President Obama on Monday called for a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees.
The freeze, which would need congressional approval and save $60 billion over 10 years, would make a small dent in the nation’s debt problem. The accumulated deficits are currently forecast to exceed $9 trillion over the next decade.
Still, it’s an important step to help generate taxpayer support at a time when policymakers will need to make numerous difficult decisions about curbing the debt, one fiscal expert said.
“It’s a real money issue and a psychological first step,” said Maya MacGuineas, fiscal policy director at the New America Foundation. (Obama’s debt panel nears final report)
Debt in focus: Obama’s proposal comes at the start of a critical week on the debt issue. The president will meet Tuesday with congressional leaders of both parties and a bipartisan deficit commission he set up earlier this year is set to make final recommendations on Wednesday.
“The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice,” Obama said. “And that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government.”