I'm a federal employee. I made more in the private sector, but was
disatisfied by helping rich clients become richer. I joined the government
because my country is at war, and I wanted to serve where possible. I believe
in that mission, as do my colleagues.Do I think there are areas of
government that need to be more efficient? Sure. Do I think that government
needs to spend all that it does? Absolutely not. Do I think that the debt and
deficit are huge issues? You betcha.But I'm tired of being
portrayed as the enemy by right wing deficit hawks. I signed on to support the
troops that they sent into two wars. I don't appreciate my income being
threatened by some armchair ideologues whose contribution to both wars is to
tear up at the sight of Old Glory and put 'Support the Troops'
bumperstickers on their cars. Federal employees are the first
target whenever the Tea Partiers want to slash government. They have given up
more than $100 billion over the next decade from pay freezes/cuts, reduced
retirement contributions, and smaller benefits. What have you sacrificed to
reduce the deficit, Mr. Boren?
Cut completely all retirement pay for elected and appointed government
officials. Those elected PAID to get the job. Those appointed are there a short
time and then leave.If they want retirement let them serve and go back to
the private sector. This would save millions per year and if implemented across
the board, Billions.
Redshirt,I think you've made that 25-30% argument before using
back of the envelope calculations, but it's better to read what actual
analysts have calculated rather than attempting it on your own. Because your
calculations must be missing something. David Wessel, economics editor at the
Wall Street Journal, wrote that 1 in 8 dollars of federal spending is on federal
employee salary and benefits. That's 12.5%. He also wrote that 2/3 of
federal employees are involved in defense, including active military service
members. Since cutting defense spending is a no-no for many
conservatives, you now only have ~4.5% to play with. If we get real mean and
fire half of the non-defense federal employees (the moochers!) we've shaved
a whopping ~2% of the budget and crippled the federal government. Some might say
that's a good thing, but I disagree. Since defense spending accounts for
20% of the budget, health care 25%, social security ~20% and debt interest
payments ~10%, non-defense federal salaries are simply dwarfed.
Twin Lights,And a Happy New Year to you and your family as well. I
take your point about regional differences in pay. I would suggest that those
differences are even more pronounced in certain industries. It's hard for
me to see why anyone would be attracted to a job regulating the financial
sector, when you could make so much more money working for Wall Street. The
more I read about the financial crisis, the clearer it becomes how complicit the
bond rating industries were, not because of crookedness, but because of overwork
and incompetence. You don't get the cream of the cream working for
Moody's. I know bond rating is private sector, but the same logic
applies--you need to be able to attract competent people to regulate really
vital sectors of the economy. And yes, we Hoosiers are enjoying the
season. I expect you Kentuckians are as well.
To "CHS 85" here you go.From the Federal News Radio "For
federal workforce training must be the top priority". In there it states
" the government spends $700 billion a year on pay and benefits, or about 25
percent of the federal budget" (this is from a 2009 interview and should be
viewed in that light.)You can also go to "Obama cuts pay raises
for federal workers" at the Hill and do some math. They said that "a
2.4 percent increase would cost $19.9 billion more than the 2 percent increase
he proposed in his 2010 budget." When you do the math for the cost in
spending on salaries was as high as 30% of the total federal budget that
year.To "ECR" that estimate does not cover all federal
workers, just those for the executive branch or something like that. Most
estimates put it at around $450 billion or more.
@ECRThanks for the info. When you add in USPS, military personnel,
and retirement pay, it comes closer to the 12.3% that Congressman Chaffetz likes
to point out. I appreciate the correction.
It might be important to this discussion to note that the pay received from the
government for elected representatives is insignificant when compared to the pay
received from other sources. The truth of this is in the amount of money spent
on the election versus the government payroll.
CHS 85 and Redshirt The CBO states that "The federal government employs 2.3
million civilian workers, or 1.7 percent of the U.S. workforce, in over 700
occupations and spent about $200 billion in fiscal year 2011 to compensate
them." Wikipedia reports that the total federal budget enacted for 2011
$3.630 trillion. Doing the quick math it appears that the total cost of federal
employment accounts for 5.5% of the total budget.Just sayin'.
Eric Samuelsen,First, Happy New Year. I hope you and yours are
well.Second, I don't think pay raises are necessary in most
parts of the country (such as Utah or Kentucky). In such areas, the pay is
sufficient to attract good folks. The real problem with Federal pay is in the
urban areas where the pay is just not that much higher despite massive cost of
living differences. That should be a focus for the Feds.Third, I do
think that it needs to be easier to fire federal employees for cause. I am no
union buster (nor proponent either - I think they have a limited place only).
But being able to fire the poor performers would help the whole.Finally, good luck to IU. They seem to be hot this year.
@RedShirtI can't let your comment go unchallenged. "To "Emajor" you realize that 25% to 30% of the federal budget is
wrapped up in direct pay for federal employees. That is not a little bit. That
is a large chunck of the federal budget."I'd like to know
where the 25% to 30% figure comes from. The research I have been
able to do shows at the most it is 12.3%. Before you go thinking I
got that figure from some ultra-left wing group, I got that information from
Congressman Jason Chaffetz's website - hardly an ultra-left wing thinker.
The last time I checked he was on the Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform and the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor
Policy. I'll take his word over yours unless you can prove him
wrong. ...and I'm most definitely NOT a Chaffetz supporter.
My wife often suggests that we could change a lot of the discussion in
Washington if Congress was required to live by the laws they passed. No more
special healthcare. No more special retirement package.Let them
live on minimum wage for their service. Elected office was never intended to be
a career choice. Let them pay for healthcare like the people they represent.
Let them get paid minimum wage for their time in any elected position and then
return to their career after a reasonable time-frame. If two terms is good
enough for the top job, why not all the others? If they want retirement, save
your money because Social Security won't last forever.This
would reduce the federal budget and many of the "hidden costs" that
occur long after an elected official has left office.It's not
enough to solve the whole issue, but it is a good start...
LDS Liberal said "After 3 years of NO pay raise at all,Federal workers
will see a 0.5% increase - the first since 2009."Sorry, but
you've been given some bad information. That pay raise was promoted by
President Obama but the bill that just passed cut funding for that pay raise.By the way, despite Lost in DC questioning your religious beliefs with
his ever so subtle question mark, I believe it is possible to be LDS and
liberal. In fact I'm pretty sure most of Joseph Smith's enemies
thought his interpretation of scripture was quite liberal. Hang in
To "Emajor" you realize that 25% to 30% of the federal budget is wrapped
up in direct pay for federal employees. That is not a little bit. That is a
large chunck of the federal budget.The problem is in the higher
levels of government where the average worker makes more than their civilian
equivalent. Yes many federal employees make less their private industry peers,
but those are not the ones we question. Why do we need to keep wages so high
for members of congress and inefficiencies of the government?
How about instead we raise the salaries of all federal employees? We want
government to be effective and efficient, don't we? So let's attract
good people by offering them more money.
LDS? Libyou seem especially envious of the successful, but no more
so than usual. Covetousness is really unbecoming.Actually, we had
plenty of jobs until the barney frank-induced housing bubble collapsed. So
perhaps there are factors other than tax rates that also play into employment,
like job-killing regulations. Remember BO's promise to shut down the
domestic coal industry? But tax ratse do play a part. Or are you saying all
the predictions that said the return to all the Clinton tax rates would plunge
us into another recession were bogus?
After 3 years of NO pay raise at all, Federal workers will see a 0.5%
increase - the first since 2009.Those making over $1,000,000 a year
have seen their net worth increase 4 fold over they same time period.I still don't understand why the Tea-Party Republicans insist on
protecting the uber-wealthy? Their taxes were down to all-time lows,
Their profits went sky-rocketing, and yet they haven't created
all those mythical jobs the GOP keeps saying they do.Perhaps facing
a tax increase will finally spur them into hiring....If for nothing else,
Just so they can claim the tax deduction.BTW - I don't
think anyone in Congress deserves a pay raise....especially any Gover
Norquist GOP obstuctionists who keep touting NO tax increases whatsoever!Hypocrites of the Nth degree.
Hopefully, enough people will recognize that the people who would limit and
destroy our national government, have no concern about the future of America and
want to grab as much money as they can by every means before they allow America
to fall. Thus they work very hard to block the protections for the people,
eliminate the future for Americans, and reduce their costs.
If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is near the top of our priorities,
we must not allow our government to be destroyed by the short-sighted minions of
the greedy. Our national government is the only government charged
with securing these rights and freedoms to ordinary people. Not the state
government, county or local, not the business operations or even the churches.
Rather than limit and destroy the power of our national government
we should work to make it more representative of the people and prevent
it’s control by special interests.
An excellent place to start would be by slashing Congressional pay at least in
half. Congress receives automatic pay raises every year unless they vote not
to. Guess what happened in 2012?But others, who actually WORK for
their paychecks in Federal offices have had no raises for what -- three years, I
think.So let's start the cuts in Congress. They are at their
jobs in Washington on three days a week. Then they fly home at taxpayer expense
so they can rub noses with their corporate owners to get their marching orders
for the next week.And what is the latest public approval rate of
Congress? It's something like 10% now isn't it?
So if raising taxes on the rich is worthless because it doesn't raise much
revenue... Then how much more worthless is this proposal seeing how little money
this idea saves?
Considering how little of the federal budget is tied up in federal salaries, it
might make you feel good to know that you are making the lives of federal
employees more difficult to save a pittance, but you are accomplishing little.
They may have enviable job security, but public workers have lower wages for
their level of education than the private sector. You could make the argument
that there are too many higher paid administrators, but most of the "on the
ground" employees are not unduly compensated. If you want real
incompetence in government, make the pay so uncompetitive that no one with the
proper qualifications wants to work there. After all, shouldn't the
conservative axiom of richly rewarding CEOs to retain talent also be true of
public servants? And could this also be considered class warfare, or do
conservatives only think that applies to envy of wealth, whether earned or not?
Consistency is the key.We hear how raising taxes on the wealthy will
only run the government for 10 days, therefore is a useless endeavor.So, I take that to mean that the bar has been set.Anything that
has less of an impact than 10 days of running the government is useless.I guess Big Bird lives on.
OK Ralph. I know we just passed the Christmas Holidays and yo might not have
been focusing on the news. But before you make any more bold statements you
might want to do some research. Despite the president's request to give
federal employees a 0.5% pay increase, the new legislation denies that request
and so for a third year in a row, federal employees will go without a cost of
living increase. You can look it up.