February 28, 2013 | Vol. 116 -- No. 45

Federal workers shouldn’t be the go-to source for sequester cuts

Letters to the Editor

Over the last 29 years of my life, I have worked for the federal government- both in military and civilian status. For the most part I have enjoyed working my career, but I like many of my hard working and dedicated colleagues we have endured many bumps and bruises along the way.

This time is different. Government employees are now being vilified by the press and Congress that have tried to paint us as all making over $100,000 dollars and having great benefits. Most of us in the rank and file do not make anywhere near that amount and most have benefit packages less than the public sector. My pay has been frozen for the last three years, and Congress just voted this last week to extend it for another year.

Now we face mandatory furloughs for 22 days. That’s 20 percent of our pay. The Treasury Department has taken $156 billion out of the G-Fund Federal retirement account. Does this sound familiar? Remember they did the same thing with Social Security, and that’s why it’s broke now!

Members of Congress, Department of Defense and the press have you believing these cuts will be the end of the world. That the federal services to the public are going to come to a standstill. We are only talking 2 percent of the total budget.

Federal employees have done their share and will continue to do so. With the cuts already done we have saved taxpayers over $103 billion.

I believe this situation that we are in has more to do with selfish greedy elected officials than “balancing the budget.” Congress is notoriously known for forcing the great divide between the “haves and the have nots” so they awarded the banking industry when they stole from the American citizens and now they are continuing to steal from us by significantly reducing our salaries and increasing the amount of money we contribute to our pensions, health insurance, etc.

They are pretty good with the smoke and mirrors. Creating one debacle after another and misleading the American public so as to divert our attention to their real plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for balancing the budget but cutting federal salaries will only have a temporary effect on reducing the budget. Why not go for those so called hard decisions, like forcing the rich to pay more in taxes or better yet, rewrite the legislation and reduce Congress’ salaries. Let’s all equally share the sacrifice, and tell Congress to get their act together!

Jerry Goertz

Medical Lake

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