by Ed Naile

Federal workers suffering under the “Trump Shutdown” are being given free goodies such as food and entertainment by local DC establishments. I would say that is the least businesses in DC should do.

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“Bars and restaurants are doing their part to entertain and feed furloughed workers. José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup restaurants offer different free sandwiches every day between 2 and 5 p.m., including chicken shawarma at Zaytinya and pulled pork at America Eats Tavern, for anyone with a government ID. Also available to those carrying around their work badge: Capitol Lounge has a menu of $5 cocktails with such names as “Nothing Really Mattis”; Satellite Room is offering $2 slices of pizza; and City Tap House extended happy hour until 10 p.m. nightly.”

The paycheck to paycheck lifestyle millions of Americans live by has come to those who cannot be fired – but can be furloughed. Some sympathy for fly-over country by federal employees might be in order after this furlough but I doubt it.

Federal employees operate under a program where their salaries are set each year by Executive Order.

From my brief review of their salaries it looks like they have received a pay increase every year since 2012 when Obama froze 2011 wages. President Trump signed two of those Federal pay increases. Remember how grateful they were?

Ten years ago, DC area Federal employees got a 4.78% pay raise over 2008. On top of this was the 23.10% locality adjustment over published base rates. Thank you, Obama.
Raises for Federal employees in 2008: 4.49%

And here is 2007 over 2006: 2.64% Signed by Bush representative: Linda M. Springer, Director Office of Personnel Management

And so, it goes. Federal employees get annual pay adjustments for the area they live in and annual pay increases. Congress does not create them. NH is one of the top adjusted areas along with DC.

Can anyone find a job in the private sector where you get annual increases, no fear of termination or loss of retirement and benefits should you be caught committing almost any criminal act? Wages increases for working Americans have been stagnant for decades.

And now – free food for Federal employees because of a temporary furlough – where you will be compensated, in any case, when it is over?

Break out the violins.