Should federal employees get a pay raise while government debt is increasing by trillions of dollars?

Congress is considering raising the pay for all federal personnel by 2.9% while states, counties, municipalities, large and small businesses, schools, and colleges cut staffs, reduce compensation, and eliminate service. Nobody begrudges a 2.9% raise to military personnel, but extending the same increase to all other federal government employees is just wrong when:

* Hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs every month;

* The unemployment rate is approaching and will surpass 9%,;

* 47 million people are without health care;

* The proposed budget will increase the federal debt trillions of dollars;

* Federal government jobs are among the most secure in the nation;

* Millions of homeowners are having difficulty paying their mortgages; and

* Young people cannot afford a college education.

President Obama is correct when he says that the current economic conditions will require sacrifices and or at least discipline from all of us. For example several analysts project that Social Security recipients will receive no adjustments to their payments for at least two years. Should we not expect the same sacrifice from federal workers?

This pay raise will cost the taxpayer approximately $1.3 billion, which is only a tiny portion of the proposed $3.53 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2010. Even so, a billion here and a billion there, and, after a while you're talking real money.