Austerity? What austerity? Obama pays bonuses.
Almost half-billion in bonuses paid to government employees in 2011.
Many Americans still struggle to find work, or to make do with what they have, but Obama has still managed to pay federal employees $430 million in bonuses. It must be a nice to be a high-ranking federal employee these days.
Sweet, sweet government scrill.
Meanwhile fiscal conservatives are blasting the president for paying out bonuses in a time of fiscal austerity.
Grant Cardone, a conservative commentator said, "This is the same president that criticized the banks for distributing bonuses when they were under - some of them involuntarily - government support. Federal employees are already overpaid and coddled with pensions and a variety of benefits.... How many roads could have been fixed or people put to work with this money?"
Meanwhile the Obama administration has defended the bonuses, saying they were for merit pay and incentives for employees who did good work. Moira Mack, from the Office of Budget and Management said the administration has already made cuts to federal bonuses. "the Administration eliminated bonuses for all political appointees, directed agencies to adopt more rigorous personnel management processes, and set a cap to reduce spending on awards for career staff, saving taxpayers an estimated $200 million this year alone."
She said the savings over the next decade would amount to more than $3 billion.
However, federal employees still enjoy high average salaries and generous benefits packages at a time when the private sector continues to cut back. Many of those employees are also eligible for overtime, which can add to their income.
The Secret Service was also noted as giving out $6 million in bonuses which averaged out to $901 for each agent. For many Americans, that would be 1-2 week's pay.
Although people may be upset at the added government spending during a time of fiscal austerity, the situation does not appear headed for reversal. A freeze in pay rates enacted for 2011 was not extended for 2012.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Bonuses, federal, Obama, pay, merit, austerity
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