Federal employee pensions

I figured it was only a matter of time before this happened. I mean, God forbid that anyone other than bankers have a comfortable retirement in this country:

The generous pension system enjoyed by millions of federal workers from clerks to senators and judges has emerged as a key target in negotiations between Vice President Biden and congressional leaders looking to restrain the growing national debt.

Republicans have proposed saving more than $120 billion over the next decade by requiring the civilian workforce to contribute more toward retirement — a plan that would effectively impose an immediate 5 percent pay cut on more than 2 million federal employees. President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission has also endorsed the idea, calling the federal system “out of line” with the private sector.

Yes, it’s true that the federal retirement system is better than that of the private sector, but that’s because the private sector has decimated their retirement benefits by comparison. So the “bipartisan” solution is to make retirement just as miserable for federal workers as it is for everyone else! Let’s not even get into the fact that federal workers have agreed to work for less pay in order to have a dependable retirement plan.

Now, administration officials have expressed interest in raising the amount that employees contribute to their pensions — though probably not as high as the GOP proposal, definitely not as fast and possibly not for all workers, according to people in both parties familiar with the discussions.

If adopted as part of a compromise plan to control federal borrowing, the proposal promises to test the resolve of local lawmakers — particularly Democrats — by forcing them to choose between the lofty goal of debt reduction and the interests of public-sector workers, who have come under fire from Republicans in Washington and several state capitals.

5 thoughts on “Federal employee pensions

  1. I can’t stop thinking that with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President, this stuff shouldn’t be an issue at all. Survey and poll after survey and poll say that regular people don’t want what the “Republicans” are pushing…..

    So why are the Dems giving in on this? I just don’t get it at all.

  2. I can bet you right now that one part of the pension system will be left untouched: pensions for federal judges.

  3. Nope, pragmatic realist, the pensions that will be left untouched are those for congresscritters and the president. Maybe the federal judges will be lucky, but they won’t be the main group protected. The other group that may be protected are the political-appointee level administrators who head agencies (cabinet-level secretaries and their deputies).

  4. Katiebird, I share your exasperation. Who ARE these so-called Democrats we elected? Why do they talk about cutting pensions instead of significant tax increases for the rich? Why are so few people in the mainstream media even asking them such questions? Roosevelt and Truman must be spinning in their graves.

  5. “the lofty goal of debt reduction . . .” Rethug code for “fucking working men and women . . .” Every Democrat should expect being primaried if they vote for this.

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