3:07 pm, May 29, 2015

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  • Pay Freeze's and Job Cuts and Furloughts.....WONDERFULL...!!!
    lee in texas
    I have worked for almost 30 years now for DOD (US Navy) from WG7 now to GS-11. Seems the first and always easy target (at least politically) is cutting the federal employee wages but, I never hear talk of cutting the TOP FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, i.e., Politicians, Special Appointees, etc. My Lord, wake up. The average federal employee works for a pay scale far below these levels and will NEVER catch up to outside counterparts, repeat NEVER! Dedicated men and women who have given and continue to give a lifetime of service to our country and the reward - falling further and further behind in average pay scales (well, unless you want to count some of the locality increases which add NOTHING to a retirement income). What a wonderful thank you to an employee who works day in and day out, continuing to deliver loyal and faithful service to our government and citizens ! Arghhhhhhh....remember, please - not all federal employees make 6 figure incomes, in fact few that I have seen. Lee in Texas
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  • AMEN!
    Lisa Lisa
    So here is how I see it. Can the govt function for 10 days without any senior managers and politicians? The answer is HECK YES! They shouldnt remove the backbone of the federal work force, but I can say that the govt will still stand as long as that backbone is in place. We can survive (and perhaps even celebrate) not having suck up managers around for 10 days. I will also expect EVERY politician to get back to work with a cooler and sleeping bag to gather and come up with a solution as to how to get jobs back to the US. I want them to work around the clock-no more trips to the Hamptons, no more wasting our tax dollars while they campaign. I am so sick of ALL of the politicians. I am on campaign burn out! All promises and once voted in..we got nothing..and thats on both sides. The thought of having to go through another bout of campaigning for 2012..I just cant take it..honestly..enough is enough. I just want them to stop flapping their jaws and get er done.
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  • EQUIVALENCY
    BeanerECMO
    30 years for DoD from WG-7 to GS-11 - hmmm. Highly motivated I see. Re: The average federal employee works for a pay scale far below these levels and will NEVER catch up to outside counterparts, repeat NEVER! Cuurently, the average federal worker 'earns' 1/3 to 1/2 again as much as his private sector counterpart. But, tell me, how many private sector jobs does it take to fund one fed job considering also that fed personnel also pay taxes, and that average fed pay leads private industry by 1/3 to 1/2. Equivalency of pay is not a reality. What does government provide as a real product beyond those in security/defense? What effort does government do to produce one drop of oil revenue? What does government do to produce one loaf of bread. Oh, they manage. Yes, much like MMS, USAID, DOE, COE, HHS, EPA, OPM, GAO et al. All the focus in DC is raising taxes including BHO's 'bipartisan' economic (tax) task force. It confirms that government believes the money that anyone earns is the government's by default. Remember when the politicians say that a tax cut of any amount will "cost" the government? Here's what needs to be done: All agencies at the federal, state and local levels should cut programs by 5% each year for the next 5 years except for those efforts that directly support combat ops, counter-illegal immigration ops, or DHS ops. However, each agency should still be held to a budget cut of 5% made up of cuts to programs that do not directly support combat ops, counter-illegal immigration ops, or DHS ops. All open federal, state and local positions not filled should be eliminated immediately. VA care (except for service connected maladies) as well as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid should be means tested. Cut federal and state congressional operational funding by 10% per year for 5 years. Freeze federal, state and local congressional / administrative / support staff pay for the next 10 years. Stop federal government funding of FFRDCs and have them compete for programs as other non-FFRDCs must. Cut corporate taxes; cut capital gain taxes; do not fund any part of the just past Obamacare (let it wither on the vine), and stop the additional taxes passed under that healthcare insurance law. Stop all grain-based ethanol production subsidies; in fact, stop all subsidies; products should stand on their own merits. Fannie and Freddie are NOT too big to fail; no more bailout funds to them, and have them repay what they have received.
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  • EQUIVALENCY
    CaptMidnight
    Beaner-nothing wrong with WG-7 to GS-11, I did WG-5 to GS-13 in 34 years. Your assumptions are inaccurate and misguided by disinformation from the conservative think-tanks. Get a life. The current statistical data on federal compensation is severely lacing in creditable information. If OPM, DOL, and the think-tanks used ALL employees in their data, the wage gap would be no comparison. These people do not use the thousands of wage-grade employees in all federal agencies and they certainly do not use the NAF employees of DOD, VA, Coast Guard, etc. in their calculations. I might remind you that for every CA. ES, SES, and GS-15 employee who is making 157.2K (federal pay cap current), there are at least 100 of the aforementioned non-included employees who make and live on 17K a year.
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  • Most of this information...
    Kythe
    ...is false. Please, do some research on this Kythe
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  • Incorrect Information
    CaptMidnight
    For the benefit of Beaner and Kythe, you do not even know what I am talking about, so do not say the information is false. The Department of Defense has 308 installations within the US. They account for a very low estimate of 61600 non-appropriated fund employees in Morale Welfare and Recreation Departments and Bx/Px Exchanges, Navy Exchanges and Marine Corps Exchanges. These are federal employees of the Department of Defense and paid by monies generated at base activities by service members. These employees do not fall under OPM or DOL guidelines and there for are not included in the pay comparisons, but these are the people that do the sales associates, rec aids, cooks, laborers, food service workers, housekeepers and hundreds of other low paying semi-skilled jobs that only pay $8.00 an hour. These people as well as the appropriated fund wage grade carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, laborers, gardeners, etc. have their pay based on wage survey of the local area. I have reminded Mr. Causey on occasion that yes, the federal government does have department stores, fast food and other recreations activities. Please do not speak of something you know nothing off. But none of these are used in comparing federal pay vs. private sector pay.
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  • ADVANCEMENT
    BeanerECMO
    And my wife went from GS-3 to GS-13 in 15 years; while my son went from GS-7 to GS-14 in 10 years and is up for GS-15 now.. Unfortunately. CaptMidnight, you're incorrect WRT to all levels being taken into account for the 'average'. However, it still comes down to - how many private sector jobs does it take to fund one fed, state, or municipal employee, and that includes teachers as well (even private schools receive some fed funding - except Hillsdale).
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  • Nepotism
    deployed decoy
    Sounds like you (Beaner) are a tad bit involved with federally prohibited issues. Wife, kid??? Now I would understand that your wife got a job because of who she is married to, had you been on military active duty. In such cases the spouse bumps higher qualified disabled vets for that perfect GS14 position. But also say (in not so many words) that someone is lazy and not deserving crawling up the ladder competitively from WG5 to GS11 is a slap in every persons face that gets their job through Merritt principles. Also unless someone goes to work for DOD, about as high as they can ever go without (networking) is GS11. I know. I left the BLM because the GS12 position in our shop had 12 in house candidates when the boss got hit by a bus. Also within the BLM and Forest Service being a multistate telecommunications manager can be as low as a GS11. In DOD that same level of power is a non supervisor GS13. So come on over to the war or go to the Pentagon where you can make coffee for the GS15 as that highly motivated GS14.
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  • beaner's suggestions
    Moderate
    We have seen your ideas already. Do you edit copy edit paste these things? The average federal worker does not earn 1/3 to 1/2 times his counterpart in private industry. You are comparing all feds to all private industry. These include part timers and hamburger flippers in private industry. We have few of those. In order to make a true comparison you must compare the same job in the same locality. According to our statistician we are 24% underpaid.------------------------------------- What does the government produce other than defense and security? These are services and not production. Well, the IRS enforces and collects federal taxes. That helps the government operate. There is an agency that checks food, vitamins and drugs. If you have cancer, would you like some magic elixir that was around before these agencies. Perhaps you want bad bacteria in your food. Let us not forget road building. And what about help to public schools. Of course, if your children went to non public schools, you wouild not care about that. I assume you have health insurance so you do not care about those who cannot afford it, many due to the Bush depression.---------------------------------------------------------------- Your suggestion cocerning a 5% reduction in agencies for 5 years is a sick joke. Of course, you will complain about the service cuts if they affect you.-------------------- Social security should not be means tested. It is a pension plan that already is slanted towards those with less income. See how your benefits are computed.------Medicare already has a means tested feature. At a certain threshhold your medicare premium goes up. Medicaid is already means tested.------------------------ Why should we cut corporate taxes and capital; gains taxes? How does this affect you? Obviously, obamacare does not affect you like those who cannot afford medical insurance. You do not benefit from medical insurance for those who cannot afford it. The rest of your comments are not worth commenting on.---------- You were a progressive (liberal probably never) until you were indoctrinated by the radical right. You are probably an executive who must put up with unions who defend their workers.
    worker
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  • CUT AND PASTE - YES
    BeanerECMO
    And it appears it's working to get into some people's heads. Re: income; just in the DC area alone, it is 1/3 to 1/2 again the private sector at near equivalent positions. It the same in any are where the fed is (which seems to be everywhere). Re: medical; with over 26 years military service (6 years enlisted and 20 years commissioned - it was an honor and a privilege) I do not qualify to use the VA because, even though I have service connected disabilities, my assets preclude my use of the VA system. However, I'm quite satisfied with the care I receive from Medicare / Tricare. Did I pay into them; yes, with a blank check worth up to and including my life, as well as beginning social Security in 1984 (however, members of congress only pay into the medical portion). Re: social security as a retirement benefit. Originally, it was not meant to be that, but was turned into another federal teat. Because I can, I take my social security check and disburse it to the charities of my choice. Re: Obamacare; at over $1T, it is atrocious. If there were really 30 million people without healthcare insurance; $30M could have been given to each one of them and they still would have screwed it up. Re: Corparate and capital gains taxes; by lowering those tax burdens, which consumers pay when they purchase any product anyway, more bucks could be put in the pocket of the consumer to be able to purcahse more/other products. Increasing consumption, means more people will need to be employed to meet demand, and the cycle continues. Increase the burden, no consumption, no demand, no jobs. Nojobs, no taxes to pay for the fed, state and municipal employees. Re: unions; notice now how well the unions are managing GM and Chrysler now that they are the majority of those boards; the newbies aren't getting the same benefits that the old guys are getting. Why - the unions know their benefit support is unsustainable.
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  • Reply to beaner
    Moderate
    Your first comment about our salaries shows that the radical right has a better propaganda machine than those to the left of you. It is also a good selling point during the Bush depression. The fact remains that you still must compare the same job in the same location to determine whether federal employees are overpaid or not. I know that the people I deal with in the private sector make much more than I do. And I have much more technical skill than they do. Regarding your medical response-You appear to have subsidized medical insurance. What do you pay for Tricare? Next year I will pay about $5000 for Blue Cross. However, there are many people who are not as fortunate as you. They may have been victims from the Bush depression. Also, maybe their employers are not willing to provide medical insurance. The purpose of the law is to make sure almost everyone has medical insurance. Guess that law does not benefit you. Next is social security. First, I was unaware that Congresspeople who started after 1983 did not pay into social security. I thought everyone hired in 1984 or later were under FERS which includes social security. If hired before 1984 we got stuck with medicare, but no social security. Did you join the military before 1984 or after. If before, is the military handled differently than civilian service? If not, then when did you earn social security benefits? Aren't you affected by the rule lowering the first tier of benefits from 90% to 40% depending on the number of years under social security? Also, your payout is based on total earnings for the highest 35 years divided by 35. Social security was intended to be a retirement benefit. However, it was not funded like one. Instead taxes paid into the plan exceeded the payouts. Therefore, the fund built a surplus. This continues(d) because there were enough workers to fund the plan. However, because there are so many baby boomers, the plan is not being funded properly. Since people have paid into the plan, they should be able to collect. However, I have heard that a 1% increase in contributions by workers and 1% increase by employers should keep the plan funded. Additionally, the retirement age should be increased as we live longer. Re the insurance plan-please redo your math and correct your comments.30M x30M exceeds 1T. Additionally, this one trillion is for how many years? I assume that you will benefit directly by reducing capital gains taxes and corporate taxes. You also subscribe to the trickle down theory. That is quite false. Businesses will charge what they can to maximize their profits. I believe that involves supply and demand economics with the price being where the supply and demand curves intersect. (Please excuse my ignorance. It has been almost 40 years since I took microeconomics). Lower taxes will not lower prices. Re GM and Chrysler-I was unaware that unions are managing the auto companies. I was unaware that they ever managed the auto companies. I doubt that they ratified the huge salaries of the executives before bankruptcy. I doubt that they approved the designs that were inferior to Honda and Toyota.(I know Toyota has problems now). Maybe you should look to the executives for the auto industry problem. In conclusion, you were never a liberal, but a regressive of the right wing. You stayed there while reading their radical right propaganda. The unions have tried to defend the workers from those types.
    worker
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  • My Job is to Make IT Projects Come In On Time & On Budget--So Furlough Me!!!
    lambanlaa
    Wow, that's incentive! When I joined the federal gov't in 2002 with my undergraduate and masters degrees, I had to join at the top of the non-management pay scale (GS-15, step 2) to make the same pay that I did on the outside. My duties did not compare. I was a programming team manager on the outside--I was a senior project manager over a several million dollar system with many political landmines, previous failures, and other challenges on the inside. Not only that, I had to deal with a new concept of bureaucracy and an organization (the federal government) that does not follow the profit motive. In a nutshell, the work was NOT equivalent for the same pay! BTW, the benefits I had in the private sector were as good as my government benefits when I joined. I have worked in the private sector for longer than I have worked for the government, but I enjoy trying to make things better, no matter where I work. I haven't gone soft and lazy because I work for the guv'mint. It's true that there are some employees who do not pull their weight, but the ones I have worked with in my 8 years with the federal government are definitely part of the achievement-oriented crowd (both lifers and newbies). I heard a great idea: have the whole GS series in the entire federal government take the same 10 days (or a month) off. Let's see who starts whining about needed services then. As I read in another post, the high ranking federal government politicos, such as senators and representatives, probably would not be missed, but I bet the run-of-the-mill GS set would be. One more thing: It's amazing that the whole problem in the USA has boiled down to "overpaid" federal workers! It has nothing to do with the billions we spent off the books in Afghanistan that cannot be traced. Nope. It's all very clear now...
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  • Re Equivalency
    Just me
    Here we go again, Beaner ECMO, There is a saying that figures lie and liars figure. Nowhere is this so true as in the debate over federal employee compensation. The liars, in this instance, are the CATO institute and the Heritage foundation, who have made a series of broadly published and unsubstantiated (read false) claims about federal employee compensation. The lies (and they are lies because they're easily disprovable with a little research) have been republished by the right as a justification for their attacks on federal employees. First, repeating a lie endlessly doesn't make it the truth. Second, given the perpetual hatred the right bears towards federal employees, it makes any claim they make suspect. That's right, it's HATRED for federal employees but not a desire to save taxpayers money. What we have seen, historically, is that the right often demands the same level of services after RIFS and hiring freezes that they had before these things. Agencies respond by contracting for these services at a higher cost to the taxpayers. When a crisis occurs the right then bashes the much reduced federal service for being unable to respond. In essence, the right comes to Washington claiming that government doesn't work, dismantles much of it so that it can't work, and then shouts "see, I told you so" when it doesn't work. What I propose is this, as an alternative to your plan: 1. Cut all entitlements in all Republican states by 10% per year for the next five years. If republicans want austerity and responsibility, then perhaps they and their constituents should lead by example. 2. Cut 1/2 of all military bases overseas, and scale back the Army's future combat systems. 3. Defund all nation building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home. If the Iraqis and Afghanis WANT democracy then they will find the wherewithall to achieve it without our subsidy. 4. Freeze federal hiring and wages at FY2010 levels, with a sunset clause on this freeze for 2012. In closing, federal and state governments are not the same or even equivalent. I realize, and you should too, that conflating the two (and treating them as one entity rather than two for purposes of this discussion) is self serving sophistry.
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  • Just Me
    Tea Partier
    How about cutting Federal taxes in states that vote Republican, and raising taxes in states that vote Democrat? We're sick & tired of having our taxes raised to be redistributed to Democrats so they can keep voting Democrat. The military is a core function of our Constitution. Entitlements are not listed in the Constitution. The only way we can stop the U.S. from going broke is to go on an austerity program. I have often said that we need to raise the retirement age to at least 70 or higher. Maybe that will finally be on the table. The purpose of the Tea Party movement was to serve notice to BOTH political parties that they need to start reducing the size of the Federal government, and transferring functions not listed in the Constitution back to the states, or to the people themselves, as spelled out in the 10th Amendment. The Founders gave us a Constitution with a LIMITED Federal Government, not an unlimited Federal government. Progressives only want to keep increasing the size of the Federal government at the expense of the individual. I propose that we NOT bail out California, and let them go bankrupt. Let progressives see what happens when you promise more than you can deliver.
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  • Tea Partier
    Just me
    No, let's start by cutting the entitlements. If you do that first, THEN taxes will come down. By the way, you're NOT taxed enough already because you don't pay the true cost of government (hence the deficit spending and borrowing.) The issue is that the right likes to DEMAND lower taxes WITHOUT giving up anything that benefits them. Also, California pays more in taxes to the feds than any other state in the union and receives less (per dollar paid in) than most red states in federal entitlements and subsidies. Time to reverse that trend and make red staters pay their fair share. If, and when, you all get to the point where you can live on 50% less entitlements then you will have provided a salutary example to the rest of us. We will then require that everyone else do the same.
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  • Just Me
    Cindi
    Coming from a Republican state, may I suggest cutting ALL federal taxes, but you first have to let up keep our money. We pay no federal taxes and get none from the feds. See how fast our state would grow. If money made was spent and taxed by those living in the state and not having to take care of those that do not contribute, you would see a big change in how those tax monies were dolled out. Why should those living in one state have to bail out other states for being too smart to get rid of politicians who do harm to their state and people. If I work and save why should I be penalized for doing what is right. Sure there are those that have bad things happen and need help, but that help should not last a lifetime. People should be given a time limit and the amount of money they receive in assistance, there are those who have raised generations on welfare. What has the federal government and money done to help these people, except keep them dependent on politicians will use them as an excuse to get reelected.
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  • Cindi
    Just me
    First of all, it's NOT your money. It's money borrowed from the Chinese, and NO, you aren't entitled to it. Time for the right to realize that they have to pay for what they get. Cut the entitlements in the Red states first, because dollar for dollar they (generally) receive more than they pay into the kitty in taxes. There is something about this issue that the right just doesn't get. Could it be that this is because traditionally right leaning states are getting a disproportionate level of pork, subsidies, and entitlements? Californians, and many other Blue states have LONG been burdened with the costs of subsidizing largess in other states. For the party of "self sufficiency" to demand that this practice continue is hypocrisy. In 2005 Kentucky received 50% more in federal payments and subsidies than it paid in. California received 22% LESS than it paid in. Other examples include Alabama which received 66% more than it paid in, while New York received 21% less. Mississippi received 100% more than it paid in while Massachusetts received 18% less. Maine is a republican state and receives 41% more than it pays in, while Oregon received less. Virginia is a red state and it received 51% more than it paid in. West Virginia received 76% more than it paid in. The list goes on and on. This isn't an indication that the people in these states are taxed too much, it's an indication that they're practicing socialists who demand that those who have (in the blue states) subsidize those who do not have (in the red states). Rather than cut taxes I am simply saying that we should LOWER entitlements and pork in those states to a level that would be supported by THEIR tax base. This, of course, would mean that taxes in the states that subsidize this socialism will be lowered because they will no longer be subsidizing the underfunded requirements of the conservatives in the red states.
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  • Taxes
    Tea Partier
    I agree with you that cutting entitlements should be the first step. You say that red states don't pay their fair share in taxes. I would like to point out that many red states have family farms and small businesses which get hit with the Federal Estate tax when the owner dies, so the family ends up having to sell the farm or business to pay the estate taxes. We shouldn't subsidize corn production so it can be used for producing ethanol. We need that corn for food for the world. It is insanity to take land for food out of production and use it to power our cars. We have plenty of oil, and we need to start using it, not keep buying it from dictatorships so we keep them in power. That would reduce our balance of trade deficit, and make us more self sufficient. It all fits together.
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  • Taxes
    Just me
    Using the republican model (and that of the teaparty) we should not be subsidizing ANY business (family or otherwise) because that would be anti-competitive. If you truly believe in less government and the "invisible hand" of the marketplace, then these businesses should be allowed to fail if they are not able to make it on their own. IF, however, you are arguing for socialism - in the form of subsidies and entitlements to these people- then that's just feeding your sacred cow, at my expense, while demanding that my sacred cow be gored.
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  • Tea partier and Cindi
    Moderate
    Per your tax suggestion-Write the law in such a way that it would be constitutional. The radical right loves to cite the Constitution so here is your golden opportunity. Go for it.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The military is the core function of the Constitution? Where does that come from other than your imagination? Also your so called entitlements come under the general welfare clause. Also, if you think they are unconstitutional, challenge them in court.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go into an austerity program? How about stop the corporate welfare and large tax breaks for the wealthy? See George Bush and Ronald Reagan for examples. See also the war in Iraq. Balance the budget and have surpluses in prosperity. See Clinton's era. Not deficits and then the George Bush depression----------------------- The founders tried a weak central government. It failed. Now we have a stronger central government.------------------------------------------------------------------------- Guess your prefer we go back to the days of sweatshops,monopolies, and oligopolies.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Additionally, the estate tax is a one time tax while the income taxes are yearly. And how much do these so called family farms pay in estate taxes after gifts to kids up to the yealy exemption? And how many of these farms are corporate farms? And how much is the farmland worth per acre in these red states? Could it be that after all of these factors, they do not pay so much estate taxes? Also Cindi, how would the growth be distributed? Under Reagan, who really bamboozled the American people, the growth went to the wealthy. The difference between the wealthy and the rest of the people grew very sharply.
    worker
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  • How about passing the budget to begin with?
    MichaelF
    I work under DoD. My top concern is getting the budget passed during the upcoming lame duck session -- which is highly unlikely. Consider that the incoming Congress will contain a number of Tea Partiers who are closer to being Libertarians than real Republicans. Add to that the no compromise attitude many of the newbes are bringing with them. (No compromising in a political system based on compromise? I can see that the newbes will be part of the problem.) I can see even DoD having to work all of FY 11 under a Continuing Resolution, assuming that they don't block the Continuing Resolution.
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  • TEA PARTIERS
    BeanerECMO
    Mikey, they don't get seated until January, so you can still rely on the dems.
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  • Pay Freeze and Job Cuts
    Sasha
    The damage done to the discussion of federal pay due to the Cato and American Enterprise Institutes' poorly researched allegations has been profound, but there is good information out there. Yesterday the Federal Executive Newsletter published a first-rate discussion of the subject by a genuine expert, Howard Risher, who was the managing consultant for the studies leading to the 1990 Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act. You can find it here: http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?filepath=/dailyfed/1110/110210an1.htm&oref
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  • Nice jolt for the economy
    strizhko
    I just love politicians. They say they want to get the economy back on its feet, and to do so they want to put 3 million federal workers on furlough for 10 days just to "look good" in the eyes of the right wing fanatics. So let me get this straight -- these clowns think cutting pay from 10 million federal workers and their families is what the economy needs to grow. The holiday season is approaching which is generally a critical period for retailers. Am I going to spend much know there might be a furlough? H * E ** L * L no -- that money goes into my "furlough fund" (sorry retailers, if you fail thanks your congressional reps). In addition -- I hope all the federal worker bashers out there enjoy it when they need someone from an agency to do something for them and there is no one to answer the phone. Maybe there will be delays in SS checks, disability checks, medicare and medicaid payments. But that's OK though -- isn't it.
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