Can we all take out our tiny violin for government workers?
The Washington Post, which supports leftists, big government, higher taxes, and more regulations, has come out with a piece that lobbies for bigger raises for government employees. What a surprise!
They support the destruction of the fossil fuel industry, which employs tens of millions directly and indirectly, while they support bigger raises for government employees.
They support massive regulations by the EPA and other agencies' bureaucrats that raise costs and inflation and then support bigger raises to pay for these inflated costs.
The WaPo and other media outlets railed against the Supreme Court for correctly ruling that legislators, not government bureaucrats, are responsible for big regulations that inflate costs.
They supported the big government spending programs and the policies that have caused energy and other prices to spike, and now they support bigger raises for government employees because of the high inflation their policies have caused.
The higher wages they are supporting would cause government spending and taxes to go even higher. But what the heck? Who cares about the poor, the middle class, small businesses, and future generations having to pay for this largesse and the cascading problem of big government?
Government workers feel inflation's pinch as wages lag
Somehow, The Washington Post doesn't care that government employees' pay already exceeds the private sector in many areas and their benefits, including vacation, sick days, health care, and pensions, most of the time dwarf the private sector. A significant number of government employees can retire at a much younger age than those in the private sector. And when they retire, they get a good pension, health care coverage, and automatic cost of living raises for the rest of their lives. Most of us in the private sector who pay high taxes are not so lucky.
But we are supposed to feel sorry for government employees because this year, their raises may not have kept up.
A Look at Pay for Federal Employees Compared to Their Private-Sector Counterparts
Once you include all forms of employee compensation, public-sector employees are extremely well-paid.
Compensation for federal, state, and local government employees cost U.S. taxpayers $1.9 trillion in 2016. This amounts to an average of $15,176 from every household in the United States. President Trump recently moved to rein in some of these costs by canceling pay raises for federal civilian employees, who received $331 billion in compensation during 2017.
Some politicians and an association of federal employees have criticized Trump for this action, saying that federal workers are underpaid and deserve a raise. However, a broad range of studies have found that most federal civilian employees are paid better than comparable workers in the private sector.
[A] 2017 Congressional Budget Office study compared the compensation of full-time, year-round private sector workers to non-postal, civilian, federal workers in 2011 to 2015. It accounted for education, occupation, work experience, geographic location, employer size, and various demographic characteristics. The study found that:
- Federal workers received an average of 17 percent more total compensation than comparable private sector workers.
- Across various education levels, federal employee compensation premiums ranged from a low of –18 percent for workers with a professional degree or doctorate to a high of 53 percent for workers with a high school diploma or less:
In 1974, the federal government passed a sensible law that required the private sector to be honest about its liabilities on retirement pensions and health care. Sadly, they exempted government entities from this requirement to be honest. Therefore, politicians could promise whatever they wanted to employees, as they trolled for votes, and future generations would have to deal with it. Politicians frequently exempt themselves from laws they impose on others.
It is no wonder that government entities throughout the country are so broke.
But don't worry: most of the media will support politicians as they have to raise taxes on the private sector, or just borrow more money, to pay for these unfunded liabilities.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.
In general, ERISA does not cover plans established or maintained by governmental entities, churches for their employees, or plans which are maintained solely to comply with applicable workers compensation, unemployment or disability laws. ERISA also does not cover plans maintained outside the United States primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens or unfunded excess benefit plans.
Heck, the Democrats just gave a huge kickback to private unions to bail out their underfunded pensions. After all, these unions overwhelmingly support Democrats and donate huge amounts of money to them. And, after all, it is just borrowed money that future generations have to pay back.
Covid relief bill gives $86 billion bailout to failing union pension plans
· The $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill offers $86 billion in grants to failing multi-employer pension plans, to help pay benefits for union workers.
· Funding in more than 100 plans (nearly 10% of the total) are in critical shape. A Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation program that serves as a financial backstop is also nearly insolvent.
Summary: The media, bureaucrats, and other Democrats support big government spending programs and regulations that cause high inflation and then beg for bigger raises to support their destructive, inflationary policies.
I wonder why we are in a recession!
Photo credit: AliExpress.