In the age of Trump, all it takes for liberals to decide where to align on an issue is to gauge where President Donald Trump stands and take the opposite position.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo threw a colossal fit Thursday over reports that Trump, citing the nations’s budget, wants to scrap an “inappropriate” pay raise for federal workers.
“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” President Trump said in a statement.
Citing a strong economy, Cuomo seized on the fiscally responsible stance to attack the GOP tax cut passed earlier this year.
“The economy is great. I can’t sustain any payroll increases. How do those go together?” the CNN host asked, after playing clips of Trump boasting about how well the economy is doing.
“Well, two things to think about. First is, the truth is a strong economy usually drives more tax revenues. But because of the president’s imbalanced tax cuts, right now he’s not going to get more revenue for the government,” he continued. “So he has to offset the difference, and he’s chosen — that’s the second thing to think about here, his choice. He’s chosen to do that by stiffing the employees.”
Having sufficiently driven a wedge between the president and federal employees — who overwhelmingly donated to Democrats in the 2018 election cycle — Cuomo then came down squarely in their corner by claiming they don’t make all that much.
“Now, some will argue, well, those employees, they make too much, or this is about leaning out the elites. That is B.S., okay?” Cuomo said. “There are 2.8 million federal workers. They make, on average, $76,000 a year. That’s about $213 billion annually that the government has to come up with. The proposed raise was 2.1%. In context, that doesn’t even make up for the impact of inflation.”
Let’s be clear, today’s federal worker is a far cry from your grandfather’s humble public servant.
In a statement to the House Oversight Committee in May 2017, Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said the Congressional Budget Office reported that, on average, federal salaries and benefits were 17 percent above private-sector levels.
For less-educated workers “federal pay is more than 50 percent higher than private-sector levels.”
“All-in compensation per full-time equivalent federal employee in 2015 was about $123,000,” Biggs said.
This figure would include salary and benefits.
The Oversight Committee report reflected 2.1 million workers employed in 2015, and included total federal compensation being close to $260 billion.
The Federal Salary Council, which consists of six representatives of federal labor unions and three outside members appointed by the president, said in a report that federal employees receive salaries that are, on average, 34 percent below the private sector.
“Many policymakers and reporters rely on the Salary Council’s figures in considering
appropriate pay levels for federal employees,” Biggs pointed out. However, the Salary Council’s figures are highly flawed, and no other study I have seen reaches conclusions remotely like those of the council.”
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