As a taxpayer, I’m absolutely appalled at the seemingly out of control spending we’ve seen from this government over the last 18 months. It’s beyond irresponsible and boarders on criminal. On the other hand, as one cog in the two million strong federal civilian workforce, all I can really say about the minuscule savings (yes, $5B is minuscule in terms of the federal budget) realized by freezing federal raises for two years is, WTF? That’s like using a bandaid to treat a sucking chest wound. It’s a structural problem and not one brought about by my picking up an extra 1.4% next year.
Want to fix the real problem you have with payroll being too high? Build an HR system that works. There are some real all-stars on the roster in every agency, but the reality is 80% of the work is being done by 20% of the workforce. Cull the dead wood. Decimate the workforce. Literally. Take the bottom 10% of performers and show them the door and then you’ll be off to a good start on payroll savings. Do it again the next year and you’ll be starting to talk about real money. Take the programs and projects that aren’t showing a return, those that just aren’t working and put them on the chopping block. You could eliminate whole damned departments and agencies that way.
If you want big savings, you’ve got to go big. Taking $1000 out of my pocket isn’t going to do it for ya, so stop pretending that you’ve done anything with this “freeze.” Your spin-masters are telling me that I should feel sorry for wanting my raise this year, but let me tell you for the record, I don’t. I know what kind of jacked up things I fix on a daily basis. I know that it’s my skill and talent, and that of a handful of others that makes incompetents look good. We’re practically miracle workers. And I know what that’s worth – A hell of a lot more than an extra $.48 an hour.
So, until the Congress and the administration are ready to get serious about putting things somewhere close to back on track, I’m tired of being the whipping boy for everything a generation of politicians has done wrong. I want my raise. I know I’ve earned it.
For those who think federal workers are over paid, feel free to visit http://www.usajobs.com and build your resume. Uncle Sam is still hiring. I think you’ll find the view from the inside a little different.