate.

Posted by: WaterzEdge | November 30, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Government contractors' pay cannot be frozen by Obama because they are private-sector employees...

Posted by: kaw5059 | November 30, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If Congress is so keen on cutting the federal deficit, WHY ARE THEY AND THEIR STAFFERS EXEMPT from the pay freeze? If they're really SO concerned about about cutting federal spending, THEY should be first in line for the belt-tightening! This is about politics, plain and simple.

Posted by: FlexSis | November 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Good job President Obama!!!! We've been blessed as a Federal sector, while folks in the private sector have lost so much. Let's count our blessings instead of complaining.

Posted by: eebs1932 | November 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

ya know everyone is blaming Congress, Obama, Bush, etc. for why we are in this mess. While they (including the FED) are equally responsible, there is one party that hasnt been mentioned and needs to be blamed to some degree. WE the U.S. citizens! We are the ones who have elected these people to go to DC and make decisions. Although there hasnt been much to chose from in the last 12-16 years, WE did put these people there.

Perhaps it is because WE dont want the responsibility of making those decisions? Perhaps WE are too busy to concern ourselves with "politics"? Perhaps WE have become an "immediate gratification" and "ME, ME ME" society that we didnt care? It remains OUR responsibility to put good, moral, ethical leaders in DC based on our own standards and research. In a real way, it is WE who are partially responsible. However, once these people are in office, all decisions are out of our control and it is very hard to get rid of them!! We get what 'they' think we deserve/need. Change? yeah, but remember, the President didn't say what "kind" of change he would make.

Posted by: paradocs1 | November 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Fire them all. Seriously. Fire every single one of them not directly related to defense. We do not need them.

Posted by: MikeJonze | November 30, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

hey, i've got an idea...if we're really serious about tackling the deficit, let's impose a special tax on everyone in the private sector that equals the pay freezes that government employees are giving up! then, everyone suffers equally and a big chunk of the deficit gets payed down. after all, the deficit is not just the responsibility of government workers, right? and, don't any of you complain because then you're a disgrace to your profession and should just quit or be fired.

also, let's make members of congress and staff have a pay freeze too. it's not fair that they're off the hook.

Posted by: pacificmary | November 30, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a single parent, democrate, recent cancer survivor and government employee - my step increase is coming up in December 9, 2010. I was going to use that to get medical and dental insurance now I can't, now I am going to have to tell my daughter she can't have braces for another 4 yrs I live from paycheck to paycheck does congress live from paycheck to paycheck I don't think so.

Posted by: wachiyampiwe | November 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hiring freeze? I want 9.5% of federal employees to become UNEMPLOYED, and go jobless, like the rest of Americans!!

Posted by: lita6049 | November 30, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

cut the cable, wachiyampiwe

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 30, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"9.5% of federal employees to become UNEMPLOYED" would be a good start, but there's way more fat to cut.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | November 30, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not know where all of you are getting your info about
Civil Service employees. I retired with 17 years of service. Did
not get an cola last year or this coming year. After paying my Mail Handlers monthly premium I end up with $233.00 per month
retirement. Also my premium in 2011 will go up $53.00 more a
month. I want those people in Washington DC try to live on
that and a small Social Security check which $96.00 coming out of that. Just because we are Federal Employees does not mean we
are making a fortune!!!

Posted by: blondielady | November 30, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The Combined Federal Campaign (paycheck donations to charities by federal employees) is in full swing now.

I hope that B. Obama filled out his pledge form at least on a double eagle (4% of the salary) level. The soup kitchens would need his money this year more then ever.

The federal community donated $273.1 million in 2007 (latest data published) to thousands of non-profit organizations across the country.

Posted by: Hye-phenatedAmerican | November 30, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The increases in government spending over the past ten years have very little to do with employee salaries. And let's be clear about something: a wage freeze is essentially a cut in pay for the people affected, and it's one that lasts for the rest of their career, since the government never decides to compensate for the delay in pay increases by accelerating pay increases in the future.
As somebody who voted for Obama, I have to say it's rather disgusting to see him turn into Christie Todd Whitman. Like Governor Whitman during her tenure in New Jersey, Obama seems intent on pursuing superficial solutions to serious problems, while practicing the politics of systematically undercutting the economic position of people who work. But where Whitman actually ran for office promising that kind of governance, Obama seemed to have promised an entirely different attitude towards governance.
Silly me for thinking he would govern like a Democrat, not a Republican. "Triangulation" is the fad among the DLC crowd, of which Obama is a card-carrying member, but it makes for terrible policy, since it is inherently incoherent. What will Obama do next? We have no idea.
What we do know is that Bush ran on the notion of containing the size of government and completely ignored his promises once he took the White House. And yet, none of his supporters ever cared. But for some reason, Obama has this fantasy that he can please his political opponents by pissing off his supporters.
What a tool.

Posted by: rick_desper | December 1, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

What a dumb, dumb President. Now he's a Republican? Obama will NEVER get re-elected. YOU DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. Federal workers always vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. They have families and needs like everyone else. Either the Democratic Party will sack this warmonger or they will lose 2012--BIG TIME. FACT. We are sick and tired of Bush II and Obama was NEVER elected to continue the Bush mistakes. And Maryland's Steny Hoyer (like Virginia Republican Eric Cantor) is glad Obama froze 2 years of pay? Hoyer is another dumbbell and I hope his constituency sacks him into retirement where he belongs. Again, YOU DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. Is this rocket science? Is this so hard to understand? And you think we will forget? Stop the wars. Period.

Posted by: Fed2theMax | December 1, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry I voted for Obama. He's been a spineless wimp cowering before the Tea Party. We're just on the verge of saving our house and he screws his supporters. Where's the sacrifices Wall Street was supposed to be making? Obama is a disgrace!

Posted by: Douggysaurus"

What an idiot you are.

Posted by: SoulStraw3 | December 1, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Whoa here! So,watch out the Trickey Kenyan
Barack Hussein Obama is deliberately busy
trying to distract you from the Wikileaks of the foul ups and incompetence of both
Obama's Sec of State Hillary Clinton and
the State Department along with the total
incompetence of Obama's Sec of Defense Robert Gates and the Defense Department and
its potential damage and embarassment to the USA along with Barack Hussein Obama may
be deliberately trying to embarass and disgrace Hillary Clinton to stop her from
running for President in 2012 by this Red
Herring Federal Employees Pay Freeze! Yep,
more Obama Chicago Dirty Politics at it's
finest here folks. Impeach Obama now!

Leave to this racist jackass to get off topic.

Posted by: SoulStraw3 | December 1, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

If the government wants to save money change or ENFORCE the quidelines for TRAVEL PAY for Veterans!!! There are veterans who make a living on their travel pay money. Veterans that live 8 miles down the road or the ones that ride the bus to the front door should not get paid!! By the way I am a veteran myself that is now working for the government. I am not against the freeze and I feel VERY fortunate to have a job.

Posted by: m9301 | December 1, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The bureaucracy will NEVER vote Republican. They might like a pay cut, but they live in fear of performance standards, efficiency, and any other threat to their non-jobs.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Another Idea. Why not cut the amount of State Employees in the Embassies around the world? Why post workers with large families who get housing, schooling for the children, servants and many other benefits that we are paying for? For example, I have known workers with 5 kids who attend the International school, (always the choice in foreign countries) where the tuition is $1,200 a month for each student..even a kindergarten child! Even a family with 2 children is costly to the budget.
Now multiply that by...how many embassies???
Why should we pay for all of these advantages that the average American will never have? Some of the posts are a real vacation for the staff. Think about it!

Posted by: patrachidi | December 5, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

By law, the uniform nationwide annual adjustment to the general schedule pay scales is based on subtracting one half percent from the average pay raise received by private sector workers from the previous year as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI.). So in a best case scenario, federal worker pay raises will ALWAYS be less than that of private industry.

Even worse, Congress can suspend the nationwide pay raise as they did in 1994. The president can also reduce pay raises as President Clinton did in 1995 and 1996. January 2010 pay increase was to have been 2.4%; President Obama only approved 1.5%. Average wages among all workers have risen by 632% since 1969, salaries for civilian federal employees have increased only by 428% for the same period. In 1994, CBO estimated that federal pay lagged behind private industry by 23%. 1996 estimates showed that pay gap to be an average of 22%. In 2000, OPM reported that salaries for federal professionals lagged behind private pay by an average of 32%. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible for federal workers to be earning more than private sector counterparts.

In my 20 years of federal employment I’ve witnessed many leave for the higher salaries of private industry. In more recent years, I’ve seen those who have made their fortunes in private industry take a pay cut to join the ranks of the government because of job security and a more manageable work schedule. WDC is home to 7 of the nation’s 10 richest counties and it certainly isn’t us federal workers making up that affluence. Why not tax the wealthy and those making their fortune on Wall Street, ie, those that can afford it? Most of all, Congress and the president should focus on those things (multiple endless wars, Health Care, TARP, etc) that are generations trillions of dollars of debt and which are the true source of the deficit. Freezing federal pay does little to solve the deficit problem and only serves to punish federal workers – many who put their lives at risk defending our country, and others who will, like some of their colleagues, pay the ultimate sacrifice…

Posted by: Nobama16 | December 6, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

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