08/11/10 — Salary cuts: Government workers should be feeling the pinch, too

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Salary cuts: Government workers should be feeling the pinch, too

It was not an earth-shattering announcement -- and it was so underplayed, you might have missed it.

Yesterday, we learned that the highest paid workers right now -- more so than their private sector counterparts doing the same job -- are government workers. And, hold onto your seat, there are plenty of them getting bonuses.

As part of the news, it was also announced that President Barack Obama approved "one of the smallest pay increases ever" for government personnel -- a little less than 2 percent.

How many of you are ready to storm Washington?

Here's the bottom line -- government workers should be facing the same scrutiny when it comes to "deserved" bonuses -- and they should be experiencing pay cuts, not pay raises. A government that is this far in debt and managed this poorly with bureaucrats wasting more money than they are saving should not be handing out bonuses -- the same rules politicians say should be applied to private firms that took federal bailout money and Wall Street.

The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

Watching payroll costs is how you act fiscally responsibly when you are running up a deficit that you are going to need a pretty big garage sale to pay off.

Now that is just the practical side.

The even scarier part is that with all the people losing their jobs, struggling to manage pay cuts and to do more with less, the president is apologizing for not being able to give his employees more of a raise.

The reason Americans do not trust politicians is that they say one thing and do another -- usually to pander to some special interest group they hope will bring them votes in the next election.

The big announcement that is coming out of Washington should be: Government workers, who already enjoy benefits and retirements not available to most workers, are taking a 5-10 percent pay cut.

Then, perhaps, some of those who are setting policy in the nation's capital might just understand what those who live and work in the real world face every day.

Published in Editorials on August 11, 2010 10:40 AM