Disorganizing For America: Left Hates Obama Pay Freeze

Organizing for America, the QUANGO behind the Obama election campaign of 2008, wants its followers to thump the tub for President Obama's proposed federal pay freeze.

From a message the organization sent out to members today:

The economy is growing again, yet all across America families and businesses have been tightening their belts. The President knows their government must do the same.

Yesterday, he announced a proposal to freeze pay for non-military federal employees for two years — a plan that will lead to $60 billion in savings over 10 years. It’s one of many tough choices the President has made to cut costs in the upcoming budget to begin to put our nation’s fiscal house in order. And it follows directly from this administration’s dedication to stretching federal dollars and reining in the long-term deficit.

Now, if you listen to some talk radio hosts or a few of the talking heads on cable news, you’ll hear a very different assessment of our fiscal policies.

Obama is actually asking for fans to take on right-wing commentators, but his followers on the left are appalled at the idea of organizing against overpaid, un-fire-able employees. "Here’s what OFA is reduced to," FireDogLake's David Dayen says. "We’ve officially gone around the bend." He concludes, "I can’t wait to see the open rate on this one. And the unsubscribe rate."

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman uses his New York Times blog to compare Obama to a fictional totalitarian.

The federal pay freeze doesn't go nearly far enough, but it's a step in the right direction by a president who has, well, not always been the most scrupulous spender. The disparagement of Obama for making the suggestion doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the left’s ability to rejoin the reality-based community. Krugman is so lost in his own sick fantasy world that he really seems to believe the U.S. government does not need to rein in spending. But are other liberals that extreme? Some things are true even though Obama and the Republicans believe them.

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  • Liberal Douchebag||

    But... but... federal workers SHOULD get paid more than private-sector, for-profit pigs!

  • Barack Obama||

    Yes, My minion. Do My bidding, and I may yet allow you to live.

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • xaM||

    1!!!!!!!!!!!!FRAFRAFRAFRAFRAFRAFRA

  • ||

    "The disparagement of Obama for making the suggestion doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the left’s ability to rejoin the reality-based community."

    This is only the second thing he's proposed that's made any sense to me at all!

    Listening to the left talk about Obama is like listening Tom Waits singing about a woman that only loves him for being a loser and a drunk.

    If the left only loves him when he's being stupid, then I don't know how he's ever gonna get reelected for being smart.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksbaPmRDa60

  • Some Guy||

    My alternate plan is to have a permanent pay freeze, and create a new pay scale (and annual review system) that is more in line with the private sector. Those who opt into it get raises again, and get something like 75% of the present value of their pension plan transferred into their TSP accounts (the 401k of federal employees.) New hires are automatically in the new plan.

    To the best of my understanding, that is perfectly legal, and it would be a big up-front cost, but a much bigger long term savings. No future federal employees would ever get a defined benefit plan other than those disabled in the line of duty (including the military.)

  • Prohibition Kills||

    Hey!!!

    Paul Krugman is smarter than you dammit. You best stick to writing children's stories and leave the heavy lifting to the real intellectuals.

    Oh man, I just had a little puke spill on my keyboard...

  • ||

    Yeah we denizens of the left coast have already been treated to the anguished federal employees bleating in front of the federal building in Oakland....."Why do we government workers always need to suffer first"?

    Fuck you numb nuts...my poor dear private sector wife had 10% lopped off. If she doesn't like it she's free to try her luck elsewhere! No vigil for her or her co-workers!

  • Atanarjuat||

    Exactly. A pay freeze is not "suffering". Hell, I haven't gotten a raise in seven years.

  • ||

    It's looking like Obama is pretty fucked in 2012. If he does sane things to try and rein in spending, his base goes apeshit, and might cease to vote for him; and if he does the stuff they like, we'll still (most likely) be in a recession by 2012 and the country will vote him out.

    Tough shit, big O.

  • Bingo||

    He should just say "fuck it" and spend the next 2 years on the world's longest golf tour while pocket vetoing everything that comes out of Congress.

  • Some Guy||

    That would make those 2 years the greatest 2 years of any Presidency of my lifetime. I'd be tempted to vote for him if he promised to keep it up.

  • ||

    He could go live on Brando's private island and get really fat!

  • ||

    Err, that's impossible.

    Bills can only be pocket vetoed if Congress is adjourned.

    Now, if Congress would cooperate by staying adjourned for the next two years, great.

  • Almanian||

    Congress adjourned for the next two years, and Obama playin' golf - EVERYBODY WINS!! Woo hoo!

  • ||

    Ignorance is bliss, but Stupidity can't be tolerable. How stupid are you? You don't know anything about Congress. why else would you believe doing nothing will fix anything? maybe you're that dumb?

  • ||

    Personally I think it would have made more sense for him to propose much bigger cuts. The left is going to crucify him over even this meager scratch on the surface of the deficit, so he may as well have gotten crucified for something bigger.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Good point. Reading those comments under the Krugman article was a moment right through the looking glass.

  • Corey S.||

    The NYT comments are... I don't have words for them. The "pay freeze" still includes step raises for heaven's sake! NYT commenters (and bloggers?) are not part of the reality-based community, that's for sure.

  • ||

    Given that most actual evidence seems to support Krugman's brand of Neo-Keynesian economics rather than the Austrian or Chicago schools, I'd submit that his view is more reality-based than yours and his prescription *not* to make major cuts to government spending that actually results in consumption until the economy has more fully recovered (as in unemployment going down) is the correct one.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Most actual evidence = my fevered delusions and anti-capitalist prejudices

  • ||

    Pretty much. The base has to go apeshit and refuse to vote for him. If they supported him, they would have to admit none of their policies work or are popular. And they will never admit that. So, instead they will seize on anything Obama does that isn't total apeshit liberal and claim that he is a traitor to the cause and everything would be great if only they had gotten a real liberal in office.

  • Atanarjuat||

    If Palin is the Republican nominee, the left will turn out for Obama.

  • ||

    The left demonize anyone the Republicans nominate.

  • LarryA||

    Sarah v. Hillary

    The election from hell.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    And probably the most entertaining election in our life times.

  • John Ellis||

    This is why I hire women to blow me, not run my studio.

  • ||

    This took me a second, but nice.

  • Invisible Finger||

    If Palin is the nominee, the GOP is purposely throwing the election. Again.

  • alan||

    If Big O was from the start serious about civil liberties as he had campaigned, and unserious about the socialism, he would have had a chance to have been one of the better presidents. Pity he got the order reversed, as I assumed he would. Egalitarians don't waste their political capital on civil liberties, and never will. The votes come from the bribed not from those who are merely treated decently.

  • 0x90||

    Yep. I was reading dkos a little yesterday, and there were an awful lot of heads exploding over this. There were a couple voices of reason trying to explain the symbolic value of the gesture, but the rest were having absolutely none of it. Not even in a "you're wrong, and here's why" way, but more in a ears-plugged "nononono-lalalala-not-my-president" way.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obama is actually asking for fans to take on right-wing commentators...

    Are the Hannitys and Rushes of the VRWC actually complaining about the pay freeze?

  • Some Guy||

    They are on WSJ. It's just amazing to see the reflex action of being against anything Obama says.

  • ||

    No shit? The world has truely gone crazy.

  • ||

    "It's just amazing to see the reflex action of being against anything Obama says."

    I don't have a problem with that.

    I didn't have a problem when people were just reflexively against what the Bush Administration was doing either.

    I wish there were more people like that.

    In Libertopia? Being against whatever the President's proposing is everybody's default position.

  • Some Guy||

    I'd rather people actually considered whether or not a proposal was good, then was for or against it based on that.

    In Libertopia? Being against whatever the President's proposing is everybody's default position.

    Does that mean you would expect the same Libertopians elect someone who needed to be opposed in such a manner?

  • ||

    In Libertopia?

    Only two or three percent of the people vote--and the lack of participation makes the president too afraid to do much of anything.

    I think that's the way Libertopia comes about--people stop believing in politicians, stop seeing them as the solution to their problems. ...and start seeing them as the cause of a lot of problems.

    That becomes their default position. The government's a way bigger chunk of my problems than it is a chunk of my solution...

    Their solutions are my problems! So whatever solution whoever in charge is proposing?

    No thanks--that's my default position.

    If our next president sits in the White House for four years and never says or does a thing? He or she will be the best president we've had in decades.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The pay freeze is much, much too modest, so I guess I'm complaining as well. But it's a baby step in the right direction.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    "Step" is much to strong a word.

  • prolefeed||

    Obama is actually asking for fans to take on right-wing commentators...

    Are the Hannitys and Rushes of the VRWC actually complaining about the pay freeze?

    I can't imagine anyone on the right complaining about this, except to say that it doesn't go nearly far enough, like cutting actual wages and firing people.

  • ||

    There's a lot of that. There's mockery of it as basically pointless and limited, but I haven't seen anyone object other than that.

    I'd say that that's different from outright opposing it as the wrong idea.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The Federal bureaucracy will likely finagle the system to accelerate promotions and otherwise push most employees up a GS-notch in the next two years. After the freeze is over, it will then determine that a one-time COLA to catch up to inflation-adjusted 2009 payscales is in order ... kinda like they did in the wage-and-price control days back in the 70s.

    This may sound overly cynical, but long experience has taught me that giving the benefit of any doubt to the State is naive. Its purpose is to fleece the sheep in its flock.

  • ||

    I can't imagine anyone on the right complaining about this, except to say that it doesn't go nearly far enough, like cutting actual wages and firing people.

    This plan is bullshit and will kill the economy!!!!

  • ||

    It amazes me how tone deaf liberals are. In an era of 15%+ unemployment and everyone just praying they have job at any wage, they are pissed the guy who gropes you at the airport might not get his 3% raise this year. Yeah, that is a real political winner.

  • Bingo||

    I'm convinced that a large portion of Obama's base will settle for nothing less than a social safety net and government job benefits that would put France to shame. The economic reality is never given any consideration, it's obviously The Corporations preventing their paradise from coming to fruition.

  • ||

    You may be right. The person below asks what Krugman world would look like. Basically, it seems to consist of some pre adolescent fantasy of everyone getting a pony but not having to pay for it. These people really do seem to be children.

  • Alan||

    You nailed it.

    I have a friend who is a communist. Real nice guy, but he just seems incapable of understanding basic economics - or even mathematics. In his world, everyone would have a pony - because they would, you know? He wants an international brotherhood of man that includes ALL people, but he's so out of touch with reality that he doesn't understand that his quality of life would go DOWN rather than up if everything were shared equally among all the people of the world tomorrow.

  • ||

    For an exercise in mathematics, your homework is to compare health costs per capita in countries with and without national health care, and cross-reference against health outcomes. Then get back to us and go over which side of the debate really 'gets' mathematics (or indeed, simple arithmetic) better.

    I'd also say that Krugman has explicitly recognized numerous times that if his prescriptions for raising additional revenue were followed, that his personal tax burden would most likely increase, and therefore his disposable income would go down - and he's fine with that.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Don't need to. America has the best health outcomes in the world for the insured despite regulation fucking it to no end.

  • ||

    I wonder what Paul Krugman's fantasy world would look like? Would we all be government employees?

  • 0x90||

    Fantasy worlds such as his are not populated by sentient, let alone autonomous, beings.

  • Almanian||

    Holy. Fuck. Read the Krugnuts wee post, just for the comments. I've selected one to share with Reasonoids - enjoy its delicious angst, fear and loathing:

    And that's why I just unsubscribed from the Obama for America newsletters - he's apparently not for America, he's for pandering to the Republicans. Real shame.

    Dear God - they really are that stupid...

  • ||

    He didn't even lay anyone off or cut anyone's pay. He just said no cost of living increase. There hasn't been one of those for Social Security recipients for a couple of years now. I mean Jesus. They just got killed in the mid terms. He has to do something. This seems pretty harmless and symbolic enough. What the fuck to these people expect him to do? I almost feel sorry for the dumb bastard.

  • alan||

    I was on the phone with mum earlier today and we talked about the SS cola. I told her it had been over calculated the previous year because they expected a higher rate of inflation that itself was based on an expected higher rate of economic expansion than what occurred. I rarely talk politics but she was for some reason surprised I didn't spin it against Obama. It is hard to make a partisan understand that no spin is necessary especially in economic matters more so than any other area of public policy as there are actions that are productive and actions that are counter productive and they are easily separated phenomenon that require no guess work, everything else being duplicitous obfuscation that any sensible person should be able to avoid being suckered into. That to me is the real mystery, why something as oddly ludicrous as the idea that tertiary spending returns at a greater rate of productivity than direct capital investment when one forty hour work week out in the world at large for a medium sized business where all the inplant means of production are available for your inspection should dispel anyone of that silly ass Keynesian notion.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Thanks for saving the SSA a few dollars by killing your mum through the sheer boredom of listening to you.

  • Bingo||

    Oh my god, the comments are beautiful

    Various provisions of the health care and financial reform laws will come on line in the future. These require regulatory enforcement. Do you really think that antagonizing the federal work force in general and the regulators in particular will advance the economy or any facet of our national life?
  • ||

    Or this one

    This really put it over the edge for me. I severed my ties to the Obama organization because of the sheer cravenness of the pay freeze. It's one thing to work toward progressive policies but falter at the message or the distance you go (even if that ends up being nowhere due to the need to negotiate away something), but it's quite another to simply give up on those policies and then go backward on your own accord, without any negotiation. Some progressive. He's lost this millenial.

    So Progressivism now means endlessly rising pay for federal workers.

  • Bingo||

    Yes, but don't forget, those federal workers are highly qualified! After all, they only hire the best.

    For those complaining about federal pay... I was out of work fro a year and a half. During that time I tried applying for federal jobs in my fields... Even though I had graduate degree, many years of expereince was a manger in my field in industustry,,, i did not have the credientials to get a job in my field with feds anywhere close to my prior pay level. For lower paying professional position I got rated 'qualified' ... but only those rated highly qualified got their resumes passed on..

    it is totally idiotic to compare the average government salary to the average US salary WITHOUt first taking into account the types of positions... The goveremnt needs a lot of highly educated professional people- more so than most industries...

    I would guess the media federal JOB is higher level than the median job in the country. Only after conrolling for THAT can you compare dollars.

    Freeze the salaries and what you will get are lower quality employees as the best ones they will move to industry to support their families ... highly skilled people can do that...

    i ca'nt beleive they didnt hire tihs lady,,,, shes a manger w/ a gradate degree fer cryin out lod!

  • ||

    And it never enters her mind that maybe those jobs are hard to get because the economy is horrible and people have no other choice. Federal jobs being in high demand is not a good thing.

  • ||

    Wow.

    That's it. Wow.

  • ||

    I wrote it. It's an example of the inverse of agitprop.

  • Warty||

    I like his assumption that having an MBA and having been a middle-management paper pusher means he's highly skilled.

  • Warty||

    I meant to reply to John's quote, but this one is more or less the same.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I had graduate degree

    Let me guess. Her degree is in English?

  • ||

    I am guessing she has a masters degree in Social Work. Seriously, they exist. My older sister has one. Yep, she has a "masters" degree in "you poor thing, let me help you fill out some welfare forms".

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE HAVE GRADUATE DEGREE. STEVE GRADUATE AND RAPE DEGREE. STEVE FIND JOB RAPING GOVERNMENT, GOOD BENEFITS!!!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Wait a minute. Civil service is a holy and noble calling. Unlike work-a-day plebians and heartless corporate marauders, civil servants only have the best interests of the nation at heart. They are a noble priesthood and we should be happy to offer them as much as we do, if not all that we have, for their cool, level-headed expertise and vigilant management of our nation.

    *vomits*

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yep, federal work = holy orders.

    They're as fulla shit as the church.

  • sounds real good||

    Wow! That person totally accepts his subservient position to federal workers and regulators. So it is and so it shall be.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Doesn't the average federal employee make over $100,000 a year? Liberals are truly insane. Either that or Barack Obama's only remaining supporters live in D.C.

  • Juice||

    In DC, a salary of $100k allows you to rent a 2-3 bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood.

    If you had a spouse making the same, you might be able to afford to buy a 1500 sq. ft. 3 bedroom row house (depending on the neighborhood).

    So a family raking in $200k in DC doesn't feel too loaded, even though they are, so they demand more pay. Federal expenditures increase and the cost of living increases in DC accordingly.

    So the federal workers continue to live as they "deserve" because the cost of living keeps up with their salaries, but the expenditure for their salary keeps going up.

  • Juice||

    Sorry, shouldn't have said salary.

    If you have total compensation equal to $100k, you probably have about $65-70 in salary and that will allow you to rent a 1-2 BR apartment in a good neighborhood. Maybe a nice one if it's in a high-rise.

    Two people living together, each making that, you can start thinking about renting a rowhouse or something like that (again, depending on the neighborhood).

  • ||

    Poor federal employees who will get a 0% COLA for two years when CPI will be roughly 0%.

  • CatoTheElder||

    But are other liberals that extreme?

    Read the comments on the Krugman blog. Krugman's complain is modest by comparison.

  • Anonymous||

    The greatest part about this whole story is that I received a 20% raise on the exact same day that this news broke.

    Of course it's little consolation given that I get paid something in the neighborhood of half the average federal worker.

    And its further little consolation given that my raise still hasn't returned my salary to my pre-2008 earnings.

    But I will take these little wins wherever I can get them.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Freeze the salaries and what you will get are lower quality employees as the best ones they will move to industry to support their families"

    Translation:

    "Fuck the private sector."

  • ||

    Not to mention the fact that there's not a chance that any federal workers would get off that gravy train for something so relatively minor.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Why do they need a COLA? The Ben Bernank keeps telling me there is no inflation. It's just my imagination that gas has gone up by $0.15/gallon.

  • Bill||

    Gas and food don't count in the most common inflation definition. Who needs to eat, drive a car, or heat their home?

    They don't want to put highly volatile prices in the definition. It might make inflation look high.

  • johnitalia||

    I live in San Antonio, so I would not be an acceptable answer to the question of who needs to heat their home.

  • ||

    In order to meet Christmas, Some commodities have been, discount .In addition Buy $ 300 and receive a free glasses or a wallet, as a Christmas gift . welcome all friends to order. Reputation, quality, absolute guarantee. please log in: http://www.fashionsb.com . so what, move your mouse . good...go...

  • Robert||

    Love the Engrish!

  • ||

    Perhaps if I used bad English, the "third-party spam filter" wouldn't give me the boot. :(

  • ||

    Crap. Democrats are really all hands on deck on their Libtard train to hell. We really are going to head for one-party rule if this is the path they're taking.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Dude where have you been?

  • Robert||

    Interesting (Novel?) use of the term "QUANGO". I guess they qualify as quasi-autonomous because they're under the personal direction of a gov't official or crony, and non-governmental because it's not within his official capacity.

  • ||

    "The disparagement of Obama for making the suggestion doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the left’s ability to rejoin the reality-based community."

    Is Barack Obama a Moral Cretin?

  • sounds real good||

    Some of the commentors on that site actually seem to get it.

  • Alan||

    Yes. But only a few, and it had to be a pretty blatant case for them to notice.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Fuck. You. Pauly. Krugnuts.

  • ||

    Matter of fact... Federal employees' have seen a nice bump in pay of late as well as quite a few more colleages in the ranks. I believe they are payed more than double their counterparts in the private sector. A freind said not to worry though. There are a number of ways to circumvent a freeze... Ie go from a SS-6 to a SS-6.2 as intermediary gov't pay grades are not subject to Pres. O's freeze. Does anyone really think they would cut off their own toes.? Even though they are little and significant. Like the unions, another doner.

  • King Barack I||

    Nobody gets a raise.

    But everybody gets a promotion!!! Because you're all so competent!

  • ||

    The article is very interesting, but Some issues still remained less affected. I hope that a future article and will reveal things behind the scenes, things that show us the true face of this. Maybe we must think twice before that. tinctura propolis

  • ||

    A friggin romanian domain???? I think an equifax employee shot his brains out just for me having hovered my cursor over that link.

  • Atlanta Painters HQ||

    Are you friggin kidding me? The gov't increases the power of Unions, then Caps all income on Everyone making in excess of $150k EXCEPT for "Collective Bargaining Agreements", aka UNIONS... The Gov't TAKES from the "rich", redefines "wealth", then "Graciously" wants to "sacrifice" like they FORCE "the elderly, students and impoverished" (paraphrased) to. Get real. This "BILL" is a JOKE. Don't let them kill Capitalism. If they LIMIT the greatest minds to achieve, only the Gov't will produce.

  • dave c||

    test

  • ||

    Do you really think that antagonizing the federal work force in general and the regulators in particular will advance the economy or any facet of our national life?

    It strikes me as an excellent start.

  • ||

    So, can we now say that the Official Obama Logo shows a setting sun?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Maybe it's the sun bending over for a TSA inspection.

  • ||

    "The disparagement of Obama for making the suggestion doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the left’s ability to rejoin the reality-based community." Excuse me, their own claims notwithstanding, when exactly was the left EVER a part of a "reality-based community". REJOIN???

  • ||

    In the late 1970's the military was faced with a "hemorrhage of talent" due to low pay and howling inflation. People left the service despite 14-18% unemployment.
    In today's economy, with no pay raises for government employees, I do not see a wave of departures from Federal employment.
    It would seem that Federal pay is adequate.

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