USA Today – Federal Workers Are Paid Double Their Private Counterparts

Federal employees “earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”

This points to a relatively easy way to reduce  federal spending in discretionary programs  Freeze the pay and benefits of federal workers, reduce them (over a fairly short time-period) to the pay of their private-sector equivalents, and generally work to reduce the size of the federal work force.  Since this is a reasonable and logical step, our fearless leaders are not taking it.

To the contrary, as private compensation stagnates and private sector unemployment continues to be very high, for “the 2-million-person federal workforce [other than 2,900 political appointees], Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in 2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.” 

I am a partner in my firm, so I simply get paid a percentage of profits when there is one and my situation isn’t really comparable to most employees.  My wife is salaried, however.  She has not had a pay increase in three years.  Meanwhile, our 2,000,000+ federal workers have received an across the board raise every year of at least 1.4% annually, plus seniority pay increases.  Note that merit is not written into the equation.

In other words, dear reader*, you get to pay your civil servants more while you make do with less.  Only government would continue to increase already above-market wages while faced with drastically declining revenues.  A private CEO would get fired.

*By dear reader, I mean my wife, about the only one who reads this stuff.

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Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You make a great point. I don’t think you reduce the pay however. I think you do a 2year pay freeze, and only a 1% increase (if reasonable) per year for the next 10 years. This will allow receipts to catch up to costs a bit without causing a massive revolt among those “poor government workers”.


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