Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pinning the Budget Deficit Rose on the Wrong People

For 2012, the US will spend $53 Billion to provide foreign aid to countries around the world, some of those countries are not our friends. See foreign aid escapes budget cuts.

For 2012 and 2013 together, the US will save a total of $26 Billion by freezing Federal Worker pay. See pay freeze.

The federal deficit for 2012 (see page 23) is still estimated to be $1.1 trillion.

What is wrong with this picture. The people of the country demand quality services from government, yet the government is unwilling to pay for them. And then wonder why people are complaining that the government is bureaucratically fat.

Many federal workers give up constitutional rights to be employed by the government (see the Hatch Act) and they are working for less money than they could get working for a contractor. Plus, they are subjected very stringent guidelines and very invasive income and investment reporting requirements.

I think it is like going to the tire store for set of new tires and only putting three tires on the car. It is not the fault of the tire store that the car doesn't drive right, yet they ultimately get the blame.

Congress and the DoD are also evaluating ways to reduce benefits to the military, active duty and retirees. That certainly does not send the right message to the veterans in our country.

So here is my rub--the government is willing to provide billions of dollars in stimulus aid to corporations and banks, but is unwilling to fairly compensate the people who are part of the engine of the recovery. It doesn't make good economic sense to me. Every fee and every tax that is levied on a company is ultimately paid by whom?

The consumer.

Think about it.

Taking money out of the pockets of consumers will cause the recovery to fail. Federal workers are consumers. And, unlike people receiving benefits in this country for doing nothing, federal workers contribute to the greater good and expect fair compensation for their work.

I believe that federal workers are being unfairly singled out by Congress as the cause of our economic distress. The relative pittance saved by not ensuring the continued prosperity of the civilian workforce is nothing more that a politically misguided effort to shift blame for our current economic woes away from those really responsible.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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