Dec. 14, 2010 — So it seems President Barack Obama has fallen from glory, and this doesn’t surprise me. The far left and the far right are so polarized at this time in history that the word compromise doesn’t seem to be in either one’s vocabulary.
However, for the first time there might be a light at the end of the dark tunnel coined the Great Recession. If all goes well, the middle-class gets to keep the Bush-era tax cuts, meaning it gets to keep more of the money it earns and those who are unemployed get to keep benefits for another 13 months. Of course, the debate lies with the middle compromises such as extending tax breaks to the richest Americans and with the extension to the unemployed.
Some say the rich need to spread the wealth and others say the unemployed need to work for their benefits such as doing charity and public work jobs.
I will reserve the right to not pontificate on my opinion of either because I am neither rich nor unemployed.
I do have an opinion on two issues however. The first is that I agree with both Republicans and Democrats that our country’s main problem is not under collecting taxes. Our Congress is overspending. We are heading toward insolvency because those who control the nation’s purse strings can’t say no. Not every cause is worthy of millions of dollars. The truth is some groups have better public relations firms selling their products (lobbyists) and some of our congressman know how to place earmarks in what would be good bills.
The real litmus test will be when the Republicans take over the House. Will those newly elected mean what they say and take on the overspending and kick entitlements in the rear?
The compromise is estimated to cost $600 and $800 billion if it's enacted. If the Republican majority fails at curtailing spending, that's how much will be added to the deficit and the national debt if there are no offsetting cuts in spending. Seems like a lot to me but when one compares it to the stimulus packages Obama has already tried and failed at, this is chump change.
I for one am looking forward to having the same paycheck next year or a little bigger one. I will have more to spend.
My second opinion is on the supposed theory that federal workers make too much money and need to have their salaries cut. I would love to know where the private sector is getting its facts?
An average entry-level clerk at a federal installation is hired at a grade schedule 5, level 1 and the average hourly wage is $13 an hour. In the paper last week was a position for a temporary, non-salaried kennel aide making $11.19 an hour.
I looked up the average private sector salary for a quality control manager, a position common in the Department of Defense. In the private sector the employee can be expected to receive a salary of $75,000 a year. The federal government will pay about $60,000 a year.
There are wonderful benefits to working as a civilian for the federal government. One is that it is not easy to lose your job and two you are serving your country and the war fighter. For instance the men and women at Sierra Army Depot are some of the finest and hardest working people I am privileged to know. They contribute to Lassen County’s economy and they are patriotic.
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