This week the White House announced its brave new plan to fix the economy: Freezing the salaries of federal employees.
But wait! This is not a brave new plan at all. Freezing federal paychecks has been bandied about in the House for awhile now. Both sides have been leaning on this as a “symbolic” gesture, or — in one case — a “cynical ploy.”
But wait, part two! This federal pay freeze isn’t really a spending freeze at all. Freezing paychecks is not even a symbolic gesture when, as CEI Labor Policy Counsel Vinnie Vernuccio points out, the White House has no intention of stopping promotions or “job classification upgrades.”
This is an example of pointlessly partisan squaring off, as each side of the aisle attempts to paint the other as responsible for the continuing recession. But this is not a partisan problem at all. Real solutions will come with shrinking government and letting the private sector do what it does best: creating jobs and growth.
Forcing partisanship by installing a milder version of political opponents’ plan is not an honest attempt to gain control of our staggering deficit. Halting federal employees’ promotions in words if not in deed is hardly a bargaining chip, played not to save our nation’s economy, but rather to leverage the federal government against the private sector.
Big Government is not a partisan problem. Pointing accusatory fingers across political aisle will not create jobs, and it will certainly not create wealth. Symbolic spending cuts without real savings will only stir uncertainty and further deter confused individuals from investing in a real way.
Government get out of the way, so the private sector can recuperate at last!