Federal workers have been subject to a pay freeze for the last two years, but that’s apparently not good enough for Republicans in Congress, who now look to introduce legislation to prevent Obama’s plan to give employees a pay raise of, wait for it, 0.5%. According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, such a pay raise would make out-of-control spending even worse, and he insists that “we simply can’t afford it.”
Let’s see, the pay raise would cost $11 billion over a ten-year period or about $1.1 billion annually out of a federal budget that calls for approximately $3.6 trillion of spending. So the savings here if the pay increase is prevented would be less than one-third of one-tenth of 1% of overall spending. This amount doesn’t even begin to rise to the level of a rounding error. With legislation like this, the Republicans seem to be as incoherent and whacked as the liberals.
But then again, the Republicans’ actions make perfect sense if budgetary concerns are a pretext for punishing government employees, who tend to support Democratic candidates and some of whom (only about one-third) join unions that contribute to Democratic campaigns. In fact, retaliation and punishment is about all that makes sense given the ridiculous level of “savings” claimed by Republicans.
Discriminating against employees on the basis of political views or political affiliation is a “prohibited personnel practice” if practiced by managers in the executive branch of the federal government. But Cantor and the other Republicans who continually attack federal employees work in the legislative branch, so they get a free pass. But we can still conclude that their obsession to retaliate and punish is nothing short of disgraceful.