Obama really needs to get some desensitizing lotion or learn to think about last night's box scores whenever the concept of pleasing Republicans pops into his mind. The proposal to freeze government workers' pay would save about $2 billion in FY2011, which represents about 0.18% of the projected deficit. And Obama made the offer out of the blue, not at the negotiating table where the other side might offer something in return. It was a moronic move.
ETA: As multiple commenters at BJ point out, the worst aspect of this proposal is what it does to the narrative. Instead of talking about jobs, we're talking about budget deficits. And instead of talking about defense spending or health care spending, we're talking about the pay of those evil commie government workers. Which, in the scheme of things, just doesn't matter that much, because total civilian wages and salaries add up to about $250 billion. Not paying federal workers at all for a year would cover only about 1/4 of the projected FY2011 deficit.
ETAA: DDay makes a good point about the cost of ethanol subsidies vs. the pay freeze.