Everyone Hates Obama’s Pay Freeze Plan… Except Republicans

From Talking Points Memo:

The early reviews of President Obama’s plan to freeze federal worker pay are in — and it gets a resounding “F” from just about everybody outside of GOP leadership.

Michael Linden, a budget expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said the plan is small potatoes that risks driving away valuable civil servants with little budgetary upside.

“Bluntly doing it this way, we risk cutting off our nose to spite our face,” Linden said in a phone interview. “We risk not hiring good people, we risk not giving a raise to people who deserve a raise, and we miss not cutting the pay of those who deserve a pay cut.”


  1. Well, speaking as a Federal employee (and I realize this may be a naive and simplistic view), I’m okay with the pay freeze. There are so many families so much worse off…this won’t help them directly, perhaps, but it seems as though we could be sharing the pain a little….

  2. I am also a Federal employee and at first I hated it because I don’t like people messing with my monies, however, the more I thought about it, I realized that I have a good job and a steady paycheck and many don’t so I have little room to complain.

  3. This is entirely too rational!

    Taking a pay “freeze” sucks, sure, but so many people are in worse shape right now. I’d say that fixed pay with the (relative) security of most government jobs seems acceptable. I’m in the “private” world of employment, which has meant several years of pay freezes and cuts (peaked in 2007) with the constant fear of layoffs. And I’m still thankful for that.

  4. I read the plan and though not a federal employee, I do know a lot. This doesn’t seem to affect any of them though. I don’t know anyone that gets bonuses (one of the frozen things) or raises other than the step raises that aren’t being frozen. Is this just referring to COLA? Where’s the money actually being saved?

    As for all the federal employees here that feel sympathy with others – just remember back a few years when all the private sector folks were raking in the big bucks and now they’re out of jobs. You can feel sorry, but not so sorry as to justify giving up your $$. They take their risk for high reward at times. You take the safer route and shouldn’t have to take cuts just to make others feel better when the cuts hurt the system in the long run.

    I’m a state employee (public university) and only wish I had the luxury of COLA raises or any raises at all. In this economy we’ve been stuck with pay cuts, despite increased enrollment. Take what you can, be happy with it, and don’t feel guilty for someone else’s riskier career choice. Do we all need 6 figure bonuses to get by? No, but gratitude for a job doesn’t need to require taking cuts either.

    1. But it’s not just the 6-figure guys getting squeezed now. I’m not losing any sleep over the investment bankers who lost jobs. I worry about the teachers and cops and military and regular working class guys…they are certainly feeling the pain.

      Maybe I’m paying too much attention to NPR, but it sure seems like the country is in deep financial shit and if a pay freeze helps at all…well, count me in. A lot of people seems to argue against it by saying “it’s just a drop in the bucket.” But anyone who’s ever had a leaky roof knows those drops add up.

  5. I sympathize with the federal employees and hope that all they see are freezes, and not cuts. People tend to forget that most of these federal (and state) employees are in service jobs, providing government services to the rest of us. And I’m not just talking welfare and medicaid.

  6. In these tough economic times, people need to be happy they still have a job. Sometimes pay raises means other people get fired. I’m a city employee, and for the last 2 years (and who knows how many future years) we have had all raises suspended. When the Police & Fire union fought that, guess what…people lost their jobs to pay for it. Suck it up like the rest of the country and be super happy you get a pay check at all.

  7. The pay freeze sucks. AND I am really sick of reading people write lame excuses why it’s ok. BO take your pay freeze and stick it where the Hawaiian sun don’t shine!

Comments are closed.