Saturday, September 15, 2012

Federal Employees & Retirees

For the first time in my life after leaving home and joining the US Air Force during the Vietnam War era, and year into my college, I'm seeing both political parties using federal employees and retirees not just as political fodder but as the enemy of the economic and financial future of this country.

Democrats have traditionally supported federal employees and retirees, if not overtly in the partly platform and campaign speeches, then subtly in their campaigns by responding to criticism by the Republican candidates and party.

But President Obama has repeatedly used federal employees and retirees as political bargaining chips with Congress. He arbitrary froze our salaries and annuities two of the last three years before even fighting for some increase for the cost of living and inflation.

He threw us overboard for other gains. Now after a one year increase which didn't match the cost of living or inflation he's offering a minute increase of less than one percent, even a half percent or less, in advance of budget negotiations with Congress.

Congress is proposing another three year freeze on salaries and annuities while increasing the cost of health insurance and payment for benefits for employees. Retirees will get the health insurance increase.  And President Obama is not standing up for us in this fight beyond the small increase in salaries and annuities.

And he still wants my vote. For what? After 32 years in government service all I get is blame from both parties along and the Republican candidate, and now the President. All I get are promises of another 2-3 years, and maybe longer, of annuity freezes.

I, like many federal retirees, are slowly financially sinking while others get better. And I'm one of the lucky retirees who worked hard to get a decent annuity where I don't have to work, or didn't have to or plan outside of developing my own business.

That may change if the annuity freeze continues another 2-3 years as I can't afford to fall behind much more than I am already. And we're expected to vote for this guy? Why? Right now it's only because he's the lesser of evils, still evil, but less than Romney.

And while he is the President, he's shown his loyalty isn't with federal employees and retirees. He may talk about supporting us, but not when there's a fight, when we become one of the early victims left on the political battlefield by this President.

Sorry Mr. President. I like you but not for many things you've done and especially this one thing, which is nothing in support of us, the folks that made and make your government work. We deserve a living wage and annuity, not one from 3 years ago and definitely not one kept there for another 2-3 years.

We built this government and we make it work. Something apparently you don't feel the need to honor beyond words. Your actions speak louder.

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