Archive for the ‘Government benefits’ Category

Maybe non-essential government employees should learn to code.

February 13, 2019

According to the WSJ, the partial government shutdown prompted government employees to test the job market

Evidence: job site reports that page views coming from government employees working for unfunded agencies surged during the partial government.


ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn report similar surges in government employee activity.

But, the WSJ concludes that despite the booming economy “there’s no evidence that the job-searching led to an actual exodus from the federal government’s payrolls.”

Why is that?


Why don’t Federal employees have rainy day funds?

January 22, 2019

Even Lady Gaga is getting into the act, using precious concert time to trash Trump (“holding Federal employees hostage”) & Pence (“worst example of Christianity”) … and to rep for the cash-strained furloughed government workers.

OK, I know that 80% of Americans don’t have $500 in reserve to cover unexpected expenses.

I understand that for part-time burger-flippers working for minimum wages with no benefits.

But, that’s not Federal government employees.

A 2017 CBO study revealed that, on average, civilian Federal government employees make civilian federal workers make 17 percent more in wages and benefits than similar workers in the private sector.


Before you say; “Yeah, but these pay-deferred government employees are disproportionately from the lower end of the payscale.”

Let’s look closer at the data…


How to rake in $1 million per year during retirement …

September 13, 2016

Answer: Get elected President … and, you only need to serve one term (maybe less)


Politico ran a story last week, alleging that Bill Clinton used taxpayer money to stake Hillary’s homebrew server.

Frankly, I found that revelation to be very uninteresting.

What caught my eye is the retirement package that Presidents get … more than $1 million per year for life in comp & benefits.


Here’s the scoop …


Ah, to be a Federal employee …

July 8, 2014

Interesting piece in the NY Post titled “Federal worker gravy train” … 

It’s not new news, but the Post points out that firing a federal worker is almost impossible, and making a termination stick, is even less likely.

Data published in the Federal Times supports the Post’s claim. (and common wisdom)

Federal Firings

Think about it: 1 in about 200 get culled each year.

Hardly Jack Welch’s “bottom 10%” program.

More generally, data from the Office of Personnel Management indicate that it is five times as hard to get fired from a federal job as from a private-sector one.

It’s commonly claimed that federal workers settle for lower pay in exchange for job ­security.

The Post says: Don’t believe it.


Congress cut military pensions … did they cut their own?

December 20, 2013

The flap over the budget deal that cut military pensions – including those for disabled vets — resurrected an old question of mine: I’ve always wondered what retired members of the Congress and Senate got to live on when they retired.



Here’s the scoop …


The election in a nutshell … maybe jobs don’t matter as much any more!

October 18, 2012

There’s a sobering,  must read editorial in the WSJ today … Can Government Benefits Turn an Election?

Here are key points …

The federal government’s 120 means-tested programs today provide $1 trillion of benefits.

  • Unemployment insurance has stretched to 99 weeks
  • Record numbers of unemployed have qualified for disability benefits
  • Food stamps recipients have increase 40% to almost 50 million

The spending for these programs has grown 2½ times faster during the Obama presidency than in any other comparable period in American history.

To what extent might these benefits not just foster dependency but also make the economy’s performance seem less of a deciding factor in voters’ choices?

If you are concerned about your well-being and worried about a failed recovery — but getting new help from the government— do you vote for the candidate who promises more jobs or do you support the candidate who promises more government benefits?

Voters have historically set high standards and voted out incumbents not because they personally disliked them.

Rather, they’ve elected a new president because they understood the importance of a strong economy to their jobs, their income and the future prospects of their children.

Based on the economy, Mr. Obama should lose on Nov. 6. Yet it seems implausible that tens of millions of Americans who have received additional government benefits during his presidency can be completely unaffected by that largess. The election will test the relative power of private-sector aspirations and public-sector dependence.

Based on the economy, Mr. Obama should lose on Nov. 6.

Yet it seems implausible that tens of millions of Americans who have received additional government benefits during his presidency can be completely unaffected by that largess.

The election will test the relative power of private-sector aspirations and public-sector dependence.

Keep in mind that most jobs being created are relatively low paying service sector jobs … an increasing number of which are part-time … in part of duck Fed regulations and taxes (think, ObamaCare).

To get a visceral sense of the electoral “tension”, read Threats to Assassinate Romney Explode After Debate.

And, consider that an increasing number of folks feel that they are paying their fair  share (or more) with the government wasting much or most of the taxes it takes in …   what if those folks decide it’s not worth 60 hour weeks any more any more and shift into neutral?

This year’s election won’t be the end of the process … regardless of the outcome.

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Bam’s puny $6+ million pension …

October 17, 2012

President Obama drew guffaws during the date by jabbing Romney for having a bigger pension.

You know, kind of a reverse guy’s  “big thing” contest.

According to CNBC, Obama’s pension isn’t exactly teeny-weeny … and, we tax payers get to pay for it.

Pension Envy: Who Has More — Obama or Romney? 

When it comes to the presidential candidates’ pensions, size matters in more ways than one.

As president, he will receive $191,300 annually for life — win or lose in next month’s election — and receives a travel allotment as well as mailing privileges. Should Obama lose, his presidential pension kicks in immediately after leaving office.

Given that the president enjoys a normal life span, the pension allotment would be worth upwards of $6 million.

In addition, Obama may be due a nice pension for the eight years he served in the Illinois Legislature as a state senator.

Kick back, Barack

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Dennis Miller: “Just quit !”

September 29, 2012

Dennis Miller – comedian & political commentator – does a regular Wednesday nite segment on O’Reilly.


This Wednesday, he was unusually provocative by commenting:

If you’ve got a family of 4 and you’re busting your hump 40 or 60 hours a week – maybe 2 jobs — to make $45 grand and make ends meet … if Obama gets re-elected, just quit. 

Kick back … take the handouts and enjoy life. 

You can make just as much just sitting around …

If you don’t, those who are just  riding the train will be laughing at you. 

Why keep hitting your head against the wall?

Paraphrased from O’Reilly 9-26-12

Struck me at the time as akin to Rick Santelli’s “We need a Tea Party” rant on CNBC.

O’Reilly tried to soften the blow by bloviating (his word) about the American work ethic and how “most Americans have too much pride to stop working … that being on the dole has a stigma attached to it”

O’Reilly’s words seemed quite hollow in comparison to Miller’s.

And, reminded me of the government government promotional campaign to counter the “pride and other beliefs” that keep people from signing up for the SNAP program and getting food stamps.

The USDA has adopted a range of strategies and programs designed to bring more people to SNAP, including taking on “pride.”

Local assistance offices have been rewarded for “counteracting” pride and pushing more people to sign up for benefits.

The Ashe County Department of Social Services in Jefferson, N.C., for example, received a “Gold” award for confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food stamp participation.

“Eventually, many accepted assistance from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program, and others, in some cases doubling a household’s net income. In 1 year, SNAP participation increased over 10 percent.”

Overcoming “beliefs” is a stated method from the USDA to bring more people to the program.

A “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Community Outreach Partner Toolkit” details the importance of reaching people who … have beliefs that conflict with accepting food stamps.

Excerpted from the Daily Caller

Since the USDA has “mountain pride” in the win column, will “work pride” be the next to fall?

I think Miller is onto something.

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Who pays taxes? Who benefits? … Here are some nums.

September 26, 2012

As loyal readers know, I’ve been trying to get my arms around this question.

In a prior post, we drilled down on taxes … or, as my Dem friends would say government “revenues”.

We posted that in 2012 Americans will pay a tad over $5 trillion in taxes to the Feds, States and Local Governments.

Drilling down, the $5 trillion is split roughly 50%-30%-20% to the Feds, States and Locals, respectively. Note that the Federal portion is just under $2.5 trillion.


* * * * *
If these are “revenues” there must be matching services provided, right?

I found a study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation that analyzes taxes paid and benefits received.

The study is old – using 2004 data – but, in my opinion is a good starting point to calibrate the answer.

First, the easy part …

The Federal tax revenues in 2004 were a bit over $2 trillion … compared to our $2.5 trillion projection in 2012.

Here’s how the 2004 tax revenues were spent … i.e., the benefits received by citizens.

Note that the Federal spending is just under $20,000 per household.


* * * * *

The Tax Foundation analysts also sorted taxes paid by household income pentile against benefits received by the pentiles ….. and things got interesting.

The bottom pentile – households in the bottom 20% of income – pay about 2.5% of Federal taxes (including payroll taxes !) … and receive 1/3 of government benefits.

The top pentile pays over half of the Federal taxes and draws about 15% of government benefits.

The middle pentile comes close to breaking even – paying 14.1% of Federal taxes and getting 16% of government benefits.


* * * * *
Here’s another way to cut the data …

On average, households in the bottom pentile get $23,178 more in benefits than they pay in taxes; average households in top 20% run a deficit of almost $40,000 – that is, they pay about $40k in taxes than they receive in benefits; the breakeven point is somewhere around $50,000 in household income – that’s where taxes paid equal benefits received.


* * * * *
When state & local taxes and benefits are factored in, the surpluses and deficits grow even  larger.

The bottom 20% gets over $31,000 per household in net government benefits; the top 20% pays almost $50,000 per household more than it gets in government benefits.

The breakeven point is still somewhere around $50,000 in household income – that’s where taxes paid equal benefits received.


* * * * *

I’ll be hunting for more recent data.

Until I find it, chew on this!

Note: The Tax Foundation says it doesn’t have funding to update its study.

Nuts !

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