The nation’s finances are a mess. The budget deficit looks like it will be over $1 trillion for a fifth consecutive year. Incoming Senate Democrats, who haven’t passed a budget since 2009, have already said that they won’t bother to pass a budget in 2013 either. The President and Congress are locked in heated negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”
So why not order $11 billion in pay raises for federal employees who are already much better off than their private sector counterparts?
According to a senior Republican congressional aide who has reviewed the executive order and consulted with the Congressional Budget Office, Obama’s pay raise will cost $11 billion. “The CBO told us that the President’s pay raise for federal workers will cost $11 billion over ten years,” says the aide.
The aide explains, “On the cost-estimate, CBO says the (discretionary) cost of the .5% pay-hike the President is calling for in the Exec Order – relative to a freeze – is about $500m in FY 2013 and $11 billion over the ten years from FY 13 – FY 22. The reason why the FY ’13 savings is only $500 million is because the pay hike as proposed by the President’s Exec Order would not go into effect until April 1st, 2013 – when the current CR expires. So it only covers half the fiscal year. The annualized cost of the pay hike is about $1 billion/year.”
One almost gets the idea that President Obama isn’t really all that serious about moving the country toward a position of fiscal discipline.