The incoming chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been outspoken about his plans to cut federal employees’ pay and pensions. Besides his previous proposal, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin spoke with the Washington Post this week and discussed what he wants to do when he takes over the committee in January. On his chopping block are federal employees’ pay, health insurance, pensions, and the right to join a union.
“I think it’s unrealistic for public-service employees to believe they are immune from modifications to their pay and benefit packages,” said Sen. Johnson, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. He went on to say “those things in the private sector have been modified dramatically.”
It’s important to note that a pension is delayed payment for work already done, a condition for taking a job. It’s the employee’s money withheld and invested by the employer to be paid at the employee’s retirement when he/she can no longer work. If the employer cuts the employee’s pension, that means the employer has either embezzled or misspent the employee’s money. The employer is engaging in theft. The same is true for health care.
Obviously inspired by Walmart, Johnson also takes aim at federal employees’ worker protections and the freedom of association. He told the Post, “I really don’t think that the public-sector employees should be unionized.” So the senator wants federal employees to take whatever compensation their employer offers, most likely with ever changing work schedules, no guaranteed overtime pay, and little or no medical care and pension. He appears to oppose the idea of fairness, justice, equality, opportunity, and prosperity. Without a union, employees are basically slaves to their employer.
Meanwhile, Johnson supports massive tax giveaways for corporations and blocked a bill that would end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. But he voted against a bill that would end the government shutdown, blocked a bill that would help veterans find good jobs and get the health care they need, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, voted against a bill that would provide employment protections to gay and transgender workers, and voted to repeal the healthcare law that provides coverage to the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions.