Priorities: On Eve Of Fiscal Cliff, Obama Orders $11 Billion In Federal Payraises


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.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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