11:57 am, July 14, 2014

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  • The Math Net votes 3
    deployed decoy
    As a GS12 step 9 overseas basic salary, any annual raise is reduced by around 20% to fund locality rates. Thus said 0.5% raise for me would have been 0.4%. After I deducted basic tax and FERS. That 0.4% was around $0.85 per work day take home. Wait I forgot to deduct health care, that was funded for the military Tricare with my 85 cents. I will give 1000:1 that health care goes up more in 2013 than 85 cents a day. Now Factor in a single mother of any junior enlisted Specialist E4 in the war zone. Her nearly completely tax FREE income exceeds GS11 step 1 basic overseas. She gets close to $400 a month in COLA to shop in the very over priced PX as part of this. She gets another large chunk of money in her private bath and tub for hardship duty. I did not include the $38,000 in tax free reup bonus in her salary numbers. Naturally she is federal and state tax free because the TIP Tier 3, slave state, of Kuwait is a war zone by military (sure not Dept of State) definition. Did I note the ONLY Americans in any war zone that pay US federal income tax are US Federal (DOD) employees, well maybe some State Dept bubbas also, but they generally are paid at the Washington DC locality rate as an incentive. Contractors are required to have local Kuwait bank account so there prime vender (an American Inc. company) can hide even more of that tax free money off shore in private accounts. Then another part of this bill kept retired Tricare at current rates. The SECDEF wanted to raise this to $75/Mo for the highest paid military retirees. Congress did the math and screwing federal employees in DoD and VA compared to the veteran vote, was a net 3 vote gain for them based on this bill. Then just know one handicapped (40%) vet I know. I had no idea he had any medical problems, he never missed a day at his GS13 job (that started the day after he retired) in the first year as a fed using sick leave and apparently was allowed to stay on active duty for years after whatever was wrong with him. He is so disabled you know, he pays something like $300 a year for full family health care under Tricare and waived FEHB. Yep anything for net 3 votes.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • People are bad at math
    contrarian
    It's not the base pay, it's the take home pay that counts.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I didnt do that math
    deployed decoy
    When I looked at that E4 pay voucher and added everything up, all federal tax free. It was more than a base GS11 step 1, OCONUS. I could assume a 36% (8% state, 28% Federal) tax bracket for myself and I bet her E4 pay would be more than my GS12 step 9 take home. I will admit on PCS here were get COLA and SMA, that is about $1000 every 2 weeks tax free. The fact remains State ended all war zone incentives in Dec 2008 for feds, but if any military spends more than 4 hours in any month in Kuwait, all earned income is tax free for the full month. Contractors likewise are federal income tax free, in any country, including Germany. My beef is the current Base Ops contract (ITT) requires (as did the former prime vender) ITT American workers have Kuwait bank accounts to hide even more money from the IRS. It is not one world and I have hit my limit on feds paying for all this. Maybe just revoking US passports for any contractor in Kuwait would be a first step.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • One other bit of trivia
    deployed decoy
    Merchant Marines involved with D Day landings, are the ONLY civilians that have ever been extended VA benefits. That of course would be the ones that survived.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • What's the sound of one hand clapping?
    contrarian
    Just asking a Zen type question.
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  • Already at TSA
    Big Joe
    TSA is already doing the equlivant of a pay freeze...position reviews. In response to Congress's comments about TSA being too "top heavy", TSA's response is to perform "position reviews" and determine that those positions were mis-catagorized into grades (bands in TSA) that are above what they should be. End result is 15's are becoming 14s, 14s are becoming 13s. The questions and criteria are loaded, so even work that meets OPM guidlines for a 14 or 15 are determined to be above and are downgraded. Of course, cuts are not hitting the "inner core", so all those close to the top or pay-banded L-bands (super 15s) have been passed over for review. Biggest irony is all human resources are contracted out to Lockheed Martin. So, Lockheed advertises a position, feds apply and one is selected. Fast forward two years and Lockheed determines the psition is mis-catagorized and the fed is downgraded. Note the common factor in this is Lockheed and they get paid on both sides of this. Seems to me they did not perform if there are literally this many downgrades...or are they receiving pressure from TSA top to thin the herd? Either way, people are leaving this agency in droves...at least those that have a skill set to go somewhere.... Truly a horrible place to work. I'd take a pay freeze any day compared to this underhanded way of dealing with a perceived problem.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Proposed Raise = ONE TWENTIETH OF ONE PERCENT of Budget
    paverfed
    They still aren't understanding that the key to progress on the budget isn't making a fuss over halting 0.05 percent of the budget (yes ****ONE TWENTIETH OF ONE PERCENT**** of the budget is what the proposed pay raise equals), but is instead to go after programs. Reduce spending on those programs. Yes some feds will take a hit in the process, but that's how progress for the country is made, and isn't that what we're all supposed to be playing for in this game, anyway?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • in other words
    paverfed
    in other words - this is a distraction. Do not be fooled citizens of the USA. Without getting into a debate of whether or not a raise should be granted to begin with, my point is that this is showboating to distract the public and media from the real issue at hand (over extended government programs)
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Pay Freeze
    Bud
    Mike,your article stated the House vote to freeze pay was 407-12.Why?So these congressional clowns can pound their chests and tell voters they are working hard to contain govt.spending.I simply cannot stomach these 435 idiots.And the 100 in the senate are even worse.It's really time for term limits.It's reminiscent of the old joke:"What's the opposite of progress?Answer:Congress."
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • nail on the head
    paverfed
    You hit the nail on the head. This is showboating. Real progress is made through legislation that cuts programs, and fosters improvement in our country's trade deficit. This piece of legislation that affects 1/20th of one percent of the budget is nothing less than showboating for the election.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Finally! Maybe!
    Rob
    Hopefully this article will put to rest the notion that the GOP is the only bogeyman in DC. The GOP always takes the hit in the media when it comes to who is after the benefits of federal employees. As Mike points out, it was Obama who came up with the 2 year pay freeze in the first place. Obama supporters say he only did that because the GOP would have made it a 5 year pay freeze. My response to that idiotic statement is how could the GOP make it a 5 year freeze when the Dems controlled all or half of congress and the white house for the past 3.5 years? 407-12 to extend the pay freeze yet folks continue to believe the GOP is the only enemy of the federal employee. WOW! Maybe the blinders will finally come off. Thanks Mike for the printing the truth.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Don't think so
    Moderate
    Your comments are idiotic, not mine. This is a response to you saying that my comments are idiotic. Reality is that Obama should NOT have given in to the radical right (Republican party, CATO, Heritage Foundation) pressure to freeze salaries. he fouled up there, but it is your friends, the radical right, who are for sticking it to the federal workers. And please stop using newspeak to try to shift the blame to the Democrats. And by the way, it is the radical right that was pushing for the federal workers to have extended pay freezes. They are continuing to do so in spite of what you write.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }