Monday, November 29, 2010
President Obama is expected to announce today a two-year freeze of more than 2 million Federal employee salaries. The step is seen as the first implementation of his Cat Food Commission’s draconian recommendations to cut Federal spending.
The proposal will effectively wipe out plans for a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise for 2.1 million Federal employees in 2011 and 2012. As expected, the military will not be affected. The president has frozen the salaries of his own top White House staff members since taking office 22 months ago.
Already announced, for the second year, Social Security recipients will not receive a much-needed cost-of-living increase, despite rising gas, food and medical costs.
But as the New York Times correctly points out, a pay freeze will make only a small dent in the Federal deficit. The move –or stunt, represents a symbolic gesture toward public anger over unemployment, the anemic economic recovery and rising national debt.
The number of Federal workers making more than $150,000 a year has grown ten-fold in the past five years and doubled since Mr. Obama took office, USA Today reported earlier this month.
However, no word from the Obama administration about action to end Congressional COLAS — usually now in the amount of $4,400 each year. The Congress, like the military, are sacred cows.