7:38 am, April 19, 2014

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  • Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends...
    Just me
    Those words, by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer explain what's happening much better than I ever could. You see, Mike, sequestration isn't about saving money. It's not about controlling the debt and the deficit. It's about bad political theater. For the left, it's about showing the public how radical and dysfunctional the right has become, in matters of governance. For the right, it's about demonstrating that they still matter (after losing two presidential elections), and punishing feds for being feds (something that ALWAYS seems to be on the agenda for the right). It doesn't REALLY matter, to either side, what harm the sequester causes because they are (substantially) untouched by it. Further, as we have all seen, when the sequester inconveniences THEM, in the slightest degree, they act swiftly to remedy THAT PART of the problem. And so the show never ends...
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  • Punishing Feds
    redbaron616
    Don't look now, but the President from the Left has not been the federal employees' friend. First, he agreed with freezing our pay back in 2010. I am sure he knew it would last longer than a year. Now he has proposed a 1.2% increase in pension contributions (granted, over 3 years) and a 1% increase in pay that he knows we won't get. Increasing pension contributions at this point will just push more feds to retire. Even then, they aren't safe. The President has decided to embrace Chained CPI, which is just a way for the Government to steal from all retirees. The Government's overspending is the single biggest cause of inflation, yet they want to pretend it's less than the average person sees at the store. If you switch from beef to chicken because beef is high, they don't consider that inflation. You can see where this is going. Eventually, we'll be down to dog food and they'll still tell us there's no inflation.
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  • no friend indeed
    Rob
    Your point about Obama agreeing to the 2010 two year pay freeze implies it wasn't his idea. The two year pay freeze was not only supported by Obama it was HIS idea. If he weren't president he would be against the chained CPI proposal, most likely voice opposition to any pay freeze, and argue against increasing employee retirement contributions. That's how Dems act, especially progressives like Obama, when they aren't in control of our government. If you want Obama, and Dems like him, to be our friend then you have to quit putting guys like them in the White House.
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  • Dishonest
    ry1nik
    You're not being intellectually honest if you somehow convinced yourself that Obama and Dems in general supportED a pay freeze in any genuine sense. Obama HAD to make some concessions to the Republicans in times of fiscal austerity. Many (if not most) Republicans are much more antagonistic to civil servants than Obama and Dems are. You know it, and I know it.
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  • ARE YOU SERIOUS?
    Rob
    You mean to tell me that in 2010 when Obama and the Dems had total control of government that it was somehow the GOPs fault that Obama instituted a 2-year pay freeze? REALLY? In your mind has Obama done anything negative towards feds in the last 4 plus years that isn't the GOPs fault? And you suggest I'm not being intellectually honest. WOW!
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  • The Big Cave
    SGT Pepper
    Rob is correct. Actually, for those Feds who paid attention to that first pay freeze and were angry about it, rather than gleefully chirping about how happy they were to "do their share", one would remember Obama specifically stating that the pay freeze was a symbolic act rather than a move that would actually do any good at reducing debt and deficit. For all intents and purposes, Obama admitted then that it was a political decision to freeze our pay, in order to, I believe, extend unemployment benefits which Republicans oppossed. The Republicans took this move by Obama as one would expect...as a colossal sign of weakness that has defined his Presidency. His leadership has been weak from the start. Unable to unify his own party even with full Congressional control at the time. He has done nothing for Federal workers, other than sell them out at every turn. And these comments, I must tell you, are coming from a Democrat.
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  • No perfect party
    Rob
    I appreciate a democrat stepping up and holding Obama accountable for a change. The GOP has its issues with federal employees, but it's absurd that the Dems, who've controlled either 2/3 or all of government since January 2007 (six plus years) is allowed to continue to blame the GOP for everything.
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  • Read it all Rob
    Moderate
    Obviously, Rob only wants to read what he wants to read. if Sgt is right then Obama froze our pay so the unemployed can live on some money. Rob, comment about the callous attitudes of your friends in the GOP. Sgt, the idea of a pay freeze came way before Obama actually froze our pay. The GOP and its lackeys have been spouting that we are overpaid for years. Please read about it in Cato and the Heritage Foundation comments.
    worker
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  • Excuses, excuses
    SGT Pepper
    Obama froze our pay to land a political concession from the Republicans because he is weak. Our President has a problem you see...he believes that it's ok to drag one group down in order to lift another group up. In order to help the unemployed, he dragged down federal workers by freezing their pay. In order to help those without medical insurance, he attacks those with Cadillac plans because they have, in his own words, "too much" coverage...a sentiment that defies the very purpose of having insurance to begin with. It does not matter who came up with the idea of freezing our pay first, what matters is who did it. Obama's cave on our pay freeze set a precedent that he will sell out Fred Fed whenever it's politically beneficial to him, and he has continued to do so ever since. Republicans, no friend of ours either, have been more than happy and able to take advantage of his weakness.
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  • Punishing Feds
    Dennis Retiree
    Your post goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. The President has proposed a 1.2% increase in FERS Retirement deductions. The Republicans want an additional 5% FERS Deduction increase and an equally large increase in the CSRS Retirement Deduction. The Republicans killed the half a percent raise the President proposed for 2013. They (Republicans) will probably kill the 1% pay increase proposed for 2014. The Republicans want a high five formula for computing the pension. The Republicans want to change the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program so Federal Employees and Retirees pay more. The Republicans want to cut 100,000 positions. Most Republicans support the chained CPI. You Republicans are delusional to say the least. Give the Republicans the presidency and both houses of Congress and see what happens to your compensation and benefits.
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  • I had no idea
    Rob
    Lets see here....although the GOP controls only 1/3 of government they are responsible for all the damage, yet when the Dems controlled 2/3 of government in 2007-2008 and all of government in 2009-2010 it was still the GOP's fault? You liberals are a hoot!
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  • Much to comment on
    Moderate
    First to Red----He proposed freezing our pay for 2 years while the radical right GOP proposed it for 5 years. There was a huge amount of heat on the president to do so. he proposed a 1.2% retirement contribution rate while the Repubs proposed a 5% contribution rate. He proposed a 1/2% raise in 2013 which was blocked by the GOP. He proposed a 1% raise in 2014 which you say he will not get. Might it ever occur to you that the reason he will not get it is the GOP. And why has he embraced chained CP{I. Could it be because the GOP forced him to get savings somehow? Yes, your friends of the radical right are really the enemies of the fed workers. Now to Radical right Rob----No Rob. Your GOP friends and their lackies such as the Heritage Foundation and Cato had this idea. They have been spouting wage freezes way before Obama caved in with the 2 year wage freeze. Same applies to retirement contributions. The real disaster would be if your friends in the GOP came to power.----And yes, the Dems had control in 2009 and 2010. problem is there are conservative Dems, moderate dems and liberal dens. The GOP is almost all conservative or to the right of that. And yes, you are not being intellectually honest.
    worker
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  • The Academy Award goes to SES
    CC@IRS
    35% bonus for saving money?? Congratulations SES elite. If we were interested in saving money, ground air force one for all but essintial travel. Take away Congressional perks; parking, elite health care, outrageous salaries, unlimited travel. Stop GIVING money to other countries, End aequestration now!
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  • Who's on the Knife's Edge?
    contrarian
    I'm guessing our bosses figure the same work will get done, so the revenue agent will cut his admin time or training to get the same results. Of course, that assumes they're thinking about what they're doing at all. Meanwhile the stock market goes up while FedEmps take pay cuts and all America got a 2% pay cut. It's a conundrum inside a riddle worthy of Alan Greenspan.
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  • Less real output
    Moderate
    Are you an RA? If so, you know about what is happening. I doubt that admin time will be cut. Problem is some RA's take their work home with them and work off of the clock. That is wrong, but they want to get ahead. Can I prove it? No. But anyone who says it does not happen has his head in the sand.
    worker
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  • To: Just Me
    Sideline Commentator
    Well said!
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  • Guess what?
    employee
    Now you can understand what the post office has been experiencing since PAEA 2006 occurred. The post office is the cash cow of Congress and no one cares what happens to the PO whatsoever. PO is the only employer where Congress demands 100% prepaid health care payment for retirees, otherwise the Right is against health care, explain that? Seque?? is ancient for the PO.
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  • Furlough
    Analyst_Desi
    The majority of us are trying to figure out how we are going to handle the lost wages. It's insulting to give us "Ethics in Government" training that says you should pay your bills on time and then take 10% of our salary and think it won't impact us... I didn't make this choice and I certainly didn't get rich like the majority of Congress. Maybe they'd like to share 10% of their wealth to get us out of this mess that they created!
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  • IRS Furloughs
    New Yorker
    Doesn't the IRS grant official leave for Union reps to meet for a week off site? How much revenue is created by that absence? I will bet not every day of an employee's work year is a revenue producer so the 61,000 lost per employee is an estimate taken out of thin air.
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  • and then some.....
    Spunky
    not only did IRS grant official leave, they paid for their expenses to travel to Arlington, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Saratoga Springs! What did THAT cost the taxpayer, and how many furlough days could have been saved with those funds? It also seems the agent from washington state is not concerned with the lost revenue while he enjoys his 26 (or 27) days of annual leave (vacation days) each year.........
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  • Not Quite True
    Fed1979
    1)All attendees did not get official leave, some had to use vacation time. Some attendees also paid their own expenses. 2)Are you suggesting IRS employees not receive time off? I don't think anyone should have to deal with a co-worker that has no downtime. Don't we have enough workplace violence in this country? That statement made no sense.
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  • NTEU
    Bud
    NTEU held its IRS union convention one year in Honolulu.But NTEU criticized IRS managers for meeting in Annapolis in the winter.So much for NTEU integrity.
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  • Labor Law is a fact of life
    contrarian
    Management holds labor meetings yet you don't complain about them. You think management is all benevolent? Who keeps management honest? Labor laws require two sides, and they both have to have meetings. It's yin and yang, you can't have one without the other. How much revenue is lost do to stupid management?
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  • Hi contrarian
    Moderate
    We agree. Do not faint.
    worker
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  • Response
    Moderate
    I will start with NY,---Yes, the government gives official time for union business. That is also a tradeoff because the union must represent none members as well as members. You and I have no clue as to how much revenue is produced by RA's. It is substantially more than it costs to employ Revenue Agents. Get the stats and you will have the answer. Hey Spunky, Are you for denying government workers vacation time? I have already answered your other nonsense. I assume that all of your cites are for a number of years such as one per year.
    worker
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  • cost of furloughs
    marien
    Mike, Do you have data on whether any Hill staffers, or members themselves, read your articles and subsequent comments? If they do, surely they understand that no, Federal workers and the American public are not stupid and, yes, there is little to no respect for members of Congress and Senators. I know my incumbent Congressman fits that bill as by his own statement (I was present when he said it publicly) the hardest decision he has ever made was whether to run for Congress! So, is it any wonder that we see such inane behavior from Congress?
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