President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have very different visions for the country and especially for what role government should play. Romney has criticized Obama’s approach as “trickle-down government” and has pledged to cut the federal workforce through attrition and consolidate or eliminate departments. He also has said he believes federal workers out-earn their private sector counterparts by 30 percent to 40 percent when benefits are included and has pledged to reduce the gap.
While Obama’s stance on compensation has not been especially popular among federal workers given his support for a two-year civilian pay freeze, he has proposed a 0.5 percent raise for 2013 (contingent upon Congress passing a budget). More broadly, he said during the Democratic convention in September that while government cannot solve every problem, “we don’t think government is the source of all our problems.” His management and workforce views have earned him endorsements from federal employee unions.
Government Executive senior correspondents Charles S. Clark and Kellie Lunney looked more closely at how Obama and Romney might lead government during the next four years, if they are elected on Tuesday. Below are links to their magazine features and to a comparison of the nominees’ positions on federal employee issues.