On MSNBC Thursday, panelist Aisha Moodie-Mills lamented the way the federal budget was being balanced on the backs of “regular folks.” Specifically, while interviewing Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), she asked when “the workers” might get more benefits from the federal budget:
The congresswoman actually brings up a really great point. This idea of compromise. The question I always have, why are we always compromising on the backs of regular middle class American folks. We did some great things with this budget deal in terms of cutting into this idea of austerity. And really getting some relief around the sequester. At the same time, though, I think that we're still seeing this attempt to balance on the backs of regular Americans. Could you talk to us about, you know, what are we going to do about carried interest? We're seeing okay, we're not doing anything for workers. But we now have where it's more expensive for workers to retire at this point in this plan, and we're balancing again on the backs of these folks who can be retirees. So what are we going to do about that and when can we see some movement towards relieving the American public as opposed to balancing on their backs?
Congresswoman Moore then responded with a startling assertion:
We're going to have a very hard time after this year recruiting good federal employees because, again, federal employees are taking a hit on those pension plans.
The budget plan is to ask for a 1.3% increase in pension contributions from newly hired federal employees. As to Congresswoman Moore’s assertion regarding the difficulty of hiring more federal employees, the current average salary for a federal government employee is $78,467 - more than 50% more than the median household income in America today. So the idea that the federal government will be hard-pressed to recruit good candidates, when its pension plan and average compensation still wildly outpace the private sector, strains credulity.