Usually, when President Obama has a hissy fit and holds federal raises hostage for political gain, he comes out on top. But in a sign that he may be losing political clout, his announcement on Tuesday that he would be extending the two-year pay freeze for federal employees until after the election has been met with hostility.
In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Obama repeated the same mantra he recites for every problem he encounters, from the national debt, to GM, to head lice, to childhood obesity:
“This is an effort that continues to require tough choices and each of us to do our fair share.”
Unfortunately for Obama, “Hey, Baby, I’ll catch up with you in January” isn’t going over very well with the unions this time around.
J. David Cox, National President of The American Federation of Government Employees, was distraught.
Brothers we learned late this evening that President Obama plans to extend the federal pay freeze. AFGE… http://t.co/x8RcNJIH
— AFGE (@AFGENational) August 22, 2012
His Facebook post slammed President Obama for not issuing an edict to give pay raises to the poor, beleaguered federal workers who have given their last full measure of devotion to the government. Or something:
“He could have used his authority under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA) to set the pay alternative pay plan at 0.5 percent. Instead he has contradicted his own fiscal year 2013 budget promise of an end to the pay freeze…Federal employees not only suffered a two-year, $60 billion pay freeze, but also substantial cuts to retirement benefits.”
— Josie (@CoaKoMocha) August 22, 2012
— Dom/Domi/DoJo (@Dominiqueiman) August 22, 2012
You have to admire hard-working AJ. He’s not happy with the pay freeze, but he’s willing to take one for the team.
— AJ (@Educatednblck) August 22, 2012
However, not everyone is as willing to do his or her “fair share” for the Prez.
— myzwright™ (@MyzWright) August 22, 2012
President extends federal pay freeze….. why thank you Obama. -_______- ugh
— Dee (@amelladee) August 22, 2012
— David Tully (@poliscipunk) August 22, 2012
“Federal workers made an average $75,296 in pay last year, plus $28,323 in medical, pension and other benefits, the USA TODAY analysis found. That’s about 60% more than the average private wage, a difference explained largely by higher education levels and more professional jobs in the federal workforce.
“Federal compensation has soared in the past decade, especially in the past five years, at a time when private wages and employment have sputtered.”