Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Rich the Federal Way

I really love the way Drudge Report organizes the news headlines. Today (9:51 AM PST), we have, in the middle column:

Obama: 'I Do Think At A Certain Point You've Made Enough Money'...
[Comments on the website say "It's none of your business Mr. President.." and "Tell that to your pal Oprah.." So, here's Oprah..]

Oprah Winfrey $100 Million Deal With PROCTER & GAMBLE Rocks Industry...

Want to get rich? Work for feds...

The last link goes to an editorial at today's Washington Examiner:

"For decades, public sector unions have peddled the fantasy that government employees were paid less than their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, the pay disparity is the other way around. Government workers, especially at the federal level, make salaries that are scandalously higher than those paid to private sector workers. And let's not forget private sector workers not only have to be sufficiently productive to earn their paychecks, they also must pay the taxes that support the more generous jobs in the public sector.

"Data compiled by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee's benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer's benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater."

I'm afraid, though, the editorial board of Washington Examiner didn't check the numbers carefully. The average federal salary AND benefits in 2008 was $119,982. See this Cato Institute's article by Chris Edwards from last year showing the 2008 numbers.

The article continues to describe the difference between state/local government salaries and private sector salaries. Not as bad as the federal, but still a widening gap.

Here are two charts from the Cato Institute article that show the gaping gap between the federal worker and the private sector worker. And did you know that it has been like this for at least 10 years?


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