Public Employees Are Not The Enemy

Voters have come to expect politicians to “frame” arguments in a way that supports their position. Unfortunately too many politicians are very generous with their definition of an “honest” discussion. A recent example of this can be found on Tim Walberg’s twitter feed where he stated: Today I voted to stop @whitehouse’s executive action to raise Congressional pay. Washington doesn’t need a pay raise. In these difficult economic times most would probably agree with his statement that congress doesn’t need (deserve) a pay raise. Of course if Representative Walberg was being completely honest he would have also mentioned in this tweet that the executive action from the White House was for all civil federal employees and that Congress could have easily excluded themselves from the deal while leaving the raise for the other 2 million federal employees. The representative could have also included a few other relevant facts that would have made his “courageous” position seem a little less patriotic such as the fact that the pay for these federal employees has been frozen for the past two years and that the raise in question was only 0.5% compared to a nearly2% annual increase¬† in the private sector pay rate and a 3.6% cost of living increase for Social Security recipients. Additionally it should be noted that this incremental increase would only cost the government $10 billion over 10 years while eliminating the capital gains tax – a move Tim Walberg supports and made an integral part of his election campaign- would cost 100 times as much or 1 trillion over the same time frame. Both ideas accomplish the same goal of getting additional money into the hands of taxpayers who will theoretically spend it. The big difference is Tim Walberg supports $1 trillion dollars in lost revenue if it benefits the very rich while he opposes a fraction of that government spending if members of the working class are the main beneficiaries. If Representative Walberg doesn’t think 2 million working class American deserve a few hundred dollars in their pay checks this year that’s fine and he should tweet that for all to see but in these tough economic times we should expect better from our elected officials than such dishonest campaign style rhetoric attacking our civil servants.

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