Where did you get the idea that only public sector employees get scheduled pay increases? Many employers provide cost of living increases pegged to inflation rates. The growth of contract employment — as a dodge to circumvent employment regulations and especially to avoid the employer’s shares of Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare taxes — leaves 30% of the workforce to fend for themselves. In many cases, however, the jobs that federal employees perform are not available in the private sector, which makes it impossible for them to change jobs in order to improve their circumstances.

Let them change careers, then?

Changing careers when you are 35 is no big thing. Changing jobs when you are 55 is nearly impossible because a 55 year-old worker is too far behind the learning curve. Cutting the federal workforce by 50 percent would result in an immediate depression when their incomes are subtracted from the economy.

Republicans are surprisingly bad at economics. They only see what they want. They do not see the long-term consequences, largely because they do not care about the long term consequences. They believe the future can take care of itself. The future may eventually disagree.

One of the factors affecting the growth of public sector employment is that many of those jobs address problems that profit making companies cannot address because there is no profit for them in those activities…but those jobs still have to be done, unless you want to turn air traffic control over to a private company or uninspected meat showing up at your butcher shop.

There are incompetents in every occupation from the most exalted to the most menial. There is no actual, objective statistical evidence proving that public sector employees are better or worse than public sector employees. If you come into contact with an incompetent federal employee — as we all have — your beliefs about the quality of federal employees become colored by that experience. That’s called prejudice: judging the group by the individual.

I am, however, far more concerned about the constitutional issue than the pay raises themselves. Trump is ruling by fiat, assuming prerogatives that are reserved for the legislative branch of the government.

This is a basic flaw in the Constitution itself. The concept of the executive order, and the concept of executive clemency, were both inherited from the British monarchy. King George ruled by fiat….because he was a king. The framers of the Constitution could not imagine an executive branch without that authority, so they added executive orders to the powers of the president, creating a back door through which dictatorship can crash through the Constitutional guarantees.

The concept of presidential pardons also descends from the monarchal right to give clemency as a royal boon. Since kings ruled until death or deposition removed them from office, there was no cognizance of the prospect we now face in which a miscreant president can pardon his cronies and henchmen and then possibly even pardon himself.

A president who pardons himself is a dictator in fact if not in name.

By the way, I remain nonplussed by the fact that the locality pay increases appears to include a 15.45% emolument for “the rest of the United States,” which suggests that the actual pay increase would total out to a minimum of 17.55%. That bothers me but I haven’t plowed through the legislation deeply enough to determine if that is really the case…yet. I will.

The Republican party’s core agenda is to strangle the federal government by eliminating the federal departments that protect citizens and consumers from the depredations of the corporations…and to destroy Social Security and Medicare, which currently costs employers 7.65% of their total non-exempt payrolls., which comes directly out of the corporation’s bottom line.

If you would like to give up half of your children’s Social Security and Medicare accounts, then you have denied them the safety net that now protects you.

Thank you for your comments. They are appreciated.

Alan is a poet, journalist, short story writer, editor, website developer, and political activist. He is the executive editor of BindleSnitch.com.

Alan is a poet, journalist, short story writer, editor, website developer, and political activist. He is the executive editor of BindleSnitch.com.