Just a day after we learned tens of thousands of troops would be cut from the military, we discover that the Obama Administration wants to give the bloated civilian bureaucracy a pay raise. As reported by the Washington Post:
The White House will propose a 0.5 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees as part of its 2013 budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the plans.
The modest cost of living increase in federal compensation would be the first pay jump for federal workers since before President Obama ordered a two-year freeze in late 2010.
The proposal, which would require congressional approval, differs from Republican plans supported by lawmakers and presidential candidates that would freeze federal compensation for at least one more year.
But, “a permanent pay freeze is not an acceptable policy,” one of the senior administration officials said Friday. “While modest, a .5 percent increase reflects the belt-tightening we must do in these difficult times.”
This is considerably less than the 3.6% cost of living increase for Social Security, or the average 2.1% increase in hourly earnings for the private sector for 2011. However, Obama’s “two-year pay freeze” didn’t actually stop federal employees from getting raises. It only prevented cost-of-living increases. It was a “pay freeze” in the same sense that Washington describes small reductions in the rate of increase for government funding as a “vicious cut.”
Federal employees already receive roughly twice the compensation, in pay and benefits, as their private-sector counterparts. Coupled with the huge explosion in government hiring during the first year of the new Administration, this made Washington the “richest city” in America, boasting the highest per-capita income. Stay tuned for more urgent messages from the ruling class about how we private-sector types need to make more “sacrifices” and “pay our fair share” to keep it that way.