Archive for the ‘Federal Government’ Category

Burst the bubble !

December 4, 2019

High time to decentralize the government … at least geographically

I’ve long been a proponent of moving some (or many) Federal government agencies out of Washington to other locales … e.g. cities & states that have been upended by globalization-induced deindustrialization.


The idea has often been floated, but rejected.

The usual arguments: (1) Gov’t employees — especially departmental honchos — need to be geographically co-located in order to coordinate services and activities across agencies (2) The gov’t has already amassed a formidable network of real estate holdings in DC (think: offices) (3) there is a massive organization of gov’t employees (note that I try to avoid the term “government workers”)  up and operating. 

But, the idea of decentralizing the Federal government seems to be gaining some momentum…


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

December 14, 2009

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: