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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Fire and ice

Awwww. President Obama has announced a two-year pay freeze for federal workers, which would save $5 billion in two years and $28 billion in five. The poor babies aren't happy:

Even the Secret Service and FBI, among other federal law enforcement agencies, are taking a hit thanks to Obama's decree.

"Federal law enforcement officers have been sacrificing for our country since the attacks on 9/11, and now we're being asked to bear the brunt of a failing economy," said Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

"This is disheartening, but it won't dilute our honor for serving our country," he said, adding that a pay freeze should be a last resort, not the first.

The freeze is a nice gesture, but that's all. If the president wants to be serious, let's hear about a 10 percent pay cut and a 10 percent reduction in federal employees, for a start.


tim zank
Tue, 11/30/2010 - 11:07am

Yes, my heart goes out to them.

"Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available."


Bob G.
Tue, 11/30/2010 - 11:36am

I heard the freeze would ONLY affect COLAs and NOT grade-increases (GS) or "step" raises (which usually occur EVERY year, anyway).

How 'bout them apples?

Not a REAL freeze then, is it?
Just a "kinda-sorta" freeze.

Tell that to those on FIXED incomes.
(who won't get a COLA...OR a step increase...again)

Makes 'ya wonder...

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 4:28pm

I commend even small steps in the right direction.
But none of what has been discussed so far will make a dent in the deficit. It's just window-dressing.
Unless you're willing the increase the retirement age for Social Security, dramatically taise the SS tax cap. means test both SS and Medicare benefits, cut the military budget (We could start by getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan) and yes, raising the top tax rates on the incomes of the wealthy, including unearned income, such as dividends, interest and capital gains, you will never balance the budget. Everything else may be wasteful, but it's trivial.

tim zank
Wed, 12/01/2010 - 10:37am

Littlejohn points out "Everything else may be wasteful, but it

William Larsen
Thu, 12/02/2010 - 9:58am

The national debt commission has published its findings. It fails miserably to address the issues by lumping all budgets together. There are three major budgets that each has their own dedicated tax revenues. Two of these budgets have federal statutes that limit their spending to their dedicated tax revenues and the balance of their respective trust funds. The only budget that does not have any limits on it is the general budget. It is this budget that has a $13.8 Trillion debt and is running $1.6 Trillion a year deficits.

To put it bluntly, both Medicare and Social Security cannot run deficits, cannot borrow money to pay promised benefits and by law must maintain their trust funds at a minimum of 20% of any given years projected expenses. This means that neither Social Security nor Medicare can run a deficit. Neither adds to the National Debt. Neither can borrow money to pay benefits when dedicated tax revenues are insufficient to pay promised benefits. Under current law both Social Security and Medicare must cut benefits across the board when their respected dedicated tax revenues are insufficient to cover promised benefits. These two budget programs have a legislated balanced budget