Corker's Fiscal Cliff Plan Would Extend Pay Freeze, Raise Pension Contributions

By on November 27, 2012 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 134 Comments

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has announced a plan he is putting forward to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff.” The plan includes a number of reforms that, if enacted, would directly impact the federal workforce.

Corker is circulating a long term plan which includes proposals such as a lower inflation adjustment for Social Security and a gradual increase in the retirement age for Social Security to 68. It also includes $749 billion in higher tax revenue claimed by capping itemized deductions at $50,000, a proposal that hits wealthier taxpayers the hardest.

The plan touts that it would cut $4.5 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years.

But the plan also includes federal workforce reforms as outlined by the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission. Specifically, Corker’s bill would enact the following changes to the federal workforce:

  • Continue the pay freeze for federal workers through the end of 2015
  • Reduce the federal workforce through attrition by requiring OMB and OPM to hire only one new federal employee for each three retirements
  • Cap federal travel costs at 80% of fiscal year 2013 levels for five years
  • Beginning immediately, cap GSA spending on new federal fleet vehicles at 80% of fiscal year 2012 levels
  • Direct OMB to identify and dispose of federal property that is excess, surplus, underperforming, or otherwise not meeting the needs of the federal government with an aggregate value of at least $4 billion by the end of fiscal year 2018
  • Reform federal employee pensions to make the benefits more comparable with the private sector (this proposal would only affect new employees)
  • Require savings from common-sense reforms to mandatory agriculture programs

In addition to having higher contributions to their pensions, federal workers would receive an $11,000 voucher payment to finance their family’s health insurance which is estimated to save taxpayers about $7 billion a year.

Speaking on his plan, Corker said, “Kicking the can down the road — setting up a process for token deficit reduction today with the promise of more reforms later — is misguided and irresponsible and shows a total lack of courage.”

He offers more insight into the reasoning behind his plan in a recent op-ed published at the start of this week.

So what are the chances of Corker’s plan becoming a reality? According to a recent AP story, it’s a “longshot:”

“For starters, he rejects the idea of settling for a “down payment” on the deficit that would be used to punt the big decisions on the budget to next year, even though that’s the recommendation of Boehner. And his plan is tilted to painful choices on Social Security and Medicare that Democrats are unlikely to embrace.”

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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  1. Lleon says:

    If the Federal workforce continues to be cut, who’ll do the work?

    • Conservative Democrat says:

       what work?
       Most programs are just make work and do not really produce anything for the economy. Obama got elected by the federal employees and union people plus those millions who are on the now never ending food stamp program and welfare programs

  2. Sam says:

    I think Republicans don’t get it. Obama was re-elected for a reason.

  3. $15300432 says:

    obama’s proposal was laughed out of Congress just like his 4 previous budgets attempts. Corkers plan is the 1st that puts in play Simpson Bowels which will ultimately rule the day. Us Feds have yet to come to the party in any meaningful way to reduce the deficit and its time that we start.

  4. Candygirl says:

    Of course, make us suffer the retired federal and current workforce. Why not stop the entitlement programs and catering to the thousands of illegals that sneak over the borders every day?  If any of you are interested, make a stop to the local social services departments in the area where you reside and see all the undocumented people lined up. The present administration and our illustrious President has and will give away this country on the backs of those of us that are legitimate citizens. This country is in shambles so let America go down the tubes while supporting the others that have their hand out all the time.

  5. Seattlead says:

    So much of the federal workforce is part of the middle to lower middle class – what in the world is the GOP thinking or are they at all.

  6. Mdelloiacono says:

    I hate the talk of always blaming the federal employees for the spending of these politicians Federal employees did cause the deficit and now we have to pay for it. That is disgusting. Glad Romnry and Ryan did not get elected. Our country would be totally screwed

  7. Andy2x says:

    Yet again, a Republican focusing on the pennies under the couch cushions instead of the huge elephant sitting on it.

  8. grannybunny says:

    Gee, having had their plan of voucherizing Medicare rejected at the polls, now they’re trying to voucherize our health benefits.  Corker must have started believing his own anti-government and – by extension — anti government employee rhetoric and thinks we actually are stupid, underworked, overpaid, etc.

  9. Garrettm1 says:

    Why is it so easy for our Bureaucrats (including our dear President) to give billions of our tax money over to foreign countries then (the other hand) take money away from our earnings (freeze our pay through 2015), increase our cost to health and make us pay more toward our retirement.  Brothers and Sisters, we need to stand up and voice our anger…  I’m mad, dam mad….. OneFedWorker…

  10. Bob says:

    What about a pension plan affecting new Congressmen?   The Congressional pension plan is exactly 250% better than the civil servant pension plan.   What about eliminating the “carried interest provision” that lets hedge fund managers have one tax rate, 15%, on ALL of their earnings?   What a gift that is and has been for 12 years now.    

  11. ImusJunkit says:

    How about having each Agency to submit a budget that has a 30% cut for that Agency, indicating within its submittal what the cost is for each program kept and cut.  But, then to allow that Agency to determine what it must do, vs. should do, vs. would like to do if…  Allow that Agency to cut programs, to re-organize to streamline or consolidate operations, to re-engineer processes, ALL without Congressional Approval if the 30% is achieved.  Currently the Congress has to approve ANY and ALL reorganizations within the Executive Branch. Let the Agencies actually manage themselves – and perhaps those SES’s that are paid the big bucks for being in teh “Executive Service” can actually show us what they are made of.

  12. ImusJunkit says:

    Piperfan2 – You also misread the FEHP proposal which reads:

    “Reform the Federal Employee Health Benefit program to cover the first $5,000 of an individual premium or the first $11,000 of a family premium beginning on January 1, 2013. Those amounts would increase annually by chained CPI.”This means that the Government’s Share of the Premium is Capped at $11K.  Your current participation in the total cost of your Insurance should be 34% of  your $14,404.78 annual cost –  i.e. you pay $5,761.91 in bi-weekly premiums (which is more than the $3,404.78 you are complaining about having to pay).  Please compare your apple to his apples. 

    • P Curley says:

      What you have to remember is that even if this is increased by the same % as retitrement and Social Security, this is a trap, as the cost of health (and thus health insurance)  is increasing faster than the overall rate of inflation, and, although it may be a benefit for a few n0w, (probably very few),  it would be grossly insufficient for all  in a matter of just a few years. At that time, all employees and retirees will be getting the short end of the stick. Also, here did you hear that anything would be increased by the CPI at all, let alone the chained CPI? Also, is it subject to income tax? Even if it isn’t, what’s to say that some year someone would decide it would be a great idea to tax it.

  13. ImusJunkit says:

    How about a National Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5% for any non-food and non-prescription item – regardless of how purchased (Web or locally, in country or out of country, etc.) AND 100% of the Money Raised goes to Reduce the Deficit Balance.

  14. ImusJunkit says:

    Piperfan2 – You should know its not for the pay that Congressmen and Senators go to Washington.  Its for the influence peddling, insider knowledge (for stock market gains) and the taking of “donations” from industry.  So reducing their pay (although I DO like the idea), will not slow down the graft and corruption at all, might even increase it with the greedier of them….  I think Pay for Performance should be put in place for Congress.  A Late Budget = 25% Loss in Pay for next year,  No Balanced Budget = 50% Loss in Pay.  A Late Budget that is also Not Ballanced = 75% Loss in Pay.  No Budget passed at All = No Pay At All.  All other bills (like naming a day after some famous cat) needs to wait until the budget is passed each year.  

  15. ImusJunkit says:

    In his bill summary it states: “…and the Social Security Trust Fund is projected to be exhausted in 2033”.  The lies still persist and this Congressman continues to perpetuate the sleight of hand gimicks.  There is no “Trust Fund” with any money in it to be exhausted.  It is “filled” with non-negotiable non-liquid Government IOUs.  Today, we are borrowing money to pay the interest on the money we already borrowed.   The truth is that as a country, we are even worse off than he portrays.  The truth is that there are programs that need to be eliminated to shrink the Federal Workforce, while other programs need to modestly grow or stay at current levels.  Across the Board attrition is NOT the way to determine what Government should be doing or not doing.  And, freezing salaries for 5 years is placing just as much of a burden upon the Federal Worker as is planned for having the wealthier taxpayers contribute.  Blindly swinging an AXE at all fereral workers is no way to increase efficiency or effectiveness of Government.

  16. Piperfan2 says:

    So under Corker’s plan, he would freeze the pay of  Federal employees until 2015 and give me a voucher for $11,000 to purchase for my own medical insurance.  Under my current health insurance plan, the govt. share and my share added together is $554.03 bi-weekly, or $14,404.78 annually.  That means I would need to come up with $3,404.78 annually out of my own pocket just to pay for my health insurance.  So by 2015, I will have paid $10,214.34 out of my pocket for health insurance without receiving a pay increase.  And of course the cost to my health insruance will increase annually, but my govt. voucher will not.    And this doesn’t even include my dental or vision insurance.  I’m sorry, but when I signed on to work for the Federal government, that wasn’t part of our deal.  I would work for them and in exchange, they would pay 66% of my health insurance costs, while I pay the other 34%. 

    But I guess when your salary is over $165,000 annually like Senator Corker and your health insurance costs you almost nothing, you just don’t care about the people you were elected to represent.  You only care about yourself.

    I have a better idea.  Let’s reduce the salaries of Congressman to $50,000 and Senators to $60,000 annually, with health insurance at the same rate as all other govt. employees.  And no retirement for Congressmen.  How do you retire from a job you’re elected into, anay?  After all, it’s a privilage to be elected into Congress, isn’t it? 

     That would save the country BILLIONS OF DOLLARS yearly!

    Think about it!!!

    • LikeBuffaloWingsALittleTooMuch says:

      “I’m sorry, but when I signed on to work for the Federal government, that wasn’t part of our deal.”

      You’re welcome to pursue other employment.

      • Piperfan2 says:

        You miss the point, Likes…  If after I started my employment with the federal govt., I came to my employer and said that working 40 hours per week isn’t working for me, so I was going to change to 25 hours per week, but retain the same pay, I’d be laughed right out the door.  I agreed to specific conditions with my position when I was employed.  Likewise, the govt, made specific concessions to me as a result of my accepting employment.  To step in and change the rules of the game isn’t right.  So Likes…, if your employer calls you into the office tomorrow and tells you your position is being reduced to 20 hours per week and you’ll pay the whole cost of your health insurance, your advice would be to roll over and accept the changes or quit?  Are you really that weak of a person?

        • LikeBuffaloWingsALittleTooMuch says:

          Employment is generally understood to be at the pleasure of both the employer and the employee.

          The general rule for when that’s not the case is when a contract is in place.

          Do you have a contract which stipulates that between when you were hired and when you retire, your share of health insurance benefits will not change?

  17. NoDonkey says:

    Corker’s a minority member of the Senate, which isn’t much of a player in these negotiations.  This proposal might as well be an op-ed piece for all the influence it will have. 

  18. Just Thoughts says:

    Ok here we go again. Freeze my pay AND ask me to have to pay more into my pension and more of my health care premiums. It would be nice if someone would freeze the cost of goods sold across the board as well. And in the meantime all of our private sector comparitors are still receiving their pay raises and bonuses in an attempt to keep up with inflation.

    Here are my thoughts on how to cut federal spending. Congress who time after time brings up the advantages of doing business like the private sector, should forgo its salary until the deficit problem is resolved. Isn’t that what the auto maker execs claimed they were doing when they were all crying bankruptcy? Most of us know better, but that’s what they said. Of course they failed to mention that most of their compensation was tied up in stock and therefore they were actually living off the capital gains which were taxed at only 15%.

    Instead of cutting travel back to 80%, let’s eliminate it entirely for all federal employees in the SES level and above, as well as all managers and supervisors above GS-9. Are all those conferences really necessary? Couldn’t they get just as much done through teleconferencing rather than spending all that money on travel and lodging?

    Extend the period of life for fleet vehicles. Or maybe even cut the number by a third. Have you ever checked out the auction that GSA sponsors for its fleet vehicles? Some of those vehicles are 5 years old and have barely 30,000 miles on them. Sounds like someone doesn’t really need a fleet vehicle.

    Cut ALL and I mean all federal budgets by 50%. Make those managers really work for their pay and figure out how to actually manage. If they are going to have a cost over run because something breaks down make them justify it in writing and have it reviewed and approved on a case by case basis. Too often I have seen agencies scampering near the end of the fiscal to use up budgeted funds that they have hoarded all year and end up buying useless crap just so they can say that they used up all of their budget, because heaven forbid they should have money left over at the end of the year.

    Cut defense spending and quit letting contractor ram new equipment down our Armed Forces’ throats thaa they have said they don’t need.

    Contractor cost overruns. Sorry contractor you bid it you are stuck with completing it as bid. It is not our fault that you underbid everyone just to get the contract and then figure you can claim it was a mistake and we will give you all the money you want. Nope, you bid it, you bought it. Suck it up and get it done.

    Any congressional person or their staff who receives any thing more than a cup of coffee from a lobbyist must forfeit that much out of their pocket to the general fund. Failure to disclose and do so is grounds for removal from their elected position. Just the money received from the lobbyists would probably clear up the deficit and have us back in the black in no time.

  19. Robyn3pups says:

    Cut food stamps, section 8 and welfare – these people are ALL living better than the payers!

    • MsVet says:

      you sound like those loose canons on Fox news.   Do you honesty think that a lot of those people want that money?
      A lot of them work. 

      • HDandIT says:

        I think all of them want the money or they would not have applied to get the benefits.  They may not be proud of it, but they obviously want it.  I would like to believe that they would prefer to get into a better position to get off the programs.  The problem is a cliff effect.  Once they make a little more money, they stand to loose a lot of benefits.  A lot of benefit programs are full if you are below a threshold and cut off if you go over.  Look up Food Stamp abuse.  People that qualify actually buy bottled water and then dump it to get the deposit and buy cigarettes or beer.  So people qualify that either don’t need it or have messed up priorities.  It takes a huge pay increase to go from getting it all for free to paying for it and actually living any better.  My wife collected unemployment for 5 months before she found a job paying half of what she made before (before the current adminstration shipped a lot of NASA’s jobs overseas).  Her take home actually dropped from unemployment to actual pay, but we knew she could move up.

    • Sbkcabin2 says:

      Thanks Robyn3pups.  You said “CUT” not eliminate.  Good advice for those who only wait for the benefits every month.  Those who pay taxes take the cut.
      The best things to eliminate start with foreign aid; and another bad one is fraud in Medicaid.

  20. Ross200 says:

    I have a real problem taking anything that Senator Corker says or puts forth seriously.  I along with many other thoughtful Americans was very offended by the campaign that he ran in 2006 against a person of color Harold Ford.  He is your typical Southern White Republican. He plays the race card which seems to work well in a backwards state like Tennessee. 

    • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

      Nobody plays the race card as frequently or as well as Liberals.  Anyone that disagrees with Obama or any of this “person of color” cronies is obviously a racist in the liberal view, but 98% of one race voting for a person of the same race has nothing to do with racism does it?

    • LikeBuffaloWingsALittleTooMuch says:

      “typical Southern White…” So you’re both a racist *and*  region-snob?  Congratulations, you may have just one-upped Corker.

    • Tim says:

      Dennis, you are about as thoughtful as any Klan member from years back. Your posts have repeatedly been disgustingly rude and you have shown yourself ignorant by complaining about behaviors that you have no trouble trolling around in yourself. I actually feel embarrassed for you. Thankfully nobody has no know your face or be around you except for this forum. You, and people like you, are the problem, far from the solution.

      • Ross200 says:

        Tim, according to the 2008 National Exit poll, Barack Obama received 10% of the white vote in the State of Louisiana, and in 2004 John Kerry received 24% of the white vote in this state according to the 2004 National Exit Poll.  Note, in the 2008 Presidential Election Barack Obama won by 9.5 million votes nationally, and in 2004 John Kerry lost the popular vote by 3 million.   There are two rational conclusions that can be drawn from this data.  The first conclusion is that many white Louisianans  refused to vote for an African-American Candidate because of his race even though this candidate was winning the national popular vote by a large margin.  The second conclusion is that white voters in Louisiana were rewarding the Republican Party for their exemplary governing.  In other words, these voters appreciated and approved of the job that President Bush and FEMA did after Hurricane Katrina.  They approved and rewarded a party that got the country into the Iraq War under false pretenses i.e. weapons of mass destruction.  Also, they were rewarding the Republicans for adopting policies that led to the economic collapse. I buy the first rational conclusion. Unfortunately, there are many racist voters in the South today. There are racist voters in every state, but many, many more in the Southern States.  The Southern States always seems to support the candidates who lack sensitivity towards African-Americans.  President Obama only did well in those Southern States where there were large numbers of non-southern born whites i.e. Virginia, Florida, North Carolina.  Don’t come back with insults towards me, come back with facts that prove that I am wrong.  

        • little taxpayer says:

          I guess I didn’t see any facts in your posting that prove you are right.  Just a bunch of bigoted conjecture.  It’s entirely possible that more voted for Kerry because he was a veteran and had a track record of accomplishments that some people liked.  Obama had no such track record of accomplishments and had no military background to draw the patriotic vote, so the only reason to vote for him was because of his race.  Therefore, the difference in voting percentages is obviously due to a lack of racism.

          • Ross200 says:

            Congratulations, you qualify for a leadership position in La La Land.  By the way did you vote for Senator John Kerry in 2004 because of his military record, or did you vote for the draft dodger George W. Bush ? 

  21. $15300432 says:

    Finally we are getting some real budget savings that make sense for everyone. Its a plan that 90% of americans will get behind and push. There are no sacred cows and is what the obama administration should embrace quickly

  22. Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

    It seems everyone wants someone else to pay for our debt and have “not me” syndrome.  Does anyone really believe that the top 2% could possibly pay off all of that debt??  In time and in one manner or another we will all be contributing to eliminating the debt.  I would really like to see what the Dems are offering up for cuts before anyone gets taxed additionally. And I mean actual cuts, not reductions of future proposed spending.  If you are broke (as the US is) and you buy a high end Chevy instead of that Cadillac you really wanted you are not really cutting anything and continue to add debt.

    • Soonershooter says:

      The “not me” syndrome is an off-shoot of the “NIMBY” condition when it comes to building power plants, jails, and other needed infrastructure….

    • PL says:

      Not me syndrome? We the feds have done our part already. They want money they? Then they should tax the churches . There’s a lot of money there and where is their sacrifice for the country that let them survive and flourish?

      • Guest says:

         what about taxing the indian casinos, it was one thing when the casinos were small and plain but now they are huge and lavish and tax free for the indians. I think the intent was not for the indians to become extremely wealthy with there casinos but that is what has happened.

  23. HRguru says:

    It’s amazing how ideological views and self-interest can so quickly align. (I’m referring to the federal employees here.)

    • Ross200 says:

      HRguru, don’t be so self  righteous. It is very easy to tell your political views too. 

      • Tim says:

        Really Dennis? I went back and checked HR’s posts. Fair and stayed away from any political view points. The post is correct. Federal employees often think about their self interests as employees before what is best for our nation.

  24. Big Guy says:

    Corker, put a cork in it. Freeze your pay fisrt and eliminate 10% of your staff. Reduce your travel budget and pay into a retirement fund that isn’t on the cuff.

  25. Perezlugo says:

    “Reform federal employee pensions to make the benefits more comparable with the private sector “, finally we will have juicy pension benefits like those automakers and google and apple, right? Is this the private sector Corker is talking about ?  … or is he talking about the private sector of the bancrupt small companies and businesses? Which private sector is he talking about?

    • LaborAttorney says:

      He’s talking about the Southland Corporation and Moe’s Meat Market.

      • HRguru says:

        He’s also talking about future employees.  

        • Perezlugo says:

           The pay freeze and the $11000 voucher is for all the federal employees not only for the new ones. You need to read.

          • P Curley says:

            Yes, and the $11,000 health insurance voucher would be for retirees too.

          • reality is here and now says:

              Again you better read what he said , it was for all federal employees , the retirees would be excluded.
             What should happen is All new federal employees and members of congress should get the $11,000 a year voucher.

          • guest 5432 says:

            WOW!!!!! $11000 voucher, no taxes to pay, new car every year, free health care. REALLLLY!!!!!!!!!

             When the economy was BOOMING…. no one was talking about making federal employees equal to   the private sector. Major corporate benefits….. 6 weeks vacation for 30 years service and for every year after 30 another vacation week is added. Starting at 21 a person would be 61 after 40 yars and have 16 weeks vacation. Raising the retirement age to  68  would give another 7  weeks vacation. At retirement age the employee would be getting 23 weeks vacation which comes up to about 6 months vacation time. Then there is the  company that gives their employees paid time off between Christmas and New Years, plus their vacation time.Company sponsored group health insurance, life insurance, house insurance, car insurance.

            HMMMMMMMMMMM why was there was no hue and cry to  raise Civil Service benefits to the benefits enjoyed by  the Private Sector when the economy was riding high? At that point in time a government job meant losing benefits and working for peanuts.

            It’s not the bailouts to housing, financial, corporate, auto industry, wars, foreign aid that  caused the economy’s problem, it was the “peanuts” salary that did this???????

    • $15300432 says:

      You sure wouldn’t want a pension provided by the auto companies…no annual adjustment for inflation what you get at retirement is what you get as long as you live. Its based on your high 5 years and  is equal to 30% of your high 5. Ready to sign up???? Thought not no one in the private sector has as lucrative pension as the federal govt

      • Perezlugo says:

        No one in the private sector has a lucrative pension like the feds eh? Well, they have bonuses and pay raises, just ask the employees of Microsoft, Google, Apple or those who work at wallstreet. All my friends and relatives that work on the private sector have received bonuses and raises during the last couple of years but not the feds.

        • Tim says:

          Every single one of them? That must mean the public sector is zinging along doing quite well by your narrow research of a few. So you cherry pick a few places you assume are doing well and put them up against the public sector. How convenient. How many have defined pensions along with a 401k that their employer matches up to 5% with health insurance and a system that rarely lays off employees and when it does let people go, does it by seniority? How many feds get fired? In my experience, not many. We can be honest, we have it better than most working in the public sector. There are better paying jobs in the private sector but at the end of our careers, we get paid for doing nothing. That’s worth a lot to me.

          • Guest says:

            Only a few short years ago, most of the larger employers had defined benefit retirement programs that by law had to be funded by the employer. Subsequent years provided waivers from Uncle Sam that allowed employers to basically defund the defined programs. This shifted the burden of pensions to the PBGT, we the taxpayer, and allowed those employers to play footsie with what should have been money in the bank for future pensioners. Thereupon defined contributions arose which in the worst case scenario also places the burden on taxpayers for Medicaid and other aid services.
            I hear a lot of noise out there about Uncle needing to get out of our lives, but as depicted above it seems that that noise is just a smoke screen. 

          • PL says:

            “we have it better than most working in the public sector”, yes.  And that is why the private sector should copy us not us the private sector.

          • Tim says:

            You mean copy as in print money or borrow into the trillions? The private sector can’t conduct themselves like the government. We aren’t held to a bottom line. We don’t have to work towards a profit. Yeah, copy us. How stupid.

        • $15300432 says:

          Yes thy do but unlike Feds they are accountable and are paid based on PERFORMANCE something  CS would never agree to. Feds raises are based on attendance just like the communes in Russia.
          They had raises bet they weren’t based on attendance and you seem to ignore 2008-2010 when many were taking pay cuts. G+ave CS ever received a pay cut EVER?????

      • guest54321 says:

        RIGHTTTT!!!!!! Those people on SS…. once in a while they get a cost of living which does not reflect the cost of food, health, housing. How dare they according you?

  26. Ross200 says:

    So Republican  Senator Corker wants to balance the budget on the backs of Federal Workers. This guy comes from a state that went overwhelmingly for  Romney-Romney.  He and his state are out of touch with the rest of the nation.  The American People made the right choice on November 6th. What we need is a fairer plan than that offered by the Senator from Tennessee.  Where are your cuts to the bloated DOD Budget, Senator Corker ? 

    • Rethinkplaid says:

      Can you please explain how you developed you opinion on the fairness from half a page of a 200+ page bill?

      • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

        Dennis does not explain anything, he just bloviates about his Lord and Savior, Obama.

        • Ross200 says:

          I like Barack Obama very much but your “Lord and Savior” Comment is over the top.  I do like Jesus too. It is clear that Jesus is gay. He only hung around with guys, never dated or married and he wore sandals. I wonder what happened after the last supper after all that wine was drunk ?  A good time was had by all the guys. 

        • Guest says:

          Sounds a lot like O’Reilly…

          • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

            Apparently you do not listen to O’Reilly.  He bashes Obama when it is deserved and praises him when it is earned.

    • $15300432 says:

      The American people also what the budget red ink tamed and its past time for all of us civil servants to do our small part

      • HDandIT says:

        Which Americans want that?  Over 100 million Amreicans are on Welfare.  Do you think they would back cuts to Welfare?  And how many of them would have voted if both sides were talking cuts to welfare?  McCain got more votes in 2008 than Obama did in 2012.  The Democrats have to work hard to turn more hard working middle class voters into welfare recipients before the 2016 election.  Since the top 1% alreay pays 40% of the taxes, they can afford to tax them more and break the lowest 10% of taxpayers.

        • Ross200 says:

          As of the last night, the 2012 Presidential Vote Count was Obama 64,970,512 and Sociopath Romney 60,517,602.In 2008, McCain received 59,948,323.  You clearly play loose with the facts. 

          • HDandIT says:

            Actually I chose a bad source, but I was wrong either way.  I was really just trying to find the numbers you listed.  64 million votes for Obama.  45 million Americans on food stamps (you can find that number anywhere).  Assume 1 voter per 3, 15 million votes.  How many of the 15 million food stamp voters do you think voted for Romeny?   How many of them care about the national debt?   Obama only won by 4.5 million. 

            But SNAP (food stamps) are not considered welfare.  I believe the official position is that we are helping the farmers, not the people getting SNAP.  That is why the USDA runs food stamps and not HHS. So you can say im wrong about the number of people on welfare, but that is a matter of schematics.  I don’t consider govt or military pay or retirement, Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, or even VA benefits.  Things you pay into or work for are not handouts.  Programs that people qualify for by making under a certain threshold are welfare programs to me.  The people that pay the majority of taxes can’t use the benefit.   

          • Ross200 says:

            I read an article some time ago about impoverished counties in Kentucky where 50% or more of  the families are on food stamps.  These counties are in Appalachia. The interesting thing was that these counties cast over 70% of their votes in 2008 for John McCain for President.  These counties are isolated and have been strongly Republican since around the time of the Civil War. Financial circumstances does not necessarily determine how one votes.  People with graduate degrees voted 56% to 44% for President Obama this year. Many of these folks are very affluent.  

          • HDandIT says:

            I looked at the interactive SNAP benefit map.  The highest percentage county was 42% in Kentucky, most much lower.  Considering the SNAP explosion in the past 4 years, I dont see how multiple counties were over 50% four years ago.  Also realize that the 42% I see currently is total people, so over half are children and non-voting.  But yes, there are people on both sides that vote their party no matter what.  Oh, the map showed change since 2007 and Kentucky didnt drop in any county.

          • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

            Some people have pride while others do not.

          • grannybunny says:

            So, you don’t have a problem with “welfare for the rich,” only for the needy?

          • HDandIT says:

            Could you list an example of “welfare for the rich?”

          • grannybunny says:

            Farm subsidies — as well as many other types of subsidies — would be a pre-eminent example, but there are many others.

          • HDandIT says:

            Are there a lot of millionaire farmers out there? Average Farm household income $80k in the us.  I am well aware of the USDA programs to make sure farms don’t go broke so the food will continue to be produced.  The USDA is trying to keep the farmers farming.  I guess the USDA feels that having plenty of food is important to the “general welfare” of the country.  General being that everyone that eats benefits from these programs.  I believe the rich and the poor have the same nutritional requirements. 

          • RedRacer1999 says:

            How about this,

            Recently, Intel Corp. won a case in the Tax Court letting it treat millions of dollars in profits from selling U.S.-made computer chips as Japanese income for U.S. tax purposes–and therefore exempt from U.S. tax–even though a tax treaty between the U.S. and Japan requires Japan to treat the profits as American–and therefore exempt from Japanese tax! As too often happens,the profits thus became “nowhere income”–not taxable anywhere.

            or this

            Another of the classic tax avoidance games that multinational companies play is illustrated by a tax break that goes to the many drug companies and electronics firms that have set up subsidiaries in Puerto Rico. They assign “ownership” of their most valuable assets–patents, trade secrets and the like–to their Puerto Rican operations, and then argue that a very large share of their total profits is therefore “earned”in Puerto Rico and therefore eligible for the tax break. Reforms in 1986 tried to scale back this tax dodge, but it still costs more than $3 billion annually. Although encouraging jobs in Puerto Rico might be a nice idea(although perhaps not at the expense of mainland employment), it has been estimated that many of the Puerto Rican jobs cost the Treasury upwards of$70,000 a year each because the tax break is so abused.

            or this

            March 29, 2012 – Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill to repeal about $24 billion in U.S. tax breaks for the nation’s biggest oil companies, three days after agreeing to advance the measure as a way to debate energy.

            Or this…

            The present sugar program, created by the 1981 Farm Bill , (Ronnie Regan), consists of a domestic commodity loan program that sets a support price (loan rate) for sugar and establishes an import quota system that restricts foreign competition and ensures a high domestic price for sugar. Instead of a more stable sugar economy, the result is higher prices for everything that contains sugar.
            A recent study conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO) demonstrated that the sugar program costs consumers at least $1.9 billion annually in higher costs for their personal purchases of sugar and products containing sugar. According to GAO, the sugar program also another $90 million annually in taxpayer dollars because of higher prices for sugar and sugar-containing products purchased for the federal government’s feeding programs.

            Enough corporate welfare for ya?

          • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

            Romney is hardly a sociopath.  He is a very good, religious man who was demonized by the liberal media.  If we knew as much about Obama as we knew about Romney it would be embarrassing to liberals.  The media is so left leaning it is hard to believe they can stay upright.

          • Ross200 says:

            Romney was a sociopath as he had no core principles.  He was interested in only one thing getting elected President. Why wouldn’t he release his Federal Income Tax Returns ? I can tell you why, he was a tax cheat.  I bet that he was assessed a civil fraud penalty by the IRS. He was not a good man. He enjoyed firing workers. I loved on election night seeing the look of pain on his wife’s face.  I know that he is having a hard time with this defeat. I am greatly enjoying his pain. The Republicans ran the country into the ground  they are not fit to govern.  

          • USDA says:

            Now who’s the sociopath? You are taking delight in seeing another in pain… 

          • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

            No core principles????  He donates approximately $40 million a year to his church and charities, which is one reason his taxes were lower than the Dems want.  Why release his tax returns?  They would be very hard to understand and liberals would only take something out of context and use it to make the financially illiterate think that he was a tax cheat.  There was nothing he could gain by releasing them.  He has more core principles in his thumb than Obama has in his whole body.  Why does Obama not release his college records, his thesis and explain how a neer-do-well, dope smoking student was able to be accepted into and pay for such prestigious colleges?  The media is not concerned about looking into it.  You liberals are so gullible to believe the MSM.

        • Sam Mallipudi says:

          Where did you pull the “over 100 million” number from, your?  Social security is not a welfare.  We all paid into it.

          • The Master says:

            That’s one of those made up numbers.

          • HDandIT says:

            http://www.gopusa.com/freshink…  This article says some form of welfare but not Social Security or Medicare.  I know the HHS number is lower, but they don’t consider SNAP (Food Stamps) welfare either.  So official government numbers are not really accurate either. 

          • HDandIT says:

            Once again I cant seem to post links.  SNAP is 45 million, Medicaid is over 54 million.  HHS doesnt consider SNAP welfare.  I think most sane taxpayers would. There are other programs that the government does not consider welfare also, but those two are 99 million alone. Google “how many people are now on welfare.”

        • little taxpayer says:

          The top 1% already pays 80-90% of the taxes depending on the year.  The bottom 48% pay nothing.  The middle 51% pay 10-20%.

          • Ross200 says:

            The bottom 48% pays no Federal Income Taxes taxes as you wrote.  The number of Americans paying no Federal Income Taxes increased dramatically after the Bush Tax Cuts.  The Republicans never cease to  amaze me. They throw millions of people off the Federal Income Tax Rolls under President Bush, and now they have the audacity to complain that not enough people are paying Federal Income Tax.  Republicans, be careful what you wish for, LOL.  

      • Old Fed says:

        we all know you’re not a civil servant. You’re a failed wanna-be who couldn’t even get on as a custodian.

    • NoDonkey says:

      The “rest of the nation” put the Republicans in charge of the House and the President will have to negotiate with them. 

      And the “federal workers” mentioned in the Senator’s proposal, include those who work for the DoD.  So there are your cuts. 

      • Ross200 says:

        The Republicans control the US House of Representatives because they gerrymandered the district lines in many states, more than the Democrats could.  In Pennsylvania, the Democrats won 5 House Seats and the Republicans won 13.  Democratic House Candidates in Pennsylvania actually received more votes than Republican House Candidates.  In California, the House Districts were drawn by a nonpartisan panel.  The Democrats ended up with a net gain of four House Seats. There was no Republican House Mandate in this election. By the way, the Democrats are not saints either. The Democrats gerrymandered the seats in Illinois and picked up a good many extra seats from the Republicans. In many states, elections for House of Representatives Seats were in essence  rigged.  

        • $15300432 says:

          Ohhh yea PA where 20 precincts voted 100% for Obama not a single Romney vote, 6 precincts that had 110% of the public voting more voters than voters registered.Yep that’s a State that you can base a conclusion on

      • Ross200 says:

        The most recent vote count indicates that the Democratic House of Representative Candidates received one million more votes that the Republican House Candidates. 

    • fnulnu40 says:

      Our country is 16 trillion in debt and has pension obligations  coming that are astronomical.  40 cents of every dollar is borrowed.  Newt Gingrinch tried just to slow down the increase spending and he  was crucified for “Cutting.”  Clinton shut down the government so he could spend more. All politicians spend our money like drunken sailors, but clearly the public (mostly dem voters) punish them if they dont spend.  Gov employees vote mostly democrat.  Only “fair” they pay for what they have caused.

    • PA says:

      While
      “average Americans” are indeed suffering, when did government workers
      become “anti-American”?  We
      work, pay taxes, purchase homes/cars/goods, raise children and support our
      communities.  I am confused why anyone
      would want to destroy an entire segment of the population that supports our
      fragile economy.  Attacks on civil
      servants are on the rise but serve no purpose other than to pit the masses
      against each other.  Last time I checked,
      no government worker (excluding some politicians) is living the lifestyle of
      the rich and famous

       

      Right
      now we are suffering under an unprecedented budget deficit and national debt – attributed
      in no part to a federal civilian retirement system that is fully funded and
      actuarially sound.  Times are tough and patriotic federal workers
      and annuitants want to do their part, but not if it means they
      are singled out for budget cuts while others are not asked to
      make similar sacrifices. 

       

      I do feel
      reckless spending, stifling regulations, ever-rising taxes, endless debt and the
      government takeover of health care have brought this nation to a tipping point,
      and continuing down the current path would mean the end of the American Dream.

       

    • $15300432 says:

      The taxpayers want an end to the $100B in premium wages paid to Feds….Feel free to offer your solution to eliminate it

    • PA says:

      I don’t agree with this article – Federal employees have already made sacrifices. 
      Question:  Where would you make cuts?

  27. ReaperComing says:

    again the current work force pays the price of the government craziness, and unresponsible actions to give away programs. Foreign aid to other countries 38 billion a year, politicians say only a drop in the bucket?? really? got to start somewhere, and paying our enemies to destroy us is not a great idea to begin with cannot buy love!! LOl

    • The Master says:

      That’s right, let’s cut all foreign aid. And since it’s so generous, let’s move the military to FERS as well. Yes, I am serious. Those two together will save a big chunk of what we need. And let’s stop the duoble dipping. Working at VBA we had requests daily for Veterans to stop their Disability payments so they could return to active duty. How is that possible? If they are getting disability from the VA, they shouldn’t be eligible to return to active duty. Lot’s of waste by paying people for disabilities that are not true disabilities.

      • PA says:

         God Bless our military.  I support them 100%.   …Sounds like you want to go back to a draft.  Our military are not living the life of the rich and famous.  Do a true analysis of the pay our military are receiving, their living conditions now, time overseas, the support they are getting when they return with serious injuries.  The cost of living in some areas are extremely high – and their salaries do not reflect the increase.   

        • The Master says:

          We should never have a draft. Those of us who chose to serve do so out of a selflessness,  not for money. The military is adequately compensated. You appear to be one of those who focuses on only the salary and doesn’t
          see the rest of the compensation and how much is provides. A monthly check, which now is much better than it was, tax free housing, free medical, full retirement available at age 37, tax free combat pay, etc. It all ads up. What do you think would be fair? For all those that say FERS is too generous, it should be good enough for the military.

          The military takes up 42% of the general revenues, more money is spent than the next 17 countries combined. There is much waste that could be eneded with no effect on the ability of our military.

          And why should anyone receive a disability check when they can work?

          How can someone be disabled and still be physically qualified for active military service?

          • $15300432 says:

            You bring up some points..last I looked the taxpayers fund 95% of FERS and combined FERS and CRS are in the red by $560B. Its time to insure that Feds start paying their fair share for their benefits. Next its time to end federal DR. there should only be 1 disability and that’s Social Security. Far too many CS who are disabled seem to be able to work and are even permitted to do so UTTER Nonsense!!!
            Feds can retire as early as 40 if your a cop or a fireman, REALLY / A federal firemen will never fight a fire in their career and as far as LEO’s sitting at a desk providing directions in the Smithsonian is hardly police work.
            Next up Locality pay needs to go away, there isn’t even a objective standard just guess work and how many businesses send back a survey.
            DOD accounts for 205 of federal spending and its high time that unnecessary agencies are eliminated. You can do away with:
            Education
            Interior
            Commerce
            Most of State
            1/2 of Justice
            1/3 of Homeland Security
            Those activities that are left then need to require that their workers put in more than 20 hours a week and are paid based on performance and are fully accountable. Retirement would start until the employee hits 62, there should be no SS supplement

          • The Master says:

            If you want to insist that it is 95% tax payer funded, then it should be fine for the military. Then again, you don’t even know what makes up FERS or what the employee contributions are. You have demonstrated this previously, every time you post about FERS.  And you are right, military retirement should not start until they hit age 62.

            While law enforcement can retire as early as age 40 with 20 years of service, they can not beginning collecting until age 59.

            And who is fighting those wildfires?

            And I agree about the disability all around. Far too much is being given to those who can work, and should.

            You have never been correct on this and it is pointless for me to waste anymore of my time on your stupidity.

          • $15300432 says:

            Its not be insisting that the taxpayers are funding FERS to the tune of 95% its CBO’s numbers. I don’t know what makes up FERS and employee contributions?? Sure I do they are only contributing 5% of the costs of the programs…you know 95% + 5% = 100%.
            Sorry LEO’s can retire far earlier than 59 but then again your a n expert in your own mind on FERS.
            Who’s fighting those wild fires mostly seasonal workers that aren’t covered under FERS retirement

            Sorry my posts are always spot on its you that lives in Bizzaro world and post the water cooler talk rather than doing the slightest research on your own

          • PA says:

             Lets just get of all the military and the government employees – federal, state, city, local employees
            But… make sure you keep funding the free programs.  ………And…. lets reward everyone not paying any taxes – hiding their income.

          • $15300432 says:

            I’d rather go after the $100B in premium wages that Feds receive that equals what Barak will get if the tax rates for the top 2% go up

          • PA says:

             

            So many gov’t employees could make more money in private industry.  Some of the patents -  federal workers – engineers are amazing – and will help in the defense of our country.  

            But…… Our country’s problem —-  no one will give up “their entitlements.” Let it
            be someone else’s problem.  The federal worker has already made too many sacrifices.

          • $15300432 says:

            So many?? you mean 3 or 4. Patents developed under any private sector co remain the property of the company there isn’t an issue.How about naming some??
            The fed employee has already made sacrifices??/ Like what??? $130,000 a year salary, golden retirement parachute 95% financed by the taxpayers. Jobs for life annual raises based on attendance 0 accountability. Yea that’s a real sacrifice

          • Rollmyeyes says:

            Those funds are low because the government has “borrowed” from them.  Feds have been paying their fair share and making sacrifices.  It amazes me that people in the workplace, when thinking of themselves, want fair compensation and recognition of good work, but when speakign of those in the government, think that “beatings will continue until morale improves” is an effective management style.  Besides , none of these suggestions get to the heart of big ticket items- out of control defense spending (we pay more for defense then the next top 5 countries combined), and the cost of HEALTH CARE.  Medicare is the most efficient health insurance program around, but it’s the cost of health care that causes problems.  In addition, the pittance you might save may easily be lost in turnover costs and declining productivity due to low morale. 

          • $15300432 says:

            Are you delusional??/ The funds were borrowed and immediately paid back after the debt ceiling have been increased. Feds have hardly been paying their fair share FERS is 95% Funded by the taxpayers not federal employees.
            If feds were deserving of fair compensation most would see their compensation cut from $130,000 per year to $57,000 it would end the $100Billion in premium wages that the taxpayers are on the hook for.
            We pay our bureaucrats 5 times what other govts do, the avg CS works 20 hours a week and 60% are unneeded. As for cuts besides CS we need to eliminate agencies that have no value such as
            >education
            >interior
            >commerce
            > 1/2 of State and Justice
            >NIH
            1/3 of HS
            Eliminating these agencies and the unneeded CS will balance the budget

          • PA says:

             I believe much has changed in the past few years – saving money.  If our military men & women can keep this country safe I support them completely — and believe they should be more than “adequately compensated”.

          • Just wondering says:

            James, 

            What you’re saying sounds interesting.  Having as many feds as possible on the same systems would make it easier for starters to compare apples to apples.  

            I don’t know that I agree that the military folks are adequately compensated.  When I was overseas, I would see commercials on AFN about people being overjoyed at getting the earned income credit and getting WIC and TANF benefits.  If they couldn’t make it financially even with free housing, that’s suboptimal, it seems.  From the stat you cited above–what I don’t know (among many things) is if military taking up 42 percent of the revenue is in healthcare or hardware.  Do you know what the rough percentage of that is salary and benefits?

             What is the current retirement system for the military?  Are there ways to cut back on the spending or healthcare and still provide good care?  I have heard many complaints about TRICare and wondered if USMIL employees have the chance to get, say, Kaiser if they are stateside.  

            Tks.

        • Picknaul says:

          I rember the draft.  The Military is living pretty well right now and everyone should be bearing the responsibilty of protecting our country-not just people who want to profit by it.

          • PA says:

             Do they profit?  Do you have a family member in the military right now.?  I guess I hear the sad stories.

          • Picknaul says:

            Yes the stories are sad, but so is a car wreck. Yes I do
            have relatives in the military. I also had several generations in the military
            back to WWI. Some combat disabled. There is no comparison. One fought because
            it was their duty to their country since our existence as a nation was being
            threatened. We won our military dominance with a draft (WWI and II, etc…)
            . Now it seems many see military service as a jobs program with
            lucrative lifetime retirement and benefits. Spoke to one relative (kid) the
            other day to make sure they understood what they are doing. He doesn’t. People
            are not thinking about the risks they are taking or the validity of the battle,
            rather they see benefits. The current model is wrong.

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