Letters to the Editor

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GSA: Why pay bonuses to government workers?

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on April 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm with 40 Comments »
April 20, 2012 12:45 pm

When the General Services Administration scandal broke, I wasn’t surprised to learn that government employees had been wasting taxpayers’ money, but I was astounded to learn that many of them were given bonuses while doing so.

In the private sector, bonuses are given if employees perform so well that their contributions lead to profits for their employers. However, if decisions made by employees cause companies to spend as much or more than they take in year after year, that is a a sure and certain path to bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, virtually all governmental entities at all levels spend as much if not more than they take in every year, and the best example is the federal government.

So at a time when our nation is in grave financial condition, why should already-strapped taxpayers be required to pay bonuses to workers for doing what they have agreed to at the rate of pay they agreed to work for? It beats the hell out of me.

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Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. sandblower says:

    Examples and sources please, otherwise this is just more lyle lies.

  2. surething says:

    Don’t they have a cut off of how many letters you can submit? Lyle has a letter in here CONSTANTLY.

  3. LornaDoone says:

    Lyle – in one breath your side says that teachers should be paid on performance and now that you claim someone is being paid on performance, you find something wrong with that.

    Sandblower – here is a blurb from FOX. It’s not that big of a deal, just a molehill for Lyle to make into a mountain:

    The latest details from an inspector general report on the conference reveal 50 employees were given cash awards of $500 and $1,000 for their work arranging the now-infamous conference.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/10/federal-agency-cancels-new-vegas-conference-amid-scandal-over-its-lavish-2010/#ixzz1scPBHPlR

    Of course, as usual, FOX doesn’t disclose the reason for the bonuses (possibly unpaid overtime work or something similar). The GSA spending problem was going on during the Bush Administration and it appears Clinton also. FOX won’t disclose that either. Nor will Lyle.

    I just wish the Lyles of this country would make up their minds about incentive pay for government employees. Or would Lyle prefer to have his cake and eat it too?

  4. LornaDoone says:

    surething – I enjoy Lyle’s letters. They are great examples of pole vaulting over mouse droppings, a conservative favorite pastime.

  5. Wonder where Lyle’s indignation was when TARP funds went to pay bonuses to the Wall Street Cowboys who hung us all out to dry?

  6. Dave98373 says:

    Lyle-Kickbacks and bonuses of public employees and officials is the end-result “reward” of years of tireless, blind support of elected politicians. This is what happens when voters get wrapped up in an ideology and fail to hold anyone in office accountable.

  7. LornaDoone says:

    OK, Dave….so what were the bonuses for GSA employees from 2001 to 2009 intended to “kick back” for? Which elected politician was getting blind support?

  8. Dave98373 says:

    @LornaLoon–After the housing and banking collapse in 2008, we all thought that new laws and a change in leadership would change the mentality at the top…it has not…it has gotten worse!

  9. sandblower says:

    dave, it’s because the extreme right wing in the US Senate blocks everything with their 60 vote requirement. That is the fault of the republicans and no one else.

  10. Dave98373 says:

    sandblower- extreme right? So….the extreme left are off the hook when they controlled the white house, the senate, and the house a few years back? I guess you have already forgot about Obamacare. They also have obviously let the GSA go wild along with government spending. As long as there are people out there with selective amnesia and who cannot or will not look at anything in life fairly or objectively…this country will remain on the downward spiral.

  11. LornaDoone says:

    Dave – since there were 8 years of GSA misspent money during Bush and during the Obama administration someone fessed up with less than 4 years time, I’d say were are doing twice as good as we were before.

    All that, AND we got Bin Laden!

    Dave – what part of the Affordable Health Care Act don’t you like? Do you not want to be able to cover your children until they are 26, if they need it? Would you prefer to have your insurance drop you after you have a heart attack or cancer? I’m just being fairly objective here, Dave.

    The GSA is not going wild Dave, the spending was caught and stopped. You really need to get a grip on what is happening to avoid your hyperbolic statements.

    Why don’t you bring up how Obama told the Secret Service to hire hookers? You’d be closer to what you are trying to do, although still not honest about the reality of the situation.

  12. lylelaws says:

    Surething,

    I guess I may as well confess. My Aunt Mary own the Tribune. But if you would like to submit a letter or two a month, I will ask her to consider them.

    One thing though, you will have to use your real name. No need for thanks.

  13. Frankenchrist says:

    How many letters has this “Lyle Law” (clearly a fake name) submitted that WEREN’T printed? He is obviously a bitter old Republican crank shut-in with no friends who spends his days writing letters to the editor.

  14. LornaDoone says:

    Lyle – Mary McClatchey? Who woulda thunk, huh?

    Hey, it’s nice seeing you in print again. Did you get a chance to think about my question? Should government workers get incentive pay this week or not? Which is more, Lyle? $800K or $9 Billion? There is a quiz tomorrow.

    Careful of those gigantic mouse droppings.

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Overtime? I think not. They are called bonuses. The idiots at the top of thread need to learn how to use http://www.google.com

    They just look foolish.

    Only in lardnos’ world does a past wrong justify today’s.

    Xring- the govt made money on TARP. Off topic, but you are behind the times. Since TARP (which was mainly loans), BHO has given a trillion dollars to his buddies. Where is your outrage?

    I say give a govt employee a bonus if he saves the taxpayer money. Find a way to trim staff, make an operation more efficient, etc. but it needs to be concrete.

  16. Frankenchrist says:

    I’m glad Obama saved General Motors. Only an anti-American traitor would wish otherwise.

  17. The desperation of the right wing is palpable, you can see it, taste it, feel it. Makes one wonder just how low they will go. Do they have limits?
    Going to be a very long election.

  18. tree_guy says:

    Lyle, I like your letters to the editor. Don’t be put off by the Tribunes nattering nabobs of negativity: lornadoone, frankencrist, xring, and sandblower.

  19. LornaDoone says:

    tree_guy – how ironic you should quote a shamed Republican VP.

    Good grief, CT7, learn to read.

    “concernedtacoma7 says:
    April 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm Overtime? I think not. They are called bonuses.”

    My comment – (possibly unpaid overtime work or something similar) – was nothing more than throwing a “for instance” in the air. Salaried government workers don’t get paid overtime, thus one that has put in exception time on a project COULD get a bonus.

    Much like your addiction to “noun, verb, negative statement, Obama”, you make yourself look absolutely silly with the above sort of comment.

  20. Scottc51 says:

    “I’m glad Obama saved General Motors.”

    He didn’t save General Motors. The American taxpayer saved the General Motors or more accurately the automotive union. I don’t agree that using taxpayer money, makes Obama the savior.

    Classic fallacy to credit government when the taxpayers (those who actually pay taxes, as opposed to those who take) pick up the bill.

  21. LornaDoone says:

    “He didn’t save General Motors. The American taxpayer saved the General Motors or more accurately the automotive union. I don’t agree that using taxpayer money, makes Obama the savior.”

    So when Bush used taxpayer money, where was your outrage?

    Who put the plan together? Obama’s team. Who wanted to “let Detriot fail”. Romney and all the Republicans.

    You can split hairs on the money, but you can’t deny who was behind the plan.

  22. Frankenchrist,

    Just for the record, I send in two letters a month and as far as I can remember all or nearly all of them have been printed online or in the paper. As to the other things you mentioned; Am I old and is Lyle Laws a fake name? I have been using that “fake” name since 1933, so I guess you are right about the “old” charge.

    I had two friends but one of them moved away and the other one died.

    As far as someone being bitter, I think maybe you might want to consult with your mirror.

    Lighten up a little Franken.

  23. LornaDoone says:

    Lyle – I’m glad to see you participate in reader submitted commentary. It’s an important part of the newspaper business and has been for centuries.

    Do you think you can submit something that has substance and isn’t purely political partisan assertions?

  24. Pacman33 says:

    There you go folks.

    Concern over the culture of fraud, waste, corruption in our bloated government agencies is ‘partisan’ and void of substance.
    Only a right-wing extremist could possibly take issue with the $9,000 bonus received by GSA official Jeff Nealy.

    There was a time when the Democrats stood for Big Government ….
    Today the Democrats are advocates of HUMONGOUS Government, no matter how wasteful or crooked …. more. Just give them more.

  25. Classic fallacy to credit government when the taxpayers (those who actually pay taxes, as opposed to those who take) pick up the bill.

    By that logic Government gets no credit for ever doing anything….ever.

  26. took14theteam says:

    Still waiting for your next Letter to the Editor, Larry.

    The last one had you running and denying who you are (to this day).

    At least Lyle is man enough to use his real name and comment on his letters.

    You on the other hand…….

  27. dave0000 – To have control of the Senate requires 60 votes – something that
    has not happened many years.

    ct7 – ‘trillions to his buddies’ LOL – typical right wing spin – blame Obama for what Bush 2 did.

    scott – you are wrong. We taxpayers had no hand in the decision to save GM.
    The President requested the funds and the CONGRESS authorized them.

    May you and CT7 can take a history/political science class together.

    TG – there you go again. Just because some of us know how befuddled Lyle and his letters are does not mean we hate him.

    Pac – and of course the Rpots are all for smaller, less intrusive government – except for the Department of Defense which must be able to fight two wars so ‘american owned’ corportations can make more money to store in overseas, not taxable accounts.

  28. concernedtacoma7 says:

    X- many years? Who needs a history class?

    And the near trillion dollar stimulus was all BHO. The green nightmare that is costing us billions while producing no jobs? All BHO. TARP was Bush and it worked.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tarp-worked-but-its-not-the-end-of-financial-reform/2012/04/19/gIQAgHH8TT_story.html

    Biden’s economic adviser.

  29. Frankenchrist says:

    Lyle, this nattering nabob of negativity thanks you for your honest answer. Sorry about your friends. You do have an interesting name and I don’t say that as an insult.

  30. LornaDoone says:

    “At least Lyle is man enough to use his real name and comment on his letters.”

    Quoteth “took14theteam”

    LOL

  31. LornaDoone says:

    “The green nightmare that is costing us billions while producing no jobs?”

    A CT7 classic! Not one word of truth to it. And if you are going to re-run “Solyndra”, tell us the difference between $500 million and $9 billion that Halliburton “misplaced”. Meanwhile, if you are bringing Bush into the conversation (you always say he isn’t president anymore), Bush started the Solyndra ball rolling.

  32. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Please, they applied for a loan and the Bush admin said no. Recycled garbage from lardnos.

    Xring brought up Bush, pay attention.

    10k less wind jobs this month. Green projects failing left and right. Read something other then this blog.

  33. Of course, the reason for Solyndra failing is that the Chinese government is subsidizing their solar panel industry and they were/are dumping their product in the US as below cost.

    But….it is such a better narrative for you to claim that the problem isn’t unfair business practices but all Green projects.

    Hmmmm…..if the Chinese are investing so much government money into solar panels it must mean that they think it is bound to fail….right?

  34. hansgruber says:

    Video: Former GSA Administrator Testifies Execs were “Entitled” To Bonuses Despite Obama’s Pay Freeze

    http://strokesofcandor.com/the-watchdog/video-gsa-former-administrator-testifies-execs-were-entitled-to-bonus-despite-obamas-pay-freeze/

    Another reason to re-elect Obama. Govern’t worker ignore his leadership

  35. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The Solyndra business model was to produce something at a cost of $4 per unit and sell it for $2. That product was falling in price, the business was failed from the start (hence the Bush admin turning it down). A 1-5% cost advantage vs chinese products caused them to burn through cash that fast? Also, most programs are labeled ‘loans’. Don’t we do the same thing?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0320/China-subsidized-solar-panels-US-finds.-Are-tariffs-the-right-response/(page)/2

    And, as a govt, we should follow the investing principles of commie china?

    This line was interesting, and I find it difficult to believe-

    “The Commerce finding parallel’s a separate Stanford University analysis for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory based in Golden, Colo. released last month. It found that Chinese solar panel manufacturers had only about a one percent cost advantage – if subsidies were excluded – and would actually have exceeded the cost of US-made panels by 5 percent when ocean transportation costs were included.”

    Since the products were not subsidized beyond 5%, would that not make them the same price as US manufactured cells? I do not trust the data from China for a second, but I do not blame them alone for the failed green businesses in the US.

  36. commoncents says:

    Back to the topic at hand. Gov’t workers should not be receiving bonuses of any kind. Nor should they be living in constant fear of being laid off. One of the perks of the job is the pension, the healthcare, and the stability of employment. In return, those employees should be giving up pay equal to their private sector counterparts. If they perform their duties so well that they deserve a bonus…then give them a raise or promotion during their next performance review.

    That being said – start laying them off and changing pensions to 401ks you now change their comp package and start having to pay such bonuses in order to keep the attrition rate relatively low – continuity in staff makes a difference.

  37. LornaDoone says:

    Hans – do you think the President of the United States is involved in the day to day operation of GSA?

    If so, Bush is responsible for the Secret Service guy that was eyeballing Palin.

    So silly.

  38. LornaDoone says:

    FOX and associates are the only ones giving Bush a pass on Solyndra, CT7. You might want to increase your reading to two sources, at least.

    http://grist.org/solar-power/2011-09-13-bush-admin-pushed-solyndra-loan-guarantee-for-two-years/

  39. The U.S. Department of Commerce has found that Chinese solar-panel makers obtained illegal subsidies from China’s government and plan to impose duties on solar panels and solar cells imported from China, SolarWorld AG (SWV.XE) said Tuesday.

    The U.S. unit of Germany-based SolarWorld (SWV.XE) and six other U.S. firms have accused Chinese suppliers of solar panels and solar cells made from crystalline silicon of receiving unfair government subsidies and selling their products in the U.S. at prices below the cost of production. The companies have asked the government to impose antidumping tariffs and countervailing duties on the Chinese products of as much as 100%.

    The U.S. Commerce Department, which has been investigating the case, is scheduled to issue a preliminary decision Tuesday on the merits of SolarWorld’s case. The International Trade Commission also is pursuing an investigation.

    The Commerce Department made an expected preliminary decision Tuesday about SolarWorld’s claims that the Chinese solar companies received unfair government subsidies, SolarWorld spokesman Greg Stanko said. He also said the department said it would levy duties on Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP), Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) and other Chinese solar-panel makers.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120320-710638.html

  40. “The Solyndra business model was to produce something at a cost of $4 per unit and sell it for $2.”

    Why do conservatives feel it necessary to lie so much?

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