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September 15, 2009
Government pay now double that for the private sector
Cato Institute's Chris Edwards takes a look at a new study that shows government bureaucrats now earning twice the pay and benefits of workers in the private sector:
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its annual data on compensation levels by industry (Tables 6.2D, 6.3D, and 6.6D here). The data show that the pay advantage enjoyed by federal civilian workers over private-sector workers continues to expand.
The George W. Bush years were very lucrative for federal workers. In 2000, the average compensation (wages and benefits) of federal workers was 66 percent higher than the average compensation in the U.S. private sector. The new data show that average federal compensation is now more than double the average in the private sector.
It's time to put a stop to this. Federal wages should be frozen for a period of years, at least until the private-sector economy has recovered and average workers start seeing some wage gains of their own. At the same time, gold-plated federal benefit packages should be scaled back as unaffordable given today's massive budget deficits. There are many qualitative benefits of government work-such as extremely high job security-so taxpayers should not have to pay for such lavish government pay packages.
Um...good luck with that Chris. As you point out, there are federal offices for every department spread all across the country. That makes it a given that they have 435 vocal advocates for keeping things exactly as they are, if not goosing the salaries and benefits of federal workers a little more.
No doubt, we will be adding to the federal civilian worker rolls as government grows.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky