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Reader feedback: Smaller pay raise wins some support

Most FCW readers, as might be expected, are not happy that President Barack Obama wants to trim the 2010 federal pay raise from 2.4 to 2 percent. But a surprising number of readers wrote comments supporting the move.

Between our story (which we picked up from Federal Daily, a sister publication) and a related post by blogger Steve Kelman (“Annoyed by pay complaints and cynical procurement lawyers”), we have received more than 70 comments in all. Of those, 24 comments backed the smaller pay raise.

Many of the supporting comments were in response to Kelman’s blog post, in which he criticized the federal employee unions for complaining about Obama’s plan.

“Even if they cut that 2 percent down to 0 percent pay increase, we still get our cost of living increase which means our ability to live on the same level will remain the same from this year to the next, guaranteed,” one reader wrote. “How many people can say that in today's economy?”

Another reader, a retired fed, reasoned it out this way:

“Fed pay is in part a function of taxes; taxes are a functional of people working; less people working (9.7 percent) means less taxes; and, less tax generally translates into no increase. If the Feds couldn't print the money then like California and other states they would have to live within their tax income -- no increase sure looks better than no job.”

Ed, in Chicago, sounded a patriotic note, saying feds (as well as politicians) “should lead the way on holding down federal spending.”

Many of the readers who oppose the small pay raise were also concerned about federal spending. One reader -- Harmless Fuzzy Bunny from the People's Theocratic Republic of Oklahomastan -- summed it up this way:

“11 *Trillion* committed, 2.8 *Trillion* spent to bail out bankers who then give themselves millions in bonuses. Poor dears, of course they can have my raise - wouldn't want them to have to lay off one of their cabana boys or sell one their yachts.”

Government contractors also drew some fire.

“1.8 million federal employees. 18 million Contractors working for the federal government,” wrote dave in Washington, D.C. “You tell me where the cuts should come from to have the biggest impact on the deficit.”

Click on the links at the top of the story to read the numerous comments and to join the conversation.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Sep 04, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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