Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Demonizing feds

Things didn’t get any better for feds this month out there in the world of public perception.

For one thing, another bunch of scholars (we know this news will make your eyes glaze over)—this time from the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute—got together this week to discuss how overpaid you are. (You can watch the whole thing here. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?)

Plus, in honor of the annual revelation that—like everyone else in America—some feds are delinquent on their taxes, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced a bill that would require the firing of feds who are seriously delinquent in paying their federal taxes. The bill exempts feds who are making payments on those back taxes. (Coburn cites 2009 IRS stats that say 100,000 feds are in arrears. He does not say how many of those feds are making payments and would be exempt ...)

And if you think you have too much work on your desk as it is, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., last week introduced a bill that would—if signed into law—mandate non-consecutive two-week unpaid furloughs for almost all federal civilian employees in FY 2011.

On the plus side, one lawmaker, Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., stood up for feds this month in the Senate and rebutted an August USA TODAY article purporting that feds’ pay dramatically outstrips that of their private counterparts.

Of course, pretty much all of this pressure is coming from the right, which hopes to make significant political gains in the mid-term elections. Which means some of it may be bluster.

Or maybe not.

So, how worried are you?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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