Trump Just Devastated Government Employees' Paychecks


Citing a need to “maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course,” President Donald Trump announced in a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that he was “transmitting an alternative plan” for civilian federal employees that will negate across-the-board pay raises.

The establishment media quickly announced the president was placing a freeze on civilian federal employee pay. The White House has published the letter for public review.

According to CNBC, with this move, Trump is “doing away with the 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase that was scheduled to take effect in January.”

The president explained in his letter that he had “determined that for 2019, both across‑the‑board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero. These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce.”

Despite the president’s claim, critics on social media have criticized the plan, saying the pay freeze will hurt the government’s ability to keep or hire high-quality federal employees.

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Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia unleashed a tweet storm on Trump, alleging the president is using federal workers to absorb the pain of the president’s increased government deficit.

In his letter, Trump claimed his pay freeze would not hurt, but help, the government.

“The cost of employing the federal workforce is significant. In light of our nation’s fiscal situation, federal employee pay must be performance-based, and aligned strategically toward recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performing federal employees and those with critical skill sets,” Trump said.

“Across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases, in particular, have long-term fixed costs, yet fail to address existing pay disparities or target mission critical recruitment and retention goals.”

It is unlikely the president’s critics will even read his letter, choosing instead to put their own political spin on the freeze.

Are you in favor of eliminating across-the-board raises for federal employees?
But what the president’s critics aren’t willing to point out is that while civilian employees of the federal government are going to have a pay freeze, the military is getting a pay raise.

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The military increase is not necessarily a surprise. In February, the Pentagon announced a pay raise for the military was part of its 2019 budget request.

The 2.6 percent pay raise for military personnel would be the largest increase in nine years.

Congress could still authorize a raise for government employees despite Trump’s wish for a pay freeze. Whether that decision will be made before November’s midterms remains to be seen.

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