The Week in Comments: USPS pay, fed benefits and the costs of Libya

A roundup of some of the comments received this week in the GovExec.com Mailbag. All comments are presented in their original, unedited form.

On Top court to weigh privacy against government data needs

Be careful big brother is watching, Oh wait a minute now we know these databases have false and misleading information that can sometimes get innocent people arrested.

DAC

And the basic questions are still unanswered: Why are the data bases wrong? Who is responsible for the input and who is responsible for checking the accuracy of the input?

engineer

On Senator proposes cuts to federal annuity benefits

Federal employees don't mind doing their part. We're just tired of being the ONLY ONES doing their part.

jake campbell

Is Congress trying to discourage people from entering federal service?

Dan

While neither party is perfect, the Republicans are not the friends of the working man, and yes dear fellow civil servants, that includes you. Lets stop the madness in 2012. Hey Republican lovers, can you hear me now.

skeptical

I see no issue with this proposal so long as salary is increased by an amount that allows the employee to purchase an annuity at retirement for the same amount. To eliminate the annuity and not increase salary would just ensure a lack of qualified new hires or hires just interested in a few years of training and will leave and move on.

Amazing

I'm sick and tired of being the whipping post for these Republicans who think that they are going to balance the budget on our backs....Hey Senator Burr, you cut your pension first and show me you are serious about this issue and I'll THINK about not voting your stupid butt out next time...

Vicki Harris

Maybe we can outsource the federal government's work to Mexico or India. Wouldn't that meet the intent?

th

Hey, this'll help us attract the best and the brightest, eh? Bring your law degree! Get hired on at 60 grand a year, with no pension. Oh--and you can't participate in the political process to change things, except by voting, because of the Hatch Act. Your salary is set, but you MIGHT get a nice bonus of $250 every other year if you're lucky. GREAT place to work!

Carol

The only thing that makes working for the Fed attractive is benefits. Take away that and you won't be able to even attract the worst employees. Why do the civil servants have to pay for inaction on the part of Congress to go after the real issues like Social Security reform or cutting defense?

A Ross

Many of the posts here show an astounding level of ignorance. Do any of you have the least understanding of economics or what the impact 1.4 trillion dollar deficits will have on a country? How is it that you nitwits think that the retirement plans are 'fully funded'? NOTHING is fully funded when you're running deficits like we face today. Some of you need to take your partisan blinders off and realize that we're in a crisis that must be addressed one way or the other. You also reinforce the negative perception of the fed workforce with your whining that you really don't have it so good.

Steve

On Army backs off plan to privatize medical bill collection

One possible work-around for the Army (if they still want to do this) is to set up an Interservice Support Agreement with the Air Force to provide these services using the AF's contractor.

Veteran

Time after time it amazes me as a former competitive sourcing guy, that senior leadership (in most agencies) are not aware of what the A-76 Circular or FAR actually say regarding inherently governmental functions (collection of monies due). Had the Army read and understood the rules they wouldn't have issued the memo, and yet the Air Force seems it is simply immune from federal law--isn't that strange?

Robert Knauer CPCM CPPO

The Army should Audit the amount of money that was used for this purpose. Since it was against the law, the money should be repaid by the General and those that advised him that this was OK. It's time for the waste to be repaid to the Taxpayers.

Mark in Las Vegas

On Progress cited on reorganization of government

Given the massive deficits and unsustainable fiscal future, spending money on reorganizating (the default tool in the executive toolbox) is a distraction from what is critically important. It's high time OMB focus on a realistic B rather than tinkering with M.

Phil Candreva

The "do more with less" mantra needs to be retired. It is the language of "penny-wise, pound-foolish" thinkers. Taken to it's logical extreme, we will be able to "do everything with nothing." We actually need to make investments in order to increase both efficiency and effectiveness. OMG! It actually takes money to do good work. Who knew? Now, if can only decide what it is government is supposed to do.

Jerry

There's a familiar ring to the OMB officials' rap, to be sure. The fact that she and Zienst need to do this proves that it doesn't work because it has been tried/done before. Battalions of politicals passing through OMB and armies of consultants have produced nothing that works. The comment above about federal employees setting themselves up nicely has a certain ring to it. Indeed the grade inflation ccompanies the increasing mystery about what much of the government accomplishes. Nifty IT systems will hardly help, but will rather help obscure further what actually happens in federal offices. Just walk through one some time, and you will be amazed.

Jason

On Five days into Operation Odyssey Dawn, costs mounting

Since the Navy and Air Forece have not yet even instituted a FY-11 hiring freeze like the Army and Marines, it is logical to say they both have plenty of money to fund this operation.

KDLawarence

Like Iraq, this is another unnecessary war. Stop funding wars and they will end. Congress & President should take care of Americans first--not foreigners.

d

Well it appears that Ms Scully has placed a price limit on the lives of those fighting the oppresive regime. It's amazing to me how fast we started counting beans on this one. Five days?

Vet

On Lawmakers question pay for USPS employees

If we had more representatives who had run something other than their mouths, like a business, government program, anything, they would know that, on average, personnel costs comprise 80% of a budget.

TomS

I have heard these numbers before. I would like to know which private sector positions he is comparing us to. I know that as a Letter Carrier I make less than delivery personel at UPS and Fedex. Our retirement is no longer any better than our counterparts with UPS and Fedex either. Here's an idea check out the pay and benefits for the PMG and the various VPs of our top heavy organization. Take a look at the retirement package that PMG Potter received a couple of months ago! Letter carriers are the backbone and legs of this once great agency!!! Leave our pay alone we have earned it!!

Chris

The USPS is a labor intensive body. Of course, wages are going to be a high percentage of the budget. Mail volume may have dropped but the delivery employees have larger routes (more customers/route). Congress should look at the the different extra duties the USPS is putting on the employees that cut efficiency. Congress should look at the the discounts to the mailers. Employees are delivering big parcels that are lightweight. I personally have received huge boxes with less than one pound in the box. If we mail a parcel to a relative/friend our parcels are weighed and measured. Llv's are towed over 100 miles to be serviced. Congress should look into the big money spent on sorting machines that tear up the mail and require huge new building.

Judy

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