Way too little…way too late!
The president announces a federal employee (civilians only) pay freeze for the next two years, saving 5 billion. Thank you, Mr. President, for doing something that smacks of cost cutting (although it’s only cost freezing). What he should be doing is announcing a 5% per year roll back in the numbers of federal employees for the next four years, and the granting of tax incentives to companies who hire those severed employees, without laying off a current one. That’s a positive move, a freeze is a bandaid on a severed limb. And I fear the only reason this is happening is because he senses that the country is about to pick up their pitchforks and charge the ramparts…and he knows a Republican house majority will be leading the pack.
The headline below would make me guffaw if it weren’t so sad. Deficit Fears? About the actuality of huge deficits? Reporters can be such imbeciles.
This from today’s NYT:
Amid Deficit Fears, Obama Freezes Pay
President Obama on Monday announced a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers as he sought to address concerns over high annual deficits and appealed to Republicans to find a common approach to restoring the nation’s economic and fiscal health.
“The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by employees of the federal government,” Mr. Obama told reporters. He called federal workers “patriots who love their country” but added, “I’m asking civil servants to do what they’ve always done” for the nation.
The pay freeze amounted to an opening bid as the president and Republican Congressional leaders begin jousting in earnest over tax and spending policy. It also illustrated how Mr. Obama can use his office on occasion to get ahead of newly elected Republicans; they had been talking about making such a move when they assume control of the House and additional Senate seats in January.
But while the move represents a gesture toward public anger over the anemic economic recovery and rising national debt, the $5 billion to be saved over two years will barely dent a deficit that has exceeded $1 trillion for the past two years. And even those savings would be swamped by the multitrillion-dollar costs of the bigger issue dividing Mr. Obama and the Republicans — what parts of the Bush-era tax cuts to extend beyond their Dec. 31 expiration, and for how long.