Monthly Archives: December 2008

Fed. Govt.: President George Bush Issues 2009 Federal Employees’ Pay Schedule; Federal Judges Do Not Receive COLA

[Note (3/13/09): The Congress has passed and the President has signed the omnibus appropriations act for FY 2009.

"SEC. 310. Pursuant to section 140 of Public Law 97-92, and from funds appropriated in this Act, Justices and judges of the United States are authorized during fiscal year 2009, to receive a salary adjustment in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 461."

The judicial cola is section 310.]

President George Bush issued the 2009 salary schedule for federal employees (Executive Order 13483).

Some items of interest:

The judicial branch has not received a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Senator Harry Reid attempted to have the judiciary’s COLA voted on in the legislation to rescue the automobile industry.  However, the legislation failed to pass.

Judicial position

Annual Salary in 2007

Annual Salary in 2008

Annual Salary in 2009

Annual Salary in 2009 (projected)

Chief Justice of U.S.

212,100

217,400

217,400

223,444

Sup. Ct. Associate Justices

203,000

208,100

208,100

213,782

Circuit Judges

175,100

179,500

179,500

184,490

District Judges

165,200

169,300

169,300

174,000

Judges of Int’l Trade Court

165,200

169,300

169,300

174,000

(Source: EO 13483, section 7. Note: Projection for 2009  is based on the assumption that the judiciary will also receive a 2.78% COLA.)

While some senators unfairly berated domestic automobile industry unionized workers for their well-deserved and fair salary for manufacturing labor, members of the House and Senate will receive a pay increase of $4,700 in 2009 (from $169,300 to $174,000 (a 2.78% increase)).

eo13483 Continue reading

Federal Government: President George Bush Gives Federal Employees the Day After Christmas Off

President George Bush issued Executive Order 13482 providing federal employees the day off on December 26, 2008. The text of the executive order is below.

By the authority vested in me as President by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of
America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. All executive branch departments and
agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and
their employees excused from duty on Friday, December
26, 2008, the day after Christmas Day, except as
provided in section 2 of this order.

Sec. 2. The heads of executive branch departments and
agencies may determine that certain offices and
installations of their organizations, or parts thereof,
must remain open and that certain employees must report
for duty on December 26, 2008, for reasons of national
security or defense or other public need.

Sec. 3. Friday, December 26, 2008, shall be considered
as falling within the scope of Executive Order 11582 of
February 11, 1971, and of 5 U.S.C. 5546 and 6103(b) and
other similar statutes insofar as they relate to the
pay and leave of employees of the United States.

Sec. 4. This order is not intended to, and does not,
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against
the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or
entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any
other person.

(Presidential Sig.)

THE WHITE HOUSE,

December 12, 2008.

Ward Connerly: Possibly Abandoning Anti-Affirmative Action Campaign to Work on Sentencing Reform

In the Colorado Independent, Ward Connerly indicated the possibility that he will no longer work on anti-affirmative action initiatives. This decision may have been influenced by the defeat of the ACRI proposal in Colorado.

In addition, the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) has produced a website critiquing the financial relationship between Connerly & Associates and the American Civil Rights Institute.  BISC also identifies a reason for the campaigns–Connerly essentially is sponsoring the initiative as a from for large contracting companies that seek to prevent any other competitor from getting state contracts. I have long suspected the authenticity of Ward Connerly’s campaign (primarily his funding comes from right wing organizations). The information from BISC serves as strong confirmation.

Moreover, citizen driven initiatives are not generally popular east of the Mississippi. Many states require initiatives to be approved by the legislature before going to the ballot. Also,  Mr. Connerly essentially has exhausted the supply of those states that have citizen driven initiatives.

Perhaps the drive to eliminate affirmative action is not as salient as it once was. In most of the states where the initiative was proposed, there are relatively few non-Whites who could use the programs. This means that any affirmative action program would have little effect on the White majority. Certainly no social power would be transferred to the non-White group.

It is just as well that Ward Connerly finds another issue to pursue.

Kay Hymowitz: Column on Marriage Flawed; Effect of Income Disparity on Marriage Rates in The United States Ignored

Kay Hymowitz, from the Manhattan Institute, wrote an opinion column linking persistent racial inequality towards Black people to lower marriage rates among Black people. A much better thesis for Ms. Hymowitz’s column is that racial discrimination continues to persist, as demonstrated by the disparity of income between White and Black people in the United States. Perhaps, therefore, the disparity in income between White and Black families may be having an effect on the marriage rate.

In her column, Ms. Hymowitz conveniently obfuscates a reason for the for the differing marriage rates between Black and White families–differing levels of wealth. Whites as a group make significantly more than Black families. In terms of median household income, Ms. Hymowitz noted that married Black couples have a median household income of $62,000 (which is 80% of the household income of White married couples ($77,500)). Additionally, Ms. Hymowitz states that the overall median income of Black households is 62% of that of White households.

The effect is made manifest when considering the difference between Black and White families’ net worth. According to David Shipler in A Country of Strangers (page 18):

Even Blacks and Whites with roughly the same income possess such different financial assets and real estate that placing them in the same class of material well-being, as the income statistics usually do, is misleading. The median net worth of those considered middle class ($25,000-$50,000 in annual income) is $44,069 for Whites and only $15,250 for Blacks. At all other levels, too, the asset gaps are much greater than the income gaps.

As a result, rather than show that the lower rate of Black marriage contributes to anti-Black racial disparity in the United States, the numbers actually demonstrate the more definite possibility that the significantly lower rate of income for Black people (the lower rate of income is a signifier of subtle race discrimination) may be having an effect on the marriage rate.