BREAKING NEWS Minnesota National Guard identifies 3 killed in helicopter crash Full Story

President Trump is shafting federal workers

President Donald Trump ran for office as a populist. He ...

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 12:39 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 12:39 PM

President Donald Trump ran for office as a populist. He swore to fight for the "forgotten men and women," a phrase he stole from FDR. But under his presidency, the middle class remains forgotten -- hammered is more like it.

President Trump's announcement that he wants to cancel the 2.1% pay raise for federal workers is just the latest assault on the middle class.

Civil servants

Compensation and benefits

Donald Trump

Federal employees

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Labor and employment

Political Figures - US

Public finance

Taxes and taxation

US federal government

White House

Workers and professionals

He sent a statement to Congress on Thursday saying we can't afford to give our people a measly 2.1% bump because -- are you ready for this? -- "We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases."

Donald Trump is now worried about the debt. Are you kidding me? That's like John Dillinger worrying about gun violence. Like Kim Kardashian worrying about being overexposed. Like Donald Trump worrying about spray-tanning and pathological lying.

President Trump championed a tax cut that spends $1.5 trillion on the forgotten corporate class. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, when the GOP tax bill is fully implemented, an astonishing 83% of its benefit will flow to the top 1%.

The President's answer to the fiscal meltdown he is causing is not to ask those who've gotten the most to pay a little more. It's to hurt the folks who are already serving us.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, home to numerous federal workers, both in the D.C. area and the Norfolk naval region, called BS on Trump's newfound fiscal prudence.

"Let's be clear," Warner wrote in a statement, "the President's decision to cancel any pay increase for federal employees is not motivated by a sudden onset of fiscal responsibility. Today's announcement has nothing to do with making government more cost-efficient -- it's just the latest attack in the Trump administration's war on federal employees."

The American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents 700,000 of the 2 million federal workers, is vowing to fight. "Federal employees have had their pay and benefits cut by over $200 billion since 2011, and they are earning nearly 5% less today than they did at the start of the decade," said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. in a press release. He plans to push Congress to go over President Trump's head and mandate the pay hike.

I hope they win. After all, you get what you pay for. Do you want your overworked air traffic controller to be missing meals and feeling faint? Do you want your Social Security check being handled by someone who's holding three jobs? How about bridge inspectors and meat inspectors and the folks who fight forest fires? Or the scientists and doctors who are working around the clock to find cures for Alzheimer's and cancer and HIV/AIDS?

Should they get a pay cut? Do you want the men and women who take on the drug cartels to be worried about making their rent payment? Really?

Worse still, President Trump wants to end what's known as the "locality pay increase" -- an annual adjustment to assist federal workers in parts of the country where the cost of living is high -- like, say, the neighborhood Trump Tower is in. So TSA agents at LaGuardia Airport in New York, medical researchers in Atlanta, Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Los Angeles, homeland security professionals in D.C. -- all will suffer.

Of course, while federal workers struggle, President Trump has made a fortune from government assistance. One analysis by The New York Times estimates Trump received $885 million in tax breaks from New York alone. And that doesn't count the millions he'll get from the tax cut he signed.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service agents who protect his life, the household staff that makes his bed, women and men who patrol the border he's always yapping about -- get shafted. Federal workers are patriotic; nearly one-third of them are veterans. Many of them do work that is difficult and dangerous -- and almost all of them do work for which they are rarely thanked.

You might even say they've been forgotten.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 25°
Albert Lea
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Austin
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
Charles City
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Rochester
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Winter is roaring back
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Gift Quality Book and Bake Sale

Image

Reading Center celebrates grand opening of new building

Image

Christmas by the Lake

Image

Making quilts for those in need

Image

John Marshall girls defeat Lakeville South at home

Image

Lourdes boys hockey falls to Mound Westonka

Image

North Iowa Bulls close out the Barn with a win

Image

Weather Sean 12/7

Image

Weather Forecast Sean 12/6

Image

Making medical cannabis more affordable

Community Events