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Pay freeze extension: Not the worst thing in the world, readers say

When Obama announced feds would finally get a pay raise, the good news was clouded with the stipulation it would happen only after Congress passed the budget – no earlier than April 2013.

Readers weren’t exactly overjoyed by the announcement of a pay-freeze extension, and took the opportunity to slam the decision as well as squabble about politics and play the blame game.

"What federal worker in their right mind would vote for this guy?" asked one commenter. "Especially after a two-year freeze. Now [Barack Obama] wants to continue it."

That comment was quickly rebutted by another reader who said the alternative, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, would be no better and probably worse.

"Romney has talked about cutting pay and benefits combined by as much as 30-40 percent. What federal worker in their right mind would vote for a pay cut!?!" the reader asked.

Gkamgb acknowledged the pay raise was long overdue, but noted the extension of the freeze wasn’t the worst that could happen.

“Do I want a pay raise? Of course I do. Do I think it’s time? Of course I do. Am I happy that I may have to wait several more months to get a raise? No, I'm not. . . .  I've been around long enough to know that we employees are always targets and our congressional representatives think nothing about how we survive. . . .”

An anonymous commenter offered tips on how feds can prepare for the aftermath of the election, regardless of who takes the reins.

“There's going to be less money to go around no matter which party is in power," that reader noted. "With a new federal spending scandal in the news every week, you are rightly in the cross hairs. My advice: Sharpen up your skills and your resume.”

Another anonymous commenter questioned why Congress doesn’t beef up its efforts to find a solution to share the burden more fairly.

“Why can't Congress put on their big-kid pants, work together, and end the unnecessary tax breaks to oil and gas companies, subsidies and cut foreign aid?” that reader asked. “Seems to me that Congress is the problem by not doing anything to get the country out of this mess we are in.”

Those opposing the extended pay freeze expressed a wish that Obama somehow wouldn’t realize it.

“[M]y hope is that the president will not follow through on such a detrimental action to federal workers,” wrote one reader. “He may not be able to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans - but that in no way means that federal civilian workers should continue to bear the brunt of the deficit.”

But at least one reader saw the news of the extension not as the worst thing that could happen: “A temporary freeze is better than a job loss,” said an anonymous reader. “Many American families are still struggling to find decent employment.”

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Aug 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

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Reader comments

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 T Virginia

Obviously I am not happy about a freeze, but the budget has to be cut so a freeze is better than a pay cut. The one thing I have never understood is why do people think that federal employees should have a lower salary just because they work for the government?

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Dear fellow Americans,Federal employees are middle class workers. Expect the results of continuing pay freezes and possible sequestration to yield lower sales and revenues in your stores (groceries, clothing, any consumable items) and restaurants. Expect fewer participants in school activities that require fees. Expect home prices to falter again as federal employees withdraw from the market (or worse, begin losing their homes). I am NOT saying federal employees "should be" exempt from financial crises. But pulling down federal employees will NOT raise the small businesses and middle class workers around them--in fact, likely it will further degrade the whole middle class.

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

I am preparing my family for what is coming by stocking up on canned goods, water, camping, hunting and fishing gear and other critical resources. If the Romney pay cuts for Federal workers occur we will be unable to pay our mortgage or keep the family car, even a 5% cut would put us in danger of this as my wife already lost her private sector job to China. So we won't even have a car to live in for 4 months and will be living instead in a tent in an abandoned factory which moved its jobs to China!

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

I strongly disagreee with the comment about overpriced Fed secretaries. The secretaries are overloaded with work both technical and otherwise to help keep the organization running. We certainly are under-rated and underpaid because we are "secretaries!

Tue, Aug 28, 2012

As a fed I've already had to declare bankruptcy and am currently living in my car. What's another 4 months between "friends".

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