Human Events Blog

Tax increases for you, pay raises for them

President Obama just issued an executive order to thaw out the rather over-hyped “pay freeze” on various federal employees, “in effect giving some federal workers a raise,” as the Weekly Standard reports.

One of the workers in question is Vice President Joe Biden, who’s getting a bump from $225k per year to $231,900 per year.  Hmm.  He’s a “millionaire” under Democrat party dogma, because he makes over $200,000 per year, and he’s getting a raise bigger than the $2,200 tax increase Obama’s intransigence is about to dump on the Sainted Middle Class.

Overall, it’s not a very big pay increase.  The Level I executive pay rate is going from $199,700 to $200,700 – in other words, from just below the $200,000 single-filer threshold that makes them “millionaires” to just above it.  Various congressional and judicial salaries are affected as well.  And no matter how much you happen to make, it’s demoralizing to have your pay frozen.  Government employees understandably feel no differently on that topic than their private-sector counterparts.

But as the Standard notes, “the timing isn’t great” on this move, seeing as how we’re locked in the final hours of the “fiscal cliff” struggle.  No one thought the pay freeze on federal employees could last forever, and frankly their number is a far greater concern than small increases to their individual salaries.  The nominal gross wages of top officials are a small fraction of the wealth and privileges they accrue at public expense.  But this probably wasn’t the best moment for the freeze to end, from an “optics” standpoint.  Then again, why not?  What are you going to do about it?

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