U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has launched an attack on federal workers, proposing a bill that would eliminate the defined benefit pension portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System for all new government hires beginning in 2013. As a retired federal employee and a proud American, I want to set the record straight: America needs to support our federal employees if we are to compete for the best and the brightest in service to America.
Burr claims these pensions are unsustainable, but in actuality the federal pension program is fully funded, actuarially sound and paid for largely by federal employees themselves.
This is yet another attempt to undercut the value of the work done by federal employees. How quickly we forget that federal workers ensure that our most basic needs as a society are met, from the safety of the food we eat to the quality of the air we breathe. Without competitive employment packages that value the services performed by our federal work force, our government will struggle to attract the best workers to protect us.
When it comes to protecting North Carolinians, is Burr willing to settle for a second-tier government work force? Maybe he is, but I am not.