The Creatures From Planet Money

Money has been a problem for Americans before, during and after we broke from the Mother Country and decided to do it our way.

For the U.S. Government, getting money without causing another revolution was, is and will probably always be a problem. Different pressure groups, constituents and voter blocs want sometimes very different things. Often they don’t want to pay for what the goods and services cost.

Currently, the federal government is in hock, big time to China and other nations (not all of them pals of the U.S.A. or its way of life) and a growing number of people — voters and politicians and others — are worried about our mounting debt. Criticism of government policies and spending is growing. Politicians, think tanks and a chunk of the news media say that federal workers and retirees are a big part of the problem. They say that feds are overpaid, retirees are over-pensioned and that the care and feeding of government workers — at the federal, state and local levels — is helping break the national piggy bank.

So, if there is an answer, what is it?


A lot of it will come from the career ranks of the federal government. Treasury Department staffers, OMB lifers and Defense specialists, all who serve political appointees that come and go. So we decided to take a look at the money men and women, both career and political, to see what they do and how they are doing it.

Today, Federal News Radio launches a week-long series with the ambitious title: Rise of the Money People: Financial management moves front and center as agencies make the final assault on wasted billions! That’s a lot, correct?

Throughout the week we will have in-depth reports, online and on air, about the all-important but relatively unknown Money People.

Our staff has put a lot of time and energy into this series. We’ve learned a lot in the process. One of the things we learned is how serious the problem is and how serious and good most of the people are who are working on it.

So check it out: All week. We’ll let you know how we, and the experts, think the Money People are doing. Then, please let us know how we are doing.



Compiled by Jack Moore

The first man sentenced to sit in the Boston stocks — those famous wooden restraints — was actually the man who built them. After designing and building the structures, Edward Palmer submitted a bill for parts and labor totaling one pound, 13 shillings and seven pence. The city balked at the price and charged Palmer with extortion, sentencing him to sit in the stocks for one hour.

(Source: Mental Floss)


Federal retirements exceed expectations for third month
For the third month in a row, the number of federal employees filing retirement claims outpaced the Office of Personnel Management’s projections. OPM received more than double the number it expected to receive, according to new data.

OMB offers updated guidance to agencies facing sequestration cuts
The Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to take full advantage of the funding flexibilities they have under law as they implement the across-the- board sequestration cuts that went into effect March 1. In a new memo, OMB Controller Danny Werfel also directed agency and department leaders to be mindful of certain types of performance awards and to work with agency inspectors general before making cuts to IG offices.

Changes to COLAs, retirement benefits included in 2014 budget
In his 2014 budget proposal, President Barack Obama will call for the implementation of the “chained Consumer Price Index” to measure inflation. The change will reduce cost-of-living adjustments for retired federal employees and Social Security recipients. He’s also expected to propose changes to federal employees retirement programs.

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