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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:11 PM
Original message
Bush shrinks federal pay raises
Source: AP

WASHINGTON - President Bush ordered Wednesday that federal workers living in more expensive regions of the country will get smaller pay raises than expected, citing what he called unacceptably high costs to the nation.

Current law provides that federal civilian workers will get a 2.5 percent across-the-board raise in January. That will not change under Bush's order.

The law also gives an extra pay bump to some federal employees based on a formula that incorporates cost of living and comparable private-sector pay. On average, workers who live in such metro areas were due to receive an additional raise of 12.5 percent. Bush is cutting that added bump to 0.5 percent.

..

Bush said he was taking action because the scheduled pay raises would exceed his budget by $12.7 billion next year, and only compound in later years.

"Such cost increases would force deep cuts in discretionary spending or federal employment to stay within budget," Bush said in a letter to congressional leaders. "Either outcome would unacceptably interfere with our nation's ability to secure the homeland and pursue the war on terrorism."

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071128/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush...
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. He is such a Fiscal Conservative!
:sarcasm:
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. WOW! He really does want the Pubs to lose in 08! Who'd a thunk?
First he pi**ed off the blue collar workers of the country. Then he pi**ed off the middle management workers of the country by encouraging their employers to outsource their jobs. NOW he's pi**ing off the government employees????? The man has a death wish for his Party!
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. More blood for the war machine, huh?
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Why is it that anything for the people of this country won't pass HIS budget
but Iraq and corporations and the contractors keep getting bigger and bigger pieces of the pie.
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Henryman Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Who is he pissing off?...no one he cares about anyway.
These selected areas of the country (New York, Boston, Chicago, L.A., etc.) already generally lean democratic.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. God forbid federal workers get a decent raise - they are neither Pioneers nor Rangers
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 04:28 PM by faygokid
Blast the middle class into oblivion is the goal of his last year (we hope) in office. Destroy the Constitution, attack Iran, shift all resources to his rich supporters, rip apart the fabric of the social safety net, attack Iran - sure, these are continuing goals.

But he will not leave office without destroying the middle class, and any support mechanisms like Social Security. He must make us dependent on the goodwill of his "base," his rich friends without a conscience.

This is one more step.

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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sure, why not?!?
With the coming Recession, I'm sure everything will be MUCH cheaper. :banghead: :argh: :sarcasm:
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datavg Donating Member (287 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. My Wife and I...
...expect this to be the most brutal recession in memory, rivaling 1980-1982 which was an artificially stimulated recession in an attempt to kill off the inflationary aftereffects of the Vietnam war.

That was when Paul Volcker got death threats when he raised the federal funds rate to twenty percent. Greenspan talks about it in his new book.

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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. What really pisses me off about that one is that the ReThugs managed to blame it all on Carter...
...when it was all Nixon's (and maybe a little bit of Johnson's) fault, and then shifted any blame Reagan should have gotten to Carter too.

President Carter was turned into the Nation's punching bag for the crimes of Republicans.
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datavg Donating Member (287 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. It Wasn't...
...Nixon's fault. Nixon might have been a bastard but he tried to end the war.

Nixon was the one who put in wage and price controls. He knew what was coming, just as the Bushes and their people knew what effect lowering the federal funds rate to zero would have.

Johnson and McNamara bear the blame for escalation of the war.
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DLnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. I can't really agree. Nixon escalated and tried to 'win' the (unwinnable) war.
Good reading here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

(snip)
...Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, was running against Republican former Vice-President Richard Nixon. Through an intermediary, Nixon advised Saigon to refuse to participate in the talks until after elections, claiming that he would give them a better deal once elected. Thieu obliged, leaving almost no progress made by the time Johnson left office.
...
During the 1968 presidential election, Richard M. Nixon promised "peace with honor". His plan was to build up the ARVN, so that they could take over the defense South Vietnam (the Nixon Doctrine). The policy became known as "Vietnamization", a term criticized by Robert K. Brigham for implying that, to that date, only Americans had been dying in the conflict.<115> Vietnamization had much in common with the policies of the Kennedy administration. One important difference, however, remained. While Kennedy insisted that the South Vietnamese fight the war themselves, he attempted to limit the scope of the conflict. In pursuit of a withdrawal strategy, Richard Nixon was prepared to employ a variety of tactics, including widening the war.
...
The anti-war movement was gaining strength in the United States. Nixon appealed to the "Silent Majority" of Americans to support the war. But revelations of the My Lai Massacre, in which U.S. forces went on a rampage and killed civilians, including women and children, provoked national and international outrage.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk had proclaimed the neutrality of Cambodia since 1955. "We are neutral," he noted, "in the same way Switzerland and Sweden are neutral."<116> The PAVN/NLF, however, used Cambodian soil as a base. Sihanouk tolerated their presence, because he wished to avoid being drawn into a wider regional conflict. Under pressure from Washington, however, he changed this policy in 1969. The PAVN/NLF were no longer welcome. President Nixon took the opportunity to launch a massive secret bombing campaign, called Operation Menu, against their sanctuaries along the border. This violated a long succession of pronouncements from Washington supporting Cambodian neutrality. Richard Nixon wrote to Prince Sihanouk in April 1969 assuring him that the United States respected "the sovereignty, neutrality and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia "<117> Over 14 months, however, approximately 2,750,000 tons of bombs were dropped, more than the total dropped by the Allies in World War II. The bombing was hidden from the American public. In 1970, Prince Sihanouk was deposed by pro-American general Lon Nol. The country's borders were closed, and the U.S. and ARVN launched incursions into Cambodia to attack PAVN/NLF bases and buy time for South Vietnam. The coup against Sihanouk and U.S. bombing destabilized Cambodia and increased support for the Khmer Rouge.
(snip)

Compared to Cheney, Nixon (and pretty much every living or historical figure) may look somewhat reasonable. But Nixon, in my memory, was the very face of American military domination. I can't agree that he 'tried to end the war'. He tried to win it and lost, I would say. My guess is two or three million soldiers and civilians lost their lives to American firepower called down by 'Tricky Dick'. The name, by the way, comes from his saying he wanted to get out, and then escalating.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. What about all of those raises Congress made? Doesn't the President have the power to veto those?
Sincerely. They've given themselves quite a few bonuses, not tied to performance measures.

Correct me where I'm wrong.
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Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. The raises are AUTOMATIC. Cute trick, huh?
In 1989, Congress passed an amendment allowing for the automatic raises, unless lawmakers specifically voted to reject it. Which Congress did, until 2000. (bold mine)
http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/agencies/a/raise4congress...
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bush puts the war first. Before EVERYTHING.
Before health care.

Before our safety by providing adequate police protection, safe bridges, clean drinking water and food free from contaminants.

The man is a MONSTER. Everything goes to that war in Iraq, WHICH IS BASED ON LIES.

WHY IS THIS MAN NOT BEING IMPEACHED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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balantz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Good question....
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. Just a question, but how can Bush change the law? It says that current law provides a 2.5%
increase and that "The law also gives an extra pay bump ...". I thought only Congress can pass, modify, or eliminate a law. Is this a part of the unitary executive?
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DLnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. You are right, I think, provided Congress is willing to impeach him for
violating the constitution. If Congress decides they will never impeach, then I guess that says asshole shrub can do anything he wants.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
31. Not sure that's law.
Seems like when I was federal a few years ago (worked for the IRS for 8 years), this was just a way to keep employees happy in more expensive cities. When I was there, I believe it was DC, NYC, SF, and LA.

It was probably just something put in place by an IRS Commissioner, but could be countermanded by a superior. I could be wrong.

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NYVet Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. I wish I could get a 12.5% pay raise from my employer.
However, I will probably only get a raise that matches the inflation rate.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. To be fair
Democratic presidents do this, too. When I was a government employee, this happened every year, as far as I can remember, under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Usually, we were told that we needed to set an example for our fellow citizens, but just how falling behind the cost of living did that was never explained.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. Medicare overpaid HMOs $54 billion last year. That is where the money is going.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. "Discretionary" being the key word here.
In federal speak, "discretionary" spending is money that can be allocated to different projects by the President himself. In recent decades Congress has taken to "earmarking" funds or otherwise specifically allocating funds, meaning that the money given to a specific project must be spent only on that project.

This President needs all the discretionary funding he can get for bribes, election slush funds, trafficking heroin, murdering Iraqis, and who the fuck knows what else. So those of you getting screwed by him can be doubly angered by the thought that the $12.7 billion he took away from you will be going instead to the service of evil.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
17. they never follow the recommendation for the big raises
what usually happens is that congress passes a pay raise (this coming year to be 3.5%), the president then devotes part of that increase towards "locality pay" which is additional pay according the cost of labor in specific areas.

So everyone gets a 2.5% raise and the rest of the money is divvied up so that expensive areas get a bigger raise (SF probably about 4%) and so called cheaper areas closer to 2.5 or 3%.
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MidwestTransplant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
19. So they were do for a total raise of 15%? That seems high but
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 04:58 PM by MidwestTransplant
.5% extra COLA is pretty damn paltry.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
35. 12.5% was as high as it COULD be (the extra, that is).
In reality, it was usually only about 1-2% more.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
20. all our money goes for war, and to deprive of us civil liberties
isn't that just grand? :eyes:
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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Light bulb moment.
Here's how Chuckey will become a uniter after all. Watching the Blitzer interview, even Wolf looks stunned. I think everybody ( in the world) except the leader and his 10%-20% following..............is setting aside their own conflicts to humor the mad one before he blows up the world!
DID YOU HEAR HIM SAY "I'm the first President to pull together these Middle east countries">
Well he WAS AWOL in 79 when Carter did it, until Beguine was asassinated.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
23. Talk about "Unacceptably high costs to the nation..."
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balantz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Oh my God!!!
Looking at that picture it just dawned on me, we're living out "The Planet of the Apes"!!!! How does that movie end?
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #26
37. This ends up toppled and half-buried in the sands of the Atlantic:
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. why not all federal workers in all regions.
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benld74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. Fed worker here and,
the raise that Congress had in the books was 3.5%, with a % of that going to locality pay. I DO NOT KNOW where the 12.5 % is coming from in the article, except the law cited is that Bush 1 decided to do a pay study to see how much Fed workers are paid compared to private sector. When the results came out, HE SHIT big time, and never did fulfill his promise of matching salaries(does it suprise ya?) Since then they run the same game with the new years numbers and come up with a new percentage. Presidents use that percentage to cite they can't pay that much, BUT the real story is that he COULD have sided with Congress at 3.5%, but decided to be the prick he is and only provide 2.5%. Hell my families health insurance has gone up 25% in the last 2 years, so I am losing money, BUT the work is steady.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. The 12.5% would kick in of bu$h did nothing.
It is the doing something that stops it from happening. The Federal pay scale is way behind the private sector for for simular work. That 12.5% in writen into law from way back. It has never been allowed to kick in.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. Contrary to popular belief, federal workers do not make that much money
Lots of conservatives like to complain about "the high salaries" of government workers but they are not that high. They are never higher than comparable jobs in the private sector. People stay because the benefits tend to be a little better. I work for the state of Texas, and, trust me, I am not living high on the hog. I got a $35 a month raise this year, about 2%. To put that in perspective, gas prices rose probably around 30% this last year, my rent went up $20 a month, my electric bill has gone up 50% over the last three years so I am pretty much going backwards.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. the feds make more than the state
in comparable jobs. we all have stories of federal employees with nice offices and high pay for what? i knew this guy who wasn't a manager or anything, but he had a huge closed office with a couch, fridge, teevee. i was astonished.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. I made a ton of money as a govt employee.
Far more than I could have made anywhere else.

My husband still is a govt employee, and he makes a ton of money as an engineer, but would have made more in private industry, judging from his brother - but his brother has been laid off, had companies close, so the stress is a bit higher there.

It depends on your pay grade. Those at the bottom are getting squeezed. There's not one answer for whether the pay is good or bad, it's a sliding scale.

The thing I find offensive about the pay raises even among the government jobs is that they are designed to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer. So someone at the bottom of the pay scale might be making $300 more a year (less able to pay for necessities), while a person at the top ends up with $3000 more for the year - enough to pay the difference in inflation for necessities, plus buy more luxuries on top of that. (Not actual numbers used, those are pulled out of my head, but I think within the general range.)

It would be more equitable if they divided the money evenly, so everyone's pay went up $1000, and everyone could cover the increase in health care costs, heating, gas, and other necessities without falling further behind.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. Well my point was really about the average civil service employee
The biologists, say, or park rangers. Not that those are average necessarily but I was definitely not talking about political appointees. And in my experience (as a biologist) they make less money at ALL levels than they can make as a consultant somewhere. Potentially at least.

And our pay raises for the state of Texas are the same way. 2.5% of my salary is $65, approximately. So people at the top do get bigger raises and the difference between top and bottom continues to grow. But the good thing is I don't pay anything for my health insurance premiums. The state pays the premiums for the individual.

I suspect the differences also depend on what you do. Some fields are low-paying no matter what you do, so maybe administrative assistants make more money working for the feds than for private employers but I really have no idea.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. Must be hard to be the grinch who sucked the blood out of Christmas.
Let me guess, that money will go to... WAR CONTRACTS?
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
32. war on terror my ass
what a bullshit excuse.

i guess this is 'compassionate conservatism' in action?

merry christmas!
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
34. To be fair, President Clinton did the same thing Bush has done
Congress ought to rewrite the law and end this charade of an endless succession of Presidents having to come up with some bullshit excuse for not giving feds pay parity with the private sector. In fact, I will argue that while in some fields the feds are overpaid, in the technical fields they are grossly underpaid compared to private sector. The system needs fixing!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
40. 2.5% huh? that's exactly how much my health insurance premium just went up. nt
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 01:50 PM by Javaman
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
42. And ...
The president {sic} has the power to put in place his own pay plan in times of a national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the nation. Bush has invoked this authority before, as have other presidents over the years.


Has someone declared a national emergency?
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