Imagine a company that lets everything it touches spin out of control and always spends more than it takes in, creating an enormous debt that can never be paid off and that threatens everything the company wants to do in the future. What should happen to the employees of that company? Fire them all? Give them a severe reprimand and a drastic cut in pay? No, silly:
Citing the current economic recession -- and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks eight years ago -- President Obama says he will use emergency powers to cut the programmed across-the-board January increase in federal employees' pay from 2.4 percent to 2.0 percent, according to a letter he sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday.
My goodness, the poor babies, getting only a 2 percent pay raise! Of course, out here in the real world, many employees are being let go, and many of the ones who survive are either getting no increases or being forced to accept pay cuts. But these are our loving federal protectors, so nothing is too good for them. No wonder Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia, is upset:
"Recruitment and retention of a quality federal workforce is critical to our national interest. Forty-seven percent of federal employees will be eligible for retirement over the next decade and the federal government will need to hire 600,000 new workers in just the next 3-4 years," Connolly said in a statement.
Hold on a sec. -- there's the germ of an idea in Connolly's whine. There will be 600,000 retirements in the next 3-4 years. What if -- are you ready? -- we just don't replace them? Smaller, saner government through attrition.