From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:
Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. voted for an extension of the pay freeze on all federal civilian employees when he voted for H.R. 273 today. The bill would continue to freeze pay adjustments through December 31, 2013. The freeze includes Members of Congress.
Without this legislation, the current freeze on pay adjustments would expire on March 27, 2013. The legislation is in response to President Obama’s Executive Order #13635 that leads to an automatic .5 percent increase in pay for all federal civilian employees. President Obama’s Executive Order would cost taxpayers nearly $11 billion over ten years. Of note, this bill does not limit merit based pay increases or pay for federal employees in the military.
Over the last decade, the average federal civilian salary has increased 62 percent – from $51,518 to $83,679 while the average private sector salary was only $51,986 in 2010. With benefits factored in, total compensation for federal employees is $126,141 compared to $62,757 in the private sector.
“At a time when our country faces a national debt of over 16 trillion dollars, giving federal employees an automatic pay increase does not make sense,” said Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. “Hardworking taxpayers all over Maryland are having to cut back and prioritize their budgets, so government needs to cut back as well. The average federal civilian salary has increased 62% over the last decade, which is nearly twice the private sector average. Increasing federal pay without regard to merit or promotion is just not responsible.”
Five Iron says
Andy Harris and other Congress critters — 174k a year, full medical/pension after 2 years and off 230 days a year. COLA for Gov’t workers (and I am not one) is a drop in the bucket. Drop an F35 and you probably cover most of this cost anyway.
If you are interested in a nicely written article on how the numbers used by Mr. Harris are not a fair comparison see http://www.factcheck.org/2010/12/are-federal-workers-overpaid/ . One point they bring up is that “Blue-collar employees made up 21 percent of the federal workforce in 1985…That number declined to 9.9 percent by 2010…” This means the Federal Government has a higher percentage of white-collar jobs than the private sector and they are, on average, more highly educated.
Try researching the pay for comparable positions, public vs. private, and also take into account how many more federal employees there are now then even 10 years ago.
It is true that some positions pay more in the Federal Government than they do in the private sector. Specific examples of these are private sector receptionists and secretaries that by virtue of their gender are paid substantially less than a similarly skilled and educated male. Pay equity based on gender has been a major difference between federal workers and private sector workers. A female data collector working at Aberdeen Test Center can easily make $33,000 before benefits with a high school education compared to a Medical Assistant with a two year certificate at $20840. Is the work any more stressful or require any different levels of technical knowledge or skill or responsibility? The answer is no. One does require a National Security Clearance and a reasonable expectation of financial responsibility. You would be surprised at the number of people in wait staff and other basic service positions that serve you every day that have MD Case Search Records for contract default, DUI/DWI, and criminal activity to include controlled substance possession. The principal difference between a Federal Employee or even a Contract Federal Employee and a private sector individual is the level of trust required by the employer. There is an individual I know who is presently unemployed who said she wanted a position with the government. She was working as a Medical Assistant and later as a waitress but managed to defraud the state of MD of $20,000 of unemployment insurance, was caught driving on a suspended license and has defaulted on two contracts and has other judgments against her for over $31000. Her ability to obtain employment with the government now is a very sincere zero. But she can and has served you food or weighed you at the doctor’s office.
Five Iron says
Federal employee counts:
2002 GWB 2.63 million employees US Population 287.8 million 9.1 Fed emp per 1000 US Citizens
2010 BHO 2.65 million employees US Population 310.3 million 8.4 Fed emp per 1000 US Citizens
Less Feds serving the people. This does not include Military which would skew even larger to GWB.
Since 1962, the largest % of Feds to Citizens have been under Republican leadership. Carter is in there solely from the 14.4 Feds by Nixon per 1000 US Citizens to the 11.9 by Reagan. GHWB raised it back up, Clinton took it down and GWB raised it again (TSA/DHS). As a percentage of the population, Fed’s are usually less than 1% of the total of the country.
As a percentage of the deficit, they are small potato type numbers.
20 trillion in unfunded federal retirement liabilities are small potatoes? Larger then the current debt.
The 47% is also growing quickly
Five Iron says
Oh my. The 20 (actually about 16, and 11 of it prior to BHO taking office) trillion is the total budget, not Federal Employees retirement which is what this article is about.
I am talking about unfunded liability, future debt from todays federal workers, medicare, social security. 87 TRILLION.
43 trillion to medicare, 20.5 trillion to social security. 20 trillion to federal employee retirement. Add that to your true cost of federal employees and figure it into the disparity between federal and private employee cost which is what this article was about.
Current debt is 16.5 trillion and climbing fast. Bush went from 5.9 to 10.6 in eight years. Obama has taken us from 10.6 to 16.5 in 4 years, and the debt has doubled in 8 years.
So B, Pay more taxes. Or expect less from the federal government. A lot less. We can do without eleven aircraft carriers. The USS Abraham Lincoln is sitting dockside waiting for money to refuel while Lima OH is pumping out M1A2s the Army didn’t want. Entitlement of the federal workforce indeed. Return to 3% of the GDP – like before Bush gave you all back your surplus because it was your money. Before you got that nice elective war. Before you got all excited about the current day’s terror color code.
Because you can take every dollar made by every citizen and still not be able to cover the costs of those unfunded liabilities, we are going to have no choice but to drastically cut spending. Defense spending too. But that is not the only answer. Growing the tax base adds revenue with out increasing the tax burden.
I love the thumbs down to the actual budget numbers above.
And there was no surplus when Clinton left office. We were 5.5 trillion in debt at the time. Another wonderful liberal lie.
You have your data about the Clinton surplus, and the corresponding Bush refund and we have the news.
Five Iron says
B: You can spout all those number you wish, but the article is about pay for Federal workers, not SS, not Medicare, not Defense. I would like to see a link to where you come up with 20 trillion in unfunded FEDERAL EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT/PAY which is what the Hon Rep Harris is referring too. Maybe the payment of taxes by GE, Exxon, and others over the past 20 years would have helped not make the deficit so large, you think? Oh and the stat with Bush at the end of his term….strangely does NOT include the 2 wars but BHO added them onto HIS books along with the Bush Wall Street bailout onto BHO’s 2009 budget (GWB’s parting shot in 2008 for the 2009 year). Love how the MSM overlooks that (esp since only 6 companies own all the news and NONE are different than the other, no matter what Fox spouts). Possibly making the books honest again gives a truer picture of the destruction wrought by Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and the rest of the neo-cons.
January 20, 2001 George Walker Bush’s first day in office.
National debt was 5.7 trillion… Like I said, a great liberal lie.
B. I understood your argument about the existence of the deficit when Clinton left office. I never said the deficit was eliminated nor do I believe anyone else in this forum ever suggested that. What you haven’t addressed is Clinton left a $200 Billion Surplus at the end of his last year’s budget. Bush subsequently gave it back to you in your refund and eliminated any pretense of paying down the existing remaining deficit through any additional surpluses. Are we clear now or would you like to twist this to some other meaning that suits your world view?
You say the deficit wasn’t eliminated then claim a surplus that didn’t exist? You clearly don’t understand the difference between debt and deficit. Try actually doing some research instead of parroting party line before you accuse me of twisting anything.
Steve (A different one) says
Source please Five Iron, the link below conflicts with your story.
Take note of the ratio of military vs. non-military as well.
Five Iron says
I had picked only the Executive branch, however, the numbers as a percent still match and do not conflict in any great deviation. The other 2 branches have minimal numbers compared to the Exec branch. I said 2.65 and it has 2.75 listed. That is not a large difference. Your number actually validate that during the Nixon years (~68-73/74 it increased thru the Ford years, leveled off at around 2.8 mil for Carter then went over the 3 million mark under Reagan and GHWB until dropping to 2.7 under Clinton in 96. Its been near 2.6-28 million consistently now under the past 2 administrations but the growth is mostly under Reagan and GHWB. Not sure where the disconnect is in this?
Five, just because you don’t like the numbers, doesn’t make them untrue. We cannot continue spending as we are, Bush, Obama, or the next guy/girl. While people like you bury your head in the sand, the problem gets worse.
Five Iron says
Ah yes, ad hominem arguments. Is there a problem? Yes. Tell me, who is the largest owner of this debt? China? Japan? No, it’s us! SS can be fixed easily and funded for many years by just increasing the cap limit from its approximate 107k per annum salary limit to 200k. Personally, I think there should be NO limit on salary for SS and I am a firm believer in a 15% flat tax with an exemption up to 35k for a family. Even worse, I believe Corp taxes should be ZERO. That being said, there should be a VAT tax of 5% for every purchase except food, medicine and clothing, no state tax and my biggest pet peeve, no one over the age of 65-67 should EVER pay or lose their house over property taxes if their house is paid off (and I am not in that age bracket!) You bought and paid for a house, you live free in retirement until you die and can never lose it. Taxes start up when the house is sold.]/transferred until the new owner hits 65, even if it sells for a dollar. No I don’t bury my head, I try and come up with idea’s and forward them out to my Rep to include in his/her general platform. If they don’t like them, fine, at least I know I tried. Can you say you have any idea’s or just spout the spoon fed news from Fox, CNN, and the rest?
As for those numbers, unfunded Fed Employee retirement is 673 billion, not 20 trillion. That is what the article is about relating to Fed Employee pay. IF you got a raise in the past 4 years, don’t begrudge those who haven’t. Inflation and general cost of living have gone up, but not their pay (but Andy’s did!)
673 is unfunded pension costs alone and not the largest problem by any means. Healthcare, especially military healthcare has huge unfunded liability.
I have plenty of ideas, way more stable then taxing the rich “their fair share”
And there are a lot worse situations out there then not getting a raise in four years. Maybe you should be grateful to have had a safe job.
Also, you downplaying the fed and social security holding the largest share of our debt is crazy. The money the fed is printing alone is going to be devastating in the near future.
The whole Congress should not get paid until they due their job and pass a balanced budget and put measures in place to reduce the deficit. I have not had an increase in pay for more than four years due to the state of the economy. So what if salaries are frozen, it’s better than no job.
and he says he is for the people. He needs to be voted out. He is so out of touch with his district.
I’m still mad about Five Irons original mention (not at him or her, with him or her). Is it true that any congressman/woman with only two years of service – a term I suppose, is eligible for a full benefits package? I want to know how the folks that are paying for all this largess are remaining sane?
I think you actually have to do more than 2 years to get the full pension. Rep Giffords ran for reelection and then retired a few days after her second term began, rather than resign after her attack severely damaged her mental abilities.
Her mental abilities are intact Kharn. Her ability to speak clearly and unencumbered is impaired. Like a stroke. Surely you can understand the difference between the two. It’s like stupidity and ignorance: one is a condition, the other is a choice.
ALEX R says
Andy Harris voted to freeze everyone’s pay, including his. Sarcastically speaking, where is Wendy Rosen when you need her? Oh, that’s right, under indictment. I don’t think Harris is the sharpest knife in the drawer but the New Harford Democratic Gang can’t seem to find a viable candidate. Wendy Rosen? Alfred E. Neuman could have beat her. I know, some say he did. No, I don’t want a Democrat, but the Democrats have made it so easy to get just about any Republican elected. They can’t find their backside with a flashlight and a large mirror.