Towns, cities, and states across America are laying off employees because of budget cuts. As examples:
- In Minnesota, even after 22,000 government workers were hit with layoff notices, the state government closed down because Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to reach agreement on a $5 billion budget deficit.
- On July 5, 2011, St. Petersburg Times reports that Florida is laying off 1,300 state employees, many of whom earned less than $30,000 a year. Among them is Toni Gugliotta, a Florida Highway Patrol community service officer who directed traffic and investigated minor crashes.
- The state of Connecticut is looking at massive layoffs. On June 30, 2011, state legislators gave Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, dramatically expanded authority to make radical cuts to programs and employment. That could add another 1,000 job losses to the 6,500 already proposed by Malloy.
- This morning, CBS News reports that the small East Texas town of Alto, population 1,200, has laid off its entire police force of 5 after the city council cut the police budget to zero to make up for a $185,000 budget deficit.
But none of this affects the federal government, including Michelle Obama’s 1.25 million dollars a year staff. (For a list of names and their salaries, see my post from last year, “Queen Michelle’s $1.25 Million Staff“.)
Not only are federal government employees paid better than their counterparts in the private sector (USA Today found that in 2009, federal civilian employees received an average salary of $81,258 and benefits worth $41,791, whereas private-sector workers got $50,462 in pay and $10,589 in benefits), the number of federal workers earning salaries of $150,000 or more has doubled under Obama.
Which is really odd because back in November 2010, Obama had proposed a two-year pay freeze for federal civilian employees! He grandly said at the time: “The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices, and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government.”
After Congress gave its approval, Obama signed the pay freeze into law on December 22, 2010.
Then we found out that the “pay freeze” is a limited one. Obama’s proposal would stop across-the-board pay hikes set for January 2011 and January 2012, but many federal workers will receive other pay hikes — longevity increases (called steps), promotions in grade, bonuses, overtime and other cash payments.
Then we found out that employees of the legislative branch are exempt!
Instead of trimming the bloated federal bureaucracy, the number of federal government employees actually increased under Obama to 2.15 million at the end of 2010. Washington Post calls it “the largest federal work force in modern history.”
Worse yet, the number of limos owned by the federal government increased by 73% during the first two years of the Obama administration, according to an analysis of records by iWatch News. Most of the increase was recorded in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
There’s a reason why they’re called “Limousine Liberals”!
Surprise! Obama’s pay freeze proposal was just another one of his lies. The pay freeze didn’t affect the White House staff who, the last time I checked, are federal government employees.
Most staffers who were at the White House for more than a year got a salary bump: 75% from 2009 to 2010, and 54% (or 146 individuals) from 2010 to 2011. The average salary increase was 8%. If you look at only staffers who got raises, the average increase was twice that. [Source]