Obama Hikes Pay Of Select Officials

As millions of Americans face smaller paychecks if the government fails to act to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama has raised the ire of some conservative critics by quietly handing over pay hikes — estimated to cost more than $1 billion a year — to Congress, high-ranking federal officials, judges and Vice President Joe Biden.

“It’s a bad idea because Americans everywhere are hurting due to the fragile economy and the fiscal cliff,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “If the government is asking people to take a hit, surely senior government officials should take the hit, too.”

Neither O’Connell nor University of New Hampshire political science professor Andy Smith think Obama will suffer for approving the pay boost.

While the president’s executive order calls for a relatively small percentage pay increase, 0.5 percent, congressional Republicans say a preliminary estimate by the Congressional Budget Office puts the overall cost at about $11 billion over 10 years. The pay increase goes into effect in March.

Federal workers not on the list also may feel left out, O’Connell said. “There is a pay freeze on lower-end federal workers and I’m sure they’re not going to be too thrilled,” he said.

Read more from Gary J. Remal at the Boston Herald

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