Federal Pay Freeze Ends, Biden Gets $5,000 Raise

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Because he’s doing such a good job.

Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he’ll now make $231,900 per year.

The 2010 Federal pay freeze was always a sham because it sounded good, but did not apply to automatic step pay increases so Federal employees still continued getting raises despite the pay freeze.

Facing political setbacks nationwide and growing concern about the deficit, Obama signed on to a two-year pay freeze which will expire in December, but which Obama’s new executive order will delay until March 27, 2013, when some sort of budgetary agreement is supposed to arrive.

For those who may also be wondering if Congress could change the pay rates or completely eliminate the pay raise, the answer is that it could be done. However, the change would have to pass both the House and the Senate and, as a practical matter, the Senate has not displayed any independence from the desires of the White House. So any change is unlikely (although not impossible) prior to the effective date.

In addition to the end of the pay freeze, Obama has given government workers the gift that they want most. Less time working.

‘Twas the day before Christmas and all across the federal government, workers were enjoying an extra day off after President Barack Obama issued an executive order closing offices Monday and excusing all but postal service employees from duty.

The estimated cost for shutting down the government for a day is $100 million.

The decision to grant federal employees a four-day weekend came after 28,257 people signed an online petition on the White House “We the People” website requesting it.

“Federal employees have had a pay freeze for the past several years and the pay and benefits for the federal workforce have been under serious attack during the national elections held this year,” said the petition, which was started on Dec. 1.

Unlike most Federal employees however, Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden gets every single day off.

  • freedomof speach

    go to hell all of you politicians….. but whips…

  • Mary Sue

    That picture up top is all like Biden thinks he has an armrest or something.

    Yeah, while America has money problems, these guys have no problem giving themselves more money.

  • figment newton

    I recall suggesting once that Congress should work 'pro bono' on a forum. there wouldn't be any need for term limits then.

    I was laughed and ridiculed by typical leftist's who said "but House reps ONLY make 174,000 /yr

  • John

    This article is such a shame. 99.9% of federal workers are hard working middle class just like the rest of us. Continuing to use federal employees as ATMs for the deficit is crap and is counter productive. The step increases you are referring to only move to a certain level and once you are there, you get no my raise…and the majority of the time its every 2-3 years….if that. When federal workers make as much as the private sector, let me know.

    • http://twitter.com/texasbirdgirl @texasbirdgirl

      Most people have NO clue what a federal employee is. You kn ow those CBP agents that get shot on the border–FED EMPLOYEES that do not make that much. It is NOT all about congress! People are so IGNORANT!

  • george

    they should fire at least half of all gov workers and lower the pay on the rest

    • http://twitter.com/texasbirdgirl @texasbirdgirl

      George, you want to eliminate border security?

  • http://twitter.com/texasbirdgirl @texasbirdgirl

    Flat lie, NOT all feds get Monday off. Are all ports of entry closed? NO! Do some research. I cannot stand IGNORANT "reporting". Obama froze the pay, it takes him to unfreeze it.

    • new122

      Why can't people like you think about what's best for the country. We are broke, and we can no longer afford to give people raises so they can maintain their bankrupt lifestyle. Don't blame tax payers for their unwillingness to see more govt. spending. I'm sorry the Border Patrol doesn't make a lot of money, but they know that when they fill out the application. Try telling your sad story to the thousands of minimum wage workers who not only get very little pay…..but they don't get pensions when they retire!

      • Donna Tate

        Don't forget federal employees are ALSO TAX PAYERS!

    • 32523

      I like how we should bankrupt the nation in order to stop people from getting into it

  • KNive

    Can you help us get the word out by signing this petition? We must stop this craziness!
    http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-s

    Thank you!

  • Daniel Craig

    Thanks, John.
    I work for the V.A and I have one more step increase. They are just a dollar and puts you in a different tax bracket. Once I got a step raise and I made lessevery pay period! I am (barely) a homeowner with a 100% disabled wife. She gets $1,024 dollars a month. I make 40 grand a year gross and net 28 grand, and at tax time they tax half of her income for the year because of my MASSIVE INCOME!
    Now they are going to unfreeze our pay for .5% to 1%??? Whooppee!! (Oh yes, the saying that it is better than nothing). We are not politicians. I WANT BIDEN'S RAISE!
    The Federal workforce has been on a ay freeze for the last 2 yrs., and have paid 103 BILLION to pay off the National Debt.
    Yes John, Iagree! When we can catch up to the private sector, let me know!!!!

  • Govt Blows

    With respect to the federal workers who are not personally responsible for the deficits/debt: Unfortunately you work for a company that is going bankrupt. Your "company" is filled with people collecting more than their skillset dictates and enjoy benefits, sick/holiday pay, working hours and pensions that many private sector people do not get. So understand when my sympathies run a little shallow. Stop voting in clowns like Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, etc and if you are not happy with your salary and benefits, get another job in the private sector and let us all know how that works out for you.

  • Abolish the Government

    When the federal government contributes to GDP as the private sector does, then you feds can complain about how much you get paid. Oh, and how is that job security treating you? When is the last time someone was laid off in government? Damn rare.

    Also, how do you like that pension? I wish I had one, as do most Americans. If one were to calculate the present value of the average federal employees pension it would be at least $500,000, with many topping well over $1 mil. Pretty sweet if you ask me, especially considering federal employees contribute little to nothing for it.

    The private sector should make more because it creates wealth. Government does not. All a government job does is take wealth from the private sector and transfers it to the government employee, who, in many cases, contributes little to nothing to the country in whatever bloated organization they work for.

    We should take away government per diems (since they simply pocket the money) and replace with heavily scrutinized expense reports (like the private sector), cut 20-30% of the federal workforce by eliminating many of the unconstitutional and unnecessary agencies, introduce term limits for all elected positions, and cut all elected officials pay and benefits by 50%. Federal Employees should also be required to contribute at least 33% of the pension benefits they receive, as they currently contribute almost nothing.

    If the country really needs some of the services that the downsized / eliminated federal agencies provided, then the free marketplace will create the services over time, and those that were laid off from the federal government can get private sector jobs.

  • Frances

    Well said to the previous writer. Just one additon to your comments I am amazed that the President saw fit to award congress when they have not done the work that they were elected to do while at the same time places a cap on Social Security cost of living increase. These do nothing people do not deserve a raise, AMAZING! What they really deserve is to be fired, every single one of them!

  • Bill

    Where is the line in the sand? Or is there even a line at all? I speek as We the people! The pay raise for Federal emplyees, whether giving it or recieving it is completely unconscionable! Our country is going to hell in a hand basket while our fearless & mindless leaders lead like a bunch of drunken sailors. The line in the sand that I mentioned, to me, this pay raise has crossed that line! The tax hike, it's not for trying to get out of the mess we're in, it's so we can spend even more, so lets celebrate & give ourselves a raise. What would the Federal Goverment do if everyone that could and would just say, I'm not giving you another penny? There are not enough prisons in this country to put everyone away. I know that a move like that is not going to help our current fiscal situation, but if we're going down the tubes, why not go out in a blaze of glory!!!!!!

  • bee

    Here it goes. We get a little pay raise and all heck breaks loose. WE are taxpayers, kids in college, homes. We work hard. Take care of our families. Heck, I cannot even buy most products at the grocery store because food is just to high. Stop the whining about how we should work for private sector. Private sector is not processing claims for our wounded soilders like governement workers are. And, no, we should not contract that out!! We are people that need jobs as well. There is a lot of expertise in theses agencies that you all want to go away. If any of you worked in one you would not be blogging.. Trust me!

  • Citizen

    Don't complain about federal workers till you fix all the handouts for useless reasons to defense contractors, energy sector, agricultural sector, and big corporations including banks. Why not we control the pay scales of private sector. I know a lot of them het paid a lot and stay in fancy hotels with fat expense accounts (by the way that is taxpayer money hidden as cost of doing business). Most of the comments here are irrelevant and ignoramus.

  • Guest Fed Worker

    As a Federal Worker: I have no problem with a wage freeze but it should be government wide – Congress should not be able to vote in their own raise (whose idea was that). Getting a pension for four years work – again Congress voted that in themselves but someone has to sign off. And yes they should actually contribute to the pensin fund! I also think that per diem rates for Federal workers are ridiculous but the private hotel owners dictate the cost of a hotel room and meals not us. I have no problem with paying more taxes but only if the money is used wisely – that said I have yet to see a government spend wisely. Chronism, lobbyists, special interest groups, (and so on) and the two party system has to be stopped. I also think that the federal workforce can be cut by at least 10 to 15 percent – there is a lot of dead weight in useless and reduntant agencies.

    I have always said – give me the money the Federal Government wastes in one day and I will live happily ever after on my own private island!