In a speech in Manchester, NH this week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that it is fundamentally unfair that federal employees enjoy better pay and benefits than the workers they serve in the private sector.
Romney stated, “This President [Obama] is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.” (emphasis added)
Romney has a virtual lock on the GOP presidential nomination at this point in the election race, and it is not the first time he has pointed fingers at the federal workforce in his campaigning.
Last November, he introduced a fiscal plan for the federal government that would, among other things, reduce the federal workforce 10% through attrition as well as cut pay for federal workers.
Romney’s position is not a unique one among the current election year’s vigorous political crossfire of ideas in the middle of which federal employees now find themselves. In fact, it is arguably not even a partisan position considering both parties have presented their share of ideas of federal workforce cuts.
House Republicans have recently introduced a number of proposals directed towards federal pay and benefits, Democratic Senator and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad announced he was following the Fiscal Commission’s budget plan as a model for a long term budget, and even President Obama has proposed some benefits cuts as well as being the original architect of the current pay freeze on the federal workforce.
The video below contains the full speech and aforementioned comments made by Romney.