4:55 am, May 30, 2015

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  • Let us Show Leadership..
    Tom McKinney
    in contributing to the solution of slowing the annual deficit growth and reducing the national debt................ Active Federal Employees need to embrace the pay freeze--if all active feds can remain on-the-job--and Retired Federal Employees need to "come to the table" with a strategy (tactical) for reining in the (under) unfunded $356.45 Billion CSRS pension liability. Let us show leadership!............ We all need to remind ourselves that we are passing this debt onto future generations--to pay for the principal and interest--for the amount that needs to be borrowed. Thank you for your service. Tom McKinney, Dunwoody, Georgia
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  • Leadership begins at the top.
    Cindi
    During times like this Federal Employees are an easy target and used to get the general public in an uproar. (They are paid way too much!!!!!) Pay freezes are one thing but will they freeze our health insurance payments? Gas prices are rising daily, my grocery bill increases each trip I take to feed my family, I shop thrift stores, yard sales for clothing, we don’t eat out etc. So just how much does my family “an American family that actually pays taxes” have to give up before people are satisfied that we are scrapping by. Spending needs to stop at the top, waste in Washington is out of control. $25 billion maintaining unused or vacant federal properties, $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices by Securities and Exchange Commission, $60 billion annually-Health care fraud, $126 million for the Kennedy family legacy in Massachusetts,$20 million to subsidize a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute, $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland, $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737, $1.3 million to rent a lab that cannot used, $2 billion annually paid to farmers not to farm their land. There are many more examples of government waste, so why is all this not being talked about on every news channel instead of making Federal Employees look like were making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So please explain to me why I should "come to the table" when all I'm trying to do is provide for my Childs future . A concerned wife, mother, American taxpayer and Federal worker.
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  • Great Post
    contrarian
    I think it's time to bring back the "Fleecing of America" awards.
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  • Hi Cindi
    Moderate
    We can almost agree on your comments. My real beef is that you only pick on the Democrats' waste. And it is true that the Democrats waste money. But you mention no republican waste. Why? Doesn't Reagan have memorials? How about Bush 1 and in the future Bush 2? How about Nixon and Eisenhower? Are you telling us there is nothing there? Take a balanced approach and you would be more credible.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reality is some of these legacies are named after the presidents and executives, but are a part of the history of teir times in office. This is part of American history that our taxes support. They are used by scholars for various purposes. So they may not be such a waste.------------------------------------------------------------------- You also failed to look at military waste. Is there any there? How much, or are they that efficient?
    worker
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  • Escuse me.
    Cindi
    How can you say these are only Democrats waste? -------- I don't think only Democrats' can be blamed for unused or vacant properties, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Health care fraud, labs they don't use. --------- These are all wastes that belong to Democrats and Republicans alike. Maybe the Kennedy family legacy, and institute might and I say might be Democratic issues I don't know who voted the $126 million for the Kennedy Family legacy. (I liked JFK and Mrs. Kennedy was a very classy lady) I never mentioned a persons name or Democrats/Republicans. But if it will make you realize I'm not the radical Leftist that you accused me of being the other day, but only want what's best for my family and their future I found this interesting fact . ----------------- On Monday's and Friday's the Transportation Dept subsidized flights directly between DC and Kentucky ($2,000) for REPUBLICAN Congressman Hal Rogers. Say he and his staff traveled twice a week maybe 40 weeks a year that's $160,000 for 1 person, how many the subsidized I have no clue. I did I happen to mention that he was a member of the Appropiations Committie that wrote the Transportation Departments budge. Go Figure
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  • To Cindi
    Moderate
    Then we agree that both Dems and Repubs promote a great deal of waste or other terms that I cannot mention.--------------------------------------------------------------- If I accused you of being a radical leftist then I must have done a typo. Don't you generally take a right of center position?-------------------------------------------------- We all want what is best for our families and country, I hope. The question is what is best. If 50 people respond, we will get 50 different answers.
    worker
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  • Dear Tom,
    SGT Pepper
    I'll embrace the pay freeze if you help pay my mortgage, my skyrocketing school taxes, my ever increasing property taxes, both of my children's college tuition, my electric bills which are 2nd or 3rd highest rates in the nation and the now $4,000+ per year I'm spending on gas just to get to work everyday. Where shall I send the donation request?
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  • Well said
    Kythe
    I do have to wonder how many people saying "we" have to suffer are federal employees. Many of these folks, no doubt, make daily use of federal services...yet rather than being willing to pay sufficiently for those services (or even being willing to see taxes raised on those making more than $250,000 per year, insist that federal employees eat pay cuts. I wonder if they'd show up at Lowe's, grab something off the shelf, insist they and all the other customers in the store pay half price and that the store clerks eat the difference in a pay cut? How should that go over?
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  • Re: Tom
    Munsterball
    Tom, I assume others are embracing their part just as I am by not complaining about this 2 yrs pay freeze. But I am not going to sit here and act as if the deficit is my fault either. Fed employees are not passing any debt to the future operations._______ Are you kidding me? WE DID NOT CREATE THE DEBT! We are forced to pay for it_______ BIG DIFFERENCE! Also, our leaders need to show us/this country that they are capable of leading without being careless, heartless and greedy. You gotta give in order to get. I don't know where you get off talking about "Let us show our leadership..." I know we all have our own opinion, but you make no sense to me.
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  • Future Generations...
    Tom McKinney
    (not future operations) are being passed-on our Nations debt. Who is going to pay off the principal--and most importantly--the interest? The answer is our children, grandchildren, etc. Policitians are speaking of interest on the public debt ($9.2 Trillion), however, the policitians do not talk of the interest on the Government Trust Funds ($5 Trillion). This is also an expense that is happening--every day. Thank you. Tom McKinney
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  • Let us show leadership
    RAH
    Many of us are getting tired of your solutions. I still will not give the government any of my survivor benefits. There are groups like NARFE which are working on the behalf of federal employees and retirees. Let them do their job as they have experts who know how to deal with Congress. You can tell what you want to do but don't say the rest of us agree with you and your give money back solutions. You must live in an area that is low cost, I do not! Frankly I heard that CSRS is good for another 75 years and is fully funded for that amount of time.
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  • Thank you for your opinion...
    Tom McKinney
    however, please provide your recommendations on how to reduce the $14.1 Trillion National debt. Active and Retired Federal Employees can be leaders to the rest of the U.S.A. Please read U.S. OPM's Agency Financial Reports. Google www.opm.gov/gpra The CSRS retirement pensions have been fully funded in past years--thankful to Public Laws that were passed, for example, PL 91-93. However, the CSRDF Trust Fund is not fully funded. (see above). (Recap: pensions fully funded and Trust Fund not fully funded). Thank you for your service. Tom McKinney Dunwoody, Georgia
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  • Thank you for your opinion
    RAH
    You must not be a member of NARFE or you would have the right information on pension plans being fully funded for the next 75 years. Survivors pay extra taxes when they have to go from two to one exemption. I know this from doing my taxes the year after I lost my spouse and ended up paying more than I was used to. My only service was being married to a Federal employee and retiree so stop thanking me for my service. I feel I am doing more than my share to help the government and will NOT give up 10% of benefits.
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  • OK here's mine....
    X-taxman
    1. Put a Republican back in the White House. 2. Cut way down on the "it'sokayifyoudon'twanttowork" welfare programs. 3. Take the money saved from '2' and provide jobs for those that want to work. The rest are on their own. No more rewards for laziness, which people who work have to pay for. 4. Fire federal gov't employees that can't or won't do their jobs (this would cut wayyy back on the federal workforce!). Replace them with bright people that are wanting to work! I could go on, but I think this is a good stopping point.
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  • The Best & The Brightest
    MB
    How do you intend to attract the best and brightest when 1. Fed salaries are below the private sector salaries, and 2. Benefits are under attack. It is very difficult to work under the threat of a shutdown, no step increases, no COLA's but the federal employees I know are honest, hard working people and continue to be in even these hard times. Every company has its sluffers including the federal government, and I agree they should be fired but the majority of us have and will work hard. I for one have 36 years in with the IRS (another x taxman) and have earned my benefits.
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  • to X Taxman
    Moderate
    You said:"1. Put a Republican back in the White House" My answer-Like George Bush 2 with his deficits and pro wealthy policies?----------------------------------------- You said " Cut way down on the "it'sokayifyoudon'twanttowork" welfare programs." My answer-People want to work, but decent jobs are difficult to find. Hamburger flipper is a job that will not do anything. You said: "4. Fire federal gov't employees that can't or won't do their jobs (this would cut wayyy back on the federal workforce!)." My answer: I was unaware that you had stats etc on the number of workers who are no good. Where did you get them from?
    worker
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  • to Mod
    X-taxman
    I spent 33 years in the federal workforce. That's 33 years of first hand observance of many MANY federal employees that did nothing more than show up (occasionally) and collect a paycheck, and complain the whole time about being overworked and underpaid. I never said these people are the majority of fed workers, thankfully they are not. But still, there are tons of them and fed agencies are very ill equipped to do anything about them. That's what should change. As far as bright people not wanting to work for the government due to low wages, I would think fed jobs (if they were available) are looking pretty darned good about now, in comparison to the outside job market. And the benefits are still far superior.
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  • to X taxman
    Moderate
    good for you. I am doing my 38th year. Perhaps in the same agency. How did you have time to truly know what these do nothings really did? You were working hard. Additionally, you saw very few out of 2 million people. Same with me. I really cannot tell who is good and who appears to be good through smoke and mirrors. Maybe you were a manager and saw the cases of more people than I did. I am not in management.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Yes, it is true that government jobs are better now. And when the economy improves we will lose these new hires. What a waste.
    worker
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  • Our we cut USAID and Brides
    deployed decoy
    Again heard this on BBC, the truth justice and world way. Apparently the USA is handing out Billions err Trillions to such deserving places as Haiti. And now some of those bean counter in DC want to stop that humanitarian aid. I dont care either way, might be better to feed Americans when the time comes. But I did agree with the BBC idea, that cutting fast cash payments to places like Saudi to not be bad to Israel, and feeding the Israeli occupation of the entire Middle East (well one war at a time) with money not to just that, might be a better place to look at savings... Quit buying off our friends and friends of friends. PS; no riots in Kuwait yet, Bahrain is in turmoil… No place for the locals to run to, so my guess is they will be good.
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  • Israeli occupation of the entire Middle East?
    Moderate
    I am confused with that comment. or am I missing your point. If the latter, please be clearer.
    worker
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  • The Federal Hits Just Keep Coming!
    Celtic Wolf
    Federal agencies need to publicize their successes more. The media, inlcuding the Washington Post, NY Times, Chicago Tribune, the Chronicle and all the rest, need to communicate the good things done by federal employees. Yellow journalism and the negative image brand teh media has forced upon federal employees needs to stop. Some federal employees cite that the facts being presented by the media and by Congress are totally false. If that is so, then is that not defamation of character? If that is defamation of character and we can prove a financial loss to all federal employees due to that set of false (libel) statement, then do we not have a legal case against these media types, against the Congress. I am not a constitutional lawyer, yet someone out there must be able to build a class action suit against those who make false statements about us as a group. Anyone know the law?
    Celtic Wolf
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  • C'mon - no mention of the other $61B in cuts?? NPR, PBS, etc??
    danm357
    Mike, How about a little more candor in your story (not really news reporting, this is more an op-ed piece!) You said "When it comes to running the people side of the government, your CEO and Board of Directors are miles apart. And thanks to years of congressional foot-dragging we face a government shutdown in early March unless the two sides can agree to keep things going until the next showdown." I guess it is more important that the President not compromise, that is the Congress' job? And, is it really okay that we continue to spend $1T more than we take in? The unemployed feel the pain, the elderly feel the pain, real estate owners feel the pain, school teachers feel the pain. On and on we go. But, your concern (again, this is opinion rather than news) is that Congress play a Stepin Fetchit stereotypical role to the President's pious Citizen Kane role. No doubt about it, we are headed to an Apocalypse Now ending. BTW, they (Congress and the President) are inflicting pain on our grandchildren with more debt than any generation has past to the next - including WWII! Maybe we should write about "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!!
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  • We are going bankrupt
    Nestorsky
    For too long our politicians have spent money like drunken sailors, kicking the can down the road for future generations to pay for. Now the fiscal crisis is real. The country is at a tipping point. We can see the iceberg and the alarm bells are getting louder. Federal workers complaining about their pay freeze are like passengers on the Titanic complaining about the annoying alarm bell warning them of impending disaster. The country is going broke, yet no one wants to trim the slice of their own pie. "Cut somebody else's benefits!" seems to be the common mantra. I agree there's lots of waste that must be cut, but that's only a drop in the bucket. The iceberg is getting closer. To the 30 year federal worker complaining about lost standards: "Why not use your expertise to help train the new workers so that errors are minimized?" To the anonymous federal worker who believes he is working for Congress: "Which Congress are you blaming - the Democrats that got voted out, or the Republicans that have only been on the job a few weeks? As a government worker I am not happy either, but I realize our day of reckoning is coming soon. We are in desperate times. Newly elected Democrat and Republican governors in states that have heavy dept see this. Yet they are criticized for doing something about it. So too are the politicians in Washington. There is plenty of blame to go around as to how we got here, but complaining and finger pointing will accomplish nothing. We need to sober up. We can either tighten our belts a little more, or go completely broke. If the latter option comes to fruition you have no idea how much you'll consider these days: "the best of times".
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  • Response to Nest...
    Moderate
    How about looking at the people who really benefitted from the Bush and Reagan tax cuts. Going from 50% margianl tax rates to 39% to 35%. Lowering the dividend tax rates. There are other examples of the wealthy getting much more than the middle class during the Republican years. That is why they should give up more.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ As far as government workers are concerned, they did not share in prosperous times. Look at the Reagfan years when we went from 9% behind to 30% behind private industry. This was supposed to be corrected, but never was. According to the paymaster we are 24% behind private industry.------------------------------------- Just like during the Roosevelt era, we must spend our way out fo the depression we are (were) in. I do not know which. I see government stats and read them with a pound of salt. During prosperity, we should have surpluses and not give them away by tax cuts.
    worker
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  • Well said
    Kythe
    This is really well said...Basically, we're looking at a situation engineered by the wealthiest in this country (large cuts in the highest marginal tax rates), sold to the lower classes on the grounds that it's always bad to tax the rich (for a variety of reason), and now the lower classes, rather than pushing to have tax rates on the rich returned to where they were, are calling for cuts in federal services. Except they don't realize that's what they're calling for when they call for cuts in government spending -- they think that money goes to "fat cat" federal employees. It's really a beautiful scheme, when you think about it, and every bit of it is engineered to benefit those who depend on direct government services the least, yet get the most out of the economic system government helps to maintain. I really can't be more clear than this: people calling for cuts in government services, rather than returning upper-income tax rates to more responsible levels, are going to be hurt by this. It's simply not true that cutting government spending won't have consequences -- it will, and it will likely hit the average Joe the hardest.
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  • "The iceberg is getting closer"!?!?
    FERS Fed
    Friend, you're right that the 'iceberg is getting closer', but federal compensation is just the tip of the 'iceberg'. The larger and far more dangerous part of your 'iceberg' are entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, and our trade deficit with China, things that our elected leadership are not doing a GD thing about because that would take political courage, and caring more about the country than political career. Our deficit and debt crisis cannot be resolved on the backs of federal employees, and in my view that's what most feds, such as Cindi posts above, find problematic. What we're really watching is savage political retribution by Republicans against groups the majority of which have historically voted Democrat.
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  • Impossible
    contrarian
    Sorry, the revenge that FERS Fed talks about can't happen as long as Dems control the Senate and White House.
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  • It's ALREADY happening, friend
    FERS Fed
    Just look at what's going on with unionized state and local employees' collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, & Indiana, all states with Republican governors. Are states with Democrat governors taking this radical a step to balance their states' budgets? If you don't believe me, would you Republican 'Big Thinker' and potential presidential cnadidate Newt Gingrich? Here's what he has to say on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the scale of change coming to government workers is going to be so great that you may well see, in places like Sacramento or Albany, New York, very serious unrest by union members who are offended at the idea that they should actually earn in proportion to the taxpayer and not be the new special class in America, which is what they've become over the last 20 years."
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