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Federal Pay Freeze Thaws Significantly

Remember the Great Federal Pay Freeze?  President Obama demonstrated his commitment to deficit reduction by suggesting the salaries of civilian federal employees should be frozen at their bloated 2010 levels for two years.  “In these challenging times, we want the best and brightest to join and make a difference, but these are also times when all of us are called on to make sacrifices,” said the man who doubled the number of six-figure government employees.  “And I’m asking civil servants to do what they have always done.  Play their part.”

Some sacrifice.  As it turns out, the “pay freeze” referred only to automatic cost-of-living increases – you know, the sort of thing you private-sector wage slaves don’t get.  However, there will be no freeze on the “step-ladder” system of seniority-based merit pay increases enjoyed by the federal workforce.  “There’s a set schedule for how that works,” Tim Kauffman of the American Federation of Government Employees told Fox News. 

Ah, a set schedule.  That explains everything.  Obviously not much could be done about the situation.  I mean, the schedule is set.  Private-sector employees get raises on a set schedule too, don’t they?  The recession certainly hasn’t delayed their salary increases. 

The Fox article says that although “federal employees as a whole may see smaller pay increases in the coming year, their benefits have improved.”  You see, in the language of our eternally expanding government, a smaller pay increase with improved benefits equals a “freeze,” just like cutting down to a pack of cigarettes a day is the same thing as going cold turkey, or having dessert with only one meal is a crash diet.

The Federal Times reports $2.5 billion in pay increases for 1.1 million federal employees will somehow struggle through the icy winds of Obama’s “pay freeze.”  This should comfort all the big-government leftists who were wailing and rending their garments over losing talented civil servants by freeing their compensation at a paltry $126k per year on average.  I bet we’ll hardly lose any of them at all.

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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