Joe Davidson & Eric Yoder report in the Washington Post:
“The House budget proposal released Tuesday continues Republican efforts to cut federal employees’ compensation by making them pay more for retirement benefits.
Saying they seek “reforms to civil service pensions to put them on a better fiscal path,” the spending plan released by the House Budget Committee calls on staffers “to make greater contributions to their own defined benefit retirement plans.”
While the Republican’s “Plan for Fiscal Responsibility” did not provide details, it echoes previous proposals, including one offered by President Trump this year. He proposed increasing individual out-of-pocket payments toward retirement by 1 percentage point each year until they equal the government’s contribution for those in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
Over a six-year period, this would result in increased payments of about 6 percent. With no increase in benefits, that would equal a 6 percent drop in pay.
The budget “blueprint” assumes that the main panel overseeing federal employment in the House will take those steps to find the $32 billion in savings over 10 years that the blueprint would require.
The budget plan released by Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) also would end the “special retirement supplement,” which pays FERS employees “the equivalent of their Social Security benefit at an earlier age.”
“These plans put the ownership, flexibility, and portfolio risk on the employee as opposed to the employer,” the GOP document says. “Similarly, federal employees would have more control over their own retirement security under this option.”
Federal employee leaders sharply disagree.
“Slashing the pay and benefits of America’s civil servants while lining the pockets of the wealthiest of the wealthy is a shameful way to govern the country and is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with this horrible budget,” said J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees.”
Read the complete article with charts at the above link.
These guys are shameless. The USG’s career civil service was once a “model program” that states, private employers, and even other countries sought to emulate. It produced an overall talented, motivated, honest, and effective workforce. And, the promise of an adequate, stable, and predictable retirement program underwritten by Uncle Sam was an important part of that success.
The GOP proposes to end all of that and turn the USG into just another lousy employer more interested in his or her own welfare than the well-being of the employees who are the heart and soul of the business. Shifting risk from the “big guys” like the Government, who can actually leverage investment and insurance markets and raise revenues when necessary, to individual employees who are much less well positioned to bear that risk is immoral, not to mention stupid. You get what you pay for. Reducing government employment to the lowest common denominator will essentially make us a third world country.
I dealt with this in Immigration Court all the time. The main difference between the U.S. and countries folks were fleeing (many of which had plenty of natural and human resources) was the lack of government structure and the inability or unwillingness of government to be an “honest broker” serving the needs of the people at large. In too many countries, corrupt governments are seen as primarily furthering the power and interests of those at the “top of the pile” and keeping everyone else in line.
We once had a President who sought to create a U.S. Government of “the best and the brightest.” Sadly, those days are long gone. Ultimately, all of us, and particularly those who come after us, will pay the price for the GOP’s endemic lack of vision and decency and their failure to honor and appreciate the massive contributions of career civil servants to to overall success of our nation.