This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," December, 14 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Surging salaries in Washington, and if you thought the story about the soaring number of federal workers making six figures was bad, wait until you hear this, a trillion-dollar spending bill that also includes a two percent pay raise for civilian federal workers.
My next guest has rejected a pay raise three times. Michael Williams is running for the U.S. Senate in Texas.
So, Michael, why have you rejected these repeated pay raises?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS (R), TEXAS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, back in 2005 and in 2007, the Texas legislature gave those of us in the executive branch of Texas state government a $45,000-per-year pay raise, and I have not taken a penny of it.
And the reason is this. It makes it very, very easy for me to stand on a foundation to argue for reducing the size of our commission, for controlling the pay raises that we extend to our employees when I, myself, have not been sticking my head back in the cookie jar.
CAVUTO: So, at a time when many argue, well, federal workers don`t earn that much compared to private workers — of course, we have since found out that is not the case — do you alienate the folks you eventually work for with, with that posture?
WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, you know, there were and are some of our employees who are disappointed with me, but we have a responsibility to taxpayers who are paying to run that commission.
Think about where we are right now. Right now, the private sector has lost 7 million jobs. And federal workers make about $30,000 more than private-sector employees. We should all be in this together. And, quite frankly, it is probably very, very difficult for somebody in the private sector who is anxiously trying to make sure they keep a job or hoping that they can find a job, when they realize that federal employees and federal workers who they are paying their salary are now getting a raise.
CAVUTO: But they sneak it in. I guess I wouldn`t even mind as much if they were not so sneaky about it. Why do they do it like that?
WILLIAMS: Well, that`s with a number of things. Even the pay raises for members themselves are in a sort of similar kind of — one in a similar kind of way.
And I think what it says is that we have got to bring some real transparency back to how we are going to go about the business of running this government and how we`re going to...
CAVUTO: But they don`t, Michael. They keep talking about transparency up, and they are as opaque as hell.
WILLIAMS: Well, and they keep talking about it. And, quite frankly, that is why there are new people running to be members of the United States Senate and the Congress who have a record of being transparent and who have a record of being firm in that way.
And, so — and when that new blood comes into Washington, I think we will see some of those things turn around.
CAVUTO: How soon?
WILLIAMS: There may be an opportunity in Texas very, very soon.
WILLIAMS: There may be...
WILLIAMS: So, but, you know, I think we will see that in the 2010 cycle.
WILLIAMS: And the reason I think you are going to see it, is that is what they are telling us out there in all these tea parties.
WILLIAMS: And those are of us who are elected or who want to be elected ought to be listening to them.
CAVUTO: Michael, we will watch your race very closely. Thank you very much.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
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