The House is expected to okay a budget committee recommendation that would get the amount of the October federal-military raise at 5.5 percent. President Carter sets the amount with Congress having veto power over it. He has proposed a 5.5 percent raise even though advisors say government workers, to keep par with industry, are due about twice as much.
People Who Live In Glass (White) Houses . . . Former Carter speechwriter James Fallows received attention with his insider's-view article of life as a White House toiler. It is in this month's Atlantic Monthly (if you can still find a copy). The stuff was facinating. But nothing more titillating to bureaucratic Washington than the way the White House exercises pay restraint for its own. Writes Fallow:
". . . I was 27 years old when I started working at the White House.The year before I had made about $20,000 as a magazine writer. On Inauguration Day, my pay rose by 87.5 percent, to $37,500. Two months later, with the general pay raise, it went up another $5,000 to 42,500. After two more unpublicized automatic cost-of-living raises, I was earning $47,500 when I resigned at the end of November 1978.
"Of all complaints about Carter, overpayment is the most ironic, for he was the most notorious tightwad in town. But it was a sadly typical complaint, for it showed that Carter's inner values mattered less than his naivete about organization and the effect of symbolic acts.
"By going along with the pay increases, Carter gave the clearest possible sign that it would be business as usual in his administration." The President's later war on inflation, Fallows wrote, "would be forever undermined by his demonstration that restraint did not start at home . . ."