Last week one of our Monday Morning Quarterbacks stated that many federal workers are "whiners" who couldn't make it in private industry. He said he had seen "federal parasites" picketing the White House to protest budget cuts. He urged them to stop complaining and to be glad they have jobs.
Well, not everybody liked what he said. Today's leadoff letters are in response to C.H.T. of Fairfax:
*"To the yahoo that called federal workers 'parasites': I would like to meet this ludicrous [person] face to face to enlighten him on a few things that happen to feds.
"He was probably born with a silver spoon in his mouth and never lifted anything heavier than a pencil. You can tell by his knowledgeable writing that he went to Yale or Harvard because any other place of higher learning would educate people in a more realistic manner.
"Does C.H.T. work for paupers' wages and then have his boss (the government) use him as a political pawn? Speaking of private firms, if they didn't rip off the government with their asinine contracts those highly educated fat cats wouldn't be making $75,000 or more a year . . . . " Dedicated, Underpaid Fed In Springfield
*"It is frightening to think that someone with all the pent-up rage of fed-hater C.H.T. may be standing next to me in the subway, or worse behind the wheel of a car when I'm crossing the street. This man (I assume the writer was a man) forgets that most of his neighbors in this area are federal workers, or work in direct support of the federal government. We're real people too with families, bills, hopes and dreams. The vast majority of us want to do a good job. Poor C.H.T. sounds like he has nightmares rather than dreams." N.H., Bethesda
*"Last week's letter from Fairfax, on the subject of federal 'whiners' picketing the White House, was stupid. The writer says the whiners should be somehow thankful for their 'security' while at the same time he complains about their protests of potential unemployment. That position is inconsistent . . . .
"There is more to security than job security. What about security of retirement, equal pay with industry, reasonable cost-of-living adjustments and benefits?
"I was a fed for 10 years and left because of insecurity in the areas mentioned above. I received a 30 percent pay raise, much better benefits and retirement package.
"Now, as a non-fed, I believe civil servants are unfairly compensated and the outlook for them is bleak. Ultimately, it will be the non-feds who suffer; the quality government employe will go into industry for more 'security' than the government is willing to offer. I still keep in touch with my friends in government and the exodus has started." J.N., Columbia
*"Thanks for reporting [March 18] about the new early retirement proposal. It responds to my Monday Morning Quarterback letter published several weeks before. Maybe you are right and the higher-ups read your column. Keep us informed." Ready to Go in Arlington
*"Not all freezes are equal. Federal workers missed a pay increase this year but still get extra compensation in the form of longevity step raises and promotions, etc. I recall statistics from the Office of Personnel Management to the effect that about half of all federal workers get some kind of additional compensation each year (other than a general pay increase). A lot of your readers don't understand this, or don't want to understand it." G.L., Rockville