« A Temporary Federal Pay Freeze Might Be Part of an Acceptable Long-Term Deficit Reduction Deal with Republicans – But it makes no sense at all as a preemptive pre-negotiation concession. Larry Mishel: Federal pay cuts: A bad idea for what gain?: In the context of the deficit, Obama will get chump change from freezing federal pay, and will only enlarge the degree to which federal pay lags that of the private sector (a gap of 22%, according to the federal pay agent’s report. See Table 4.) This is another example of the administration’s tendency to bargain with itself rather than Republicans, and in the process reinforces conservative myths, in this case the myth that federal workers are overpaid. Such a policy also ignores the fact that deficit reduction and loss of pay at a time when the unemployment rate remains above 9% will only weaken a too-weak recovery.
The Left Opposition Has a Budget-Balancing Plan » And it is a very good one–a much better one than the amateurish, unthought-through and far-right Simpson-Bowles or the professional but inequality-increasing and right-wing Domenici-Rivlin. Matthew Yglesias has beat me to the punch and already written about the thing: Yglesias » The Left and the Budget: Liberals didn’t like the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan largely because neither Simpson nor Bowles is a liberal…. Today the Our Fiscal Security coalition, comprised of Demos, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Century Foundation have released their fiscal blueprint which shows you would that liberal take would look like… the heavy (and appropriate) emphasis in the short term on mobilizing excess capacity to increase growth and decrease unemployment rather than austerity budgeting that will only increase resource-idling… No Cost Shifting, namely: Policies that simply shift costs from the federal government to individuals and families may improve the government’s balance sheet but may worsen the condition of many Americans, leaving the overall economy no better off… Document at: http://epi.3cdn.net/b3c2500a206a5ea13a_n7m6vzdpr.pdf