Published: Saturday, Nov. 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Too many federal employees harm the economy by running up the deficit. How?
Their salary and benefits are paid for by taxpayers. Lets say the average
federal employee earns $75K per annum and pays 20% federal income taxes. Do the
math! The difference must be made up by the private sector. The more private
sector employees we have, the better our economy! That's why big government
and redistribution will always fail economically.
To finish my thoughts above, assuming the same salary and tax rates for a
private sector employee, it takes 5 private sector workers to financially
support one government employee. This is not to say we don't need
government workers, but it points out how vital a vibrant private sector economy
really is compared to big government! When you consider all the other expenses
the government incurs, it demonstrates even more clearly how any and all vibrant
economies are paid for by the private sector. It also demonstrates how short
sighted any government is that does not enable the private sector instead of
destroying it with, dare I say it: entitlements, socialism and redistribution.
This is the sad lesson our friends on Europe are learning and the future of
America if we don't change!
We love to carp about the size of the federal workforce but a few things to keep
in mind.Our federal (non military) workforce is smaller now than it
has been for much of the last 40 years. The largest federal workforce (non
military) occurred under Reagan.This letter writer hits on a key
point. The federal government is a huge job creator. The DOD is the largest
employer in the world. Think about the impact of the government
workforce in Utah alone. 15% of the workforce is from Fed, State or local
government agencies. Be careful what you wish for.
As the local culture has it, federal workers are "faceless bureaucrats,"
even though they might be our neighbors and friends and far from being
"faceless." They deliver vital services and deserve to be compensated
for their efforts. Unlike most professionals in the private sector, they're
never going to get rewarded with ESOPs or stock options.
@Dean NyffelerLast year our nation borrowed $680 billion. While this
is down from the previous four years, it is still the fifth largest deficit in
history. We cannot go on spending and borrowing at this rate and expect to
remain solvent. At some point, math takes over.Credit rating
agencies around the world have been downgrading their ratings of the U.S.
government. When the S&P did this in 2011, they cited a few reasons,
including instability resulting from a deeply divided Congress, disagreement
over the level of taxation, and our reluctance to reform entitlement spending,
which was seen as a key to achieving long-term stability. Despite this, Congress
won't do anything to rein in Medicare, choosing instead to cut across the
board.If I were employed by the federal government, I would probably
be looking for another line of work. I'm not saying that their service is
not valuable. I'm saying that I don't see how the U.S. can sustain
current levels of spending. We have big adjustments to make. And no one wants
their livelihoods to be bounced around each time Congress and the president go
to the brink arguing about it.
Except for defense, why should Federal Government workers work outside of
Washington? The Federal Government has seventeen authorized duties, none of
which require a presence outside the District (except defense). All duties not
enumerated in the Constitution are left to the States or to the people. The
States should be responsible to handle all duties "required" by
Washington. For instance, if the (unathorized) health department
requires that swimming pools at a national park (unauthorized) be certified, the
State (whose "owns" that land) should certify those pools. The FAA may
be a program that needs tight coordination, but air controllers work in control
centers outside of Washington. Why are they federal workers? Why are they not
Utah Air Controllers who are responsible for aircraft passing through
Utah's air space?No one wants essential services to shut down.
Obama's duty is to see that laws are enforced, not to shut down essential
services. The funding for every program had been authorized by the House, that
branch of government that has primary responsibility to levy taxes on us to fund
government programs. Obama's ill-fated ObamaCare, which Obama would not
fully enforce, was the ONLY program not funded.
Mike Richards:You mention air traffic control, and suggest each
state should monitor their own airspace, employ their own air traffic
controllers - presumably including aircraft safety inspectors, as well - the
states should simply coordinate air traffic together, etc. How to reconcile
differing views among the states on the role of government and aviation safety?
With no FAA, states would compete with each other for less stringent
aircraft safety standards, sort of how they compete to attract business with
lower wages. It's not hard to imagine that Texas would not
enforce any safety standards, preferring to let consumers make travel decisions
based on safety statistics. "We are truly free in Texas, and that means no
safety regulations". In other words, travelers would base their decisions
on how many people died in plane crashes.Some states, being cash
strapped, may elect to have no air traffic control at all, and let pilots just
look out for other aircraft, including crop dusters, military aircraft, small
planes and airliners. Maybe they would defer the issue to the cities.As a pilot, I can tell you this is a ridiculously bad idea, and would
dissemble an aviation system the rest of the world envies.
It is interesting to read the comments about this subject and then compare the
number of executive branch federal employees (the ones that work for the
president) over the recent years. In 1982 there were 2.770M federal workers at
the end of the Carter Administration and the beginning of the Reagan
administration. by 1985 the number had risen to 3.008M and by 1991 it was
3.048M. The number of executive branch employees was cut during the Clinton
Administration to 2.640M and remained essentially the same with a slight
increase starting in 2009. Today the number is 2.756M.Mountanman
likes to state the obvious that more jobs in the private sector would be more
beneficial to the economy than more federal jobs. This is certainly true. But
consider where those "private sector " jobs are coming from. I know of
one division in one federal agency that has 4 federal employees who are
supported by 14 private sector contractors working in their office. Now
let's just consider if those private sector contractors got contracts in
the real private sector, what would that mean. There are billions or trillions
of private dollars sitting in banks that could be invested in the economy. What
are people waiting for?
10CC,One of the authorized duties of Congress is to regulate
Interstate Commerce, i.e., Congress can make rules that are binding on all
States when Interstate Commerce is involved. Most commercial air traffic is
Interstate, not intrastate. Congress has the right set standards, but the
States had the duty to implement those standards. The Federal Government is not
given authority to enter a State and to perform duties for that State - except
defense. Utah already has the people who control air traffic. Utah already has
the computers which are connected to the computers in other States that monitor
air traffic. There is no need for the air traffic controllers to be empl0yed by
the Federal Government. The regulations are legislated by the Federal
Government and then the State(s) - if they wish to have Interstate Air Traffic -
must comply with those standards. Think about traffic control. The
Highway patrol enforces traffic laws on State and Interstate roads. The County
and/or city enforces traffic laws on city and county roads. There is very
little duplication. Each police force knows the limits of its authority. The
Federal Government pretends that there is no limit to its authority.
Isn't it funny that every single time we have a repub President the number
of federal employees and national deficit skyrocket? Whether it's
Reagan's tripling of our deficit or Bush's TSA, Department of Homeland
Security, and Patriot Act.Want big government and nanny state? Vote
GOP.Want to shrink government and bring the deficit under control?
Mike -- I appreciate it when you attack me for being a "rat"
Veteran and working for the DoD, and then get on your little
soap-box lamenting that our Military is the only Constitutionally authorized
program of the Federal Government.How can you twist and dodge like
that?As for the FAA not being an Authorized Federal Program, and thinking each and every State should be doing Air Traffic control...I look at Utah's education spending, and see nothing by
planes falling out of the sky.Tell you what, let's see
Utah take care of it's own forest fires before we even dream about letting
us take care of the Nation's air traffic.
Federal workers are despised by some Americans because they are employed as the
frontline against criminals, cheats and other bad guys. It is my opinion that
the actions of the people who hate government tells us their true nature. Some Federal workers are given an elite status because they wear a
uniform and are sometimes the frontline against foreign forces. They are the
Military. The reason for the great disparity between the groups is
the people they protect and support. Most civilian Federal workers are there to
protect and assist ordinary Americans while the military is occupied with
protecting and helping American businessmen in their foreign agendas.
Firstly, if the federal retirement fund is losing money (i.e., more outgo than
income) then the retirement deduction should be increased. Same with social
security.Secondly, the average federal employee gets paid more than
the average non-federal employee. Perhaps there needs to be a pay cut-back.
@Mike Richards:Some federal workers must live outside Washington,
D.C. Federal courts, for example,must be located in the areas they serve.
The problem is that the t-party is full of dreamers with no action. They want to
live on their own in Alaska, living off the land and paying no taxes but they
don't have the guts.If you don't like civilization, hit
the road. It's really that simple.
Miss Piggie. I agree with your first point. Soon your second point I cannot
agree. As a civil service employee with bachelors degree in geology and an MPA
I never earned more than $67,000 even in a supervisory position or after
reaching 33 years of federal service. If you compare that to other geologists
in the oil and gas industry and you will see that your statement does not
hold in Az or Utah. You need to get to the federal appointees to see where the
money is being wasted. Czars and other schedule c appointees who burrow into
civil service positions when administrations change at their high salaries is
where the money is being spent/ often wasted!
Mountainman: Your 5 to 1 ratio of private to public sector jobs is only valid if
the average private sector job had the same level of salary and benefits as the
average public sector job. Unfortunately, the private sector has many more low
skilled (and thus low waged) jobs than does the government so the ratio is
probably more like 10 to 1.Actually, the government is much more
likely to overpay a worker than is the private sector. If you earn $100K but
only contribute $60K of value in your job, the private sector is unlikely to
keep you on for long because the company will likely go out of business if it
overpays its workers. The government on the other hand, has no such economic
system in place. It can't go out of business just because it overpaid all
its workers.Pay a bunch of people a half billion dollars to set up a
web site and they all fail miserably. In the private sector, that whole project
would be scrapped because the company went out of business. In the government,
you just get a whole bunch more money thrown at it. (And yes liberals, the
military overpays for things too.)
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