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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:54 PM

House Votes to Extend Pay Freeze for Federal Workers

Source: Bloomberg

The U.S. House voted 261-154 to freeze the pay of government workers for a third consecutive year.

“We have to make tough choices,” said Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “But let’s remember these are civil servants who are paid pretty darn well.”

The bill would block a 0.5 percent raise scheduled to take effect in April, overturning a Dec. 27 executive order from President Barack Obama.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-02-15/house-votes-to-extend-pay-freeze-for-federal-workers

22 replies, 3326 views

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Reply House Votes to Extend Pay Freeze for Federal Workers (Original post)
Redfairen Feb 2013 OP
leftyohiolib Feb 2013 #1
nykym Feb 2013 #2
1983law Feb 2013 #21
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #3
Teamster Jeff Feb 2013 #4
loudsue Feb 2013 #5
RC Feb 2013 #6
politicaljunkie41910 Feb 2013 #17
RC Feb 2013 #20
politicaljunkie41910 Feb 2013 #22
OneAngryDemocrat Feb 2013 #7
Wellstone ruled Feb 2013 #8
pinto Feb 2013 #9
Myrina Feb 2013 #10
happyslug Feb 2013 #11
judesedit Feb 2013 #12
SouthernDonkey Feb 2013 #13
The Last Dem. Feb 2013 #14
high density Feb 2013 #15
FreeBC Feb 2013 #16
elleng Feb 2013 #18
blkmusclmachine Feb 2013 #19

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:01 PM

1. how much more do we take

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:01 PM

2. Only if it

applies to Congressional pay also!

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Response to nykym (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:49 PM

21. Yep.

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:04 PM

3. Of course they did.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:05 PM

4. F**cking Scumbags

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:06 PM

5. It is the House of Representatives who need to have their benefits cut and pay frozen.

They get their salary for LIFE!!! One bad apple gets in, and they are set for LIFE. Who else in America gets a deal like that?

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Response to loudsue (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:13 PM

6. They do not get their salary for life.

 

The Congress Critters are Federal Employees themselves and follow the same retirement policy rules as any other federal employee does.

I do agree with the rest of your post though.

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Response to RC (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:22 PM

17. However their retirement annuity is 70% higher than the average federal workers.

Considering that they work about half a year, they are very well paid for the little work they do. And the size of their staffs have grown over the years at the same rates of growth as the federal gov't and while they were voting for the Bush wars and growing the size of government which they somehow now detest.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:35 PM

20. Start with this.

 

http://www.snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/pensions.asp

It is not true that Congressmen "continue to draw their same pay, until they die." The size of their pensions is determined by a number of factors (primarily length of service, but also factors such as when they joined Congress, their age at retirement, their salary, and the pension options they chose when they enrolled in the retirement system) and by law cannot exceed 80% of their salary at the time of their retirement.
It is not true that Congressmen "paid nothing in on any kind of retirement," and that their pension money "comes right out of the General Fund." Whether members of Congress participate in the older Civil Service Retirement System or the newer Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS), their pensions are funded through a combination of general tax provisions and contributions from the participants. Members of Congress in the FERS plan must pay 6.2% of their salaries (up to the Social Security wage base of $106,800) into Social Security, as well as 1.3% of their full salary into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.


It is true that, if current pension levels and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Congress members continue to apply in the future, some former members of Congress could conceivably collect millions of dollars in annuities over the course of their lifetimes. However, the huge dollar amounts bandied about in like the ones quoted above are based upon extreme cases: those of politicians who entered Congress at relatively early ages, served for several decades, and retired while still young enough to potentially live for another several decades. These cases are the rare exceptions, based upon the hypothetical assumption that a few long-serving members of Congress who retired while in their mid-50s would live well past the age of 80. (Even the person who collects a modest salary/pension of $40,000 per year stands to take in a million dollars over the course of 25 years.)

As of 2007, the average annuities for retired members of Congress were $63,696 for those who retired under CSRS and $36,732 for those who retired under FERS. Those figures are quite good (about 2-3 times more generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expect to receive upon retiring from the private sector," according to the National Taxpayers Union), but not quite the lavish endowments these e-mails make them out to be.



http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm
Benefits Paid to Members of Congress

You may have read that Members of Congress do not pay into Social Security. Well, that's a myth.

Prior to 1984, neither Members of Congress nor any other federal civil service employee paid Social Security taxes. Of course, they were also not eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Members of Congress and other federal employees were instead covered by a separate pension plan called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The 1983 amendments to the Social Security Act required federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress. Because the CSRS was not designed to coordinate with Social Security, Congress directed the development of a new retirement plan for federal workers. The result was the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986.

Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.

Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.

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Response to RC (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:20 PM

22. Members of Congresses federal pension under FERS has a different formula than regular federal

employees but don't take my word on it. The average FERS employee's retirement is computed based on 1% of their 3-year-high salary times the number of years of service. If you retire after age 62, the computation rate is based on 1.1%.

Members of Congress and Congressional Employees (assuming 5 yrs of service to qualify) is computed based on the rate of 1.7% of their 3-year- high salary times the number of years of service.

Only a small group of people (i.e. Law Enforcement and Air Traffic Controllers) get the 1.7% rate. Air Traffic Controllers and member of the FAA get the 1.7% because they are forced to retire at age 55. Congress included themselves at the 1.7% rate when the law went into affect for those hired after 1984, rather than the 1% most federal workers get. That is how I arrived at the 70% amount when I said that their pension is 70% higher than most federal workers (under FERS enacted in Jan 1984) which has been in affect for all those workers hired in the last 29 years.

But don't take my word on it, the information is available at the following website: www.opm.gov


FERS Basic Annuity Formula Age Formula
Under Age 62 at Separation for Retirement, OR
Age 62 or Older With Less Than 20 Years of Service 1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service
Age 62 or Older at Separation With 20 or More Years of Service 1.1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service

If you retired under one of the provisions below
Special Provision for Air Traffic Controllers, Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, Capitol Police, Supreme Court Police, or Nuclear Materials Couriers


1.7% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of service which do not exceed 20, PLUS
1% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your service exceeding 20 years


Member of Congress or Congressional Employee (or any combination of the two) must have at least 5 years of service as a Member of Congress and/or Congressional Employee

1.7% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of service as a Member of Congress or Congressional Employee which do not exceed 20, PLUS
1% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of other service


In addition, many members of Congress can serve well in their twilight years because they have staffs that literally run their offices so they don't have to be competent. They just have to be capable of gettting more votes than their opponent. How else did the likes of Strom Thurmand and Robert Byrd manage to stay to well into their 90s.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:27 PM

7. Anyone have the Roll Call for the Vote?

Who voted for and against?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:35 PM

8. Holly crap!!!

These folks haven't had a pay raise in three years. Bulllshit,this is all about the TSA voting to go UNION!!!!! What a bunch of Scumsuckers. These folks just had a big increase in their Health Insurance Premiums,holy sh-t for brains.

Look under the covers folks.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:41 PM

9. Issa.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:49 PM

10. ... but not themselves.

Because they very obviously AREN'T 'civil servants'.

Bastards.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:55 PM

11. If Congress truly wanted to "Lead" on this issue, they restrict their own wages...

To the Standard of Need, what is paid to Supplemental Security Income Recipient, for Congress has determined it is the bare necessity to live. It is only $710 a month LESS any other income you get, Such a move would show that CONGRESS is serious about reducing the Deficient, instead of grand standing.

I did some research on the US Postal Strike of 1970. Due to economic stresses caused by the Vietnam war, Congress refused to raise the wages of Postal Workers all through the 1960s. By 1970 due to inflation (which was heating up, I remember my father complaining about 35 cents a gallon gasoline as being to high, my brother, who is ten years older then me, told me he remembers gasoline being 25 cents a gallon when he went into the Navy in 1966, thus between 1966 and 1970 gasoline went up 70%, a dime does not sound like a lot today, but bus fare was only 25 cents and you could get a transfer to another bus for 10 cents, Candy bars were Nickel, you actually used CHANGE as money in those days).

Anyway, no pay raises during a time of raising prices did not endear the postal workers to management. Everything hit the fan in 1970, when New York, then other cities (including Pittsburgh) went on strike for higher wages. It was an illegal strike, it was OPPOSED by the Union leadership, but the workers went on strike anyway. Union Presidents told their members that if they went on strike, the President would go to jail and the response from the union membership was "That is why we pay you for". Arrests were threatened, but none occurred for it quickly became clear it was a grass root movement that the Union Leadership had no control over (and if the Federal Government arrested the Union Leadership, what control the Government had in stopping the strike would disappear).

Arresting the union membership was discussed, the papers even reported it, never occurred for how do you FORCE people to do they JOB? The National Guard was called out, but could NOT deliver the mail. Nixon finally gave in and gave the Postal Workers a pay raise. In many ways, the GOP never forgot the Postal Strike of 1970, and in many ways the PATCO strike under Reagan was seen by many right wingers as they chance to undo the "Harm" to Management-Labor relations caused by the 1970 Postal Strike.

This desire to undo the "Harm" caused by the 1970 Postal Strike explains why the PATCO workers had to be fired. The PATCO firing was to show Labor they could be fired if they went on Strike, for replacements were ready, willing and able to step into they shoes (through such replacement required reduction in safety margins, use of Military traffic controllers and over all reduction in Air Service for the replacement option to work).

The Postal Strike of 1970 had shown labor that in most situations replacement workers were NOT a management option, for the National Guard had failed to deliver the mail, reduction is mail service was NOT an option, people continued to drop off letters, remember this is the days BEFORE E-mail, the Courts are one of the most dependent on Mail Service and really do not have an alternative option for most papers sent by the courts (Safety was a problem, but given the National Guardsmen were under FEDERAL ORDERS, the cost of any injury had to be paid by the Federal Government, and thus another reason for Nixon to give in).

I bring up the 1970 Postal Strike, for the leading characteristic of the Strike was that it was a Grass roots decision to Strike NOT a decision made by Union Leadership who then asked the membership to support. In fact the Strike was OPPOSED by the Union Leadership, but that did NOT stop the membership from going on Strike. If Congress continues to NOT give raises you have the good possibility that a similar situation will occur among other Federal Employees and we can see a re-doing of the 1970 Postal Strike (through this time NOT by Postal Workers, but other Federal Employees).

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:30 PM

12. Still want to vote Rethug? You'd better think again and again.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:14 PM

13. I am a retired fed employee

I retired in 2011 precisely because of this. It was not adding a penny to my retirement by sticking around for another 5 years until they forced me out at age 56.
Being retired, I get anual COLAs.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:10 PM

14. ABOUT TIME:

Representative Darrell Issa starts paying for his own heir cuts. You know he get his hair cuts as others representatives do paid for at our expense …. the taxpayer.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:24 PM

15. $7.25 per hour sounds like a good wage for members of congress

Let's get on that, shall we?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:13 PM

16. Deficit scolding is bad economic policy

 

jeez Issa, start reading Krugman already.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:33 PM

18. Folks should keep in mind

this relates to 'cost of living' pay increases, not to the regular increases provided due to longevity changes in 'status,' or to promotions.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:40 PM

19. Less for you. MORE for them.

Yeah, that's a pay cut.

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