Monday, November 29, 2010

Obama's federal worker pay "freeze": because unilateral giveaways to the GOP have a great track record

The White House today announced a 2-year pay "freeze" for federal employees. This is what Republicans have been calling for.

The announcement is a sign than the post-Rahm White House still doesn't get it. Obama has tried over and over again to unilaterally give something away to the other side -- without anything in exchange -- as a negotiating tactic. Sure enough, it has failed, over and over again. A great example is on climate change: before the BP disaster, the administration announced they were moving to expand offshore drilling. It would have been one thing if they had done this as part of a grand bargain to get a climate bill, but it was nothing of the sort, just a pure giveaway. Not surprisingly, it didn't make Republican senators suddenly want to vote for a climate bill.

The story today is the same. Some people in the White House, including the president, don't get certain aspects of Politics 101. Nothing more to it.

Krugman, among others, had warned about this problem back in Dec 2007.

Update: I added quotes around "freeze" in this post. Pay "freeze" is the term everyone uses, but I think that's really the other side's terminology and shouldn't be ours. There's this thing called inflation, after all. It amounts to a pay cut.


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