Romney’s VP pick targeted fed pay, benefits

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was the main architect of a budget plan that would slash federal benefits and would extend the pay freeze.

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, proposed increasing federal workers’ retirement contribution from 0.8 percent to a “more equitable contribution” in his fiscal 2013 budget blueprint. Currently, agencies contribute 11.7 percent to feds’ pensions. Ryan also wanted to extend the current two-year pay freeze for three more years, through 2015.

The House has passed a version of Ryan’s budget plan, but the Senate has not adopted the House proposal.

“Federal employees deserve to be compensated equitably for their important work, but their pay levels, pay increases and fringe benefits should be reformed to better align with those of their private-sector counterparts,” according to Ryan’s proposal, also called the Path to Prosperity.

The call to increase feds’ retirement contributions returned again in legislation Ryan supported to avoid the sequestration cuts. In this bill, feds’ pension contributions would increase by 5 percent over five years.

Although Romney does not specify if he would cut federal pay and benefits, his campaign website claims federal compensation exceeds private sector levels “by as much as 30 to 40 percent when benefits are taken into account. This must be corrected.”

Romney said aligning public and private sector pay would save $47 billion.

A Romney-Ryan presidency would also take an ax to the federal workforce size. Both Ryan’s Path to Prosperity and Romney’s website call for making workforce cuts of 10 percent through attrition.

“When government takes on too many tasks, it usually does not do any of them very well,” the Ryan plan stated. “Limited government also means effective government.”

Romney supports a “one-for-two” attrition policy, “thereby reducing the number of federal employees while allowing the introduction of new talent into the federal service.”


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