Federal pay freeze
I just want to remind everyone that the last president to implement a federal pay freeze was Nixon.
And of course we all remember how that worked.
Just after that was when I left government for about a 33% raise in total compensation — including fringe benefits and retirement.
So much for over paid federal employees.
If federal employees are so overpaid why isn’t there a constant flow of people leaving the private sector for the high paying jobs in government rather than the other way around.
The funny thing about this is it always seems to be republicans who are leaving government because of the low pay for government employees.
Glad you posted it. First thing I thought was Nixon when I heard the news. Wanted to say something here.
God, how little we learned and how much less we have retained from our nations life experience.
You don’t believe there is an influx of people today attempting to take those Fed-Jobs today?
Most government jobs are locked in via union and civil service protection, so private sector workers are unlikely to get jobs even if they wanted them.
Except in the infantry, of course.
“If federal employees are so overpaid why isn’t there a constant flow of people leaving the private sector for the high paying jobs in government rather than the other way around.”
Well, I suppose that there is a Darwinian argument: Gov’t workers are overpaid because those who were not overpaid have already left. 😉
(OC, that argument “proves too much”, because it explains why workers in the private sector are overpaid, as well. ;))
I am not a crook!
Good point, the government workers who “can” do leave, the remainder are those who cannot do better outside the federal womb. Mostly.
I have been military officer, I have been DoD civilian. I was veteran preference, and had no problem with reductions, I also rose pretty fast in rank as a civilian and did my job well enough to step on toes.
Once, before I was 40, I looked to go outside, and the offer was not enough to get me off the track I was on.
I was military during Nixon and remember a little about low or no pay raises for the active troops while the retirees got the cost of living. That was long ago!!
Little story, in the command I worked we had a little reduction mid 90’s from the tiny Bush Sr peace dividend. A few young guys who did not have the old retirement system for a golden handcuff left for the dreaded private sector. Last Friday I talked with one of the guys who left in 96. He is back as a federal employee, actually been a support contractor for a few years since he got caught in dot com bust.
It is often better to stay over paid with good benefits than leave the womb.
Used to do decent work for the tax payer, but Clinton?Bush Jr did away with that idea………….
I worked for Nixon. My pay was friz by Nixon and Carter continued that excellent effort to reduce the size of the federal government. Clinton and Gore did their part by reducing the federal workforce by 275K FTE’s during the 90’s. The USPS is not included in this number of lost jobs. Their workforce is controlled by a separate budget process.
Now, as to why people can’t get federal jobs, it’s because most of them especially in facilities services, engineering, IT and defense have been contracted out. Contractors do not recruit through OPM competitive hiring processes. The Unions don’t hire anyone and have nothing to do with the OPM recruitment procedures that are now in place. Most domestic agencies have had hiring freezes off and on and/or extremely limited recruitment since the ’80’s.
Ilsm has explained the federal jobs program known as the US military here in detail. In addition, no one knows how many contract employees actually work in projects for the US government. Millions, of course, but they aren’t federal employees and get paid piece work by the contract and are then let go. The cost of employing them is not material in controlling the size of the federal government. No matter what it costs. So, s_t_r, it’s not the unions and it’s not civil service rules. It’s Congress, silly! NancyO
The issue in Obama stating a pay freeze is not whether the people are over or under paid, it is that he is suggesting such a strategy for what? Cutting the deficit/debt? Show of good intension? Stratege beyond mortal comprehension?
Or just plain ignorance. Or worse, malice as he tries to appease his monied interests gunning for 012 while suckering the other 99%?
Yeah, I’ve reached my end point.
The message is clear we should all be afraid of losing our jobs. If we are afraid we will work for less or work harder. Bull.
In the interest of continuity, thread to thread, from two days past. It’s deja vu all over again.
Rumor out that Obama is freezing federal civil service pay for 2 years any more on that??
2 days ago, 12:16:07 PM – Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate
A little something from the White House on that. White House has proposed a pay freeze, but it needs Congressional action. 2 days ago, 12:47:42 PM – Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate
Whather that rumor is true or not we do know that there are myriad efforts at the state and local levels to cope with deficits by reducing governmental costs. Those efforts are frequently spear headed by calls for furloughing municipal empolyees, freezing municipal employee pay, and laying off municipal employees. These efforts are generally suggested to be implemented across the various departments of those state and local governments. Freezing federal civil service pay for two years is but one more example of balancing the budget on the backs of the employees. These efforts to reduce government spending are usually presented as preferable to increasing the taxes of the citizens of each government entity. In what way is a reduction in employee earnings not a form of tax increase; one that is limited to those employees? In effect such pay decreases for municipal employees, civil servants, is tantamount to a tax bight, but a tax that is limited to only a specific segment of the citizen population. And that is not a particularly wealthy segment of the citizen population.
If there is some funtion being carried out by a government that is not a worth while activiy that is benefitial to the citizens of that government then it should be eliminated along with its cost. That doesn’t sound like most governmental activities. To the extent that any government’s activities are benefitial to its citizens the costs of those activities are necessary and well spent. So again the question comes up as to why the employees of governments are asked to bear the brunt of efforts to cut costs […]
Contractors in the DoD workplace are largely retired guys, with an “in” or connections to “guys” in the “non personal services” company all of whom have links to “insiders” who determine what labor rates to order and how many. Neither the orders for non personal services, nor the “non personal services” are delivering any service other than to help make it look like they “insiders” are managing their “realm” funded by US deficits.
The “non personal services” contracting thing got rid of the OPM review of the labor category and rates so they could increase salaries without anyone asking.
I watched one agency decide to have the ‘manpower “folks review the non personal services” contractor billed labor categories, managing like they are employees which is not the n”on personal services” contract type but…. Don’t ask don’t tell (DADT) about fraud waste and abuse.
Then the managers figured out how to get the manpower guys off from asking the functional experts whether it made sense for a $100/hour “non personal services” contractor to be hired to sit around advising……
Contracting out civil service jobs makes it a lot easier to get away with honest services fraud, and buy the F-35 at 76% (much more to come for much less airplane) price explosion and that don’t fly enough to be tested.
“he is suggesting such a strategy for what? ” Just like Nixon, motion is progress no matter how inane.
“Cutting the deficit/debt?” No. Doing that would mean dealing with the Obama Con base and getting off 20% of US government outlays going to war profiteers and another 20% of outlays going to corporate welfare.
“Show of good intension?” Yes. To the Obama Cons. For the corporate and wealthy, welfare recipients.
“Stratege beyond mortal comprehension?” No. But to understand need to view from perspective of corporate welfare and war profiteering. Neither are affected by intentions or deceit concerning the deficit/debt.
“Or worse, malice as he tries to appease his monied interests gunning for 012 while suckering the other 99%?” Appeasing the Obama Cons; corprorate welfare, dividend coupon clipping instead of tax paying, war mongering/war profiteers are Obama’s base.
The Obama CON!!
Jack, makes sense what you say. Add to the dastardly act of the T.S.A., we’s in for a tuff sledding, me thinks. One thing is sure, “O” is going to lose many votes, if he doesn’t pull a Palin, which he might do. Won’t that be just ducky? Could the handwriting be on the wall? Who ever said “A little revolution now & then, is a good thing”, must have had today’s events in mind.
Well the federal pay scale is much flatter than that in private industry. Those at the lower end ARE better compensated than thos working equivalant jobs in the real world. At the upper ends, not so much. But the classification system was created when private industry had a much flatter pay scale. Remember that in 1963 the highest marginal rate for income taxes was 91%, so the rich found other ways of keeping score, rather than just adding another million to their compensation. It would be interesing to compare how flat the payscales of the feds and the everybody else was over time.
In general, in good times, federal pay lags that of private industry, and in bad times, the imputed value of an employer who ISN’T going to go out of business rises considerably. So freezing federal pay seem reasonable, and prudent as well as politcally savy. And I AM a federal employee.
My point is that Obama and most others, especially yhe media, are claiming that the “sacrifice” must be shared. Well I’m all for sacrifice on a broad basis. How is a federal pay freeze in the absence of a tax hhike for the rest of the public fair and balanced? Why is the impact so narrow? If people are going to pitch in to reduce the deficit then it needs to be all people and those who have been enjoying the greatest gain from govenment policies owe the greatest share of the burden. Holding public employees out as the first line of cost reduction rather than achieving a balanced deficit reduction plan is hardly fair nor balanced.
There are major cost centers having to do with Iraq, Afghanistan, unbalanced tax reductions, corporate welfare and (the grand daddy of all imbalnces) a screwed up, make that skewed out, income distribution.
Reagan froze federal salaries for FY86.
save_the_rustbelt, two problems in obtaining federal employment are the time that it takes to be hired, which can approach a year depending on the type of background investigation required, and a second problem is lack of career status for mid career candidates. Many federal jobs are restricted to current employees of the agency.
No one should be happy about pay freezes, but having been in Flint Michigan a couple of days ago it is hard to have too much sympathy for anyone with a secure job and good benefits.
There are lots of people with no job and no benefits. More methinks, than the official statistics indicate.
you guys are missing the point. Every one knows that most Fed employees are paid less than their vivilian counterparts with one exception. All the lower levle employees are paid better than their civilian counterpparts and are predominantly non white. That is where the anger is directed at. This is a “dog whistle”.
Right, Ripley. One reason that many federal jobs are hired in-house is that they represent promotions for experienced people, skilled in exactly the functions that the agency performs. Also, you have something called career-ladder jobs. Claims reps in SSA hire on as GS-5’s and are promoted at one-year intervals to the GS-11 level (GS-5-7-9 career ladder.) It takes 3 years to learn the basics of the job. Yep. Them jobs is hard. And, even then it takes many more years to be a really efficient performer. A lot of people enter a career ladder and never go any farther. These people are the career core workforce of the federal govt. There is such a thing as institutional knowledge and these people have it.
So, by freezing fed pay, the President on his own motion is punishing his career people while at the same time sending anyone who can leave running for the door. Result–more retirements for sure. Who needs this after 30 years of putting up with idiots in Congress and the WH? Not someone whose frozen pay will not add a dime to his retirement/SSA check, whose taxes stay the same, and whose deductions (such as they are) are on the block. I keep asking myself, Where is the sign saying, “This way to the End of the World.” The natl debt isn’t eating the world now. Taxes aren’t high even on the highest earners/nonearners. SS keeps poverty stable among the older population. The main and critical problem is jobs.
Whacking fed workers’ pay ain’t gonna do squat for the debt because Congress will just spend whatever it wants to. 28 Billion bucks is less than it costs to feed/house/provision the troops in Iraq/AfPak every year. Remember, the R’s have the House, where the money is. They don’t have the best record for fiscal restraint. Also, some govt functions are essential. Like air traffic controllers. Or, Treasury people who process payments for federal programs. And, ahem, Congress’s paychecks. This mess is self-imposed and ridiculous. 85% of the people in this country are still employed and paying their mortgages. This isn’t the end of the world…UNLESS
UNLESS…. Nostradamus and the Maya are right! 2012 is it, guys! “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” Oh, wrong movie. Dr. Strangelove? No, that doesn’t fit either. Umm. Apocalypse Now. That’s the ticket! NancyO
Check the parking lot at Tank and Automotive Command in Warren!!
This is the gist of an e-mail I received from a ffriend/ormer GS who retired in Apr 10.
More pain for the folks in the career work force.
And the new system is not as good retirement and the vesting is still 5 years I think on the matches.
There goes the failed new (non merit ) personnel systems out the door.
Reminds one of Sisyphus………………
And the point is…..
you could take the civil service test. i did when i needed a job pretty bad. the gummint hired me and paid me about 80% of what the private sector would have paid if they had hired me.
on the other hand, my boss had a hard time firing me when she was afraid i might blow the whistle on her. some times those civil service protections are useful… for the country.
but it’s unlikely any actual details will affect the thinking of gummint bad free enterprise good fundamentalists.
i like your logic: times is hard, so lets make them harder for the folks who are still doing their jobs.
sadly, this kind of ethics is more common than you would think if people had actual brains.
I understand it’s what keeps lobsters in the pot.
The federal government prefers to hire and promote anybody who is not a white male. While it has been statistically established that blacks are dumb and need preferential treatment in order to succeed, there is no reason however that other races be given the same affirmative treatment. By intentionally hiring less able people the federal government has lost effiencies as well trust and legitamacy. Fat dumb disaffected people with 85 IQ’s do not make good civil servents. They are over paid, under worked and are part of the problem with this country. A federal pay freeze is a good place to start. So would getting rid of affirmative action employees.
i hadn’t thought about the racism thing. my pay was less than private sector. i hadn’t realized i was at a “higher level.” but i guess i was. secretaries and janitors get paid more in civil service because the government is obligated to pay a living wage. that’s not a lot. but it’s better than you can get “outside” for the same work. that’s why there was a big push to privatize those low wage jobs. needed to get the work done for even lower wages.
there is a worldwide … well, i can’t call it conspiracy… just call it movement… to reduce workers to a status of complete dependency so you’ll work for what they offer and under whatever conditions they impose.
this has nothing to do with economics. it’s just the way they like it.
Contracting out replaces a guy protected by “merit principles” (Pendleton Act 1888) with a contract schill who can be sent off to firing at a word from the folks who need to be whistled out.
Things have changed since Dutch Reagan instituted voodoo economics and the destruction of good gomint at the national level.
If you research the 1988 Honest Services Fraud section in US criminal code you will see a rapid trend to get rid of federal employees to be replaced by service contractors who would never bring anything up with a US attorney.
They have a mosque there too.
You cannot tell how many cars belong to soldiers or GS civilians and how many are support contractors.
Hint: look for the BMW’
Looking for Woody Guthrie…………………………
The extent to which it is a good or bad idea really depends on what they do with the money instead.
Just paying down the deficit – not so good.
Sending it to local school districts that are otherwise actually going to fire someone – not so bad.
Yeah, Ilsm, FERS is punk and it takes 5 years to vest for any federal pension and/or TSP. The base benefit in the FERS system is SS. So, not only is peoples’ pay frozen but also they have to take a bigger nick on reduced SS retirement benefits due to the increase in the full retirement age and lower COLA’s.
The Executive Branch makes nice noises about its workforce except when it feels the need for a whipping boy. And, of course, career employees are the whipping boys of choice for all occasions. Need to “balance the budget?” “Pay down” the National Debt? Worried the Other Party hates you? I give you the federal employee to carry away the sins of the world.
The books are cooked. No matter how you slice it, one party will save and the other will spend the savings. Under those conditions, why should anyone accept the notion of “shared sacrifice.” There is absolutely nothing shared about the loss in SS benefits and civil service jobs. Lower and middle wage earners are gonna take it in the neck and the Billionaires are gonna get richer. We’ll never see the top 2% shed a tear for the unemployed. Not even their newly elected Congress critters support them. Michigan will continue to be an industrial wasteland and kids just out of college will be lucky if they aren’t consider over-qualified for the job they had last summer. But in a time of deflation, a President who thinks taking 28 billion bucks out of circulation in a depressed economy is asking to be shown the door. NancyO
Ilsm–You nailed it on the way the contracting system works in federal agencies. NO
Has nothing to do with ethics, it is about policy. This wasn’t my idea, but I can’t get too teay eyed about it either.
Are the building new hardware or refurbishing hardware beat up in the gulf?
I think most of the real work nuts-and-bolts work is done by UAW members.
Arne–No matter what comes or goes, nothing of particular significance to improve unemployment will get done. The R’s won’t have it. Besides, I worked in the government too long to think that any money gets saved. It just gets pushed around and ends up getting spent somewhere out of sight– on a contract for a weapons system, for example, as Ilsm has explained. The federal government is a vast money machine. If ordinary people aren’t getting the benefits they pay for, then the money is going somewhere else. My bet is it’s going directly or indirectly to military contractors and the financial services industry. NancyO
Many federal jobs are restricted to current employees of the agency.
Often because they are under a mandate to reduce their headcount.
It’s just a plain old-fashioned bad idea. Not economically smart, not politically smart. Another mistake that just makes you wonder what the heck are all those guys in the WH who are supposed to be so smart thinkin?
I lived through it in DoD from ’93 until I left for greener pastures in ’98. Whole skill sectors of GS 08XX (engineers etc), tech managers (03XX) and other technicians were ‘surplused’!!
Some took early retirement, some became non techies like project managers and some just escaped………..
The new contract guys are supple when it comes to the non techie managers letting the sellers off the hook for duties to perform in contracts.
One major causereplaced with contracted techie folks who never told a contractor to perform.
If the government guy has no backbone the contractors don’t either.
Tank and Automotive Command: Most of the bending iron is done at General Dynamics, United Defense and others including a bunch of suppliers to the big contracts.
It is not an arsenal, it was a GOCO during WW II because all the auto industry engineers in the area were designing parts for tanks and military vehicles. It has a million sq feet which if used is run by GD or someone.
It is a “buying command”, which means lots of GS 12 plussers managing contracts they used services contractors to to tell how good they are.
I no longer get to go to beautiful Warren, 8 mile or so Michigan………..
People or qualified people? I have a government job and all of the people who are qualified to take my job never lost theirs.
ilsm Which highlights that the government employs a relatively large proportion of management types. Buying stuff and managing contracts while much of the actual work is done by others. You know the joke, “What does AMC stand for?” Answer: A Million Civilians.
Reading most of what has been said so far, material which is of a high level, I can’t help but feel that most Americans have been mislead for so long, that it has become impossible to analyze our circumstances unless one learns to get news from obscure sources. (I start near the end of the google pages and search in reverse order)
Austerity is a given because the US has been demoted by the ROW. This mostly occurred at the recent G-20 meetings in S. Korea but that was just the culmination of what has been coming for many years.
What it comes down to, is that the value of foreign investment was made dubious by the adapting of a fiat system in ’71. Since then, capital creation has only been constrained by the potential for profit, or by risk factors. And so, there is no actual demand for exogenous lending, what demand for capital seems to exist is merely an illusion that has been upheld by a tacit arrangement (Globalization). Those who question the ‘right’ of the wealthy to seek rents have routinely been labeled as Communists etc. So… nations that could easily create capital on a keyboard, are instead obliged to tolerate sharing their gains with wealthier nations because they must. This is part of the price nations pay to be included in the international order. But there is no question that ‘investment capital’ has an artificial value in cross-border transactions.
Naturally though, there is more to development than lending, the sharing of knowledge and technology etc., but the value of those enticements has also diminished. And this and the dubious value of capital that has left nations which became too dependent on their financial services sectors, in situations that have made those nations parasitic insofar as the ROW is concerned, nations such as the US, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and etc. And this is being expressed by bubbles caused by excess liquidity combined with foreign inflows, and by ‘spillovers’.
So… when Guido Mantega, Brazil’s Fin Min, said that Brazil is “prepared to do whatever necessary” to stop the real from rising further, and when a long list of other Fin Mins made it clear that their nations were supportive of this, and conversely unwillingly to support the US attempts to blame China, this meant that the US was being forced to take full responsibility for the GFC. Essentially, the emerging nations are in a position of strength because they have a justifiable right to print their respective currencies and use those to purchase FX dollars. This will of course do the opposite of what the US tried to do in part with QE/ZIRP, that is to shift debt ‘on’ to the US instead of the reverse. And the justification, put simply, is the reverse of what US positions have been many times in the past: ‘it is our currency, but it is your problem’. Unfortunately for the US, that statement cuts both ways.
More importantly though, the leverage that has for decades allowed the US to ignore its ‘spillover’ effects, was its economic importance to the global economy. But as I briefly explained above, the demand for foreign capital is of a dubious value; and the fact that the US policy of using global savings through dollar recycling via t-bills, to fund pointless wars and tax cuts and conspicuous consumption, when those funds should have been invested in what could have prevented the current shortfall in global AD, these examples of poor leadership, and others, have changed ‘everything’ going forward for the US.
So my point is, even though many of the participants here have a wealth of experience that is typically very helpful in understanding our society, in this case it is potentially misleading. When Nancy argues for example: “Besides, I worked in the government too long to […]
Ray, but not of sunshine. But, I like many, tend to partially agree with your position(s).
I don’t doubt your take on the political reality, but it is not entirely black and white.
Our local school district paid for 15 teachers with stimulus money this year. I doubt we will be able to find funds for all of them next year. A local pay freeze would make a difference in layoffs. So would additional federal money.
RIL–I have seen the US govt’s books cooked and heard arguments for the demise of SS, for example, too many times to think that we have all the information we need to understand this situation. Based on the number of big money cons that have been perpetrated on the public since the SandL scandal, it seems reasonable to doubt every statement made by the Villagers and their cast of think tank characters. That includes doubting the accuracy of the numbers given for GDP, as an example, because the method used to compute it may be biased toward a desired result. Consider the tax structure regarding capital gains and similar income versus earned income. Time after time, protective government mechanisms built into the banking and financial sectors have been used to enrich specific corporations, individuals, and fianancial institutions. Why should it be any different now?
I am not suggesting that the Executive lacks the authority to decide to abandon public financing of the some segments of the economy and then seek this end legislatively, for example. I am however suggesting that the current move to significantly reduce the value of the FICA contribs and income taxes paid by middle and lower earners deserves careful examination. I do not for a minute think that the country’s finances are terminally FU.
I think that real problems are being overstated for political effect. No sensible legislative body should undertake to shut down the government it’s a part of, nor should the Executive give away valuable consideration to its political adversaries. When the natl debt is 14 Trillion bucks, it ain’t gonna go away by next Tuesday and starving Granny is not going to speed up other fiscal measures to reduce it by a single solitary iotasome drop. This whole deal looks likea con to me, and I have been around the track (pursued by guys from OMB) a time or two. That’s all. NancyO
I’m sorry, I did not mean to imply that you are naive. I’m mainly just trying to say that there is a viable reason to see our debt in a new light. And unless someone makes a dedicated effort to get news from sources other than the MSM in the US and mostly Europe too, what I explained above is easy to miss, those responsible for the stupid choices that are involved would need to reveal themselves as idiots, basically. And the MSM would need to admit that it failed in its responsibilities too, and etc.
This blog is looking more and more like a standoff between capitalists and communists.
First of all Nixon’s pay freeze was for the entire country not just the federal government. Secondly almost noone quits a government job, which is all that you need to know about how they pay. He should also reduce the new hire pay rates for every position by 20%, and see if there is a problem getting qualified applicants. If government behavedmore like a business it would solve a lot. For more impecible logic, join me on http://www.freemarketsfreepeople.net
The desire of the current administration to limit potentially “too-high” annual federal deficits with a freeze on federal employees pay is wrong and misguided. The idea that the federal government (U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve) should run their books as if they were a household or business is sadly a very popular misconception politicians and the media perpetuate (not to mention some very “distinguished” mainstream economists!). The public has swallowed this bit hook, line, and sinker; you need to look no further than the national debt clock in Times Square. Exactly who is that money owed to? Is there any possibility of defaulting on that debt? The answers are we the people of the United States, and no it will never happen. As I quiver with revulsion at the idea of agreeing with the deliverer of the quote, “Deficits don’t matter”. To a certain extent they don’t, what people miss is that spending is a good thing during an economic downturn if it creates growth. What you most definitely do not want to do is to take away purchasing power from those that must spend to get the wheels of capitalism humming again, even if it is a largely symbolic gesture, especially if it is a symbolic gesture.
RIL, for all I know, I am naive. I don’t see so much of a change in the government’s financial situation to produce such a revolutionary change in how the government manages its business. As far as the MSM is concerned, it’s clearly useless. I am speaking only from my perspective and am untroubled (snicker) by a sophisticated view of our national economy. However, my main purpose in coming here is to hear what more informed people have to say. And, I will consider your perspective on our current situation. NancyO
No, Nixon’s pay freeze was not for the entire country. And, people do quit government jobs. And, the federal government is currently functioning under a hiriing freeze. And, it will probably continue at least until the end of the current fiscal year. And, cutting every position’s pay rate would have no effect on the deficit for the reasons we have discussed here. FYI. NancyO
That’s a really stupid remark. There isn’t a communist idea on this entire thread, nor the blog for that matter. There are lots of populist sentiments being expressed. The popular term is liberal, but that term is hackneyed from excess use. Like Fox News the thrust is to be fair and balanced. Unlike Fox News the intention is genuine. No one has suggested that the government own the means of production. No one has suggested that the private owners of production and of capital be prevented from plying their trades. At best we are expecting those that do own a piece of the rock acknowledge that they are coddled by a capitalist government and that that government has expenses to be met and paid and that they are the holders of most of the income and wealth of the nation.
What has data to do with it?
What do you have in terms of data on:
(1) current quit data as captured by BLS in monthly JOLT announcements and OPM,
(2) USAJobs openings by government element, field, and location, and
(3) federal pay and benefits history since 1997.
I can answer your (1) quit rate thing for a command I have been associated with off and on since 1985: In the past two years I know of two GS 13 plus employees who quit in a place where they sorely need to attracted new or more qualified Fed government folk to improve weapon system outcomes. However, the quitters are not typical, one was a reemployed federal annuitant who was stymied by corrupt management, the other a retired military officer, similarly disgusted. They had options and would not put up with the stresses of a corrupt organization. Sample small, but underlying causes and effects are known.
What are the numbers you wish to relate for (1)?
(2) I have recommended a number of kids go to USAJOBS, it is horrid and they never hear back, almost all the DoD stuff are registers to hire for commands I am familiar with, for jobs that no one will let them do much less teach them the jobs. You can google Human Capital Strategic Plans for USD AT&L and get a picture of the needs. But USAJOBS is not an answer, nor are the folks hiring capable or motivated to execute the strategies.
(3) What about since 1997? How about since 1984, when FERS came in? One thing I know, my retired GS COL has been higher than GS raises each year until 2010 when I got no COL. Then DoD started pay for performance so that a whistleblower could get his COL raise harmed for pointing out fraud and waste and the corrupts state in the appraisal the person is ‘tactical knows his stuff’ but does not ‘think strategically’ in the corrupt organization. What about fed pay since 1997 or 84?
Why not throw around facts and analysis rather than links with or w/o URL?
“He should also reduce the new hire pay rates for every position by 20%, and see if there is a problem getting qualified applicants. If government behavedmore like a business it would solve a lot.”
The site must be suffering from a sudden on set of ideational dysfunction. Mr. Tergent doesn’t mind expressing his selfish attitudes in public, but he should try to control the vapidity of his thought process. Behave like a business? Which model do you suggest? Recently the economy was nearly done in by the deceit and deception model of business. Not too long ago we had Enron and Arthur Anderson to take our business like cues from. The SEC is currently making a small show of attempting to control insider trading violations. Of course we could probably save large quantities of government cash by off shoring its work. State governments could hire thousands of Chinese workers to come over to repair our roads, tunnels and bridges. A deal could be struck with the Chinese government to do the work with their exploited population of laborers. In fact we could contract with the People’s Republic to run our own government. They seem to know how to deal with the malcontents that often spot their ideas on this blog.
“That needs to be stopped in its tracks and sacrifice by all citizens and corporations will be required.”
Now that is an idea the time for which is now. Couldn’t agree more, MG. Now how are the wealthy and the corporations going to pitch in their share of the sacrifice? I ask only because there seems to be few good suggestions being offered? I like Eisenhower era tax rates with serious enforcement of the code and a reduction of harbors and dodges. How about a tax on corporate revenues rather than corporate profits? Doing business costs the government money even if the business operates at a loss. Tax the revenue and you overcome that problem, and the problem of the “small businessman” charging all of his personal pleasures to his business. I’m open to alternative ideas on this matter, but I’m happy to see that MG acknowledges that the sacrifice must be across the board. You know Willie Sutton is rumored to have said that he robbed banks, “because that’s where the money is.” The same holds true for efficient and effective taxation. Look to where the money is.
“Yeah, I’m a U.S. capitalist who is very concerned about the projected debt to GDP ratio of the U.S. Government. No question about that.”
Well then put your money where your mouth is. Vote for an increase in taxes on high income earners. Vote for an increase in the estate tax. Let the heirs earn their keep. And what about an increase in the capital gains tax? When did capital become more important than the labor that capital needs to produce its goods and services? No, I’m not a socialist nor a communist. i just expect that those who gain the most from a situation will bear the greater share of the burden of paying the costs of that situation. That’s not anti-capitalism. That’s anti greed.
You don’t believe there is numerous Detroit engineers and business people who have been displaced, still looking, aren’t looking there also? Some of us are on 2+ years of looking
you may not have noticed, may not be capable of noticing that the government is not a business. it does things that need to be done but are hard to make a profit from.
government workers tend to be risk averse so they keep their bad jobs even while slowly losing their minds. but those jobs still have to be done. the second hardest part is putting up with an ignorant public that feels entitled to act like a two year old whenever it visits a government office.
Jack, we can’t win with MG. The word “communist” just means whatever he wants it to mean. Still, nice of you to try. NO
I’m just curious. What sacrifice are you making, or are you prepared to make since you’re apparently satisfied to see others who can hardly afford the cut be forced to sacrifice before all the rest have to do their part. If Obama is looking to trim the fat, he’s looking in the wrong places. If the workers, public or private, are doing their jobs where is the justification to reduce their compensation. How is that reasonable when asking the top of the heap to pay a bigger share is so anathema?
It isn’t a matter of winning or losing. The issue is validity. If the content of a remark is erroneous it seems reasonable to point out that fact. I don’t expect MG to acknowledge the ludicrous character of using the communist vs capitalist dichotomy in any discussion of our economy. Ours doesn’t even qualify as a social democracy. Nor are any of the contributors to this discussion coming even close to a socialist concept.
Thanks for bring back a fond memory, AMC!!!
Yeah, all the bailed out billionaires……………..
How about them?
Hey if we’re going to have a standoff can we at least get the capitalists to show up? And bring some real arguments?
These mouth breathing faux news droolers are a poor substitute.
Interesting discussions here, all the talk about civil servants. Even my useless reminiscing!!
Just like Dutch Reagan, tell Mom to “look at the squirrel” outside the window while he steal sa few chocolate chip cookies (aka 3% GDP too much for the militarists). Point everyone off to debating the plight of a small part of the labor force whom everyone loves to envy, the ‘little old lady in tennis shoes’ as Dutch called us…………….
The issues are immeasurably larger than a very few tens of billions in costs avoided or shifted over the next 10 years on the backs of less than 2 million workers who likely will never need an unemployment check.
Obama’s intent is to shuffle us all away arguing with MG about mountains of USAJOBS confusion while the problem is that 40% of US outlays go for:
MILITARISM AND EMPIRE,
corproate welfare and coddling billionaires. (Discretionary is obfuscation)
And the impending crisis when US G outlays will be largely paying interest to people who should have been taxed!!
And they want to talk about the US defaulting on SS Trust Fund cash out!!!
The US worker is as ‘encumbered ‘as the Irish and Spanish taxpayer; burdened with paying for the greed and corruption of the rulers in Berlin and Wall St.
Well I work for a different MSC under AMC.
Nixon did not freeze pay for the entire country. Rather he imposed price controls that limited the size of private pay increases, but it was not a freeze.
MG as usual is wrong and responds to what he would like to have been written, not what was actually written.
Nixon actually implemented a federal pay freeze. Carter and/or Reagan may have talked about one but they did not implement one.
The JOLTS data shows that both the quit and hire rates for the federal government are only a fraction of that for the private sector. How does that disprove the point I made that government employees regularly leave government for higher paying jobs in the private sector and you virtually never see private sector workers leaving to take higher paying jobs with the federal government?
Becareful….you’ll get banned! This Blog does not like to face reality!
Just read thru the responses to your comment very carefully, and It becomes very clear why no issue of economics are ever going to be properly exposed, let alone solved!
If its “very clear why no issue of economics are ever going to be properly exposed” (what ever that may mean) why don’t you spell out that clarity so that we can all understand what it is that we’re dooing to obfuscate the situation. It’s not all that clear to we less clear minded people. Please elaborate on your cirtique.
“secretaries and janitors get paid more in civil service because the government is obligated to pay a living wage”
Aint no such thing as government employed secretaries or janitors at least at NASA when I worked there. Everyone is now their own secretary and the janitors are contract labor.
spencer – main post:
spencer – “I just want to remind everyone that the last president to implement a federal pay freeze was Nixon. And of course we all remember how that worked.”
You know very well that the actions undertaken by the Congress and President Nixon were driven by inflation concerns. That has nothing to do with President Obama’s proposal.
spencer – “Just after that was when I left government for about a 33% raise in total compensation — including fringe benefits and retirement. So much for over paid federal employees.”
So what? Your personal experience over thirty-five years ago doesn’t have anything to do with current world reality regarding federal wage and benefits. It’s a lame claim.
When is the last time you ran a fed wage calculator and compared wage rates by locality which shows base salary, locality pay, and may or may not reflect benefits?
spencer – “If federal employees are so overpaid why isn’t there a constant flow of people leaving the private sector for the high paying jobs in government rather than the other way around.”
Cite the DOL JOLTS data or OPM data that back up your claim. You can’t and you know it. Another bogus claim.
spencer – “The funny thing about this is it always seems to be republicans who are leaving government because of the low pay for government employees.”
This appears to be another bogus claim. Where is your proof?
spencer – comment on thread:
spencer – “MG as usual is wrong and responds to what he would like to have been written, not what was actually written.”
That’s a lie. I only compared what you wrote to the bulk of what has been written elsewhere. Your post is junk. It’s hard to believe that is the best that you can as an economist.
spencer – “Nixon actually implemented a federal pay freeze. Carter and/or Reagan may have talked about one but they did not implement one.”
It’s a fact that President Reagan and President Clinton stated that they wanted to freeze federal wages.
spencer – “The JOLTS data shows that both the quit and hire rates for the federal government are only a fraction of that for the private sector. How does that disprove the point I made that government employees regularly leave government for higher paying jobs in the private sector and you virtually never see private sector workers leaving to take higher paying jobs with the federal government?”
The DOL JOLTS data and the OPM data show that the federal and state/local employment quit rates are the lowest of all industries with the occasional exception of the mining and logging industry. There is not normally a close comparison among the other industries. You have offered no proof to support your claim. You’re just running your mouth.
Your entire post was meaningless junk.
A few days ago, a cross post was put up at Angry Bear. The author of that post stated the following elsewhere: “Before doing so, I would like to comment on the crackpot title of a feature in this week’s Newsweek, “How to save capitalism.” What an absurd way to frame the question! The point is not “saving” or “abolishing” capitalism. The point is getting on somehow with life and livelihood. If there are indeed elements of capitalism that we might want to retain, they must withstand some reasonable tests of usefulness and durability.”
That doesn’t sound like capitalism to me. This individual participates on the comment threads. What he really believes, I don’t know. He’s a smart guy.
As for my remark about capitalists vs. communists, I said that to point out that we’re going to hear more commentary that is closely aligned with many of the goals of the Communist Party USA. We already have some of that happening now. It’s not a matter of pure communist doctrine of the old days, but rather the recent approach of a hard sell on socialism. That’s well outlined at their web site. Same stuff that some of us say.
The Road to Socialism USA:
Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs and Equality
It’s easy enough to say that the communists are aligning themselves with socialist goals. Granted. But it goes further. And there is a point where sufficient dissent can create a broader appeal of the CPUSA. This is how it begins.
I could have as easily said socialists instead of communists, but there would have a similar backlash with regard to parts of the generally accepted doctrine of the day.
Nancy, you’re faking it.
You probably want to wipe your drool before you ruin your clothes.
Where is this fake news you’re talking about? Fed data? What else?
Some of the comments are certainly lopsided. I think they mean well, though. More emotion than thought on occasion.
Stick around. Might get interesting!
I have all the data. Same sources that anyone can locate. Not much point in posting the info when the quality of the main post sucks.
I selected 1997 because that is a good starting point for when federal wage took off and began rising quickly. Besides, I use the FedSmith calculator which goes back to 1998. The fed wage growth is significant, though one wouldn’t believe that after reading the main post that spencer threw up.
I support more shared sacrifice across the board than most would be willing to touch. I am very concerned about our timeline for action. I am not convinced that the Congress will undertake enough action to avoid a major crisis around 2025. I am not sure that they have enough time to pull it off, considering the post-recession economy is dragging along.
Vote where? When?
I am already on record here as supporting elimination of ALL Bush II era tax cuts for EVERYONE. That’s my approach. We would only capture about $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and that’s not enough. Spending cuts will have to occur with or without the elimination of ALL Bush tax cuts. If we only go after the upper income additional tax revenue, that will leave us short another $3.2 trillion. It will have to be made up somewhere else.
I’m all for nailing the hell out of the billionaires along with the rest of the U.S. taxpayers including corporations. Everyone needs a piece of this action – pain across the board.
I would do something else. I was raise the income tax rate on upper income earners to around 45 percent. Let’s do it and get it over with, and still restore the previous tax rates for everyone else.
I agree with you. It has to change. All of it.
MG, said: “The DOL JOLTS data and the OPM data show that the federal and state/local employment quit rates are the lowest of all industries…”
A caution here. Conflating federal with state and local employment compares apples with oranges. They both may be fruits, but their environmentals are significantly different. Being able to borrow, the federal situation, to continue operations is far different than living with “balanced budget” constitutional requirements. Roles and missions between the three levels of Govt can be dramatically different while at the same time only somewhat overlapping. In the fruits category, the all provide Govt services, but those services have little overlap.
Another caution. Comparing federal quits/hires with the private sector is more like comparing fruits with vegetables. A major difference here is the job and responsibility mix. labor rate jobs do exist in the federal Govt, but are far lower in percentage than the private sector. Moreover, there is a much higher percentage of management level jobs in the federal Govt than in the private sector. Even the labor rate jobs go to experienced hands at a higher percentage versus being entry level jobs in the private sector.
MG a final note: The number of comments on this thread, a side issue at best, to the number of actual comments to your attempt to have a discussion re: fixing the growing deficit, show how the “commenters on a left of center economics blog” are willing to ignore a serious economic issue.
Corev, you are so polite!
Dan, I guess I need to rephrase it! :))
Alto is looking for serious people analysis, or what happens in Fox………….
I have been around since the W Bush was a second balloon getting into the Tx Air Guard with all the Cowboys players.
Big raises for military were 80 and 81 if I recall correctly, something like 20% in a couple of years.
I think you are referring to locality pay in GS rates which made up for the penalty for living in San Francisco rather than in Ft Rucker.
I suppose that is when the GS got their equivalent of the all vol pay scale.
However, the change in military retirement to REDUX and the move to SS based OPM retirement since 1984 somewhat effected total life compensation downward to not expand due to the current salary explosions
ilsm, rdan, MG,
Have I beern saying anything other than just that. Obama is the good cop in a classic good cop/bad cop routine. He only looks better than McConnell and Co. Did we not hear a total idiot from the congress tell us on national TV that the unemployed don’t spend their money. No, not all at once. It takes less than a week to accomplish though it wouldn’t be too tough to blow it on one trip to the grocer. The entire “debate” is total BS. Imagine, Bowles and Simpson are supposed to be two sides of an ideological divide. The only difference between them seems to be that one is a highly paid shill for the banks and the other is a mean spirited old fool who used to represent a herd of cows in the Senate.
I agree with the earlier comment that the general public’s perception has been wrongly skewed into accepting misguided illusions of budget balancing the government. The federal payroll freeze has the potential of exacerbating the problem instead of mending the economy. What the economy needs is increases in consumption, not the opposite. The federal freeze will extract upwards of $5 billion dollars out of the economy within the next couple of years. That barely makes a ripple in the trillion dollar plus budget deficit. It is although a substantial number when we consider the potential consumption possibilities. If you apply the multiplier effects to that large sum of money, then you could say that the administration’s move to freeze the federal payroll is absurd. Isn’t the federal freeze sort of a hypocritical, since it decreases the amount of money in the economy available for consumption?
Your grammar is an indication of why any out of work person is not suitable for a civil service. Civil servants represent the United States. .
I don’t know…2 year pay freeze is a pretty long time to wait for the next pay raise. I don’t see health care costs being frozen, I don’t see insurance rates gong down, I don’t see gas prices going down either. What cost of living factors are they looking at? I see prices going up, the basic necessities. Gas is over $3 a gallon again. My auto insurance went up 11%. Food prices has gone up too. And despite the value of my home plummeting, my Homeowner’s policy has gone up as well!! So, how is this cost of living analysis done? Just doesn’t make sense…..
oh, I guess I should factor that I can do without all of the above, right?? Wow, the rich do get richer!!!