How Washington Sees the World

A headline in Tuesday’s Washington Post – actually, it was a teaser on page B1 for a story inside – read:

Another hand on wallets

I figured it would be a story about the Maryland income tax increase, or the proposed Arlington County tax increase, or the coming federal tax tsunami.  But then I read the subhead:

If it’s Tuesday – or any day that ends with “Y” – it must be time for another move on the wallets of federal workers.

Ah, yes. In the world as seen by the Washington Post, the “hand in your wallet” is the taxpayers, trying to keep some of their hard-earned money. And then, when you read the story, titled “Another hand in federal workers’ pockets,” it says, “The latest attempt in a seemingly unending series of proposals to cut their pay or benefits is scheduled for a Senate vote Tuesday.” But it’s not a cut! It’s just a proposal to extend the alleged federal pay freeze. So not a cut in pay, just no increase.

And then, as so often happens in Washington, it turns out that even if this did save any money, the money wouldn’t go back to the taxpayers anyway:

In an amendment to the highway bill now being considered by the Senate, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) wants money saved by extending the federal pay freeze to fund energy projects, an adoption tax credit, and tax deductions for college expenses and for state and local property taxes.

Oh, there go those mean ol’ Tea Party, tight-fisted Republicans again, trying to restrain federal workers’ already high pay in order to … um, fund their own favorite projects. Seems like the taxpayer has no dog in this fight.