White House Proposes A Two Year Pay Freeze: Will This Really Help


Commission
Evenifthecommissionfizzles,itschairmen’splanandthealternatives—aboutahalf-dozenpackagesfromcentristsandconservatives,andnowthetwofromtheliberalgroups—havedemonstratedaroughconsensusforalltheirdifferences:actionisneededoncetheeconomyrecovers,andthefiscalproblemcannotberesolvedbyspendingcutsortaxincreasesalone.Bothmilitaryandhealthcarespendingshouldbeonthecuttingtable.Soshould“taxexpenditures,”thescoresofpopularbutcostlytaxbreaksforindividualsandcorporations,includingthemortgage-interestdeduction.AndSocialSecurity’sfinancesrequirealong-termfix.
TwoYearPayFreeze
TheWhiteHouseunveilsaproposaltheyhopewillhelpreducethenation'sdeficit….Puttingthebrakesonthepayoffederalworkers.FoxnewsnationalcorrespondentSteveCentannihasmorefromWashington.Puttingthepayforgovernmentemployeesonice….PresidentObamaannouncesaplanforatwoyearpayfreezeforallcivilianfederalworkers,butdoes*not*includedmenandwomenservinginthearmedforces.MisterObamasayingthiswas*not*adecisionhereachedeasily.
GettingTheDeficitUnderControl
PresidentObamasays:"Thesearepeople'slives.Theyaredoctorsandnurseswhocareforourveterans;scientistswhosearchforbettertreatmentsandcures,menandwomenwhocareforournationalparksandsecureourbordersandourskies.Whitehouseofficialssaythefreezeisexpectedtosavemorethanfive-billionovertwoyears,twenty-eightbillionoverfiveyearsandmorethansixty-billionovertenyears.Thepresidentsaysgettingthedeficitundercontrolisgoingtotakebroadsacrifice,thatmustbesharedbyemployeesofthefederalgovernment.PresidentObamasays:"Afterall,smallbusinessesandfamiliesaretighteningtheirbelts,thegovernmentshouldtoo."Theideaisgettingsomebi-partisansupportincongressbythosewhofeelit'slongoverdue…butisbeingstronglyopposedbyagovernmentworkersunion.JohnGage,PresidentoftheAmericanfederationofgovernmentemployees,Agroupwithmorethansix-hundred-thousandmemberscallsthedecision:''Aslapatworkingpeople''….addinginpart,quote:"Workingpeople'swagesarenottheissuewiththisdeficitorwhatisgoingoninourcountry.TosymbolicallyhitatfederalemployeesIthinkisjustwrong."


CongressWouldNeedToAddress
Thefreezewouldhavetobeapprovedbycongressbeforeittakeseffect.Thesavingsfromthepayfreezewouldonlymakeasmalldentinthemassive*one-trillion-plus*deficit….Itwould*not*affectbonusesor'stepincreases'forfederalemployees.Congressisnotaffectedbythemeasure,butlawmakersvotedlastApriltofreezetheir*own*pay…aswellaspassupanautomatic"costofliving"increaseof*sixteen-hundred*dollars.Payforhousemembersand


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