The True 1% – Government Employees and how you’re fudning it

From Red

Assuming most people know about the $16 trillion (and counting) in national debt, if you look a little deeper at the U.S. Debt clock, you’d see (off to the right) that there are more than 4.3 million federal employees and additional 14.9 million state and local employees–or more than 19.3 million total government employees.

These government employees enjoy pay and benefits that, most likely, you and your children will never see–yet you are paying for it.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on employee compensation.

The good news is that the average private sector employee earned $30.80 per hour worked in September 2012. [That’s total compensation–wages and benefits.]

The bad news is that the average state and local government employee cost taxpayers an average of $41.56 per hour worked [again, in total compensation] in September 2012.

In other words, state and local government employees averaged $10.76 more per hour than their private sector counterparts.

To make matters worse, attorney Scott Witlin of the firm Barnes & Thornburg recently observed:

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a federal government employee (including the Post Office) was $70,100 per year. For all private sector workers, that number was $43,980. That is, federal government employees are paid 59.4 percent more in salary than their private sector counterparts.

This differential does not include the higher costs of benefits to federal employees that one Congressional Budget Office study recently pegged as being 44.7 percent greater. That same CBO study which attempted to control for factors including educational attainment and regional variations concluded that the wage differential (excluding benefits) between federal employees and private sector workers was 14.7 percent.

Given that the federal government currently spends approximately $200 billion on its civilian employees, eliminating this wage gap would result in significant cost savings to the American taxpayer. Even without adjusting benefit costs (which itself could provide significant cost savings), simply eliminating the wage disparity could provide $300 billion in deficit reduction over the next ten years – all without eliminating a single federal program. [Emphasis added.]


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