Who wouldn’t want a little extra cash for Christmas?
But with a record number of people unemployed for so long they’ve given up looking for a job, and with the pitiful performance of all three branches of government over the past year, the signing of an executive order two days before Christmas to raise federal salaries just seems like a slap in the face of taxpayers.
It’s only a 1 percent raise for the military and civilian employees, but that’s 1 percent more than anyone who’s out of a job is going to get.
Congress of course voted itself a pay raise last week, after cutting pension benefits for veterans.
As the new year approaches, taxpayers are facing higher taxes, mostly in the form of Obamacare, which is requiring millions of people to buy overpriced health insurance, often including unwanted or unneeded coverage, or face a fine enforced by the IRS.
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said the increase for government workers is needed because the economy is improving. The latest figures show the economy growing by an annualized 4.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, the highest since 2011.
Naturally, to Democratic thinking, that just means it’s time to increase government’s cost some more.
“In the case of federal civilian employees … given that these hardworking public servants have already contributed nearly $114 billion toward deficit reduction and some were furloughed as a result of the shutdown and the sequester, it is long overdue,” Hoyer said.
Somehow, it never occurs to anyone in Washington that if they want the economy to grow, one of the best ways to do it would be to cut the size of government and give some of that stolen money back to taxpayers.
Of course a 1 percent raise would go a lot farther if our “hardworking” government would do something about inflation, which is 1.2 percent for the 12 months ended in November, over 2 percent for 2012.
That would be a Christmas present we could all enjoy.