LAST MONTH, the US economy shed another 85,000 jobs.
It marked a miserable end to a calamitous year in which an estimated 4.2 million American jobs were liquidated, and the unemployment rate rose to 10 percent. In addition, more than 920,000 "discouraged workers" left the labor force entirely, having given up on finding work and therefore not included in official unemployment data.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans who do have jobs have been compelled to work part-time or at reduced wages; many others have not seen a raise in years.
But not everyone is having a rotten recession.
Since December 2007, when the current downturn began, the ranks of federal employees earning $100,000 and up has skyrocketed. According to a recent analysis by USA Today, federal workers making six-figure salaries – not including overtime and bonuses -- "jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months." The surge has been especially pronounced among the highest-paid employees. At the Defense Department, for example, the number of civilian workers making $150,000 or more quintupled from 1,868 to 10,100. At the recession's start, the Transportation Department was paying only one person a salary of $170,000. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees were drawing paychecks of that size.
All the while, the federal government has been adding jobs at a 10,000-a-month clip. Between December 2007 and June 2009, federal payrolls exploded by nearly 10 percent. "Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time in pay and hiring," USA Today observes, "during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector." And to add public-sector insult to the private-sector injury, data from the Office of Personnel Management show the average federal salary is now roughly $71,000 -- about 76 percent higher than the average private employee earns. (If benefits are included, the disparity is even greater.)
Needless to say, it isn't only at the federal level that government pay and perks increasingly outstrip those in the private sector. In states and municipalities across the country, public-employee pension costs are going through the roof.
In Ohio, a joint reporting effort by the state's eight largest newspapers found that even in a time of severe budget cuts, "one expense government leaders have not cut is pensions for their workers." The annual public pension tab in Ohio, currently $4.1 billion, is growing by around $700 million per year. "Retirement incomes for the most experienced government employees top out at 88 percent of their active-duty pay," writes James Nash of the Columbus Dispatch. "Unlike most private-sector workers, whose retirement is driven by the strength of the stock market and 401(k) plans, government employees' pensions are guaranteed."
Moreover, government retirees in Ohio enjoy taxpayer-provided health care, and in many cases can retire at age 48. Especially egregious are the "double-dippers" -- public employees who "retire" on a full pension while returning to work and collecting a paycheck. In 2009, double-dippers were paid nearly a billion dollars by Buckeye State public-pension systems.
Ohio is hardly unique. A public-pension tsunami is beginning to inundate government budgets at every level. As more and more of taxpayers' earnings are confiscated to fund outsize public-sector benefits, the backlash from the private sector will only grow angrier and more intense.
"We are about to get run over by a locomotive," warned California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his State of the State address this month. Over the past decade, he told lawmakers, pension costs for state employees swelled 2000 percent -- but revenues only increased 24 percent. The state has had to come up with funds to close that gap -- funds diverted from "our universities, our parks, and other government functions."
Public-employee unions fiercely defend their members' pay and pensions, of course, but even labor-friendly Democrats are starting to acknowledge the inevitable. "The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life," former San Francisco mayor and California Assembly speaker Willie Brown recently wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. "But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits . . . while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages. . . . Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact."
A showdown is coming, and more likely sooner than later. Taxpayers will put up with a lot, but their patience has its limits.
Public-sector pay, private-sector backlash
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
January 27, 2010
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens