President Obama’s announcement that federal workers’ pay should be frozen for 2 years generated headlines, but won’t accomplish anything if enacted. It pre-empted Republican Teabagger headlines in January, true. But being President should be about more than generating headlines before the other party. It’s about demonstrating leadership and proposing policies based on a vision.
The reason for proposing this ostensibly is due to “deficit concerns”. The policy would save a whopping $5 billion out of a $2000 Billion deficit over 2 years. In other words, it is not a serious solution. Everything being discussed by the D.C. establishment (which is solidly pro-corporate) in terms of the deficit will not reduce the deficit.
What continues to remain undone is a serious policy to address the employment crisis in this country. Another chance to provide leadership has been passed up by this President. I know why Democrats were drubbed in the 2010 elections. Does the President?
[Update] Actually, this would accomplish something: further weakening an already weak economy. Mark Sumner at dKos sums the effects up nicely:
It can’t be argued that imposing a $60 billion penalty on middle class workers — which is exactly what this is — will do anything but retard economic growth and reduce job production.
This policy will worsen the crisis that actually exists: the unemployment crisis. Bravo, President Obama.