Obama's America...Pay Raises For Federal Employees, Federally Imposed Pay Caps For Banks

We are living in some very strange times.

Consider these two stories.

First, it's a great time to work for the federal government.

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.

The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech. The primary cause: substantial pay raises and new salary rules.

Meanwhile, the so-called "Pay Czar" is busy deciding how much mid-level employees should be making at banks.

The nation’s “pay czar” is at it again Friday, and this time, midlevel executives at bailed-out firms are getting a pay cut.

Fewer than 10 of the 450 employees will be allowed to earn more than $500,000 per year, according to a source familiar with the plan, which covers six firms that received federal bailout funds.

...Negotiations over the stringent pay measures may be one reason why several banks have been eager in recent days to pay back the government and free themselves from Feinberg’s authority. Bank of America sent the federal government a check for $45 billion this week, completing its withdrawal from the TARP program. And Citigroup is in negotiations with government officials over how it will be allowed to exit as well.

I don't love the federal pay caps for TARP funded companies but I get the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to play by his rules.

The reality however is that the in overall numbers (50 or so employees at what? A dozen companies?) the federal pay scale is far more expensive and damaging to the economy.

How about we take Mr. Feinberg’s considerable talents and put them to the task of reworking the federal pay scale?

Posted by: DrewM. at 11:22 AM



Comments

1 Their real payscale should be measured in old Chiclets.

Posted by: TexasJew at December 11, 2009 11:25 AM (hgrfT)

2 Ever wonder how these institutions end up failed and owned by the government?

Posted by: maddogg at December 11, 2009 11:27 AM (OlN4e)

3 This is, um ...
um ...
I'm not sure "strange" is a strong enough word for it. "Interesting" gets closer, but it's still not there.

Posted by: Joanna at December 11, 2009 11:28 AM (gJQTg)

4 It sickens me that the government is seen as a "sure-fire" job sector to be in. No cutbacks, no mass layoffs, and never have to worry about revenues.

Posted by: Lone Marauder at December 11, 2009 11:28 AM (/bVuS)

5 I wonder when .gov employees they will start asking for hazard pay? Pitchforks and all that are hazardous you know.

Posted by: RobD at December 11, 2009 11:29 AM (sV3Dv)

6 Doh, that "they" should not have been in there.

Posted by: RobD at December 11, 2009 11:30 AM (sV3Dv)

7 Two Americas indeed.

Posted by: Dave C at December 11, 2009 11:32 AM (qmecx)

8 All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Ace is right, Evil Corporations are a good villain. The world's largest corporation located in D.C. immediately springs to mind.

Posted by: Malcolm Tent at December 11, 2009 11:32 AM (nPHJP)

9 Probably raised them on Saturday nights when they keep signing all these huge bill they don't let anyone read.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 11:33 AM (SqAkN)

10 How about we take Mr. Feinberg’s considerable talents and put them to the task of reworking the federal pay scale?


How about we take him, and make him clean the public toilets at Grand Central Station.

Posted by: Unclefacts, Summoner of Things, Stuff, and Other Things at December 11, 2009 11:33 AM (erIg9)

11 4
It sickens me that the government is seen as a "sure-fire" job sector
to be in. No cutbacks, no mass layoffs, and never have to worry about
revenues.

Here in Oak Ridge they refer to getting a job with DOE, DOD, etc. "getting on" at the plants. Much like "getting on" welfare, food stamps, or any other entitlement program.

Posted by: Malcolm Tent at December 11, 2009 11:35 AM (nPHJP)

12 I guess we know where the stimulus went.

Posted by: Locus Ceruleus at December 11, 2009 11:36 AM (tzcjs)

13 The fun part is, you just know that "average" is skewed high due to a few upper-level positions. So even though it's an outrageous number, there are still a bunch of people in that group who are getting screwed.

Posted by: Joanna at December 11, 2009 11:38 AM (gJQTg)

14 do as i say not as i do.

Posted by: justanotherbostonian at December 11, 2009 11:39 AM (GFaLW)

15 Off with their pay!

Posted by: The Red Queen at December 11, 2009 11:41 AM (SqAkN)

16 How about we take Mr. Feinberg’s considerable talents and put them to the task of reworking the federal pay scale?
Why, that's as crazy as putting congressvermin on the same government healthcare as the rest of us peons!

Posted by: Cautiously Pessimistic at December 11, 2009 11:43 AM (pZEar)

17 And the justification that's always cited for this bloat is that "without these increases, the government wouldn't be able to compete with the private sector for the most talented employees." Uh huh. Right. I'm sure you really have to fight to get people into jobs from which it's almost impossible to be fired or laid off.

Posted by: Chainsaw Chimp at December 11, 2009 11:43 AM (pLTLS)

18 Beyond the huge disparity in average pay ... BigGov workers also have more job security. Not only in that Gov takes its money at gunpoint, but there is tenure (or tenurelite).

BigGov jobs are often womb to tomb positions, even for the less competent. That in effect adds to the average pay even more.

Posted by: bill at December 11, 2009 11:44 AM (nUbAO)

19 Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and
hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the
private sector.

When Moddy's downgrades their bond ratings and China pulls out of the market all of this crap will come to a halt.

Posted by: Vic at December 11, 2009 11:44 AM (CDUiN)

20 Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more
increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most
recent figure available.
Can we imagine the concerted lefty shrieking if this had happened during the Bush administration and a Republican Congress? Yes we can!

Posted by: Sort-of-Mad Max at December 11, 2009 11:45 AM (aC0uO)

21 Barry: Just spending my way out of this recession. Which isn't my fault and never ever will be.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 11, 2009 11:45 AM (saB45)

22 Parasites sucking the life out of the people.

Posted by: davidt at December 11, 2009 11:45 AM (gr1ua)

23 23
Parasites sucking the life out of the people.

Posted by: davidt at December 11, 2009 11:45 AM (gr1ua)

Mosquitoes tend to get slapped eventually.

Posted by: Unclefacts, Summoner of Things, Stuff, and Other Things at December 11, 2009 11:47 AM (erIg9)

24 Stating the obvious here,but isn't this the exact opposite of what are founding fathers had in mind as far as governments go?

Posted by: bulwark at December 11, 2009 11:48 AM (jvrmc)

25 The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed
the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in
the private sector.

We are so screwed.

Posted by: rockhead at December 11, 2009 11:49 AM (RykTt)

26 If you work for the government, aren't you on a permanent taxpayer-funded bailout?

Posted by: Michael at December 11, 2009 11:49 AM (siOQ7)

27 As in California, it's simply welfare for the middle class.
Only with a slightly worse pension.

Posted by: Gunslinger at December 11, 2009 11:50 AM (Zi+FQ)

28 Well! I work for government in CA and I'm am grossly overpaid.
Of course I will continue to cash my paychecks until I retire....soon.
So long, suckers!
Seriously, if the want to pay me this well why would I refuse? I get over ten grand in health coverage every year for which I pay nothing. Again, why would I refuse?
It's a scam and it won't last forever but it's here now and I am taking full advantage of it.

Posted by: scott at December 11, 2009 11:54 AM (PZCvc)

29 We are living in some very strange times.
Drew, We pasted strange back in January.

Posted by: Old Hippie Vet at December 11, 2009 11:56 AM (3IZGh)

30 >> How about we take Mr. Feinberg’s considerable talents and put them to the task of reworking the federal pay scale?

Fair is fair. They're taking "the man's" money too.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at December 11, 2009 11:57 AM (WvXvd)

31 The thought of some bureaucrat enjoying making my life harder pulling down 150,000K is infuriating.

Posted by: Dave at December 11, 2009 11:59 AM (Xm1aB)

32 *quietly sends resume to the Transportation Dept*

Posted by: brak at December 11, 2009 11:59 AM (W5NBA)

33 Drew, We pasted strange back in January.
Posted by: Old Hippie Vet at December 11, 2009 11:56 AM (3IZGh)


That's why I said very strange.

We've got to pace ourselves.

We're not even a full year into this mess so we can't go to Freak Out Evelnty!1!1!!11 yet because it's only going to get worse. We need to save some words for it.



Posted by: DrewM. at December 11, 2009 12:00 PM (FCWQb)

34 I wonder when .gov employees they will start asking for hazard pay? Pitchforks and all that are hazardous you know.

Posted by: RobD at December 11, 2009 11:29 AM (sV3Dv)
Hey didn't you hear Glenn Beck is making census workers hang themselves and then writing FED backward on them?!?!?

Posted by: Typical Moonbat at December 11, 2009 12:00 PM (bgcml)

35 A lot of the $150,000 is locality pay for the DC area. A small two bedroom townhouse in the burbs costs $500,000.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 12:01 PM (fm/zD)

36 The thought of some bureaucrat enjoying making my life harder pulling down 150,000K is infuriating.

Posted by: Dave at December 11, 2009 11:59 AM (Xm1aB)
Actually, said bureaucrat probably has a sweet benefits package too, so really he is probably making the equivalent of $200K in the private sector.

Posted by: 18-1 at December 11, 2009 12:04 PM (bgcml)

37 The thought of some bureaucrat enjoying making my life harder pulling down 150,000K is infuriating.

Posted by: Dave at December 11, 2009 11:59 AM (Xm1aB)

So we can pitch federalism as a cost saving benefit?

Posted by: 18-1 at December 11, 2009 12:05 PM (bgcml)

38 A lot of the $150,000 is locality pay for the DC area. A small two bedroom townhouse in the burbs costs $500,000.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 12:01 PM (fm/zD)
So we can pitch federalism as a cost saving benefit? Oops - that was a distortion in the space time continuum brought on by CERN.

Posted by: 18-1 at December 11, 2009 12:05 PM (bgcml)

39 What's the big deal? They're being paid out of Barry's stash, not our money.

Posted by: beedubya at December 11, 2009 12:06 PM (AnTyA)

40 O/T But you know...delisch!!
http://tinyurl.com/y95v938

Posted by: dananjcon at December 11, 2009 12:06 PM (pr+up)

41 25
Stating the obvious here,but isn't this the exact opposite of what are founding fathers had in mind as far as governments go?


Posted by: bulwark at December 11, 2009 11:48 AM (jvrmc)

Hey, we gave you all the tools. Including the Second Amendment for dealing with just this sort of TYRANNY.

Posted by: Founding Fathers at December 11, 2009 12:06 PM (erIg9)

42 36
Not anymore bro. I got mine for under 200 thousand. You can steal a crap load of those 500 grand townhouses now cause the people all got foreclosed on. They are all selling for alot cheaper now trust me.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 12:08 PM (SqAkN)

43 Repeat after me: "I am not a second class citizen."

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at December 11, 2009 12:08 PM (5aa4z)

44
With a few exceptions, federal govt pay and benefits have been well above comparable private sector positions since I entered the workforce in 1990. I've been in and out of government positions, contract positions, and have done purely private-sector work in that time.

The main exception is that executives, lawyers, and doctors face a pay ceiling that they don't have in the real world. Private sector commission work and backing investors also have no counterpart in the government.

Another exception is that contracting experts (especially people who have worked as government contracting officers) command a premium when they leave government to work for vendors. They are the sales superstars of the government contracting world.

Contractor rank-and-file workers, techies, and mid-level management get about 85% of the compensation their direct government counterparts get before you even begin to discuss job security. And government contracting pays well compared to private sector work.

Posted by: MikeO at December 11, 2009 12:09 PM (Ce+tv)

45
YAY! We can tax ourselves rich!


Posted by: ethos at December 11, 2009 12:09 PM (0fzsA)

46 Ellsworth Monkton Toohey was unavailable for comment.

Posted by: buster mcdissenter at December 11, 2009 12:10 PM (zN9bC)

47 First of all, just remember that not all Federal agencies are monolithic. There are some Republicans (and even conservatives) in the bureaucracy, and in some places you wouldn't expect. The weird part is that the leftists in the bureaucracy think that since they are 97% of the population, they must be 100%! Funny things happen when the lack of adult supervision goes too far.
Besides the pay issue, the Federal employee unions have gotten Congress to approve quite a few benefit increases as well. You might want to give those some attention. The iirony is that these same unions, who supported Obama, are complaining about the Senate's idea to expand the Fed employee health system to include a lot of the rest of the population.

Posted by: Ron at December 11, 2009 12:12 PM (XfRq2)

48 This may force me to come out of semi-retirement and hop aboard the gubmint gravy train. I can get drunk, fuckoff and be surly while being overly compensated for my effort. Ideal!


Posted by: Barbarian at December 11, 2009 12:13 PM (EL+OC)

49
I mentioned in another thread that I received a call from a government entity wanting to add my "small business" to their list of preferred government go-to contacts. Government buildings are "going green" and... I could work for the government and get paid big bucks "the same day!"

YAY - my salary can come from myself and YOU, suckah taxpayah!

Sadly, too many Americans think that we can just tax ourselves job creation and wealth. This god-like government will do it all for us.

Posted by: ethos at December 11, 2009 12:14 PM (0fzsA)

50 That's why I said very strange.We've got to pace ourselves. We're not even a full year into this mess so we can't go to Freak Out Evelnty!1!1!!11 yet because it's only going to get worse. We need to save some words for it. Posted by: DrewM. at December 11, 2009 12:00 PM (FCWQb)
That is the scary part. Every day it's something new from this administration......and it ain't good.

Posted by: Old Hippie Vet at December 11, 2009 12:16 PM (3IZGh)

51 Keep paying my salary you damn capitalists!

Posted by: erg at December 11, 2009 12:17 PM (/gil1)

52 Hey, can one of yougringos tell gabe to call us...his e-mail doesn't seem to be working.

Posted by: LaRaza pr office at December 11, 2009 12:19 PM (pr+up)

53 This is just more evidence of this administration's total disdain for the private sector.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at December 11, 2009 12:20 PM (554T5)

54 I get the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to play by his rules.
I get it, too. Then, I get that it's totally symbolic -- that workers at all levels are having their livelihoods tampered with for others' political gain.
Remember AIG. The government told its people We need you and people's compensation reflected their talent and the demand for that talent. Then the government said We need to be the heroes and you're going to be the villains and cut their pay. That was a doublecross, plain and simple.

Posted by: FireHorse at December 11, 2009 12:22 PM (Vl5GH)

55 This guy obviously just throws in knuckleheads every other word so we know it's him. If he really wanted to just call us idiots and not get his comments deleted within 5 seconds he wouldn't make it so damn obvious it was him.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 12:23 PM (SqAkN)

56 Hey, can one of yougringos tell gabe to call us...his e-mail doesn't seem to be working.
I've not been able to get through to him, either.

Posted by: López de Santa Anna at December 11, 2009 12:24 PM (554T5)

57 In Texas, its illegal to graffiti someones cow.

Posted by: non sequitur snapple fact #909 at December 11, 2009 12:25 PM (pr+up)

58
who else gets a semi when Laura Ingraham is doing her pitch-ads for the Homedic personal massager telling us how she loves it when she uses it?

Posted by: the professional sockpuppeteer at December 11, 2009 12:28 PM (z37MR)

59 43 No, I meant the actual suburbs like alexandria and arlington. Not the bumblefuck exurbs like reston, oakton, woodbridge, silver spring, etc.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 12:28 PM (fm/zD)

60 60
At least you didn't put Centreville on there.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 12:31 PM (SqAkN)

61 @60 dagny

43 No, I meant the actual suburbs like alexandria and arlington. Not
the bumblefuck exurbs like reston, oakton, woodbridge, silver spring,
etc.

Snob


Posted by: MikeO at December 11, 2009 12:32 PM (Ce+tv)

62 Good job = Govt. job. Holiday Greetings for an Insane New Year.--Obama

The Monopoly in power legislate to make all jobs provided by the government, to become jobs that Obama "saved or created". Soon enough, all income will be usurped as taxes. Furthermore, "nonpartisan" employment practices already conform to PC ideology, as nonpartisan is interpreted to mean conformity to the Marxist monopoly.

Though the Supreme Court decision overturned the EOE interpretation that convoluted into reverse discrimination, to get EOE in your home town requires your own lawsuit matching how the fire fighters fought to win. Fat chance in hard times.

AG Holder determined to pay off Native Americans suing the USA for mishandling funds with billions of dollars. In turn, US citizens should sue AG Holder, Congress and Ponzi Obama for mishandling tax funds. There's precedence.

The question remains, does the Supreme Court grant US taxpayers standing regarding federal abuse of tax funds and abuse of Constitutional authority passing unconstitutional legislation that directly harms and injures every tax paying US citizen?

Posted by: maverick muse at December 11, 2009 12:32 PM (+CLh/)

63 59
I get a semi when Charo does the toplesshoochi coochi dance while cowtipping inTexas.

Posted by: LaRaza Pr Guy at December 11, 2009 12:33 PM (pr+up)

64 60 43 No, I meant the actual suburbs like alexandria and arlington. Not the bumblefuck exurbs like reston, oakton, woodbridge, silver spring, etc.
Do you know how many government contracting jobs have moved out to Reston now? Northrup Gromman has a building out there, Boeing has one each in Chantilly and Reston.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 12:35 PM (SqAkN)

65 If We The People are the boss of federal employees, then I say "No raises, this year. In fact, pay cuts all around. We don't have the money."

Yeah, right.

Posted by: HappyGoLucky at December 11, 2009 12:35 PM (be5IN)

66 We morons should be less concerned about this stuff, and more concerned about the black hole CERN created over Norway. Heh.

Posted by: López de Santa Anna at December 11, 2009 12:36 PM (554T5)

67 It's obvious that the 'ruling class' should make more than we mere serfs.

Posted by: GarandFan at December 11, 2009 12:36 PM (ZQBnQ)

68 Lord Jesus,We know your are who you say you are,and we know you can do what you say you can do,Lord, come and show your Light and your Truth toall the world, and in it’s hour of need, Come Holy Spirit,and restore the world from the Darkness and the Enemy,
In Jesus Name we pray,for Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory,World without end,
Amen.

Posted by: 7HEAVENS at December 11, 2009 12:38 PM (dEKrb)

69
Posted by: 7HEAVENS at December 11, 2009 12:38 PM (dEKrb)I'm not sure that's going to cut too many gubmint employee salaries.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at December 11, 2009 12:41 PM (5aa4z)

70 I am directly related to a bunch of Fed employees. The problem as I see it is not so much the compensation, but the fact that the Fed does not have the ability (or, in some cases, the inclination) to fire, dismiss, or demote employees who desperately deserve it. The incompetent, once hired, are there for the duration, and while they may not be promoted, they will get all raises and bonuses despite their undisguised contempt for their duties and dereliction of the same. There are a great many good employees in the Fed who are nonetheless hampered by hordes of the incompetent who are in the system gumming things for all of us.

That is something you just don't see in the private sector, where even the very competent must be let go from time to time.

Posted by: rawmuse at December 11, 2009 12:45 PM (MelQB)

71 @65 Mr. Pink,

Dagny has a point. Arlington county didn't take a big hit in 2008 like Fairfax, Loudoun, and PWC. Alexandria City did get a hit that year (smaller than the other jurisdictions), but they're a ways back from Arlington on gentrification and still have lots of shady neighborhoods.

Posted by: MikeO at December 11, 2009 12:45 PM (Ce+tv)

72 Evil is the root of all leftism.


Posted by: Lee at December 11, 2009 12:45 PM (TcVyy)

73 The question remains, does the Supreme Court grant US taxpayers
standing regarding federal abuse of tax funds and abuse of
Constitutional authority passing unconstitutional legislation that
directly harms and injures every tax paying US citizen?

Nope; SCOTUS ruled long ago that simply being a taxpayer was not sufficient to give standing.

Posted by: Vic at December 11, 2009 12:48 PM (CDUiN)

74 Speaking of Arlington,Carpool is a great spot to pick up some mid-20's poon if you are in the mood.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 12:48 PM (SqAkN)

75 In Texas, its illegal to graffiti someones cow.

Really? Huh. Here I thought you'd just get shot.

There is a definite problem when the incentive is to go work for the government, not the private sector. Several years ago I was up for a gubmint job and almost everyone I knew was shocked I turned it down. Why? Well, it's the best job to have! Shorter hours, better pay, fantastic medical coverage, better retirement and all those mandatory days off. It was really eye opening to see those responses.

Posted by: alexthechick at December 11, 2009 12:49 PM (8WZWv)

76 Nope; SCOTUS ruled long ago that simply being a taxpayer was not sufficient to give standing.

Oh yaaaaaay, now we can have the standing fight!

Posted by: alexthechick at December 11, 2009 12:51 PM (8WZWv)

77 Speaking as one of those 1,690 DOT employees, I'd just like to point out that we are...uhhh...well... errr... having a really good time with your money. Thanks, guys!

Posted by: Cerebral Paul Z. at December 11, 2009 12:54 PM (lV4o0)

78 This Moron's wife owns a bar. It makes money becaue of all the people on SS disability and gubment employees. All the people with real jobs that make stuff, like construction workers and micro chip manufacturers, are out of work and/or the jobs have moved to India.

Posted by: Moron at December 11, 2009 12:54 PM (F9R0K)

79 Oh yaaaaaay, now we can have the standing fight!

Although they have ruled that being a taxpayer isn't sufficient to give standing it may be possible to file a writ of mandamus to force them to actually enforce the law and live by the Constitution.

Posted by: Vic at December 11, 2009 12:56 PM (CDUiN)

80 Federal workers drones are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and
hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the
private sector.

--FIFY

Posted by: logprof at December 11, 2009 01:00 PM (I3Udb)

81 Watch in folks. Some of those "government employees" work for the U.S. military in many capacities. Believe me, it's not a picnic. I help train soldiers deploying to war zones, and I am deployable, too, just in case they need more training once they have boots on the ground. Like a soldier, but without the perks.

Posted by: Lurkin'no'mo at December 11, 2009 01:00 PM (6zvrq)

82 82
KBR?

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 01:01 PM (SqAkN)

83 No, Department of the Army

Posted by: Lurkin'no'mo at December 11, 2009 01:02 PM (6zvrq)

84 This wouldn't be an issue if the governmentwasn't so busy trying to engineer society through laws and regulations. NAFTA basically killed our manufacturing sector and promoted the export of those jobs to other countries. Environmental regulations will causemore businessess to flee as the burdens of compliance become more onerous and expensive.
What we have here is the active dismantling of our economy by politicians and bureaucrats who don't have a basic understanding of capitalism and how wealth is created.through it. They wail when revenues go down without understanding that they're doing it to themselves (and us).
How nice itwould be if Washington were to encourage diversity in the jobs market.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 11, 2009 01:06 PM (ZGhSv)

85 NAFTA didn't kill the manufacturing sector. Leftie labor policies and the onset of environmentalism killed American industry. That was like, 20 years before NAFTA.

Posted by: Britt at December 11, 2009 01:13 PM (DcWbe)

86 Watch in folks. Some of those "government employees" work for the U.S. military in many capacities.

It's not an 'all or nothing' problem here. Most folks here have little problem funding the primary responsibilities of the US government. It's the other 90% that's the problem. So your admonition is understood but not needed here.

Posted by: Iskandar at December 11, 2009 01:15 PM (u1pln)

87 Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 11, 2009 01:06 PM (ZGhSv)
Indeed. If the government would quit undermining the economy and just sit in the corner sucking up some of the surplus I would happily see them well paid to keep doing just that. Hell - we could pay them all 200K plus and it wouldn't be that big a deal (especially if there were a smaller number of them, which is just what we need). Alas - the added burden of policy-making government employees is that they cost so much more than their pay, as a result of their bad decisions. Even incompetence would be tolerable if they would just do nothing - but instead they insist in sticking their noses into everything and F***ing it all up. The way the government has chosen to practice "free trade," which is to say NON-free trade in which other countries carry out every form of trade-trickery, has been a severe blow to the national industrial base. Productivity gains from automation made some job losses inevitable - but nothing like what we've suffered. Combine that with the EPA's thuggeryin support ofpseudo-scientific regulations, and the horrific, onerousburden of government placed on the shoulders of American business in the form of taxes and fees of every sort, and you have a perfect storm of economic destruction.Considering thateven the Euro-commies tax business less than the US, a child can see that we've gone too far.

Posted by: Reactionary at December 11, 2009 01:36 PM (xUM1Q)

88 Iskandar:
"Federal workers drones are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector."
That's the quote. Working for the U.S. Army makes me a Federal Worker, or in this case...a drone. Just pointing out the fact that some "government drones" have served their country as soldiers and continue to do so as civilians. I'm sure that there are even hard working government employees in other government agencies outside DOD. Don't group every government workeras a"drone".
...and,I did get a pay raise along with all the other Federal workers.

Posted by: Lurkin'no'mo at December 11, 2009 01:36 PM (6zvrq)

89 Anyone for a Constitutional amendment requiring that Members of Congress live in similar quarters and dine in similar mess halls to U.S. uniformed service members at all times that Congress is in session? I mean, Congressmen and Senators claim to be serving their country. Why not give them the benefit of room and board as befit the men and women in our armed forces, and require them to use that benefit while on their version of active duty?
Maybe they would be less inclined to install themselves for life if they were forced to give up their luxe lifestyles for part of each year.

Posted by: stuiec at December 11, 2009 01:37 PM (7AOgy)

90
And Centerville. SorryMr Pink. I have friends in Centerville, really. One in Warrenton who can't get out.
There is a trade-off. If you live in the close burbs then your house usually maintains its value but it was usually built in 1930-1960 and is not a "mcmansion" . You also cannot use the schools. However, commuter time from DC or even Reston in the other direction is less than 30 min.
The new Alexandria High School has an elaborate day care center and playground for the babies of the students.
I'm just sayin' $150,000 doesn't go very far here so the story isn't as extreme as it seems. I would compare it to $80,000 somewhere other than the 5 major cities and Hawaii.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 01:56 PM (fm/zD)

91 My hubby's an evilfederal employee and I work for an evil financial institution. I am universally reviled and Czar-ban neutral.

Posted by: Traci at December 11, 2009 02:00 PM (USNzA)

92 One of the reasons so many DoD Civilians are pulling in over 150K is that they are IN Afghanistan and Iraq, so cut the guys living in country a break... The still have to dodge IED's like everybody else.

CM

Posted by: CM at December 11, 2009 02:01 PM (uR8Qb)

93 Won't be long before some evil conservative suggests Obama isrewarding loyal socialists with govmt jobs, while punishing the scum sucking capitalist bankers.So I'll be the first.

Posted by: bullwhacker at December 11, 2009 02:04 PM (aMpG9)

94 Stop complaining! My plan is to make everyone a federal employee and give them all a raise. See how simple it is? This wouldn't be such a big problem if Bush had not left the majority of workers employed by the private sector, a problem I must now clean up.

Posted by: Obama at December 11, 2009 02:08 PM (SWvPS)

95 "You also cannot use the schools."
Well Centreville has good schools but they seem to produce a psychopath every year or two. Westfields high school produced the VA Tech shooter and someone that shot up a police station in the area.

Posted by: Mr. Pink at December 11, 2009 02:09 PM (SqAkN)

96 Yup, I am getting a pay raise this year. But I will be paying more than I get in taxes so stop the whining. Nobody works for free.

Posted by: assclownspotter at December 11, 2009 02:31 PM (c9Glf)

97 96 The alexandria city school product is probably too stoned to shoot anything...We have a country wide record for pot-heads. It actually explains a lot. I think most of city council went there. They say it's "Yale or Jail". But who wants Yale?

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 02:31 PM (fm/zD)

98 If the feds take control of the internet, I'll either be 1) expecting massive taxation or outright takeoverto shut down my Ebay biz, or 2) expecting to be set for life as a federal employee.
As a person who tries to live by principles, I'll have to hope for the former. In such a case, ensuing psychological disability checks might be the only thing keeping me from shuffling this mortal coil.
Or I could try to get in at the post office. I've already got the part down about going postal.

Posted by: Buggy at December 11, 2009 02:36 PM (gbCNS)

99 He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign
to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent
to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:


There are solutions to these problems, after all.


Posted by: moron # 1514643 at December 11, 2009 02:53 PM (p1s9n)

100 He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.My husband says this everytime he opens his pay stub.

Posted by: dagny at December 11, 2009 02:56 PM (fm/zD)

101 Lurkin'no'mo: the article is talking specifically about civilian employees of the federal government and "agencies big and small". The military is not typically referred to as an "agency", certainly not by the media. You aren't really making a point.

Posted by: Blinky2010 at December 11, 2009 03:01 PM (snlsw)

102 I don't love the federal pay caps for TARP funded companies but I get
the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to
play by his rules.

No problem with that, either (other than The Man sticking his Nose in the private sector in the first place, but that's another screed). My problem is that the rules should have been clearly stated at the time the money was transferred.

Imagine a home mortgage where the bank calls you a year later and says, "By the way, you not only have to make your contractual payments, but you have to cut your children's allowances because we loaned you money!"


Posted by: Adjoran at December 11, 2009 03:11 PM (jmoP/)

103 That's the quote. Working for the U.S. Army makes me a Federal Worker, or in this case...a drone. Posted by: Lurkin'no'mo

Survey says, 'No.' The article:

" Excluded from OPM's data: the White House, Congress, the Postal Service, intelligence agencies and uniformed military personnel. "

Posted by: Iskandar at December 11, 2009 03:19 PM (u1pln)

104 Adjoran:No problem with that, either (other than The Man sticking his Nose in
the private sector in the first place, but that's another screed). My
problem is that the rules should have been clearly stated at the time
the money was transferred.

I gotta problem with that.

Most of those banks were forced to accept TARP funds at gunpoint.

Take the money or you cannot bank in the US. Thank you, Pres. Bush.


Wells Fargo is a good example ... the money the feds forced on them is still sitting in escrow, and the feds won't take it back.

Posted by: Kristopher at December 11, 2009 03:24 PM (Jjzb5)

105 I don't love the federal pay caps for TARP funded companies but I get the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to play by his rules.


That's how I see it too, and damn them for begging the government for money to let them ignore their incompetence.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 11, 2009 03:29 PM (PQY7w)

106 I don't love the federal pay caps for TARP funded companies but I get the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to play by his rules.
That's why the federal government isn't ALLOWED to dole money out as it pleases, whether or not companies beg for it or the feds want to give it. All the arguments about what the federal government should do to "protect their investment" constitue the exact reasons for limiting the federal government in the first place.

Posted by: neurosculptor at December 11, 2009 03:31 PM (5Lv7g)

107 I don't love the federal pay caps for TARP funded companies but I get
the argument that if you are taking The Man's money, you are going to
play by his rules.

In my opinion if we can't stop teh government from these bailouts; the best thing we can do as a second option is to make them painful, difficult to manage, and toxic to the companies involved.

If we can't stop the government (which as it stands we currently can't) stopping companies from preferring this treatment to anything else (including bankruptcy) seems the second best choice... and the Government's handling of the bailouts so far definitely works in favor of option 2.

Posted by: Gekkobear at December 11, 2009 03:47 PM (KBg64)

108 All gummint employees are not equal. Some do vital work and some work hard. The vast majority are a worthless canker on the posterior of this country. We need to start treating these parasites with the contempt they deserve. If you work for uncle and actually do a job, and do it well, you should either put up with the disdain, or get into honest private side work. It used to be that job security was the best feature of government employment, not wages. Wage and job security? On my dime? And I get what in return?
If you are involved with DOD or similar, when this topic comes up, you need to just let it slide, or if you are in one of the hugely well paid, non-deployable jobs in DOD, try and work hard enough to earn your paycheck.
If you turned Mr. Feinberg loose on Fed salaries, he would increase them somemore. He's a lib. That's how it works.

Posted by: bil at December 11, 2009 03:47 PM (ud9U6)

109 #60, I'm FROM Silver Spring. There's a reason I'm an adopted Tennesseean.
#82, I'm doing that as a contractor at Polk. Non-deployable though.
A lot of positions here that were changed to contractor jobs (range maintenance, targetry operations) are supposed to be changing back to Department of the Army civil service because it's too much of a pain in the ass to renegotiate the contract every time we add a range or need a work schedule shifted. DA folks work when they're told to work, and if the range needs to get worked on on Wednesday because someone was shooting on it Tuesday, it's not a "wait and reschedule" issue.
Me, I'd love to get a DA slot. The contractor I'm working for doesn't do much for health insurance contributions, so I'm paying 34 percent of my take-home in insurance premiums for myself and my wife. And that way I can buy back into the retirement system with my ten years of active duty military time.

Posted by: SGT Dan at December 11, 2009 04:12 PM (GgXZc)

110 That's the quote. Working for the U.S. Army makes me a Federal Worker, or in this case...a drone. Posted by: Lurkin'no'moSurvey says, 'No.' The article:" Excluded from OPM's data: the White House, Congress, the Postal Service, intelligence agencies and uniformed military personnel. "
I hung up my uniform@ 17years ago. I am a Department of the Army civilian employee.
Don't tinkle on my head and tell me it's raining....
Love the heck outa this site, follow all the long (over 1000 comments) threads we've been having lately.I took offense at the word "drone" to describe my co-workers and myself, cuz we happen to work for the government.
Any organization has killers, fillers and fodder. Some government offices are filled with fodder, folks just cashing a paycheck. But there are some of us that really do work hard for a living and try to set the standards..
I've been in a training cycle now since 7 Dec, 12+ hours a dayand won't have a day off until 18 Dec. On 12 Dec I get off at0500 hrs and need to be back at 1400, nine hour turn around time, so will sleep in the office that day.
Okay, so let us just freakin' drop the issue. Afterall, I'm just a drone.... a drone who has a CINC that despises us, but has no problem using us...kinda like Clinton come to think of it.

Posted by: Lurkin'no'mo at December 11, 2009 04:15 PM (6zvrq)

111 A small two bedroom townhouse in the burbs costs $500,000.

A used serviceable 40' steel shipping container can be had for around $2,500 here in Palm Beach. Bolt/weld a few together and I think you could construct a fairly nice crib for around $25,000 after plumbing/wiring/insulation/etc.

To the assessors, they'll just look like shipping containers parked on an empty lot ;->

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 11, 2009 04:20 PM (XPDI+)

112 Must depend on the Department. Mine ain't getting richer. 2%. And the cost of living has gone up, what, 10? I'm calling bullshirt.

Posted by: Grunt at December 11, 2009 05:48 PM (smXTB)

113 For the record, there is a very simple reason that federal salaries have such a high average: contracting out. Under Bill Clinton (and managed by Al Gore) in about 1994 most Executive Agencies began the A76 process, which continues to this day.

I won't get into the details, but the net result has been a wholesale replacement of federal workers at the GS-07 level and below with contract workers. The fed does not have to provide health care, life insurance, pensions, TSP matching or anything else for these contracted positions.

That makes the federal government extremely top-heavy, but saves a ton of money on benefits and future liabilities. It also makes it easier to get rid of non-performing workers who are unable to unionize, as they are treated like temps.

Posted by: RTH615 at December 11, 2009 06:51 PM (Rytlc)

114 114
Contracting-out did have a big impact in skewing the workforce toward higher Grades. Though Bush certainly didn't do anything to scale back A-76.
I'm a gummit employee with the DoD... I don't take offense at any of the comments. I am thankful for my job and honestly do try to give 100% every day. I don' tolerate anything less from my subordinates and yes, I actually did fire a poor performer last year. I will offer some thoughts though on the article...
The USAToday article oversimplifies the data. For one thing, it doesn't differentiate between General Schedule employees (most common), SES (Senior Executive Service - top agency leaders or expert scientific/technical people, whosometimes are politicalappointeesrather thancareer civil servants), and a variety of other pay scales such as lower paid, blue collar Wage Grades.
Even in the high cost LA or DC areas, the top of the GS scale (GS-15 step 10) is only about $150K. In lower cost areas it can be more like $127K. You have to go to thehigher SES levels to touch $170K. The average salary for a GS employee in Oklahoma, for example, is about $55K.
It compares the averag $72K fed salary to $40K in "the private sector" without elaborating on what private sector industries or careers they compared them to. The article mentions the jump in number of DOTemployees above $170K, from one to over a thousand. But it fails to mention how close those employees were to $170K. As with most USAToday articles, it's long on hyperbole and anecdotes but short on substantiation.
I'm a contracting officer and while some may say I'm paid too much, my counterparts in the defense industry get paid as well as or better than me. The guy that I fired? He found work with a contractor, supporting a gov't agency, and went from making $70K to making $125K - with better benefits - at the company.
I'm not saying that I, or anyone else in the gov't, is in bad shape or anything like that. Just not to read too much into one article, one "analysis" that tries to put a huge, very diverse workforce into one basket. And gov't employees can be, and are, subject to mass layoffs (reductions in force) as well. We've lost big groups of people in reductions, had entire bases lose workunder BRAC, etc.There's always more to the story.

Posted by: UncleSamsNephew at December 11, 2009 07:30 PM (8fOJs)

115 Not to beat a dead horse but this annual comparison of federal to private sector employees has always been, and continues to be, flawed. The private sector stats include low paying jobs that do not exist in the government such as maids and janitors and casino workers and hotel workers, etc. Those types of jobs are contracted-out in the government. That's not to say federal government jobs are not a great deal now - they are - but a more honest assessment would judge the pay for those jobs on a job by job basis.

Posted by: TRO at December 11, 2009 08:03 PM (q4WFG)

116 109,
I am one of the people whose salary will cross the six figure line next calendar year.
I do not accept lectures about my work ethic or my value to the American public. As a combat analyst for the United States Navy, I am one of only a few people in the world who can perform my function or is even qualified to form an opinion on the subject matter that I adjudicate. Even so, the Navy spends 1/3* of the cost to employ me that it would to employ a private contractor. I know because - wait for it - we are understaffed(!) and must hire outside help on a routine basis.
The DoD does not reside within the class defined as 'drones'. Unlike most federal agencies, the DoD is routinely tested as to its ability to effectively carry out its mission and thus has a standard by which it can define and clear out 'deadwood'. Thus I can safely say that DoD is not a jobs program (something I tell our new hires in the interview and repeat on their first day of work).
I do damn fine irreplaceable work (as do many other federal employees) and will not tolerate your attitude in my presence.
* This is not equivalent to saying that a contractor earns three times as much.

Posted by: gov worker at December 11, 2009 09:19 PM (LpbnI)

117 As a retired Soldier, I wish to hell B. Hussein was as generous with our COLA. It's been denied this year due to lowered oil prices; as if that helps with the fucking utilites, mortgage, and food. I'm all for raises to people like gov worker and Lurkin'no'mo, but the point being raised is that Obama hates free market enterprise, and as long as he controls the treasury, he'll dole or take as he sees fit.

Posted by: SFC MAC at December 12, 2009 12:11 PM (cuNX0)

118 Yeah, but you notice that they're not giving pay raises to any of the officers in the military, just to the bureaucrats who advance the liberals' agenda.

Posted by: Greg at December 12, 2009 12:38 PM (Cta0m)

119 Noble fellows this President Obama and his little band of merry men.. They follow the Robin Hood Doctrine ...., you know, steal from the rich and give it to the poor?
(Trouble is, they're stealing selectively, only from rich Republicans, not from rich Democrats, and members of labor unions are profiting big time. No surprise there. It's called Communism, folks, or haven't you noticed yet?)

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