The piper will be paid. Of that there is no doubt. Thune’s attempt to stop avoiding reality has failed:
The chamber voted 57-41 to let stand a budgetary point of order against a GOP alternative amendment to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. The point of order essentially blocks the amendment, offered by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., which sought to avoid $113 billion in spending, partly by freezing federal employees’ salaries, eliminating their bonuses and collecting their unpaid taxes. It also would have held the number of government workers at current levels, and rescinded $38 billion in unobligated stimulus funds.
“The alternative amendment I proposed was a common sense step toward restoring fiscal sanity to our nation’s runaway spending and ballooning deficit,” Thune said after the vote. “The defeat of my amendment was a missed opportunity for Congress to prove they are serious about tackling our dangerous spending habits and $13 trillion national debt. This amendment would have lowered taxes for families and small businesses as they struggle through these challenging times.”
Hmm. Federal employees have unpaid taxes? You could have fooled me.
During debate of the amendment, Delaware Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman chastised the Republicans, saying they were using incorrect information on federal pay to scapegoat hardworking employees.
“Over the years, as I’ve witnessed countless acts of personal courage, devotion to country and real sacrifice” by federal employees, Kaufman said. “I have also seen and heard such disheartening and baseless attacks against those who choose to serve. The pending amendment is just the latest assault.”
Kaufman said it has become too common for politicians to criticize Washington by “defaming” civil servants.
“Now is not the time to talk about laying off federal workers, or freezing their pay,” he said. “We should be talking — seriously and on this floor — about how to invest in recruiting the next generation of federal employees.”
Really? We are using “incorrect information on federal pay.” Too bad such information was provided by the government and tells us that the average federal employee does very, very well in both pay and non-pay compensation. Let me tell you, Senator Kaufman, those who work for the federal government do not “serve” in numbers any higher than those in the private sector. This may have been the case at one time, but it is no longer true.
We do not need to work on the next generation of federal employees. We need to work on shrinking the current generation.