Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Did you get your $3,000-dollar raise yet, like Obama promised?


“The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take a civil-service exam.”–Ronald Reagan

Mark Steyn asks: Still foolish enough to be in the private sector paying for the benefits of the public sector?

In the United States, Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute calculates that if the federal government were to increase every single tax by 30 per cent it would be enough to balance the books—in 25 years. Except that it wouldn’t. Because if you raised taxes by 30 per cent, government would spend even more than it already does, on the grounds that the citizenry needed more social programs and entitlements to compensate for their sudden reduction in disposable income.

In Canada, the average household’s debt-to-income ratio reached an all-time high in 2009. Credit-card holders at least three months behind with their payments increased by 40 per cent.

In Greece, public sector workers are rioting over the right to continue retiring at age 58.

In Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, government spending accounts for between 73 and 78 per cent of the economy, which is about as high as you can get without embracing full-scale Sovietization. In the English city of Newcastle, three-quarters of the working population are employed by the government.

…You know that “economic downturn” you hear so much about? It goes away if you work for the government! Indeed, you get an economic upturn. USA Today reports that at the start of the “downturn” the U.S. Department of Transportation had just one employee earning more than $170,000 per year. Eighteen months later, it has 1,690. … A U.S. government employee gets an average $41,000—that’s not salary, that’s in additional benefits.

The new class war in the Western world is between “public servants” and the rest of us. In Greece, the bloated public service has leeched so much out of the economy that they’ve run out of Greeks to stick it to, and require an intervention by the European Union. Likewise, the debauched public sector of California is pinning its hopes on federal largesse. At a certain level, American public opinion understands this. It’s why Obama has fallen so far so fast. Fourteen months ago, it seemed like a smart move to make “trillion” a routine part of the Washington lexicon. Now all its many citations do is remind even the most innumerate that the Democrat project is a crock, and the word itself is merely shorthand for “money we don’t have and will never have.”

“Never”, Mark? That’s not what Santa-in-Chief says:

OBAMA: How many people are getting’ insurance through their jobs right now? Raise your hands? A’right. Well, a lot of those folks, your employer, it’s estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000%, which means they could give you a RAISE!

FOLLOWERS: (cheering)

The White House says Obama meant $3,000 dollars, not percent.

In other words, Obama says his Health Reform is so good, employers will have piles of extra dollars laying around like Scrooge McDuck in his bank vault, all to give you your $3,000 raise! Congratulations on a job well done!

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the only ones scheduled for a raise like that are…you guessed it:

Members of the U.S. Congress will get $4,700 cost-of-living (COLA) raise beginning in January 2009. The average member of Congress will realize a 2.8 percent raise, bringing his or her annual salary to $174,000. The raises for congress will cost taxpayers $2.5 million during 2009.

With passage of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, lawmakers authorized themselves the automatic – no debate, no vote – annual cost-of-living raise unless they specifically pass legislation rejecting or reducing it. … In 2008, lawmakers accepted a $4,100 raise. So far, no legislation rejecting the 2009 COLA increase has been introduced. …

During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin proposed that elected government officials not be paid for their service. Franklin’s proposal won little support. As you might guess, this year’s automatic raise for Congress coming as millions of American workers are giving up their cost-of-living raises in an effort to save their jobs — if they still have them – has similarly won little support.

$174,000 plus benefits doesn’t keep the wolf away from the door like it used to. It barely keeps congressional wives barefoot and indigent.

As a government employee, I demand better taxpayers!




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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