The Weekly Standard has the story where BO has given payraises to the WH, members of congress and federal workers. (Via Drudge)
These days wages are down in the private sector and public sector employees are over compensated compared to the private sector, and he gives them a raise.
This is a slap in the face to every private sector worker where raises are non-existent, and some are taking pay cuts because it's better than a lay off. Just ask Hostess employees where a small group took the entire company down over 8%. And layoffs are something government employees will never likely face. BTW, your humble host is included in the "pay cut" portion of the diagram. I took a voluntary pay cut because company revenues are down and it's better than the Hostess situation.
The normal private sector executive reaction to reduced revenue is to lay people off. But our CEO prefers to keep people working to get our new products done so we are ahead of the game when the economy turns around.
This pay cut represents the merit increases earned in the last two cycles. On the other hand, since it effectively comes off "last dollar" earned in the year, a sizable portion of that would have gone to the .IRS anyway. That makes it hurt a bit less.
I've been through this with the DayJob a couple times before. We've covered the revenue shortfall in the past by plant shutdowns which I actually prefer because while the $$$ goes away, I get something back in return - time. And the pay automatically returns when the revenue returns. But the downside to my customers is that I'm less available to respond to their issues. In reality I'm pretty much on call that week anyway. Fortunately I don't have to be in the office.
Last couple downturns he's done an across the board pay cut. While it hurts in the short run, it's always been restored, plus a financial thank you on the back end. This time he made it voluntary. I volunteered because I have confidence he'll make it right and then some in the future.