10 questions and answers on budgetary threats to federal employees

10 questions and answers on budgetary threats to federal employees

Posted by Eric Yoder on January 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Capitol Fall

In football, a “triple threat” refers to a player skilled at running, passing and kicking. Federal employees are facing a triple threat of their own: from the government hitting its debt ceiling, from pending “sequestration” automatic cuts in budgets, and from a potential lapse in agency spending authority. The three relate in some ways but are separate in others.

Following are 10 questions and answers on those issues:

Q. What’s at stake for federal employees if the debt limit is exceeded?

A. The government actually has hit the ceiling already. The Treasury Department, however, has been using various financial maneuvers to free up operating money, which it projects can prevent a default for only several more weeks. Continue reading “10 questions and answers on budgetary threats to federal employees”

Analysis: Next fiscal fight shifts focus to spending cuts

Analysis: Next fiscal fight shifts focus to spending cuts

Shebeko//Shutterstock.com

Nearly everyone views the year-end fiscal-cliff fight as a debacle, but once that is accepted as a given, opinions tend to diverge. While one can say that the vast majority of Bush-era tax cuts were not just extended but made permanent—something that Republicans and conservatives should like—there were effectively no spending cuts, and in no meaningful way were entitlements trimmed or reformed.

People on either side could view the cup as either half-full or half-empty. But as a practical matter, the only area where the Left caved was to pick whom not to raise taxes on, giving in by allowing the definition of “middle class” to rise to $400,000 in annual income ($450,000 for a family), with the higher rates kicking in for income above that level. If only a family earning almost half-a-million dollars a year really were middle class. Other key provisions set the estate-tax rate at 40 percent (it was scheduled to rise from 35 to 55 percent), with an exemption on the first $5 million; created solutions for the alternative minimum tax and the “doc fix”; and increased the capital-gains rate from 15 to 20 percent. Continue reading “Analysis: Next fiscal fight shifts focus to spending cuts”

Pay and Benefits, Post-Holiday and Post-Cliff

Pay & Benefits Watch

Pay and Benefits, Post-Holiday and Post-Cliff
By Kellie Lunney

The last week has been a blur for everyone tuned into the fiscal cliff drama. The marathon legislative sessions on Capitol Hill between Christmas and New Year’s Day produced lots of federal compensation news but because of the evolving nature of the debate, it was tough to keep track of what actually squeaked through.

Here’s a recap of what happened this past week regarding some federal pay and benefits:

  • House-backed pay freeze extension: The big federal compensation news this week was the last-minute legislation the House passed to extend the salary freeze on civilian feds through 2013. Republican lawmakers managed to push through a bill on New Year’s Day that would block a scheduled salary increase for federal employees this spring, as well as prevent a raise for lawmakers from taking effect. But the new Congress convenes at noon on Thursday, making Senate action on the pay freeze extension legislation extremely unlikely. Continue reading “Pay and Benefits, Post-Holiday and Post-Cliff”

What’s Next in the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate?

AFL-CIO Now

01/11/2013; Kelly Ross

It’s back! Just when you thought you might never hear the words “fiscal cliff” again, the sequel to this horror movie is about to be released. Look for it in your local theater, radio, television and website – non-stop, 24/7 – beginning sometime in February.

Yes, those irrepressible Republicans in Congress have cooked up yet another manufactured crisis and are once again holding the U.S. economy hostage. This time they are threatening to cause a U.S. government default unless they get their way. You know—the same stunt they pulled last summer. And what are congressional Republicans demanding as ransom to spare the economy? The same things they were demanding last time we went through this ordeal: benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Continue reading “What’s Next in the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate?”

The “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

The “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

January 4, 2013

We’ve received a number of questions in the past few days about the budgetary and economic impact of the significant budget legislation just enacted by the Congress. Here are some of the most common questions and our answers to them:

Does the Legislation Increase or Decrease Federal Budget Deficits?

That depends on what you compare the legislation with:

Relative to what would have occurred under the laws previously in effect, this legislation will increase budget deficits in coming years. Continue reading “The “Fiscal Cliff” Deal”