Trump proposes cuts to NASA employee benefits

Someone has to pay for the tax cuts.

These cuts have been talked about for over a year but now there is growing concern and distain for government employees that may make these cuts real. Also the great tax cut for the rich has created a huge $1Trillion deficit with no end in sight. Somebody has to pay for this and it looks like Federal employees (NASA included) may end up donating $143.5 Billion to the cause. Trump justified his cuts:

“Everyone knows government employees are lazy, some are incompetent, and we can’t fire them. They do half the work the private sector does for twice as much money. They have golden retirement pensions, months of free vacation, and free health care that we all pay for. And what do we have? Nothing. It’s a disgrace. Believe me.”

Actually he didn’t say that but he will. Believe me. In typical trump fashion he will demonize federal employees and turn the public against them to justify his cuts. The proposed cuts will affect current employees, future employees as well as those who have retired. From the Washington Post:

  • Eliminating supplements for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuitants who retire before being eligible for Social Security benefits. [affects early retirees]
  • Reducing federal pensions by basing them on workers’ basic pay five-year averages instead of three years. [less pension]
  • Increasing employee retirement contributions with no increase in benefits. The plan would sharply boost the 0.8 percent of basic pay most FERS employees contribute. The letter makes the impact on federal retirees clear. “Under this proposal, FERS employee deduction rates will increase by 1 percent per year until they reach 7.25 percent of basic pay. … This proposal would require FERS employees to fund a greater portion of their retirement benefit.” [7.25 cut in pay with less pension]
  • Reducing or eliminating retirement cost-of-living adjustments. The administration plans “to reduce the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) by one half of one percent and to eliminate COLAs under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) for current and future retirees.” [no COLA for retirees]
So think of it as a 7.25% reduction in pay to fund the retirement system with no added benefits once retired. No cost of living increase for retirees so the pension will not increase over your retirement years which could be 20+ years. Other cuts to federal employee benefits that have been discussed include:
  • Reduction in sick leave
  • Reduction in vacation days
  • End of flex days
And yet NASA employees will continue to vote for republicans. You have to wonder how we will ever get back to the moon.

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