The lifespan of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign slogan, “We’re all in this together,” ended with a thud Friday, when he signed an executive order ending the 2010 federal pay freeze.
The looming fiscal cliff has dominated the national headlines for weeks on end. If we take that tumble, it will mean higher taxes for everyone, a half-trillion dollar defense cut and $8 gallon milk for starters. But that’s OK, because “we’re all in this together.”
Even if we don’t fall off the cliff, when the Affordable Care Act’s tax provisions kick in, it’ll mean 20 new or increased taxes we can look forward to, only partially paying for a program most Americans don’t want. It’ll come at a time when the private sector is announcing massive layoffs and cuts in employee hours. But we can pull through, because “we’re all in this together.”
We’ll also be hitting the debt ceiling again in January, with a Congress and presidency whose only answer is to keep raising the ceiling instead of actually dealing with the spending problem. As a result, we can probably expect another credit downgrade. But again, “we’re all in this together.”
Well, maybe we’re not all in this together.
Last month, after the president’s re-election was secure, unions representing federal workers told Obama and Congress they were tired of “pay freezes,” saying that when it came to cutting government fat, don’t dare look to them, according to the Huffington Post.
The unions spoke, and the president listened.
On Friday, President Obama signed an executive order, which will end the 2010 federal pay freeze on March 27, 2013. By the same order, the president has also granted everyone a pay increase. Vice President Joe Biden’s pay will be raised by $6,379, to $231,900, according to the new pay schedule below which the president attached to his order.
The original pay freeze would have actually expired this month — so it’s really more of a three-month extension. But the pay raises are a nice bonus.
But then again, it really wasn’t much of a pay freeze to begin with. Daniel Greenfield, writing for FrontPageMag.com, described it as “a sham because it sounded good, but did not apply to automatic step pay increases so Federal employees still continued getting raises despite the pay freeze.”
Maybe we – the taxpayers who have to foot the bill for all this generosity – were never all in this together from the start.
The following is a list of new wages for the vice president, members of Congress and the judiciary attached to the president’s order.
Read more at The Weekly Standard.