Orszag on 1.4% pay raise: "To a lot of Americans, that sounds pretty good"


Happy budget day! I’m running from one press conference to another — but a couple of quick notes from the just-ended press conference with OMB director Peter Orszag.

First, he offered a couple of thoughts on the proposed 1.4 percent pay raise for civilian employees and military personnel. The raise is lower than most federal pay raises — lower even than last year’s 2 percent raise, which was widely criticized as too small.

But it’s also equal to the White House’s prediction for inflation in 2011: Christina Romer, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the CEA expects 1.4 perent inflation in 2011.

So Orszag advised feds, essentially, not to complain about the raise.

Frankly, I think to a lot of Americans, [1.4 percent] sounds pretty good. It reflects a formula which is used to compute wage and salary increases, and it’s lower than what it has been in the past because inflation is lower than what it has been.

Orszag also said the 2011 budget “begins to integrate” the high-priority management priorities agencies identified in response to an October memo from OMB. “Progress towards those goals will be reflected over time in funding for each agency,” Orszag said.


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  1. Guess we will be in the “hole” after health insurance goes up again. Might as well be nothing for a raise. I am grateful for a job, but our costs go up too for food, gas, etc. and we have to pay the increase also. Federal employees do not make what everyone seems to think we do. What about a federal employee as a single parent-how can they afford a 1.4% raise?

  2. Welcome back Jimmy Carter. I see the unions are lining up to thank him for the crumbs. A couple more wasteful programs and we’ll be giving back money.

  3. Why are the Federal workers complaining about a 1.4% raise. I am a retired Postal worker, I also am collecting Social Security (which I paid into) and neither of those agencies are giving any kind of COLA for this year or next; claiming that the COLA did not go up in the quarter ended Sept. 2009.

    If that is the case, then why did Congress give themselves a 2% raise and why did Federal employees get their COLA?

    I do not wnat to hear any more about this.


  4. People should be grateful for whatever raise they get. Everyone does not have the good ol”government job. Maybe they need to re-evaluate where they shop. Some need to realize you can’t afford Wegmans, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter. If folks scale back on spending they will be alright!!

  5. We are already in the hole from last year’s 2.0 percent raise. I guess single parents and federal workers with spouses that have been laid off are not taken into consideration. The price of everything including has insurance has increased. Due to the unemployment rate everyone that is working has to chip in for those that aren’t. Hopefully congress will see things differently.

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