Federal Workers Raking in Big Raises During Recession. How YOU Doing?

Published: February 1, 2010

Perhaps you missed this in all the end-of-year holiday hoopla, and I didn’t hear Pres. B.H. Obama mention it in his state-of-the-onion undress the other evening. (Well, I didn’t actually listen to it, but I’m betting he didn’t mention it).

This fascinating report came out in USA Today back in early December and didn’t get any airplay at the time either – you’d think the administration would use these figures to buoy their unemployment numbers or something but apparently it’s too hard to get the spin right.

For example – during the past 18 months that we’ve been in a ‘recession’ and 7.3 million people have lost their jobs and millions more have taken furlough days or pay cuts, the number of Federal employees making over $100,000 jumped from 14% of their workforce to 19%. SWEET!

With no furloughs or lay-offs. SWEETER!

Let’s do the math. With nearly 2 million federal workers (and growing), that’s an extra 80,000 people making over $100,000 (Remember, there’s 300,000 others already making 100K plus, these are just the new ones) And, as my calculator sits here smoking, that new 5% equates to $8 BILLION in additional payroll and doesn’t even touch the other 95% of the federal workforce.

Hmmm, I think I see where the jobs stimulus money went.

If you worked for the Department of Defense there were just 1,868 of you making over $150,000 back in December 2007. By June of last year that number had jumped to 10,100 nicely paid porkers. (sorry – that should be ‘workers’. dang spellcheck missed it)

They used to have a rule that personnel couldn’t make more than their boss – which is a pretty stupid rule to begin with. So last year they raised the pay cap for the FAA Director and 1,700 people immediately got raises because of that – all to over $170,000..

Speaking of $170,000, over at the Department of Transportation only one poor soul earned over $170,000 when the recession started – today he has been joined by 1,889 more lucky winners.

In general, if you’re a private sector schmuck, you’ll take home $40,331 annually but if you’re a Federal worker your take home averages out to $71,206.

And in the land of dueling quotes – Republican Freshman Rep Jason Chavez from Utah, who sits on the House Federal Workforce Subcommittee, says “There’s no way to justify this to the American people. It’s ridiculous.”

Not be be outdone, Jessica Klement, the government affairs director for the Federal Managers Association says their workforce is highly paid because the government has to hire highly skilled people like scientists and physicians and attorneys (Which apparently we don’t have in the private sector). She says that if you look at job to job, federal workers make 26% less than their private sector counterparts for comparable jobs.

Lemme see – I’m a Government Affairs Director and Jessica is a Government Affairs Director. I’d be willing to trade jobs straight across and gamble on the fact that she doesn’t make 26% less than me. In fact I bet I could count on a damn nice raise. Anybody else want to take that bet? Of course she is undoubtedly a highly skilled person while I just sit here and blog.

But I bet I got more Google uice.

Last modified: February 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Originally published: February 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm
Printed: September 28, 2020