It’s the thought that counts?

compiled & edited by Daniel Hagadorn

Including wages and benefits, federal workers now make twice what their private sector counterparts make…our taxpayer dollars hard at work [insert biting sarcasm here].

The federal government is growing at a faster pace than any other sector of today’s economy.[1] [2] [3] [4]

WHAT THE TAXPAYER PAYS FOR…

Salaries…

  • The federal government is the single largest employer in the United States and currently employs approximately 2.0% of the nation’s work force (4.2 MILLION federal employees).[5]
  • The annual federal payroll–including benefits–now exceeds $323.95 BILLION–or about $1,055 for every man, women, and child in the United States.
  • The average annual salary for full-time federal employees now EXCEEDS $79,197.
  • The average annual compensation (salary + benefits) for full-time federal employees (2008) was $119,982 compared to just $59,909 for private-sector employees.[6]
  • The implied average hourly rate for federal employees was $34.25 per hour compared to the average hourly rate for private-sector employees of just $18.74 per hour.
  • The typical federal employee earns 20% MORE than a private-sector employee in the same occupation.
  • ONE IN FIVE federal employees earn an annual minimum salary of $100,000.
  • At the Department of Defense, OVER 10,000 employees earn an annual minimum salary of $150,000 (as of June 2009).
  • The national unemployment rate stands at 9.6% and private-sector employees work an average of just 33.2 hours per week, well below the 40 hours per week guaranteed to federal employees.

Holidays and weekends…

  • Federal employees almost NEVER work on weekends and if they are required to work on Sundays, they are eligible for Sunday Premium Pay.
  • Federal employees are entitled to compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, a benefit seldom offered by private-sector firms.
  • Federal employees with less than three years’ service earn TWELVE paid days off per year…for service between three and fifteen years, employees are guaranteed EIGHTEEN paid days off per year…and for service of fifteen years, employees are given TWENTY-FOUR paid days off per year.
  • Federal employees are guaranteed TEN paid federal holidays per year.

Of course with so much time off, some federal employees find themselves burdened with the task of actually using it all. Fortunately, they have a generous carryover policy…

  • THIRTY days for all employees.
  • FORTY-FIVE days for those stationed overseas.
  • NINETY days for those classified as a “Senior Executive Service,” a “Senior-Level” [employee], or a “Scientific or Professional Employee.”

Sick days…

  • Federal employees are eligible for half a day of sick time per biweekly pay period. Thus, in a 52-week year, each full-time employee may accrue THIRTEEN days of sick time with NO LIMITS on the amount of sick leave an employee may accumulate.
  • When a federal employee retires, ANY unused sick pay is added to the calculation of their retirement annuity, thereby increasing the value of the annuity payouts received during retirement.
  • Federal employees can choose from a minimum of NINE national pay-for-service health care plans as well as ADDITIONAL agency-specific plans, or state-specific HMO, HDHP, or CDHP plans, and a full range of vision and dental care plans.
  • [SIDE NOTE: ALL of these insurance programs are heavily subsidized--up to 50% of the total cost for a family policy--by the U.S. taxpayer].

Loans…

  • As part of the Student Loan Repayment Program enacted by Congress in 2007, ALL federal employees with TEN years of service are eligible for up to $10,000 per year in student loan forgiveness–up to a maximum of $60,000 per individual.

Life insurance…

  • The federal government provides a subsidized life insurance to its employees which requires federal employees to pay ONLY two-thirds of the monthly insurance premium while the U.S. taxpayer covers the rest.

Retirement…

  • ANY unused time is compensated with a lump-sum payout that could easily amount to between $6,000 and $17,800 based on the “average” federal salary figure.
  • But for senior-level employees at the highest pay scale, such payouts could easily total $30,000 and might even exceed $50,000, thereby eclipsing the average annual salary of a private-sector employee.

In ADDITION to all of the above incentives, Congress recently decided to expand the federal handouts. Despite the steady DECLINE of consumer prices throughout 2009 (the annual CPI rate fell 0.2% through October), the U.S. Congress enacted legislation providing an across-the-board 2% pay raise for ALL federal employees. As such, federal employees will soon receive a 2.2% real pay increase as private-sector wages remain stagnant or decline.

WHAT THE TAXPAYER GETS IN RETURN…

The U.S. government established the Postal Service in 1775. After 235 years the agency is bankrupt.[7]

  • Since fiscal year 2007, the U.S. Postal Service has lost $11.6 billion with losses expected to reach $7.8 billion in 2010. Though the agency is legally prohibited from taking tax dollars, to remain solvent it must borrow (actively) from the U.S. Treasury.
  • According to U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Yvonne Yoerger, the agency currently owes the government $10.2 billion.

The U.S. government established Social Security in 1935. After 74 years the program is bankrupt.[8] [9]

  • According the Social Security Administration, Social Security and Medicare now represent an unfunded liability of $101 trillion.
  • The annual cost of Social Security benefits represented 4.4% of GDP in 2008.

The U.S. government established Medicare in 1965. After 45 years the program is bankrupt.[10]

  • The annual cost of Medicare benefits represented 3.2% of GDP in 2008.

The U.S. government established Fannie Mae in 1938. After 72 years, the program is bankrupt.

  • That debt has swelled to $145 billion and will likely grow as foreclosures continue to pile up.

The U.S. government initiated the “War on Poverty” in 1964. After 46 years and over $1 trillion later, the problem of poverty remains unsolved.

The U.S. government established Freddie Mac in 1970. After 40 years the program is bankrupt.

The U.S. government established the Department of Energy in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. After 33 years the problem remains.

  • The agency currently employs 16,000 employees with an annual budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before.

Leaving aside the question of whether or not these programs and agencies are even constitutional, objectively, every one of the above “government services” has proven an abysmal failure.  This failure begs the question, “why is the federal government the diametric OPPOSITE of an efficiently-run and fiscally prudent organization?”

James Madison, widely regarded as the “Father of the Constitution,” had an answer.

  • “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress… Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”[11]

He elaborates further…

  • “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”[12]

[1] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t16.htm

[2] http://www.federaljobs.net/

[3] Paul B. Matthews, “Federal Employees at the Trough,” American Thinker (16 December 2009).

[4] Dennis Cauchon, “Federal pay ahead of private industry,” USA TODAY (8 March 2010).

[5] U.S. Office of Personal Management, cited in Dennis Cauchon, “Federal pay ahead of private industry,” USA TODAY (8 March 2010).

[6] U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, cited in Dennis Cauchon, “Federal pay ahead of private industry,” USA TODAY (8 March 2010).

[7] Brian Montopoli, “Can the Postal Service be Saved?”, CBS News (19 November 2009); cf. Ed O’Keefe, “$2.4 Billion Quarterly Loss for Postal Service,” Washington Post (5 August 2009); cf. A. Lee Fritschler, “Liberating the Postal Service,” The Huffington Post (20 May 2009).

[8] Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, “A Summary of the 2009 Annual Reports.”

[9] Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, “A Summary of the 2009 Annual Reports.”

[10] Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, “A Summary of the 2009 Annual Reports.”

[11] Manuscript Division, James Madison Papers (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2009). Letter from James Madison to Edmund Pendleton, 21 January 1792.

[12] Philip R. Fendall, ed., Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Vol. IV (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1865), pp. 171-172. Letter from James Madison to James Robertson, 20 April 1831.

5 Responses

  1. Hey, I haven’t checked in here for a while, but I will put you on my bloglist so I don’t forget to check back.

  2. Augusta says:

    Relating to your users on a personal level is highly important and being able to bring in real life experiences to your content is very valuable and provides the path where people can relate and interact with you and your blog a lot easier. Your site is doing good!

  3. Jay Din says:

    Dude, this is unbelievable. Thank you for posting this – UNREAL. What we always hear, but it takes on a whole new dimension when you see the actual numbers. Wow.

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