Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bill Introduced to Cut Salaries of Government Employees Earning $100 Thousand or More

In something of a head-scratcher, a Congressman has introduced legislation that would reduce the salaries of any Government employee earning more than $100 thousand (including congress and the president) by 8.7 percent. This would affect more than 300,000 Federal employees. These "federal bureaucrats are making up regulations that restrict recovery, causing every day expenses like gas, groceries, and electricity to eat up families' budgets. This reduction, according to the sponsor, would give "federal bureaucrats" incentive to get government out of the way so the free market system can work.

On February 26, 2015, Congressman Tom Rice (South Carolina) introduced HR 1137, a bill to provide for an 8.7 percent reduction in the annual rate of pay for Government employees earning more than $100 thousand. The Bill was promptly referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Realistically, the Bill isn't going anywhere. The "Govtrack.us" website gives it a six percent chance of getting out of committee and less than one percent of being enacted.

According to Congressman Rice, the cut would remain in effect until the economy recovers to pre-recession levels. When the economy tanked, middle-class families and mid-level American workers were hit the hardest. When take-home pay for everyday Americans returns to pre-2007 levels, so should federal government salaries.

At a time when the Government is already challenged to retain their senior managers with years of experience, training, knowledge, and skills, this Bill seems counter-productive. Wouldn't such an action hasten their exodus? And why blame the lack of recover on Government employees. It is Congress and the Executive Branch that make the restrictive regulations. Government employees only implement what Congress and the President has decreed.

There is a point here however. Government employees were largely untouched by the recession. In fact, Government employment increased during the recession. Government employees enjoy much greater job security than do their private counterparts.

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