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Federal Employees News Digest : Nov. 19, 2012
INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1 Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$99 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: email@example.com www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2012 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions inwhole or part prohibited except by written permission. Mail requests to "Permissions Editor," c/o Federal Employees News Digest, 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215 or editor@ federaldaily.com. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. November 19, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 19 2 visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com contribute to gridlock, says gridlock must end. All parties, to some degree or another, say compromise is the way to go. That's the new order of the day. They say they are willing to compromise. But not too much, and not on certain things. We might pause at this point to note: Gridlock has not been all that bad for federal employees, at least so far. Say what? Although the two-, going on three-year federal pay freeze con- tinues, it is the only major hit that federal workers have taken so far ... There were serious plans, even votes taken, to shave your retire- ment benefits, force you to pay more for your pensions, to de-liberalize the system used to compute cost-of- living adjustments for retirees, and to gradually require civil servants to pay a much larger share of their health premiums (it's now about 29 percent of the total tab) until they would eventually be picking up 50 percent of their total premium cost. Oh, and then there was talk of that plan to trim retirement costs by basing the annuities of future retirees on their highest 5-year average salary, rather than basing those benefits on the more generous high-3 formula. All, or nearly all, of these things have been proposed before. And didn't happen. But insiders said that 2012 was the year of the perfect political storm, and that there was a good (as in bad) chance that one or more of these proposals would have been voted into law by now. Only now it's mid-November, and nothing has happened. Because of ... Gridlock! That monster! The proof that politicians in Washington, at all levels and of both political par- ties, can't get it right. Or won't get it right, as they hold a food fight, for political and ideological reasons, between ever-elongated periods of vacation. Gridlock may be bad for the economy, the jobs numbers and the stock market. But so far, it has been pretty good for feds. And retirees. There is every reason to believe, now that the elections are over, that the House, Senate and White House may reach some kind of agreement on spending cuts and taxes. Taxes for the rich, maybe. The question is: How rich? According to some economists, if you have a salary of $113,000 per year (or more), you are in the top 10 percent of wealthy Americans. So where does that leave you? If the experts are right, going off the fiscal cliff could bring back the recession, maybe even a depression. We could look like most of Europe which---great culture, neat buildings and wonderful food aside---would not be a good thing. On the other hand, getting past gridlock could mean a new assault on federal pay and benefits. Wouldn't it be horrible if, a short time hence, you end up looking back fondly at how good you had it in November 2012?
Nov. 12, 2012
Nov. 26, 2012