In 10 minutes the teleprompter in chief will announce that he is about to freeze government salaries for two years. Of course, government workers thank him, as this means federal salaries which have exploded in the past 5 years will be stuck at all time highs for at least two years, even as nominal salaries for everyone else (except FIRE workers of course) continue to decline. As we suggested a few days ago, in order to promote some vaguely credible idea of austerity, instead of freezing salaries, Obama needs to be cutting. Why? One look at the chart below explains it all.
And here is what we said a few days back on the topic of record government worker salaries:
For all those wondering how to cut down on government expenditures, here's a thought: cut the skyrocketing salaries! A study by USA Today, using US Office of Personnel Management data, confirms what has been widely known: that the biggest beneficiaries of government largesse over the past 5 years as a worker cohort, are none other than Federal workers themselves. The numbers are stunning: those earning over $150,000 in the past five years have grown from 7,420 to 82,034, a 1,006% increase. More shockingly, those earning over $180,000 has surged from just 805 in 2005, to 16,912 in 2010: a 2,001% increase. And it is on the background of this that Congress is planning on giving 2.1 million federal workers another 1.4% across the board pay raise! Additionally, it appears that the bulk of the gains have taken place since Obama took office. Can someone please stop the lunacy: this country is beyond bankrupt and it turns out that in addition to Wall Street (which everyone knows does nothing but transfer wealth from the middle class to a few choice CEOs and groupthinking Bloomberg terminal operators), the biggest thief is the very government itself, which has perfected the art of giving with one hand, and taking with 10, almost as well as those enclosed in glass corner offices on Park, Lexington and Broad (and now West).
The stunning comparison of what Federal workers were making in 2005 and 2010, spread by income bucket:
More from USA Today:
Federal salaries have grown robustly in recent years, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Office of Personnel Management data. Key findings:
- Government-wide raises. Top-paid staff have increased in every department and agency. The Defense Department had nine civilians earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 when Obama took office and 994 in June.
- Long-time workers thrive. The biggest pay hikes have gone to employees who have been with the government for 15 to 24 years. Since 2005, average salaries for this group climbed 25% compared with a 9% inflation rate.
- Physicians rewarded. Medical doctors at veterans hospitals, prisons and elsewhere earn an average of $179,500, up from $111,000 in 2005.
Federal workers earning $150,000 or more make up 3.9% of the workforce, up from 0.4% in 2005.
Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress earn $174,000, up from $141,300 in 2000, an increase below the rate of inflation.
Jessica Klement, government affairs director at the Federal Managers Association, says the government's official pay analysis shows that federal workers earn less than private workers for comparable jobs. Still, she says, managers are willing to give up next year's raise: "If it will help the country bounce back, they're willing to make the sacrifice."
And just to make sure you get really angry, here is how one Federal Union views the fact that government workers as a whole are now the second best paid group after Wall Street:
National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley counters that the proposed raise "is a modest amount and should be implemented" to help make salaries more comparable with those in the private sector.
Once again, we get confirmation that Americans always get nothing more or less than the thieves in control they deserve, and elect.