Good work if you can get it … Is the Federal pay czar asleep at the switch … or, what?

Bottom line: Now, I’m less worked up about the Goldman bonuses.  At least those guys work more than 37-1/2 hours a week … with emphasis added to the word “work”.

* * * * *
Excerpted from: USA TODAY For feds, average pay $30,000 over private sector, Dec. 8, 2009 

The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded.

Excluding the White House, Congress, the Postal Service, intelligence agencies and uniformed military personnel,there are more than 2 million federal employees.  

One of every five Federal employees makes a salary of more than $100,000 —  before overtime pay, bonuses and benefits are counted. For example, in the Transportation Department, 1,690 employees have salaries above $170,000.

[Note that even USA Today says “makes”, not “earns”.]

The average federal worker’s pay is $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.

 [Note that if 2 million Federal employees’ average pay was cut back to the private sector average, it would free up $60 billion per year … roughly equal to the tax hikes hikes and /or Medcare cuts being proposed to fund ObamaCare … hmmm] 

Key reasons for high pay:

Pay hikes. Then-president Bush recommended — and Congress approved — across-the-board raises of 3% in January 2008 and 3.9% in January 2009. President Obama has recommended 2% pay raises in January 2010. Most federal workers also get longevity pay hikes — called steps — that average 1.5% per year.

[OK.  Back out 10.4% in “Bush’s fault” pay increases, and the average Federal employee only snags 58% more than a private sector worker.  Feel better?]

New pay system. Congress created a new National Security Personnel System for the Defense Department to reward merit, in addition to the across-the-board increases. The merit raises, which started in January 2008, were larger than expected and rewarded high-ranking employees.

[In other words, they get paid more because they get paid more.  Huh?]

Pay caps eased. Many top civil servants are prohibited from making more than an agency’s leader. But if Congress lifts the boss’ salary, others get raises, too. 

[To repeat, they get paid more because they get paid more.] 

Specialized skills. The federal workforce is highly paid because the government employs skilled people such as scientists, physicians and lawyers.

[Quick fix: Lose the lawyers.] 

Full article:
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20091211/1afedpay11_st.art.htm?loc=interstitialskip&POE=click-refer

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