77,000 federal workers paid more than governors

Rick Moran
It used to be a parent wanted their son or daughter to grow up and be a doctor, a lawyer, or even president - someone who would make a lot of money, live in a nice house, and have everything they wanted in material goods.

Today, a parent might dump that idea and hope their kid gets a berth on the gravy train of federal employment:

More than 77,000 federal government employees throughout the country -- including computer operators, more than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 22 librarians and one interior designer -- earned more than the governors of the states in which they work.

The findings, from a Congressional Research Service report requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, were released at a time when public workers' salaries and benefits are under scrutiny across the country as governments try to streamline.

CRS reviewed 2009 salary figures, the most recent available, and found 77,057 employees who earned more in annual pay than their respective governors. Of those workers, 18,351 were doctors -- the highest percentage. The second-highest total was for 5,170 air traffic controllers -- likely both front-line controllers and their supervisors.

In Maryland, 7,283 federal employees -- about 7 percent of all full-time federal employees in the state -- earned more than Gov. Martin O'Malley's $150,000 salary. Maryland was topped by Colorado, which in 2009 had 10,875 employees who made more than the $90,000 salary of the governor, Bill Ritter.

What the hell happened? It is mind boggling that we have now reached this point where it is so lucrative to work for the government. It used to be considered "public service." Now it's "Public Reaming" as unelected bureaucrats hold sway over huge swaths of our economy and our daily lives.

I don't buy the argument that we have to pay exhorbitant salaries to attract and retain good help. There is a higher calling that should be at work. No one should get rich at the taxpayer's expense - not politicians, and certainly not bureaucrats.

It used to be a parent wanted their son or daughter to grow up and be a doctor, a lawyer, or even president - someone who would make a lot of money, live in a nice house, and have everything they wanted in material goods.

Today, a parent might dump that idea and hope their kid gets a berth on the gravy train of federal employment:

More than 77,000 federal government employees throughout the country -- including computer operators, more than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 22 librarians and one interior designer -- earned more than the governors of the states in which they work.

The findings, from a Congressional Research Service report requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, were released at a time when public workers' salaries and benefits are under scrutiny across the country as governments try to streamline.

CRS reviewed 2009 salary figures, the most recent available, and found 77,057 employees who earned more in annual pay than their respective governors. Of those workers, 18,351 were doctors -- the highest percentage. The second-highest total was for 5,170 air traffic controllers -- likely both front-line controllers and their supervisors.

In Maryland, 7,283 federal employees -- about 7 percent of all full-time federal employees in the state -- earned more than Gov. Martin O'Malley's $150,000 salary. Maryland was topped by Colorado, which in 2009 had 10,875 employees who made more than the $90,000 salary of the governor, Bill Ritter.

What the hell happened? It is mind boggling that we have now reached this point where it is so lucrative to work for the government. It used to be considered "public service." Now it's "Public Reaming" as unelected bureaucrats hold sway over huge swaths of our economy and our daily lives.

I don't buy the argument that we have to pay exhorbitant salaries to attract and retain good help. There is a higher calling that should be at work. No one should get rich at the taxpayer's expense - not politicians, and certainly not bureaucrats.