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Thread: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

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    Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Paul Ryan’s budget plan hits federal workers - The Federal Eye - The Washington Post

    The spending plan proposed by Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mitt Romney’s pick as the Republican vice presidential candidate, has drawn strong opposition from federal employees.

    Under the proposed House Republican budget, which Ryan sponsored as chairman of the Budget Committee, savings from the federal workforce would total $368 billion over 10 years. The two-year freeze on basic federal pay rates, scheduled to expire at the end of this year, would be extended through 2015 for a total of five years.

    “The Path to Prosperity,” as the budget plan is named, also calls on federal workers to make an unspecified “more equitable contribution to their retirement plans,” which means higher costs to employees. Additionally, the federal workforce would be cut, through attrition over three years, by 10 percent, which equals more than 200,000 positions.

    Because the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Justice and Homeland Security have so many employees, the majority of the eliminated positions would come from these agencies, all of which are related to national security.

    The budget document says its plans “reflect the growing frustration of workers across the country at the privileged rules enjoyed by government employees.”

    Ryan’s budget justifies the employee-related cuts, saying “it is no coincidence that private sector employment continues to grow only sluggishly while the government expands: To pay for the public sector’s growth, Washington must immediately tax the private sector or else borrow and impose taxes later to pay down the debt.”
    This is EXACTLY why Obama is lying when he considers his deficit reduction plan "balanced". Liberals freak out when they hear the word "cut" to any kind of spending. Let me outline why exactly this article is meant to create fear and distort the truth.

    1. Fed. Employee Contributions - It has been shown to us in Wisconsin and other states and cities that the days of promising gov. workers huge pensions is OVER. We cannot afford to hand someone 3 million dollars for serving 20 years, for no cost at all. I believe firefighters and police, or other gov. workers in a dangerous field are the exception, but an accountant for the GSA doesnt need a pension. I don't believe it is fair that taxpayers pay for your retirement when private sector workers have to contribute to their retirement plans as well. I think its only fair that we ask federal employees to contribute some of their earnings. This is nothing new folks, the private sector has been doing this forever.

    2. Extended 5 year pay freeze - Most private sector companies, including all of the ones I have worked at since 2008, have been on pay freezes or hiring freezes. It is not too much to ask of government employees to accept the same type of hardship that the private sector is going through to save billions a year. Ryan wants to extend the freeze for 5 years. This means that many people will not get raises to their current position. Once again, this is standard operating procedure in the private sector but suddenly when you apply it to the magical federal worker, it is just downright inhumane according to liberals.

    3. Worker cut. Ryan wants to cut the federal workforce by 10%. Thats awesome because it has been growing ever decade more and more. It is about time we stopped with all these useless agencies and downsized because we cant afford the non essentials. I am glad this author mentioned "attrition" when talking about cuts. Most liberal authors would just say Ryan wants to lay off 200,000 in the next 3 years. Not true. Under his attrition plan Ryan would not lay off or fire anyone! Attrition means that if an employee were to quit or retire most likely that position if it was not essential would not be filled back up. There is no sudden firing of federal employees folks, just a gradual reduction in the fed workforce. Once again, as before in the last 2 items, this is standard practice in the private sector. Actually, my hospital is doing this right now. It is responsible budget cutting, nothing alarming here.

    4. Most of the cuts will come from the defense department, justice dept., homeland security, and the VA. And in case you didnt notice we are talking about federal employees, not state and local. So no teachers, firefighters, or the other people that Obama loves to reference when talking about public sector jobs. Just the scum like over at the GSA spending millions of dollars on hotel rooms and parties on the taxpayers tabs.

    5. Finally, this line is great. It explains exactly why we need to implement these steps: Ryan’s budget justifies the employee-related cuts, saying “it is no coincidence that private sector employment continues to grow only sluggishly while the government expands: To pay for the public sector’s growth, Washington must immediately tax the private sector or else borrow and impose taxes later to pay down the debt.”

    Thanks for reading. What do you think? Are these proposed cuts in the Ryan plan really as bad as some are making them seem? Why shouldn't we cut back on the federal workforce and save more money to shed off the deficit? And BTW, these cutbacks will save us more than the "taxing the rich" plan.

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    I'm a federal employee.

    I'm in favor of the money we have to put to our retirement pension being increased. I also think it absolutely should be high five instead of high three. Frankly, when discovering/rediscovering the notion that I get a pension towards the end of a process of my wife and I attempting to figure out what we needed to do with regards to our actual retirement plans (TSP/401K), I was flabbergasted.

    I'm in favor of the freeze, but believe that it should be extended to congress as well. I find it utter and completely bull**** that Congress is telling the average federal employee they need to sacrifice in this regards and yet Paul Ryan has no issues with him and his boys getting money. It's an issue I have with all of congress right now with this. However, beyond that...I don't have a huge issue with this as long as it ends after 2015. There goes a point where it goes from asking Federal Employees to take a bit of hardship to simply using them as scape goats. The "raises" this is typically talking about are relatively slight increases each year due to inflation, general cost of living increases, etc.

    I'm in favor of cutting with attrition. The notion that it's going to hit DHS or the Defense Department the hardest doesn't bother me. Actually, it is actually something that runs counter to the notion we keep hearing that the Republicans won't cut defense spending of various types. Though sadly I think this attrition may end up hitting the lower end more than the higher end in some places where you probably need that attrition happening on higher level jobs. Still, the federal work force has been growing and growing, and some scale back is probably useful. More than that, if we can potentially eliminate the necessity for some government employees...by for instance massively simplifying the tax code requiring far less IRS agents...then we could hit that 10% in perhaps an easier means.

    As a federal employee, I've got no issue with this plan on the surface.

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
    2. Extended 5 year pay freeze - Most private sector companies, including all of the ones I have worked at since 2008, have been on pay freezes or hiring freezes. It is not too much to ask of government employees to accept the same type of hardship that the private sector is going through to save billions a year. Ryan wants to extend the freeze for 5 years. This means that many people will not get raises to their current position. Once again, this is standard operating procedure in the private sector but suddenly when you apply it to the magical federal worker, it is just downright inhumane according to liberals.

    3. Worker cut. Ryan wants to cut the federal workforce by 10%.

    Thats awesome because it has been growing ever decade more and more.

    5. Finally, this line is great. It explains exactly why we need to implement these steps: Ryan’s budget justifies the employee-related cuts, saying “it is no coincidence that private sector employment continues to grow only sluggishly while the government expands: To pay for the public sector’s growth, Washington must immediately tax the private sector or else borrow and impose taxes later to pay down the debt.”

    And BTW, these cutbacks will save us more than the "taxing the rich" plan.
    Wage stagnatation at the federal level has been in place since late 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/us.../30freeze.html

    The federal workforce has seen a slight net uptick during Obama's term, mainly stemming from the stimulus and also acting as a countermeasure against massive layoffs at the state and local level. A 10 percent cut in employees would hardly be optimal at the given moment, given the general slowdown in consumer activity as of late. The notion that the only sector of the economy in which policy makers have the ability to intervene and stimulate the economy should experience the largest losses in employment is absurd.

    Not really, in fact employment at the federal level has decreased by around 20% since 1970 (Military personnel comprising the bulk of said losses, but still, there is a noticeable lack of expansion in an sector supposedly plagued with overstaffing as some would have us believe.) Total Government Employment Since 1962

    Actually, contrary to popular talking points, the private sector has expanded at a much quicker pace than has it's public counterpart in recent history, over two years straight of employment growth consecutively while the public sector has seen continual losses due to budget constraints. In fact, a general consensus among economists is that the decrease of public sector employment is one of the primary drags on overall growth at this stage.

    Does that claim take into account the ensuing loss of FICA, Income, Sales taxes and other forms of revenues that would otherwise stem from those former employees?
    Last edited by a351; 08-11-12 at 02:37 PM.

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hare View Post
    Wage stagnatation at the federal level has been in place since late 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/us.../30freeze.html

    The federal workforce has seen a slight net uptick during Obama's term, mainly stemming from the stimulus and also acting as a countermeasure against massive layoffs at the state and local level. A 10 percent cut in employees would hardly be optimal at the given moment, given the general slowdown in consumer activity as of late. The notion that the only sector of the economy in which policy makers have the ability to intervene and stimulate the economy should experience the largest losses in employment is absurd.

    Not really, in fact employment at the federal level has decreased by around 20% since 1970 (Military personnel comprising the bulk of said losses, but still, there is a noticeable lack of expansion in an sector supposedly plagued with overstaffing as some would have us believe.) Total Government Employment Since 1962

    Actually, contrary to popular talking points, the private sector has expanded at a much quicker pace than has it's public counterpart in recent history, over two years straight of employment growth consecutively while the public sector has seen continual losses due to budget constraints. In fact, a general consensus among economists is that the decrease of public sector employment is one of the primary drags on overall growth at this stage.

    Does that claim take into account the ensuing loss of FICA, Income, Sales taxes and other forms of revenues that would otherwise stem from those former employees?
    Great points. But why wouldn't the government be run like any other business? State governments are my favorite example. They cannot borrow money from China to pay the bills. They have to resort to cuts like these. Walker of WI turned the budget in that state around by simply taking away bargaining rights from most state employees. And the entire population of WI had a chance to un-do it, but those choose to accept the reality that we cant spend money we dont have. WI is a great example of how I think America has generally shifted right on budget issues. This is why Ryan will help Romney this year.

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
    Great points. But why wouldn't the government be run like any other business?

    State governments are my favorite example. They cannot borrow money from China to pay the bills. They have to resort to cuts like these.
    There are large, unsubtle differences between the federal government and your average business, for one, their primary motivators are not strictly related to profit margins, they do not face the same financial constraints, and they have a distinct and vested interest in seeing the entire populace thrive, not to mention competitors (foreign entities.) Laying off large amounts of individuals in a time where economic activity is at a premium only slows an already crawling recovery at this stage.

    Understood, and many would advocate for federal intervention to act as a stopgap measure of sorts to alleviate said constraints, seeing as the cuts themselves have played a large role in dampening the recovery.

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hare View Post
    Wage stagnatation at the federal level has been in place since late 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/us.../30freeze.html

    The federal workforce has seen a slight net uptick during Obama's term, mainly stemming from the stimulus and also acting as a countermeasure against massive layoffs at the state and local level. A 10 percent cut in employees would hardly be optimal at the given moment, given the general slowdown in consumer activity as of late. The notion that the only sector of the economy in which policy makers have the ability to intervene and stimulate the economy should experience the largest losses in employment is absurd.

    Not really, in fact employment at the federal level has decreased by around 20% since 1970 (Military personnel comprising the bulk of said losses, but still, there is a noticeable lack of expansion in an sector supposedly plagued with overstaffing as some would have us believe.) Total Government Employment Since 1962

    Actually, contrary to popular talking points, the private sector has expanded at a much quicker pace than has it's public counterpart in recent history, over two years straight of employment growth consecutively while the public sector has seen continual losses due to budget constraints. In fact, a general consensus among economists is that the decrease of public sector employment is one of the primary drags on overall growth at this stage.

    Does that claim take into account the ensuing loss of FICA, Income, Sales taxes and other forms of revenues that would otherwise stem from those former employees?
    All well and good but since gov't is mostly clerical work it should follow that computers alone would account for huge decreases in personnel needs. While the absolute numbers of federal employees have not increased as much as expected their cost has gone up more (since 1969 up by 577%?). See link: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/94-971_20100120.pdf

    Add in that federal retirement cost as well: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...its/50592474/1
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 08-11-12 at 03:02 PM.
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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
    [...]

    1. Fed. Employee Contributions - It has been shown to us in Wisconsin and other states and cities that the days of promising gov. workers huge pensions is OVER. We cannot afford to hand someone 3 million dollars for serving 20 years, for no cost at all. I believe firefighters and police, or other gov. workers in a dangerous field are the exception, but an accountant for the GSA doesnt need a pension. I don't believe it is fair that taxpayers pay for your retirement when private sector workers have to contribute to their retirement plans as well. I think its only fair that we ask federal employees to contribute some of their earnings. This is nothing new folks, the private sector has been doing this forever.
    You make it sound like Fed workers don't pay anything into their retirement plans but I'm pretty sure that's false. They might not pay as much as private industry workers do, though I'm not even sure of that and apparently you aren't either, but they contribute none-the-less.

    I believe you're committing the same error here of which you accuse others - distorting the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
    3. Worker cut. Ryan wants to cut the federal workforce by 10%. Thats awesome because it has been growing ever decade more and more. It is about time we stopped with all these useless agencies and downsized because we cant afford the non essentials. I am glad this author mentioned "attrition" when talking about cuts. Most liberal authors would just say Ryan wants to lay off 200,000 in the next 3 years. Not true. Under his attrition plan Ryan would not lay off or fire anyone! Attrition means that if an employee were to quit or retire most likely that position if it was not essential would not be filled back up. There is no sudden firing of federal employees folks, just a gradual reduction in the fed workforce. Once again, as before in the last 2 items, this is standard practice in the private sector. Actually, my hospital is doing this right now. It is responsible budget cutting, nothing alarming here.

    4. Most of the cuts will come from the defense department, justice dept., homeland security, and the VA. And in case you didnt notice we are talking about federal employees, not state and local. So no teachers, firefighters, or the other people that Obama loves to reference when talking about public sector jobs. Just the scum like over at the GSA spending millions of dollars on hotel rooms and parties on the taxpayers tabs.
    "It is about time we stopped with all these useless agencies and downsized because we cant afford the non essentials."
    - And which agencies would that be? The ones that watchdog business for the public? Or was that a slip and you really meant to say "useless agencies at DoD, DoJ, and DHS" even thought that's not what you really meant?
    - The problem I have with any of this is politicians are born to lie and do so often. I have a difficult time assuming the Plan really means to reduce the workforce of the mentioned departments while leaving intact those the GOP dislikes. Call me crazy but I don't trust ANY of 'em to tell the truth and I suspect dishonesty even more when they say they'll go against their historic behavior.


    Uh, "the scum like over at the GSA"?
    Editorialize much - but you want a fair hearing of concerns?!? LOL!
    Quote Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
    Thanks for reading. What do you think? Are these proposed cuts in the Ryan plan really as bad as some are making them seem? Why shouldn't we cut back on the federal workforce and save more money to shed off the deficit? And BTW, these cutbacks will save us more than the "taxing the rich" plan.
    I think Congress should have been the first to make a sacrifice but I don't recall seeing anything about their retirement plan, healthcare plan, or any other Congressional compensation of any kind being changed, frozen, or otherwise. Yep, it's just business as usual on Capital Hill while they suggest others save the Fed money. Isn't this kind of like the bank CEO's and other bank officers taking millions and millions with them on the way out the door after the Crash? Does anyone - except them, of course - really think Congress has been doing it's job the last 4 years?!?
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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    All well and good but since gov't is mostly clerical work it should follow that computers alone would account for huge decreases in personnel needs. While the absolute numbers of federal employees have not increased as much as expected their cost has gone up more (since 1969 up by 577%?). See link: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/94-971_20100120.pdf

    Add in that federal retirement cost as well: Benefits for ex-federal workers explode
    A few excerpts from your article:
    Under the terms of the Federal Employees’ Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay
    for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers
    competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal
    employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private
    sector, as measured by the ECI.
    Average wages among all workers in the economy have risen by 632% since 1969. Salaries for civilian federal employees have increased by 428% since 1969

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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    All well and good but since gov't is mostly clerical work it should follow that computers alone would account for huge decreases in personnel needs. While the absolute numbers of federal employees have not increased as much as expected their cost has gone up more (since 1969 up by 577%?). See link: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/94-971_20100120.pdf

    Add in that federal retirement cost as well: Benefits for ex-federal workers explode
    Keep in mind none of the amounts shown in that report are inflation adjusted, though there is a CPI (Consumer Price Index) adjustment in Table 1. Let's look at the data in table #1 and do some comparisons. With 1969 as a base Fed pay is now at 5.28 while average wages (everyone) are at 7.32 and the accumulated CPI is 5.77. In other words, Fed workers have taken a (1 - 5.28/5.77=) 8.5% cut in actual buying power. However, retirement has increased 5.95 since 1969, a 3% increase in buying power while SS has increased 7.25. Overall, Fed workers have gotten the crappy end of the deal in pay and retirement over the past 50 years compared to the average American worker.
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    Re: Paul Ryans Budget Plan Hits Federal Workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I'm a federal employee.

    I'm in favor of the money we have to put to our retirement pension being increased. I also think it absolutely should be high five instead of high three. Frankly, when discovering/rediscovering the notion that I get a pension towards the end of a process of my wife and I attempting to figure out what we needed to do with regards to our actual retirement plans (TSP/401K), I was flabbergasted.

    I'm in favor of the freeze, but believe that it should be extended to congress as well. I find it utter and completely bull**** that Congress is telling the average federal employee they need to sacrifice in this regards and yet Paul Ryan has no issues with him and his boys getting money. It's an issue I have with all of congress right now with this. However, beyond that...I don't have a huge issue with this as long as it ends after 2015. There goes a point where it goes from asking Federal Employees to take a bit of hardship to simply using them as scape goats. The "raises" this is typically talking about are relatively slight increases each year due to inflation, general cost of living increases, etc.

    I'm in favor of cutting with attrition. The notion that it's going to hit DHS or the Defense Department the hardest doesn't bother me. Actually, it is actually something that runs counter to the notion we keep hearing that the Republicans won't cut defense spending of various types. Though sadly I think this attrition may end up hitting the lower end more than the higher end in some places where you probably need that attrition happening on higher level jobs. Still, the federal work force has been growing and growing, and some scale back is probably useful. More than that, if we can potentially eliminate the necessity for some government employees...by for instance massively simplifying the tax code requiring far less IRS agents...then we could hit that 10% in perhaps an easier means.

    As a federal employee, I've got no issue with this plan on the surface.
    Agreed. I was a federal employee until I retired a few years ago, but I came aboard too late to get into the CSRS system. The experience left me with an abiding appreciation of Dilbert cartoons, and we would often wonder which of our coworkers was the Dilbert spy in our office. Most of my coworkers were conscientious and hard working, and that was even true of some of the managers. But the problem on the managerial level was that the only way to get a promotion was to have more people working for you, so there was never a shortage of harebrained schemes which would require a larger staff. And when a manager did prove to be incompetent, it was almost impossible to fire him/her so the result was generally a "turkey farm" where the incompetents were assigned to unnecessary tasks where they couldn't do any damage.

    I completely agree that there are too many government workers - I remember the Ross Perot joke from twenty years ago about the USDA employee weeping at his desk because "his farmer had died" - and I agree that attrition is probably the most achievable way to cut back (with the possible exception of recent hires in the IRS for ObamaCare, or TSA agents where the task is privatized).
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