9:56 am, May 23, 2015

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  • Above article
    History does have a way of at least partially repeating itself. As we face the prospect of a double-dip recession - itself the most serious of its kind since the Great Depression - it's not surprising that the Federal workforce has come under the gimlet eye of the President and Congress as spending cuts are being identified. FDR cut Federal pay and benefits significantly upon taking office in 1933, and we're seeing a similar, though belated, scenario developing inside the Beltway under Mr. Obama's watch as the economy retreats from its (very) modest recovery. John Gage of AFGE lamented in an article in today's Government executive e-newsletter that "we're going to get crushed." The Federal employee unions seem never to learn the lesson that they earn but fair weather friends on Capitol Hill through their endorsements and contributions. The Federal workforce is but an easily sacrificable pawn on the budgetary chessboard when it comes to identifing "low hanging fruit" in the form of possible spending cuts in crisis times. Hold on to your hats, Federal guys and gals; it's going to be a VERY bumpy ride ahead.
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  • Time to Grow Up
    Navy Comm O
    All Americans, including Congress, federal employees, and everyone in our borders needs to straighten up and understand that we didn't get into these difficulties overnight and we won't come out of them overnight. Also, it is going to take everone pulling together for the common good. Some may call that socialism. Some may call it going back to our roots (remember community barn raisings?). There is no way that any of the entitlement programs (Social Security, military and cicilian retirements, etc) as well as other government operations can continue on without proper funding. That means tax increases folks. Or cutting back on what is provided. With the large crowd of baby boomers getting ready to retire, this country is not in the same situation it was 30 years ago. What NO ONE seems to want to hear is that if you want services, they have to be apid for and that doesn't happen by imposing tax cuts ad infinitum. We are one of the most lightly taxed developed nations in the world. The conversation needs to start with what services we as a nation want to provide to our population, and then budget accordingly (including paying off the backlog).
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  • Amen to Navy Comm
    Unfortunately, there is a large segment of America engaged in magical thinking. They think they can have it all at the low low cost of not one penny more than they pay in taxes today. In the last decade, we added 2 wars plus medicare part D plus Homeland Security while cutting taxes 4-5 times. So the deficit can't be a surprise to ANYONE! Meanwhile, almost all the members of one party have pledged to Grover Norquist to not raise taxes. Why are our politicians, who are elected to serve us, making pledges like this? Previously, every time America has gone to war, the citizens paid for the war effort with tax increases. Every time. Why was/is it acceptable to cut taxes during wartime this time around? How can we citizens who don't serve shy away from contributing as our forefathers contributed...with our pocketbooks? Oh, that's right. It's inconvienient. And the pledge.
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  • Bluesky is rightsky
    You are so right. Too many people want everything without having to pay for it. I am getting very concerned that because I saved for my retirement and have no debts that I will be paying 90% taxes to pay for people who have lived way over their means all theirs lives can continue to do so, or at least eat when they retire. Roth's over deferred plans are looking really good right now!
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  • Guess I will Dissent
    I have worked for the feds for many years and am eligible for retirement. The government pension will be my primary source of income. My benefits should not be changed. I paid into the CSRS plan, contrary to most in private industry when defined benefit plans were around. I now should be able to collect on it. The same applies to social security (I am not eligible for that) Private pension plans are not changed in midstream unless the company terminates the plan or the company goes bankrupt. Even then the government covers that plan, in bankruptcy, upt to a limit that I am under.
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  • Increase of pension contributions for current employees
    The article states: "Federal Retirement Funding: In a best-case scenario, the retirement fund contribution of federal workers may be raised from .8 percent to 3.2 percent. Worst case, the increase could be 5 percent meaning a permanent reduction in take-home pay." I'm confused as this contradicts what AFGE Pres. John Gage reported yesterday: "Current FERS employees would see a gradual increase in their contributions once the current pay scale freeze expires, Gage said. They would contribute an additional 0.5 percent of their salary each year for three years, he said. This would bring their contributions to 2.3 percent each pay period." See this article on federaltimes. http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20110720/BENEFITS01/107200302/1041/BENEFITS This is frustrating-what's really happening?
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