Congress Refuses to Tax the Rich But Postal, Federal Workers Must Pay

Congress appears close to reaching a deal to extend the 2 percent payroll tax holiday – after House Republicans made an important concession: The tax cut would not have to be paid for with reductions in federal spending.

But there’s a hitch. Budget negotiators insisted that postal workers and federal employees pay more for their retirement benefits to fund another portion of the bill – the one that extends unemployment benefits. The current proposal increases employee contributions by 1.5 percent over three years.

“No one else is being asked to pay more – certainly not the banks or corporations,” said APWU Legislative Director Myke Reid.

Union President Cliff Guffey also condemned the move. “Congressional Republicans scream whenever there is a hint of raising taxes on the richest 1 percent,” he said, “but when it comes to taking away income from postal and federal employees, they’re all for it.”

“I encourage union members to contact their senators and representatives and tell them this is a raw deal,” the union president said. “Ask them to stop Congress from balancing the budget on the backs of public servants.” Call the House switchboard at 202-225-3121 and the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121.

In a related matter, the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted on Feb. 7 to approve legislation (H.R. 3813) that also targets postal and federal employees.

H.R. 3813 would increase the amount postal and federal employees contribute to their retirement by 1.5 percent, with the increase phased in over three years, beginning in 2013.

In addition, employees with less than five years of service would face an increase of 3.2 percent. The bill also would reduce pensions for employees with less than five years of service by calculating annuities based on the average of employees’ high-five salary years instead of their high-three years, which is the current method. In addition, their pensions would be calculated at a lower rate of 0.7 percent per year, down from 1 percent.

The measure also would eliminate the supplemental annuity provision, which augments benefits for employees who retire before they are eligible for Social Security benefits at age 62.

7 thoughts on “Congress Refuses to Tax the Rich But Postal, Federal Workers Must Pay

  1. Postal employees are losing three ways; first possibly their jobs, secondly increasing the amount they pay for their retirementt, thirdly, decreasing the amount they rexceive from Postal management each pay period! Shmae on congress, mainly the republicans, who want to increase everybody taxes but theirs! Congress readily passed policies to bail out the big banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even General Motors and Chrysler (that I really did not have a probleem with), but yet a Federal agency that is so important to every american such as the Postal Service, congress just sit around making proposals, not passing any of them and let the situation get worse and worse. Although the Postal Service do not need a bailout, (which no one can see), just the $50 to $75 billion dollars overpayment back, that has already been paid in by the Postal Service. This fact has been proven by the OIG over a year ago! Why isn’t Donahoe working on getting this money back as hard as he working on destroying the Postal Service and thousand of middle class jobs!

  2. The wealthy accumulate wealth by using working class to create goods and services at the lowest cost and sell in the market place at the highest possible cost to contribute to bottomline that is shared among the wealthy.
    These conservatives of all political parties do not want any changes that redistributes wealth to average working plant and service worker. The highly intelligent maintain wealth in their professional groups and pass it on to their descendants. This is a repeat of history as the fedual barrons and noble class controled wealth and the serfs and indentured servans work for the wealthy to eek out an existance while the wealthy conservative barrons and nobles maintained and controlled wealth through what ever means necessary such as creating wars to decreaase working class population.. Todays noble blue blood maintain their hold on wealth by educating highly intelligent descendants at blue blood ivy league schools and marry within high genetic intelligent IQ group to reproduce to maintain control of average working people that are not as fortunate to have equal intelligence capabilities. Even in animal kingdom all are not created equal but for a purpose to maintain balance in creation. Road kill clean up vultures are necessary buzzards that cannot soar as an eagle but serve a preplanned purpse same as lower working class people that have to bind togethers in unions or voting blocs to attain what is easy for higher intelligent educated professionals.

  3. Those collecting unemployment checks next year when federal workers start paying for it can clean my house, wash my windows, mow my lawn, walk my dog, wash my car, fetch my mail, etc etc thanks a lot you bums on the hill. Hope you all get voted out.

  4. The House version also ELIMINATES the 1.1% for each year worked under FERS if retiring at age 62 or older; all you get is 1.0% for each year.

  5. I’m in shock – taking away the supplement that employees would receive until they reach age 62 and can collect SS is just wrong. We have counted on having this as 1/3 of our retirement. If this bill passes, most of us will be forced to work until we are 62, how is that cutting the work force. I am so sick of the morons in congress, how can just decide to take our retirement that we have work for all these years. But when they needed money for their war machine they made the USPS prefund, so I guess this should not come as a shock!

  6. I cannot believe that I am actually speechless at this! What is the point of working at all, maybe we should all just be unemployed for YEARS and let others take care of us! I know so many people who aren’t even trying to find a job, because they are just living off their “free” unemployment benefits. And then the “payroll tax” that they are putting off will ALSO take away from social security, thus, hitting us again when we retire, which we will NEVER BE ABLE TO DO! Thanks, Obama! Thanks Congress! I just cannot believe what is happening to our country! Democrats and Republicans alike are screwing us left and right. Obama’s new game is to pull all this crap and “fly under the radar” while the Republicans fight with each other. We are all fools to allow any of these people to continue in their positions.

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