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Under the Mountain Bunker

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    Postal Workers begin four-day hunger strike, say Congress is killing the postal service →

    “Not the Internet, not the recession, not private competition, Congress is killing the postal service,” Community and Postal Workers United wrote in a statement, NPR reports.

    Federal Eye reports: ”But the biggest target is Congress, which has not passed legislation to reform the cash-strapped agency. The Senate approved a bill in April that would rebalance postal finances by giving billions of dollars to offer buyouts and early retirement incentives to employees. Several bills are pending in the House.”

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #class war  #economy  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #congress killing the postal service  #federal workers  #gop led congress  #jobs  #postal service  #public sector  #Republicans  #united states postal service  #usps 
    Romney economics: fire people for the simple crime of working in government
NOTE TO ALL GOVERNMENT WORKERS: Mitt Romney hates you.
Jed Lewison points out the alarmingly stupid lie that Mitt Romney told his audience in Craig, Colorado last week:


That stimulus he put in place, it didn’t help private sector jobs, it helped preserve government jobs, and the one place we should have cut back was on government jobs. We have a 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work!

Mitt Romney’s 145,000 claim isn’t accurate, but even if it were, it’s amazing that Romney believes firing tens of thousands of Americans would be good for the economy. The way Romney puts it, firing public sector workers would create jobs in the private sector, but that’s nonsense. The economy isn’t zero-sum game: You don’t need to fire someone to create a job. In fact, every time someone loses their job, no matter whether they are in the private or public sector, the economy as a whole takes a hit.
But Romney’s crazy economic theory is not even grounded in reality—under Obama, public sector employment has dropped, while private sector employment has grown. Obama signed the stimulus in February of 2009. Since then, public sector employment has dropped by 608,000.Private sector employment, meanwhile, has increased by 760,000. Even if you just look at federal employment (which is but a small fraction of the overall public sector workforce), only 26,000 jobs have been added, a slower pace of growth than in the private sector.

Just as Paul Krugman recently said, Obama’s actually “been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer:”

Just over three years into Reagan’s first term, government jobs grew by 3.1 percent; at the same time during Obama’s tenure, they’ve been cut by 2.7 percent. Hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs have been shed in recent years. Government jobs also grew under President George W. Bush, which helped keep unemployment down during most of his two terms. “After there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up. It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush.”

FACT: The only time government employment has gone DOWN during a recession has been under Obama.
Romney is using the old “Republican Strategy” on the GOP’s working class, trailer park dwelling base voters — all of whom have been conditioned to believe that if others have something they don’t (like a job with a living wage), it’s because those ‘others’ have taken something away from them personally. How else are you going to justify to people who will never be rich, who are living paycheck to paycheck, that the wealthiest need more money and they will need to get by on less?
It would seem Romney has some kind of personal vendetta for public sector workers. Mitt’s worth about $250 million and has said federal workers make more than him. Despite all of this, how many working and middle class conservatives will vote for him anyway? (ALL of them.)

    Romney economics: fire people for the simple crime of working in government

    NOTE TO ALL GOVERNMENT WORKERS: Mitt Romney hates you.

    Jed Lewison points out the alarmingly stupid lie that Mitt Romney told his audience in Craig, Colorado last week:

    That stimulus he put in place, it didn’t help private sector jobs, it helped preserve government jobs, and the one place we should have cut back was on government jobs. We have a 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work!

    Mitt Romney’s 145,000 claim isn’t accurate, but even if it were, it’s amazing that Romney believes firing tens of thousands of Americans would be good for the economy. The way Romney puts it, firing public sector workers would create jobs in the private sector, but that’s nonsense. The economy isn’t zero-sum game: You don’t need to fire someone to create a job. In fact, every time someone loses their job, no matter whether they are in the private or public sector, the economy as a whole takes a hit.

    But Romney’s crazy economic theory is not even grounded in reality—under Obama, public sector employment has dropped, while private sector employment has grown. Obama signed the stimulus in February of 2009. Since then, public sector employment has dropped by 608,000.Private sector employment, meanwhile, has increased by 760,000. Even if you just look at federal employment (which is but a small fraction of the overall public sector workforce), only 26,000 jobs have been added, a slower pace of growth than in the private sector.

    Just as Paul Krugman recently said, Obama’s actually “been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer:”

    Just over three years into Reagan’s first term, government jobs grew by 3.1 percent; at the same time during Obama’s tenure, they’ve been cut by 2.7 percent. Hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs have been shed in recent years. Government jobs also grew under President George W. Bush, which helped keep unemployment down during most of his two terms. “After there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up. It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush.”

    FACT: The only time government employment has gone DOWN during a recession has been under Obama.

    Romney is using the old “Republican Strategy” on the GOP’s working class, trailer park dwelling base voters — all of whom have been conditioned to believe that if others have something they don’t (like a job with a living wage), it’s because those ‘others’ have taken something away from them personally. How else are you going to justify to people who will never be rich, who are living paycheck to paycheck, that the wealthiest need more money and they will need to get by on less?

    It would seem Romney has some kind of personal vendetta for public sector workers. Mitt’s worth about $250 million and has said federal workers make more than him. Despite all of this, how many working and middle class conservatives will vote for him anyway? (ALL of them.)

    — 2 years ago with 4 notes
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #d President Obama  #Mitt Romney  #jobs  #employment  #stimulus  #federal employees  #lies  #federal employment  #civil servants  #federal workers  #running government like a business  #private sector  #liar  #government employees  #government workers  #public sector  #The Republican Strategy  #bain capital  #vulture capitalism  #mitt romney hates you  #craig colorado 
    MORE austerity for the rest of us: FIRE SEASON – Congressional budget cuts of over $500m could leave crews scrambling for resources in an already overactive fire season Fire experts are warning that $512m in congressional budget cuts could leave communities dangerously exposed in an early and active fire season. “A person has to wonder. Is this going to be the new norm – frequent record-setting fires, while the number of federal firefighters and air tankers continue to shrink?”wrote Bill Gabbert, a former fire management officer in the Black Hills of South Dakota. – Raw Story
That’s great news when combined with this news: drought expands throughout USA – Only two states — Ohio and Alaska — are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the Drought Monitor. The drought is expanding into some areas where dryness is rare, such as New England. – USA Today
The USA hasn’t been this dry in five years.

    MORE austerity for the rest of us: FIRE SEASON – Congressional budget cuts of over $500m could leave crews scrambling for resources in an already overactive fire season Fire experts are warning that $512m in congressional budget cuts could leave communities dangerously exposed in an early and active fire season. “A person has to wonder. Is this going to be the new norm – frequent record-setting fires, while the number of federal firefighters and air tankers continue to shrink?”wrote Bill Gabbert, a former fire management officer in the Black Hills of South Dakota. – Raw Story

    • That’s great news when combined with this news: drought expands throughout USA – Only two states — Ohio and Alaska — are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the Drought Monitor. The drought is expanding into some areas where dryness is rare, such as New England. – USA Today

    The USA hasn’t been this dry in five years.

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #austerity  #spending cuts  #fire season  #drought  #gop congress  #wildfires  #federal firefighters  #government workers  #federal workers 
    Mitt Romney coddles government parasites: the uncomfortable glitch in Republican ideology →

    Jonathan Chait makes a great point about the uncomfortable glitch in Republican ideology, which has been enthusiastically embraced by Mitt Romney, regarding ‘certain’ government workers:

    Police officers and firefighters are a tricky occupational category for Republicans. Culturally, they are allies — working class, mostly male, and beloved symbols of American values. Economically, though, they are government workers, which has always put their interests in tension with those of the GOP, and especially so in recent years, as Republicans have increasingly held up government workers as a kind of parasitic class.

    […] At this point, it should be a no-brainer which political party is actually fighting for government workers and which party just likes to pretend they’re really, really macho with public demonstrations of homage to the manliest men of civil service, while plotting to defund their ranks (or their pay and benefits) behind closed doors.

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #civil servants  #Democrats  #federal employees  #federal workers  #firefighters  #GOP  #government employees  #government workers  #labor unions  #law enforcement  #macho government jobs  #Mitt Romney  #police  #President Obama  #Republicans  #unions 
    Mitt Romney coddles government parasites: the uncomfortable glitch in Republican ideology

    Jonathan Chait makes a great point about the uncomfortable glitch in Republican ideology, which has been enthusiastically embraced by Mitt Romney, regarding ‘certain’ government workers:

    Police officers and firefighters are a tricky occupational category for Republicans. Culturally, they are allies — working class, mostly male, and beloved symbols of American values. Economically, though, they are government workers, which has always put their interests in tension with those of the GOP, and especially so in recent years, as Republicans have increasingly held up government workers as a kind of parasitic class.

    Last night Mitt Romney was strolling across one side of this tricky line and slipped to the other. Appearing at a fund-raiser, he recounted his trip the day before to a Manhattan fire station. 

    […] ROMNEY:  ”I spoke with a fireman yesterday, and he has a one-bedroom apartment, and his wife is pregnant, and he can’t afford a second bedroom,” he said, referring to a visit to New York City. “I asked the firefighters I was meeting with, about 15 or them, how many had had to take another job to make ends meet, and almost every one of them had.”

    Well, maybe we should pay them more! Oh, wait — Romney’s position is that these fine public servants are luxuriating in excessive pay, a fact that, unlike swelling income inequality, constitutes a major source of unfairness in American life. (“We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve,” he said last week.)Obama’s position is that the federal government ought to provide aid to state governments to rehire some of the laid-off teachers, cops, and firefighters. Republicans oppose this.Continue reading…

    Also noteworthy, many police and firefighters belong to unions, which are One of the Greatest Evils of This World according to proper conservative thought. How on earth could Fortune 500 CEOs earn 380 times more than the average worker with strong labor unions?

    What I find fascinating is how there could be any government workers, at any level of government, in any job category, who would consider — even for a moment — today’s GOP as their ally on any subject that could personally affect them or their livelihoods.

    At this point, it should be a no-brainer which political party is actually fighting for government workers and which party just likes to pretend they’re really, really macho with public demonstrations of homage to the manliest men of civil service, while plotting to defund their ranks (or their pay and benefits) behind closed doors.

    Photos below: (pic 1) Giuliani and Romney carry pizza two feet to NY firefighters on May 1 for photo-op. (pic 2) Pizza boxes dumped on aide after photo-op.

    (Source: underthemountainbunker.com)

    — 2 years ago
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #civil servants  #Democrats  #federal employees  #federal workers  #firefighters  #GOP  #government employees  #government workers  #labor unions  #law enforcement  #macho government jobs  #Mitt Romney  #police  #President Obama  #Republicans  #unions 
    Race to the bottom with Romney! →

    The politics of resentment (or how to gin up the rubes):

    ROMNEY THINKS federal workers’ pay and benefits are ‘unfair’ — “We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve,” Romney said. Among the other items Romney listed as unfair: “urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice,” “politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses,” and “requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing.” – GovExec

    Of course, if regular people think it’s ‘unfair’ that Fortune 500 CEOs make 380 times what average workers make or that multi-millionaires, like Romney, pay less federal tax on their incomes than we do, Romney considers that class warfare. Mitt and the Republican Party need the working and middle class to resent each otherand not think too much about him and his wealthy friends and how the Bush tax cuts increase income inequality in our country.

    Here’s an idea: what if the private sector was expected to offer a living wage and benefits too? Or even create some jobs with all the money they’ve been hoarding? For the GOP, it really is a race to the bottom: how many Americans can they get to work for minimum wage and no benefits? And how easily can they get their conservative base to agree that people with good wages and benefits are their enemy? (Very easily, unfortunately.)

    Those corporate CEOs are only making 380 times more than average workers — shouldn’t we all suck it up and take even less money so that CEOs can earn 400 or even 500 times more? Republicans have so brainwashed their base that the rubes would actually be okay with that idea — as long as a Republican, any Republican, was in the White House.

    Related:

    — 2 years ago with 36 notes
    #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #vote!  #politics  #news  #GOP  #Republicans  #Mitt Romney  #federal workers  #income inequality  #The Republican Strategy  #one percent  #shiny object  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #politics of resentment  #wages and benefits  #unfair 
    LAST DAY to submit comments on USDA’s proposed rule: allow chicken slaughterhouses to self-inspect →

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THIS PROPOSED RULE

    More austerity / deregulation for the American people, endangering our food supply, health, the factory workers, the humane treatment of the animals, and federal jobs — all to allow the industry to maximize profits:

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line. Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    CLICK HERE TO READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS

    The problem for workers, advocates say, is that the presence of human inspectors serves as the primary governor of line speed in plants. With USDA inspectors out of the picture, the proposed rule would allow some plants to move from a maximum of 70 to 140 birds per minute to a maximum of 175, a potential boon to the efficiency-minded poultry industry. – USDA Poultry Plant Proposal Could Allow Plants To Speed Up Processing Lines, Stirring Concern For Workers

    If you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how many carcasses it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful

    According to OMB Watch, a government accountability newsletter, cutbacks at the USDA have coincided with a significant rise in salmonella outbreaks. The group says 2010 was a record year for salmonella infection and 2011 saw 103 poultry, egg and meat recalls because of disease-causing bacteria, the most in nearly 10 years. – Yahoo! News

    In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” – Mother Jones

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS 

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF 
    …
AP: Dangerous booby traps found on popular Utah trail
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The 20-pound spiked boulder was rigged to swing at head-level with just a trip of a thin wire – a military-like booby trap set on a popular Utah canyon trail.
Any unsuspecting hiker exploring the makeshift dead-wood shelter could have fallen prey.
Two men arrested over the weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment told authorities the traps were intended for wildlife, but investigators don’t believe the story.
“This is a shelter put together by people, visited by people – anything that would be impacted by their device would have to be humans,” Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. “It took some time to build these traps. They took rope, heavy-duty fishing line, and they intended what the traps were going to do.”
U.S. Forest Service Officer James Schoeffler came across the trip wires last week while on routine patrol on the popular Big Springs hiking trail in Provo Canyon about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. Having had previous military hazardous device detection training, Schoeffler immediately knew it was a threat. If not disabled, both devices – one set to swing down at head-level, the other designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes – could have been deadly.
[…] Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, of Orem and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo were booked in the Utah County Jail on Saturday and released on bail.
Prosecutors believed the misdemeanor reckless endangerment allegations were the strongest claims they could pursue without anyone being injured. Charges have not yet been filed.

    AP: Dangerous booby traps found on popular Utah trail

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The 20-pound spiked boulder was rigged to swing at head-level with just a trip of a thin wire – a military-like booby trap set on a popular Utah canyon trail.

    Any unsuspecting hiker exploring the makeshift dead-wood shelter could have fallen prey.

    Two men arrested over the weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment told authorities the traps were intended for wildlife, but investigators don’t believe the story.

    “This is a shelter put together by people, visited by people – anything that would be impacted by their device would have to be humans,” Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. “It took some time to build these traps. They took rope, heavy-duty fishing line, and they intended what the traps were going to do.”

    U.S. Forest Service Officer James Schoeffler came across the trip wires last week while on routine patrol on the popular Big Springs hiking trail in Provo Canyon about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. Having had previous military hazardous device detection training, Schoeffler immediately knew it was a threat. If not disabled, both devices – one set to swing down at head-level, the other designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes – could have been deadly.

    […] Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, of Orem and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo were booked in the Utah County Jail on Saturday and released on bail.

    Prosecutors believed the misdemeanor reckless endangerment allegations were the strongest claims they could pursue without anyone being injured. Charges have not yet been filed.

    — 2 years ago with 2 notes
    #horror  #news  #survival  #bed of sharpened wooden stakes  #Benjamin Steven Rutkowski  #dead-wood shelter  #federal employees  #federal workers  #great outdoors  #hazardous device  #hiking trail  #human booby traps  #if you're going to visit the forest - hope there's usfs workers in it  #Kai Matthew Christensen  #misdemeanor reckless endangerment  #provo canyon  #salt lake city  #spiked boulder  #trip wires  #us forest service  #usfs  #Utah 
    I won’t be eating chicken: USDA to lay off hundreds of inspectors, let poultry slaughterhouses inspect themselves →

    What could go wrong? Here is one of those Republican austerity measures that all of us will need to accept so that millionaires won’t have to pay higher taxes:

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    As early as next week, the government will end debate on a cost-cutting, modernization proposal it hopes to fully implement by the end of the year. A plan that is setting off alarm bells among food science watchdogs because it turns over most of the chicken inspection duties to the companies that produce the birds for sale.

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line.  Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    And from Mother Jones:

    But Food & Water Watch’s investigation of the USDA’s longtime pilot program to test the new procedures casts serious doubt on the food safety claim. Using the Freedom of Information Act, FWW obtained inspection documents from slaughterhouses in the pilot program for the first eight months of 2011. The reports relate to the 20 to 80 randomly selected birds the USDA inspectors looked at during each shift to check up on company-hired inspectors. The results, from FWW’s summary, make pink slime look downright appetizing (full report here):

    Company employees miss many defects in poultry carcasses. The inspection category that had the highest error rate was ‘Other Consumer Protection 4′ for dressing defects such as feathers, lungs, oil glands, trachea and bile still on the carcass. The average error rate for this category in the chicken slaughter facilities was 64 percent and 87 percent in turkey slaughter facilities. In one turkey slaughter facility, nearly 100 percent of samples found this category of defect.

    It gets worse. In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” One inspector’s report contained this unsettling anecdote:

    I observed a section of intestine wrapped around the rotating paddles in the neck chiller. The intestine was approximately 1 1/2 feet in length, contained fecal material. Additionally, numerous other pieces [of] digestive tract materials, such as chicken crops and esophagus were also observed in the neck chiller…This regulatory noncompliance would potentially allow for the cross contamination of necks by digestive contents material such as ingesta and/or feces.

    Ugh. FWW reports that the public has until April 26 to comment on the program, which could be rolled out as soon as October. Meanwhile, the USDA has made clear that it wants to institute the new rules.

    It’s all about money. The GOP cares about the corporations, their CEOs, and their profits — not the employees, and definitely not the public health.  Oh, and it also looks good to their ignorant teaparty base to be able to say they had a hand in laying off hundreds of federal workers. That’s gotta be the icing on the cake. That these feds protect our food supply doesn’t matter a bit. It’s the U.S. of Corporatism: profit over people.

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    Anyway, if you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how much it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful:

    Salmonella Questions and Answers

    — 2 years ago with 174 notes
    #FAIL  #income redistribution  #journalism  #news  #politics  #security / safety  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF 
    …
Sen. Daniel Akaka: Congress should stop targeting federal employees
Hard-working federal employees are being squeezed by Congress again, as some of my colleagues attempt to attach an extension of the pay freeze to pending highway funding bills. This comes after Congress last month effectively cut the pay of new employees by forcing them to pay more toward their pensions — permanently — to offset the costs of just 10 months of unemployment. I strongly oppose this new habit of picking the pockets of America’s dedicated middle-class public servants. […]  CBO’s report said that workers without college degrees were paid higher average wages in the federal government than in the private sector, but noted that workers with college degrees — the bulk of the federal workforce — were paid about the same, and workers with graduate or professional degrees were paid significantly less. Averaged across all categories, federal workers were paid 2 percent more. However, the report was flawed. CBO relied on limited survey data of self-reported wages and occupations, and some federal contractors inaccurately reported that they are federal employees. CBO did not account for complexity or other aspects of jobs, instead using broad occupational categories. As Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry pointed out, we should pay the federal forklift operator transporting nuclear-tipped torpedoes more than the private-sector forklift operator moving boxes… [graph via: thebottom99percent.com]

    Sen. Daniel Akaka: Congress should stop targeting federal employees

    Hard-working federal employees are being squeezed by Congress again, as some of my colleagues attempt to attach an extension of the pay freeze to pending highway funding bills. This comes after Congress last month effectively cut the pay of new employees by forcing them to pay more toward their pensions — permanently — to offset the costs of just 10 months of unemployment. I strongly oppose this new habit of picking the pockets of America’s dedicated middle-class public servants. […]  CBO’s report said that workers without college degrees were paid higher average wages in the federal government than in the private sector, but noted that workers with college degrees — the bulk of the federal workforce — were paid about the same, and workers with graduate or professional degrees were paid significantly less. Averaged across all categories, federal workers were paid 2 percent more. However, the report was flawed. CBO relied on limited survey data of self-reported wages and occupations, and some federal contractors inaccurately reported that they are federal employees. CBO did not account for complexity or other aspects of jobs, instead using broad occupational categories. As Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry pointed out, we should pay the federal forklift operator transporting nuclear-tipped torpedoes more than the private-sector forklift operator moving boxes… [graph via: thebottom99percent.com]

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #daniel akaka  #stop targeting federal employees  #federal workers  #federal workforce  #cbo report  #wages and benefits  #public vs. private sector 
    …
Yet another income redistribution scheme. Notice the GOP neverrecommends more revenue with a tax increase to the one percent? 
Medicare bill would hike costs to federal workers - Four Republican senators have introduced legislation designed to improve Medicare, but with federal employees paying a price. Under the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act, Medicare recipients would enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), the main sponsor of the bill, said it would save taxpayers $1 trillion over 10 years. He acknowledged, however, that the legislation would result in higher premiums for federal employees… An organization that represents older Americans on Medicare and federal employees does have arguments against the legislation. ”This is a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of proposal that would both bring down Medicare as we know it and threaten the stability of the FEHBP,” said Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

    Yet another income redistribution scheme. Notice the GOP neverrecommends more revenue with a tax increase to the one percent? 

    Medicare bill would hike costs to federal workers - Four Republican senators have introduced legislation designed to improve Medicare, but with federal employees paying a price. Under the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act, Medicare recipients would enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), the main sponsor of the bill, said it would save taxpayers $1 trillion over 10 years. He acknowledged, however, that the legislation would result in higher premiums for federal employees… An organization that represents older Americans on Medicare and federal employees does have arguments against the legislation. ”This is a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of proposal that would both bring down Medicare as we know it and threaten the stability of the FEHBP,” said Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #news  #politics  #income redistribution  #class war  #medicare  #federal workers  #federal employees  #gop  #republicans  #protect the wealthy  #war on the middle class 
    …
The Republican Party’s “race to the bottom” for the American worker: blame federal employees
Are there, in fact, “too many” federal workers? Look at the numbers below: if there are about six employees for every 1,000 Americans, that works out to one federal employee for every 167 Americans, or one fed responsible for an average of 167 people.

Federal workers under siege
According to a December 2010 report from the Office of Personnel Management, there were approximately 5.4 federal employees per 1,000 Americans in fiscal 2006. Four years later, there were about 5.9 federal workers per 1,000 Americans. The average federal employee salary was $74,311 in September 2010, according to OPM.
The size and pay of the federal workforce is untenable, many Republicans say, in the face of a federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year.
“We don’t have money,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who chairs a House subcommittee overseeing federal workforce issues. “If we were a business, we would shut down so many segments of our operation that we would put people on the streets.”
“Federal workers are patriotic, they work hard and by and large, do a great job,” added Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who sits on Ross’s panel. “I’m just concerned that there are too many of them. There would be more money to pay for the core of our federal workforce if we didn’t keep adding to the sheer number of federal employees.”
But Democrats, as well as unions representing thousands of federal workers, see it differently. They accuse congressional Republicans of launching an unjustified attack on federal employees — a product, they say, of the anti-government sentiment fueled by the tea party-backed, GOP takeover of the House.

Here’s a thought: if the population of the US continues to increase, doesn’t that mean there are probably more people who need services and programs?
The Republicans like to compare federal wages with private sector wages such as employees at Walmart and also the wages of fast food employees and other minimum-wage type jobs. The GOP would like to see everyone earning Walmart wages (lower the minimum wage!) so that CEO bonuses and corporate profits could be higher, but that’s another argument for another day.
However, since Walmart employee compensation is a favorite for the GOP to compare to federal workers wages / benefits, let’s go ahead and compare the number of employees to “customers” between Walmart and the federal government.
Continue…

    The Republican Party’s “race to the bottom” for the American worker: blame federal employees

    Are there, in fact, “too many” federal workers? Look at the numbers below: if there are about six employees for every 1,000 Americans, that works out to one federal employee for every 167 Americans, or one fed responsible for an average of 167 people.

    Federal workers under siege

    According to a December 2010 report from the Office of Personnel Management, there were approximately 5.4 federal employees per 1,000 Americans in fiscal 2006. Four years later, there were about 5.9 federal workers per 1,000 Americans. The average federal employee salary was $74,311 in September 2010, according to OPM.

    The size and pay of the federal workforce is untenable, many Republicans say, in the face of a federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year.

    “We don’t have money,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who chairs a House subcommittee overseeing federal workforce issues. “If we were a business, we would shut down so many segments of our operation that we would put people on the streets.”

    “Federal workers are patriotic, they work hard and by and large, do a great job,” added Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who sits on Ross’s panel. “I’m just concerned that there are too many of them. There would be more money to pay for the core of our federal workforce if we didn’t keep adding to the sheer number of federal employees.”

    But Democrats, as well as unions representing thousands of federal workers, see it differently. They accuse congressional Republicans of launching an unjustified attack on federal employees — a product, they say, of the anti-government sentiment fueled by the tea party-backed, GOP takeover of the House.

    Here’s a thought: if the population of the US continues to increase, doesn’t that mean there are probably more people who need services and programs?

    The Republicans like to compare federal wages with private sector wages such as employees at Walmart and also the wages of fast food employees and other minimum-wage type jobs. The GOP would like to see everyone earning Walmart wages (lower the minimum wage!) so that CEO bonuses and corporate profits could be higher, but that’s another argument for another day.

    However, since Walmart employee compensation is a favorite for the GOP to compare to federal workers wages / benefits, let’s go ahead and compare the number of employees to “customers” between Walmart and the federal government.

    Continue…

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #republicans  #gop  #war on the middle class  #5.9 federal workers per 1000 americans  #austerity for the rest of us  #colleen kelly  #employees to customers  #employees to us population  #federal employees  #federal government  #federal workers  #feds  #growing federal workforce  #NTEU  #number of employees  #race to the bottom  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #too many federal workers  #wages  #walmart  #walmart employees  #walmart workers 
    …
Opinion from a federal employee in this morning’s Washington Post, reposted in full
…

I work for Uncle Sam, and I’m proud of it
The author is a career Foreign Service Officer who has served in Tel Aviv, Baghdad and Washington. The views expressed here are his own and not necessarily those of the State Department or the U.S. government.
I am a federal bureaucrat. A professional government employee. And guess what? I’m damn proud of it.
It seems that all I hear these days are the once and future leaders of our country tripping over themselves to denigrate the work we do. I’m tired of it, and I’m fed up. I don’t claim to represent anyone other than myself, but I would bet that a fair number of federal employees feel as I do. We are lawyers, doctors, PhD students, economists, writers, electricians, construction workers, security officers and technology specialists. We are not a drain on the national economy; rather, we are a primary reason why the United States remains as great as it is.
Like many federal workers, I have sacrificed: a high-paying job in the private sector; a year of my life (and the first six months of my daughter’s life) spent in Iraq; long hours; high stress; pay freezes. I’m not complaining; in fact, I quite enjoy my career and my life in the Foreign Service. Yet when I hear our politicians talking about “fixing” Washington, I often wonder to myself: whom would they like to “fix?” Is it the guy I see on the Metro every day, heading to work at the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that our food is safe? Is it the woman going into Commerce Department headquarters to support U.S. companies abroad? Or do they mean the thousands of people who support our troops overseas? How about my fellow Foreign Service officers, who put themselves in harm’s way in Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus and hundreds of other places around the world?
I have no doubt that some within the federal bureaucracy simply show up each day to collect a paycheck. I also have no doubt that this happens within any number of multinational corporations, small businesses and law firms. But I know for a fact that most of us do this job not because we want to make a lot of money but because, simply put, we want to serve our country.
There was a time, not long ago, when government service was seen as a higher calling. That’s the reason I decided to join the State Department in 2005 — not because I wanted job security or good health benefits, but because I wanted to devote my life to making this country stronger, to making the world a better, safer place and to have a career I was proud of. Seven years later, I still get excited to come to work every morning. I still get a thrill when I enter the State Department and see the flags of every nation with which we have diplomatic relations. And I certainly get chills each and every time I see the U.S. flag on one of our embassies. I’m fairly sure I am not the only federal employee who feels this way.
So to all our politicians, I implore you: Stop using the government workforce as a political football. Just stop. It demeans you, it demoralizes us, and it is counterproductive to drive away the best and brightest from working for the betterment of this country.
We don’t do our jobs for glory, or money or power. We do them — and do them well — because we take pride in our work and pride in representing the United States of America.

Sidenote: To the GOP, the federal workforce is just one piece in the larger political game called The Republican Strategy. And it pretty funny that for all the disdain (on the Republican side of Congress) for government workers and the size of the federal government, they sure like being in government themselves, once they’re elected.

The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 9.8 years (4.9 terms); for Senators, 11.4 years (1.9 terms). 

Look no further than Republican Ron “drown the federal government in a small bucket” Paul, who’s been a state and federal representative since 1976!

    Opinion from a federal employee in this morning’s Washington Post, reposted in full

    I work for Uncle Sam, and I’m proud of it

    The author is a career Foreign Service Officer who has served in Tel Aviv, Baghdad and Washington. The views expressed here are his own and not necessarily those of the State Department or the U.S. government.


    I am a federal bureaucrat. A professional government employee. And guess what? I’m damn proud of it.

    It seems that all I hear these days are the once and future leaders of our country tripping over themselves to denigrate the work we do. I’m tired of it, and I’m fed up. I don’t claim to represent anyone other than myself, but I would bet that a fair number of federal employees feel as I do. We are lawyers, doctors, PhD students, economists, writers, electricians, construction workers, security officers and technology specialists. We are not a drain on the national economy; rather, we are a primary reason why the United States remains as great as it is.

    Like many federal workers, I have sacrificed: a high-paying job in the private sector; a year of my life (and the first six months of my daughter’s life) spent in Iraq; long hours; high stress; pay freezes. I’m not complaining; in fact, I quite enjoy my career and my life in the Foreign Service. Yet when I hear our politicians talking about “fixing” Washington, I often wonder to myself: whom would they like to “fix?” Is it the guy I see on the Metro every day, heading to work at the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that our food is safe? Is it the woman going into Commerce Department headquarters to support U.S. companies abroad? Or do they mean the thousands of people who support our troops overseas? How about my fellow Foreign Service officers, who put themselves in harm’s way in Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus and hundreds of other places around the world?

    I have no doubt that some within the federal bureaucracy simply show up each day to collect a paycheck. I also have no doubt that this happens within any number of multinational corporations, small businesses and law firms. But I know for a fact that most of us do this job not because we want to make a lot of money but because, simply put, we want to serve our country.

    There was a time, not long ago, when government service was seen as a higher calling. That’s the reason I decided to join the State Department in 2005 — not because I wanted job security or good health benefits, but because I wanted to devote my life to making this country stronger, to making the world a better, safer place and to have a career I was proud of. Seven years later, I still get excited to come to work every morning. I still get a thrill when I enter the State Department and see the flags of every nation with which we have diplomatic relations. And I certainly get chills each and every time I see the U.S. flag on one of our embassies. I’m fairly sure I am not the only federal employee who feels this way.

    So to all our politicians, I implore you: Stop using the government workforce as a political football. Just stop. It demeans you, it demoralizes us, and it is counterproductive to drive away the best and brightest from working for the betterment of this country.

    We don’t do our jobs for glory, or money or power. We do them — and do them well — because we take pride in our work and pride in representing the United States of America.

    Sidenote: To the GOP, the federal workforce is just one piece in the larger political game called The Republican Strategy. And it pretty funny that for all the disdain (on the Republican side of Congress) for government workers and the size of the federal government, they sure like being in government themselves, once they’re elected.

    The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 9.8 years (4.9 terms); for Senators, 11.4 years (1.9 terms). 

    Look no further than Republican Ron “drown the federal government in a small bucket” Paul, who’s been a state and federal representative since 1976!

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #honor  #news  #opinion  #politics  #rage  #war on the middle class  #demoralizing  #denigrating  #federal employees  #federal workers  #federal workforce  #GOP  #government workers  #higher calling  #political football  #Republicans  #sacrifice 
    …
WTF, Newt? - When I was watching the debate last night I did a double-take when I heard Newt say that ‘reforming’ the federal Civil Service system could save “a minimum of $500 billion a year.” […] Well, we looked into it and it turns out that the federal government’s entire payroll, even including the military, came to just $432.6 billion in fiscal 2011. In other words, if you fired everyone who works for the federal government you couldn’t save $500 billion.

    WTF, Newt? - When I was watching the debate last night I did a double-take when I heard Newt say that ‘reforming’ the federal Civil Service system could save “a minimum of $500 billion a year.” […] Well, we looked into it and it turns out that the federal government’s entire payroll, even including the military, came to just $432.6 billion in fiscal 2011. In other words, if you fired everyone who works for the federal government you couldn’t save $500 billion.

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #news  #politics  #reforming federal civil service system  #save $500 billion a year  #lies  #total federal payroll is $432.6 billion  #newt gingrich  #lying liar  #federal workers  #service members  #bullshit 
    If you have any friends or family employed by the federal government who also support the GOP… →

    …be sure to show them this link / story from the Washington Post. Maybe ask them why they hate themselves, or how they could support cutting their own throats by voting for a political party which so clearly despises them as a group?

    REPUBLICANS KEEP FOCUS ON FEDERAL WORKERS (note: headline changed by me)

    A bill under consideration Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would force workers to pay 1.5 percent more toward their pensions over three years beginning in 2013. The bill is expected to pass the committee on a party-line vote, then move to the full House for consideration.

    But the bill under consideration today is just one of several GOP proposals to curtail federal pay and benefits that is moving through the legislative process. Let’s briefly recap the bills under consideration:

    1.) The Securing Annuities for Federal Employees Act of 2012The bill would calculate federal retirement based on a federal employee’s highest five years of earnings instead of the current rate, which calculates the highest three years. The change would apply only to workers hired after this year and who do not have at least five years of previous federal service. Notably, lawmakers also would be included. The bill also would force pension contributions to rise 1.5 percent over three years and make other changes that would force many employees to pay more for a smaller retirement program.

    2.) Honest Budget Act: The bill would make it more difficult for Congress to pass appropriations bills without first approving a budget. It also tightens rules on paying for natural disasters that increase overall spending. Tucked within the bill, however, are provisions that would freeze all within-grade step increases for federal employees. Virtually every federal employee eligible for the pay bump earns it, according to the Office of Personnel Management, and payouts average about $2,000 as a worker graduates through the 10 steps of a grade in the 15-grade General Schedule pay system.

    3.) Extending the Federal Pay Freeze One More Year: The bill would extend a pay freeze for federal employees, congressional staffs and lawmakers for one more year, beginning in 2013.

    4.) Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2012 : The bill would extend the federal employee pay freeze through June 2014 and cut the federal workforce by 5 percent through attrition. Supporters say those cuts would shore up sequestration cuts in defense spending set to take effect next year.

    Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), left, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), right, are also pushing federal pay cuts. (Pete Marovich – GETTY IMAGES)    

    As National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley said, reducing wages and benefits to federal workers (and to unionized workers and to middle-class workers), is the Republican Party’s plan for a “race to the bottom for the American worker.” Who benefits? Corporations and the one percent — pay less for the same work and pocket more money at the end of the day.

    Read more…

    — 2 years ago
    #news  #politics  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #federal workers  #federal employees  #gop  #republicans  #teaparty