Readers react to recent Federal Diary columns

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 22, 2010; 5:37 PM

The Federal Diary gets lots of mail, some of it fit to print. We like to give readers a chance to speak out by occasionally printing some of those letters.

Proposed pay freeze

Columns about the two-year pay freeze facing federal employees next year and the possibility of additional cuts, including to federal retirement benefits, generated lots of reaction.

I'm not happy about my federal pay freeze paying for tax reductions for the rich. Nor am I happy about the continued health [insurance] increases sanctioned by the OPM [Office of Personnel Management]. Why aren't the insurance companies told to skip increases?

- Mary Brown, Landover

As a retired federal worker, I appreciate my retirement benefits. I earned them and forwent higher-paying attorney jobs in the private sector. Part of my reward was the ability to enjoy an excellent defined-benefit retirement through the Civil Service Retirement System. I don't feel bad accepting my monthly retirement. Want to reduce the federal workforce? Pass laws that are less complex and have more detail so it is less difficult to administer them.

- Neil Richman, retired from Department of Veteran Affairs

I am in favor of freezing the pay of federal workers, which I am not, and also in favor of freezing federal retirement pensions, which I have, and freezing Social Security payments, which I receive.

I also am in favor of putting a three-year freeze on hiring in the federal workforce except for critical billets, such as air traffic controllers.

I also am in favor of an across-the-board universal cut of 5 percent in funding contractor support. I am a contractor.

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