The Spectacle Blog

The Federal Pay Freeze, In Context

By on 11.29.10 | 11:11AM

Earlier this morning, I noted that President Obama's proposal to freeze the pay of federal employees (excluding the military) for two years wouldn't have much impact on the debt. Now we have more specifics. In his press conference, Obama claimed that the move would save the government $28 billion over five years. Taking that number at face value, that would represent a sixth-tenths of one percent reduction in the projected $4.52 trillion deficit over that same period (2011 through 2015). It would be the equivalent of a person who expects to rack up $10,000 of of credit card debt over the next five years touting the fact that he's found a way to reduce his expenses by $60 over that time period. In football terms, it would be like a kickoff return that gains about a half of a yard.

To demonstrate this visually, I put together a pie chart.

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