If you are unhappy with the federal pay raise (whether you get it or not), with the performance of political appointees, or with media bias, welcome to the club! Those are some of the subjects readers comment on in today's Monday Morning Quarterback feature.
This is what the readers are saying:
*"Congratulations. Your concept of a Monday Morning Quarterback column is a stroke of sheer genius. You have created the opportunity to devote an entire column to the pillory and vilification of the Reagan administration without seeming to lose what little is left of your journalistic 'objectivity.'
"Now, if only some way could be discovered to subvert the advertising, perhaps the only portion of your newspaper that remains somewhat neutral, the disinformation function of The Washington Post would be complete.
"P.S. Prove me wrong. Print this!" Dentist in Kensington.
*" . . . Monday Morning Quarterback is not a proper title for the column. The name implies futility or what might have been, which is not an appropriate attitude for your column.
"The 3 1/2 percent January raise is probably inequitable, but I think that any fixed percentage raise is unfair to somebody. Although that type of raise is politically popular, it increases the inflationary pressures and is hard to determine. I favor revamping the pay scales along occupational lines, because it would be fairer and permit more equitable averaging with private industry. Are there any comments on this?" G.E.K. in Alexandria.
*"Give us a break, Mike. The day after your story about the federal pay raise appeared my downtown parking lot raised its monthly rate from $95 to $105. Those of us who don't work for the government, who don't get the raises you write about, have to live in the same economy. If you can't stop the raises, at least stop giving the impression that EVERYBODY in town is getting one." R.H. Bethesda.
*"Let's be reasonable! Your column Sept. 2 emphasizes that the president does not feel that an 18 percent raise for federal employes is reasonable because state and local government salaries are not included in the estimate. Our response: Include them! While it is obvious that we will never get the 18 percent it is equally obvious that the 3 1/2 percent raise proposed is too low. All surveys demonstrate this fact.
"The Conference Board of New York has recently conducted one of the most extensive and fair surveys of recent years. It covered 956 major U.S. firms and showed pay increases ranging from 5 percent to 8 percent. Even with state and local government salaries averaged in, the increase due federal employes is 11.2 percent. Would not an increase of 6 1/2 percent be more reasonable?" Sterling (Va.) Salary Surveyor.
*"As a retired government employe I sometimes feel I'll explode with indignation at the shabby treatment accorded career employes by the last few administrations. Federal career employment is an honorable and necessary service. Elected public officials, along with political appointees, could not function without the knowledge, experience and continuity career people provide . . . .
"I want to address the matter of the large number of political positions know as Schedule Cs. They are created as political plums for ex-campaign loyalists who then become leeches siphoning off millions of dollars of government monies as they occupy slots created for them through reorganizations.
"The general public is unaware of the extent and abuse of the political spoils system. Messrs. Donald Devine and David Stockman can begin their 'war on waste' by cutting out useless salaries and positions held by political appointees instead of chipping away at the honest career employes. As they play their charade of cutting back government employment they expand the unemployment rolls and contract out to the tune of millions of dollars of fraud and waste at the taxpayers' expense. This past year's expose of Defense Department contracting out costs with companies charging ridiculously inflated prices for dime store items is a prime example of the absurdity of the bloodletting of career government employes." F.S. Oxon Hill.