President Obama on Monday announced a two-year pay freeze for most of the 1.9 million civilians who work for the federal government, as he tried to address concerns over a mushrooming deficit and placate Republicans who have targeted the workforce for big cuts.I have conflicted feelings about this. On the one hand, if the rate of inflation is such that Social Security recipients are not getting a cost-of-living increase, then it's kind of hard to see why other people paid by the federal government are getting pay raises.
"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," Obama said in a White House speech. He called federal workers "patriots who love their country" and said the cut is not just "a line item on a federal ledger." But he said he is asking federal workers to sacrifice for the country as "they've always done."
On the other hand, Jimmy Carter tried to fight inflation by limiting federal pay raises for everyone to 5.5% at a time when inflation went to over double that. It didn't help worth a damn and the anger towards him by the federal work force was very real. Between that and coming dangerously close to having a "payless payday" in October for a couple years running, there was a real sense that neither Carter nor the Congress gave a fuck for the people who do the nation's dirty work.
Sometimes I wonder if Obama has an inner compass that is guiding him down the path of the Carter presidency. His
Obama had better find his balls real soon now, and I don't mean the ones he throws through basketball hoops. If he seriously thinks that the GOP is willing to work with him on anything, then he is arguably seriously delusional. Playing three-dimensional chess is one thing, but 3-D chess is not a good idea when your opponent shows up with automatic weapons and shoots up the chess board and the room.
Maybe we ought to invoke the 25th Amendment and get Biden in there.