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How about federal employees sharing in the sacrifice?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:18 pm - July 13, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Congress (112th)

About a year ago, USA Today reported that federal workers are earning twice what their private sector counterparts take in:

At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

So, given that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sought a Sense of the Senate resolution on Shared Sacrifice (which, Ed Morrissey reports, fell “to defeat on a procedural vote“), how about asking federal workers who draw their salary from taxpayer funds to share in the sacrifice?

I mean, if a private company suffers a revenue shortfall, it often cuts costs by reducing the salaries of its employees.  Our federal government has such a shortfall and federal workers have been seeing pay and benefit increases even as the company, er, government, operates in deficit.

So, here’s a suggestion.  According to Wikipedia (citing 2005 census figures), the median gross income of all persons working full time is $39.509.  We’ll take $42,500, a number a little higher than that (to be generous to our government employees), as our baseline.

We wouldn’t ask federal employees to sacrifice any of that $42,500, but every dime they earn over that and less than $85,000 (twice $42,500) will be cut by 10%, every dime over $85,000 and less than $170,000 (twice $85,000) will be cut by 20% and everything over $170,000 will be cut by 30%. (more…)

CNN: More interested in News Mogul’s Foibles than Obama Administration Misdeeds

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:18 pm - July 13, 2011.
Filed under: FDS (Fox Derangement Syndrome),Media Bias

Whenever one of the TV monitors at my gym has been turned to CNN this past week, I’ve caught the various pundits, anchors and reporters breathless with schadenfreude at the phone hacking scandal related to Rupert Murdoch’s recently defunct News of the World.

Unable to rival Murdoch’s FoxNews int the quality of their product or the size of their audience, CNN’s various personalities have pulled a page from the Democratic playbook:  when you can’t win on ideas, accuse them of scandal.  And while CNN devotes hours upon hours to the coverage of their rival, they have all but ignored potentially scandalous activity in the Obama administration.

They seem to think it’s more important to look into the activities of a rival journalist than investigate the Justice Department’s involvement in a plan to facilitate the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels (and possibly even Honduran gangsters).  Or the withholding of documents in a congressional investigation of a “a $335 million federal loan guarantee given to a politically correct clean energy firm.

Now, we’ve got a trio of septua- and octogenarian Democratic Senators writing “Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to look into concerns that News Corp. — the parent company of Fox News — violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, known as the FCPA.”  Although Mr. Rockefeller is certain **CERTAIN** they’ll “find some criminal stuff”, his certainty is based less on actual evidence of wrongdoing than prejudice against FoxNews.   Ever since Watergate, Democrats have always been convinced that their ideological adversaries (real and perceived) are guilty of criminal activity.

And so too it seems are the media.  I mean, why else would they have been so interested in the Bush Justice Department doing its job in firing a handful of U.S. Attorneys and so incurious about the Obama Justice Department involvement in a plan to sell guns to gangs who murder U.S Border Patrol agents?

America needs you, Warren Harding?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:48 pm - July 13, 2011.
Filed under: American History,Economy,Real Reform

America needs you/Harry Truman,” sang the band Chicago in 1974.”  They added later that the straight-talking Missourian knew “what to do.”‘

Over at Powerline, Steven Hayward paraphrases “Those Were the Days,” the theme song to the 1970s hit sit-com, “All in the Family,” so suggest that given Herbert Hoover’s predilection for government solutions to the Great Depression, we could instead use a man like Warren Harding again.  Hoover, he reminded up, citing Dan Mitchell and others

. . . increased government spending 47 percent in his one term, raised taxes, and signed off on the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariff, which first caused Franklin Roosevelt to run against Hoover’s profligacy, but later caused Rex Tugwell to say later that “practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.”

Turns out that to confront the recession he “inherited” (to borrow a word) from his predecessor, the Ohio Republican

. . . cut government spending sharply and rapidly (by almost 50 percent), began cutting tax rates across the board, and allowed asset values and wages to adjust freely as fast as possible.  Harding’s administration, Paul Johnson observed, “was the last time a major industrial power treated a recession by classic laissez-fairemethods, allowing wages to fall to their natural level . . .  By July 1921 it was all over and the economy was booming again.”  (more…)