Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
Salaries consume 7% of the federal budget. Make them all work for free and it
won't solve our deficit problem.
There are a lot of good people working in the public sector providing services
that the private sector isn't prepared to handle or shouldn't even be
expected to handle. These people work honestly to provide for their families and
often earn less than those in the private sector with equivalent levels of
education. It is easy and popular to callously demand sweeping
program cuts without realizing or caring who you are hurting. If there is waste,
needless redundancy, or poor performance, let's address it. But very few
government employees are overpaid "administrators" lazily putting in 40
hrs a week on a job that serves no purpose in the first place, so let's not
act as if they are.
We need to cut programs, administrative salaries, and put a freeze on federal
hiring. We are going bankrupt and sooner or later someone is going to have to
pay for our out of control spending.I suppose the other option is to
keep throwing money at the problem and see if it helps.
I'm guessing that as a public-sector employee, I should make about $20K per
year and be thankful for it.
"We need to cut programs, administrative salaries, and put a freeze on
federal hiring."Cite specifics. Give details. Name for us which
programs you would cut, and explain why. How much would each cut program save
as a percentage of the total budget? Why pay certain people less?
Is there an objective market analysis of their compensation that shows that
their total compensation package is significantly different than the
compensation given for the same jobs in the private sector?What
impact would a federal hiring freeze have on federal services? Would it apply
to the military? If not, why not?Conservative chest-thumping about
cutting public spending is an increasingly tiresome joke.
Re: CHS 85 Sandy, UT"I'm guessing that as a public-sector
employee, I should make about $20K per year and be thankful for it."If I had my way you'd be working in the private sector and making
what you are worth.
@RiflemanYou don't know what agency I work for or what kind of
work I do, but the private sector does not currently have the ability to do what
we do. BTW, I believe I am fairly compensated. I have no
complaints. I am glad to have my job and I am proud of the service I provide
this great country.
CHS 85: If you currently provide about $15,000 in real value to your employer
(public or private), then yes, you should feel very grateful if you are paid
$20,000 to do it.If on the other hand, you provide much more than
$20,000 in value to your employer, you should not be happy and you should do
what everyone else in the private sector does...look for someone who will pay
you what you are worth. If you truly provide a valuable service, then someone
will want you to do it for them.
@JoeCapitalist2Please read my comment directly above yours where I
said I believe I am fairly compensated. I worked hard to get where I am, even
gaining twenty years of experience in the military first. I make about what I
would make in the private sector and am grateful for it. I really have no
Also, cutting public sector salaries would mean less incentive for good people
to do into government. It would increase incompetence.
The only way to reduce the cost of government is to get business out of
government. Business people use the government as a means to defeat
the notion of free market and force their products upon the customer. The main
job of the military is to protect and maintain our business operations around
the world while generating huge amounts of profits for the arms industry.Stop protecting American business with subsidies to Farmers and other
Business. If American business can buy foreign labor at low cost, American
consumers should be able to buy foreign goods at foreign prices.
All one has to do to see what the private sector does to areas of common need is
look at what it has done to our healthcare system. Just add 30% for
administration and you'll be just beginning and that doesn't count the
extra markup for individual components that will be added to back end.
That's how capitalism works and parts of our general welfare are best left
to the commons.
The letter makes a good point. Even if administrative salaries compose only 7
percent of government spending, as Roland mentions, all domestic government
spending is part of the economy. For instance, my sister, who worked as a
chemist for a private laboratory that receives defense funding, was supported in
her private-sector job by government spending. Same for people who sell
stethoscopes to the VA and lots of others. Social Security payments get spent on
food, clothing, gasoline, and other necessities.The fallacy in Tea
Party thinking is the assumption that government spending happens in a vacuum.
It doesn't. Even if it is something we don't necessarily need, it
still creates jobs and supports businesses. Take it away suddenly, and
you've got instant economic contraction: a recession. The main problem is
that we've adopted the philosophy of paying for government spending with
debt instead of taxes. No matter how we go about bringing things into balance,
we have to do it gradually, or we'll cause a greater problem than we solve.
I would disagree with one statement in this letter: "Cutting programs saves
us the money the government foolishly gives away." Seems like you're
lumping veterans' benefits and student loans with research on the length of
rats' tails. Yes, some government spending is foolish. Most of it is stuff
politicians can't speak of, because voters don't want to give up their
favorite government programs.
Re: CHS 85 Sandy, UT"You don't know what agency I work for or
what kind of work I do ..."To suggest that the federal
government doesn't carry a bloated payroll is absurd, and people who have
worked for Uncle Sam know it. There is a reason why the private sector
don't want employees who have worked for the government.
Cutting salaries for most positions would be fruitless, and may actually cause
more problems. For many positions the salaries are at their current levels in
an attempt to retain competent people. For instance, think of the DA's
office. Would you want to have the cheapest lawyer working there, or would you
want the best lawyers working there? If you have the best lawyers, then you
should pay them at a rate that is competitive with private companies. If you
don't, you will end up with the cheapest, and most likely less competent
lawyer.Many government programs need to be cut.To
"Roland Kayser" I don't know where you get your nubmers from, but
they are quite wrong. The executive branch alone is 7%, adding in the post
office employees and some other agencies will take you up to 14%. However,
using salaries is a bad measure. According to the budget office, in 2009 the
federal government spent $700 billion on salaries and benefits for their
employees. That year the government spent $3.1 Trillion. That means the
government spent 22% of its budget on its employees.
@Rifleman"To suggest that the federal government doesn't
carry a bloated payroll is absurd, and people who have worked for Uncle Sam know
it. There is a reason why the private sector don't want employees who have
worked for the government."Wow. You got me on that one. I
didn't realize that you spoke for every private sector employer. The
thousands of defense contractor employers might disagree with you, as well as
the companies who are direct contractors of the federal government. BTW, since the Department of Defense employs more civilian employees than all
other federal agencies COMBINED, I am guessing you are willing to eliminate all
of their jobs as well, or do they get a free pass because they are the DoD?
What about all of the thousands of employees of the new NSA facility in
Bluffdale? Free pass for them as well, I assume. Number of federal
employees per 1,000 American citizens under Nixon - 14.4, Reagan - 11.1, Bush -
12.4, Clinton - 11.1, Bush - 9.1, Obama - 8.4.
No one (at least no one rational)believes that government employees
shouldn't be able to earn a living wage, and in many cases deserve more.The problem we have is that way too many are bringing home 6 figure
salaries.Usually these folks are administrators who basically have
nothing to do all day except try to convince their bosses, (who are usually
elected officials btw) that they deserve ever higher salaries.Its
NOT a demo. or Repub. problem. They (elected officials)have had no incentive to
keep salaries in check. Salaries go up, so they raise taxes to compensate. Its
been getting much worse for the last 30 yrs.Its NOT the administrators who
do the work. Its the "worker bees".Administrators simply
try to put a happy face on the little work they accomplish.
Why does this argument come round all the time? Sure everyone despises civil
servants but fire them all and problems will only be made worse. Their pay
amounts to very little of the budget you're trying to balance.
1conservative. Do you really think that the administrators in
government are different than the administrators in large private
organizations?My limited corporate experience would indicate that
people are pretty much the same no matter where they are. And that the
corruption that you see in government also occurs in private corporations. Even
churches, charities, non-profits, unions, associations and clubs. Anywhere there is the flow of money or goods going by, some people will get
their hands wet. A partial solution might be the reduction in the
number of governments that we are subject to. Every level of government
provides an opportunity for corruption to happen. Further solution would be
better control. Less opportunity plus ways to reduce the motivation. Like better career paths and good retirement and even good pay.
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