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Letters to the Editor: June 4

Jun. 3, 2012 - 03:13PM   |  
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Federal workers’ pay and benefits always seem to be under attack by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., “House panel OKs 5% hike in pension contributions, May 14 issue].

This is appalling to us federal workers who have dedicated our careers to federal service.

Lawmakers like Ryan want to increase the pension contribution of employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System by 5 percent to 5.8 percent, and contributions of employees under the Civil Service Retirement System would increase to 12 percent.

Since CSRS stopped in 1984 (approximately 28 years ago), most CSRS contributors are older workers, and these proposals should drive many of them into retirement.

Federal workers don’t make a ton of money, and we have gone for two years without a cost-of-living increase. In the meantime, the cost of necessities has continued to rise. Now the Republican-controlled House is trying to pass a budget that will gouge us further.

Republicans continue to accuse President Obama of class warfare. But they failed to pass the “Buffett rule,” which would increase taxes on the rich. It is my understanding that most members of Congress are wealthy, which explains their reluctance.

Most federal workers are middle class or lower, yet the Republican-controlled House is continually trying to place budget woes on their backs. In my eyes, it is the Republicans in Congress who are waging a class war, not Obama.

— Jeff Cross, Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit, Oakland, Calif.

In the May 21 issue, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying, “We would definitely not be able to execute the existing [national security] strategy if we have to go through sequestration.” [“Military vice chiefs warn of drastic personnel, weapons cuts”]

I suggest that the tail is wagging the dog here and that the “existing strategy” must be changed to accommodate sequestration or any other budget cuts.

— Albert S. Lubran, Monument, Colo.

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