Federal workforce grows fatter and richer

While our economy has been sputtering these past two years, with many businesses struggling just to stay afloat, Washington has been gorging itself by dramatically increasing the number of government jobs – 141,000 since President Barack Obama took office – and offering salaries that continue to outpace those in the private sector. 

A report by USA Today found that the number of government workers earning more than $150,000 has increased significantly in recent years. In 2005, 12,399 government workers earned more than $150,000 annually; a number that has since ballooned nearly fourteen-fold to 171,689. Workers who have been with the government between 15 and 24 years have seen their salaries rise by 25% over this same time period, far outpacing the economy’s 9% inflation rate. 

Including benefits, the average federal government employee now earns $123,000 annually; double that of their counterparts in the private sector. It should come as no surprise that seven of the 10 richest counties in the nation surround Washington, DC. 

Salaries of government jobs are outpacing those in the private sector in nearly all professions. For example, the average salary for a chemist employed by the federal government is $98,060; compared to $72,120 for their private-sector counterpart.  The average government-employed janitor will bring home almost $6,000 more than a janitor employed by a private business. Even a clergyman in the employ of Uncle Sam will make almost double that of his private-sector counterpart. While the importance of religion is not in dispute, there is little justification for paying a government pastor $70,460 per year.

Other governments facing fiscal problems are taking the axe to their workforces in an effort to trim their budgets. 

The United Kingdom announced last month it would reduce the number of bureaucrats in its government by 500,000 over the next five years. Russia, home to some of the world’s best bureaucrats, seems to comprehend the need to cut the government payroll in tough economic times. President Dmitry Medvedev plans to trim 100,000 jobs over the next three years; a 20 percent cut in public employment. 

Even Cuban President Raul Castro appears to understand the benefits of a reduced government workforce; announcing in August that he would reduce the official work force by half a million over the course of six months, and by one million over the next five years. 

The Bowles-Simpson commission, which recently released a draft proposal to alleviate the nation’s fiscal problems, suggested that Congress freeze salaries of federal workers over the next three years, while also cutting the number of government jobs by 10%. Additionally, the commission proposed that federal workers contribute half of the cost to their benefit packages; a substantial increase over current contribution levels. Public employee unions predictably are up in arms over that suggestion. 

To their credit, Republicans are planning to make a stand on this, as promised in their “Pledge to America.”  They propose to kill an across-the-board pay increase and the addition of another 125,000 federal workers in the next fiscal year; they also are at least starting to explore ways to trim back the number of existing government jobs. 

No matter how you look at it, the divide between salaries and benefits for federal workers and their private sector counterparts is wide and getting wider. In addition to scaling back the federal workforce, Congress could address this by implementing a market-based approach in determining federal pay. 

Unfortunately, unless Democrats and Republicans can agree in the current lame-duck session to extend Bush tax cuts, businesses are not going to be in any position to offer employees pay raises or invest in expanding into new ventures. Of course, failure to do this would suit the federal work force just fine; as its members continue to rest easy in the knowledge they will have cushy jobs for a long time to come.

-by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

93 comments Add your comment

Drifter

November 29th, 2010
6:34 am

“Republicans are planning to make a stand on this”…I’ll believe it when I see it. Republicans had a chance to reduce government when they controlled Congress and the White House. What did they do? They created the DHS…a government agency that makes all others look like models of efficiency and competence.

Karl Marx

November 29th, 2010
6:37 am

This is true at all levels of government Federal, State, and Local. Stop voting for tax increases and special bonds people. Cut government off of its drug, Your money.

VietVet

November 29th, 2010
6:40 am

This is partisan politics, cheap theatrics, and misleading statistics. The GS pay grade of $149,000 in 2008 was increased to $153,200 in 2009 by legislation signed by Bush in late 2008. This had the effect of pushing thousands of employees across this level. The choice of $150k is entirely arbitrary, but makes it seem like there is either a huge surge of highly paid fed workers, or that Obama is dolling out excessive salaries. There are around 2 million Federal employees, of which only about 80,000 make more than $150K. Many of the high earners are VA doctors working at Veteran’s Hospitals (18,000), HHS doctors (2,000), Air Traffic Controllers (4,000), attorneys at the Dept. of Justice, or in the Dept. of Defense (13,000).

And tying this to an appeal to keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the name of job creation is a laughable non sequitur. Alan Greenspan, the Bush era architect of those tax cuts, now admits they were a huge mistake and should not be extended.

Sigh

November 29th, 2010
6:43 am

The same hackneyed story once again…Bob the studies you are citing by the CATO institute and USA Today have serious methodological flaws (not taking into account comparable, education, location, length of service–using average instead of the median). Once somebody produces something close to apples to apples, then we can have this discussion.

PS–The majority increase in Fed workers is due to contract employees being hired, not technically an increase.
PSS–No, I’m not a public sector worker

SmittyATL

November 29th, 2010
6:53 am

Okay, Vet, the $150K mark is arbitrary, so let’s throw that one aside. How do you justify the 25% salary increase for 15-24 year employees since 2005? Or the 141,000 new government jobs?

Call it partisan politics if you wish, but that is a lame defense. (And, remember, Barr quit the GOP.) I don’t care whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat in office; fat government is unsustainable. It seems that the best defense for Obama on any issue is “Well, what about the Bush years…?” Remember, one does not have to be a Bush supporter in order to be a critic of the current administration’s policies and practices.

Sigh

November 29th, 2010
6:53 am

@ Karl–Actually, state and local governments have terminated 123,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

(BLS Statistics, October 2010)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bob Barr, Teresa and Thomas Crafts, Jason Pye. Jason Pye said: RT @bobbarr: Barr Code: Federal workforce grows fatter and richer http://bit.ly/ffV5i4 [...]

JKL2

November 29th, 2010
7:21 am

VietVet- Air Traffic Controllers (4,000)

Your OK with paying over $150k to someone playing a video game? With the Nintendo generation, your average 12 year old could do that job today. The doctors I can deal with (until obamacare drops the private sector by 50%). Time to drain the swamp and get all these people off the government teet. Doesn’t matter which side they’re on, they need to go.

mike

November 29th, 2010
7:29 am

Fat & government is now the same.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Brisand, sean walker, Eva Miranda, Pete Drake, Diana Roberts and others. Diana Roberts said: Federal workforce grows: … of government jobs – 141000 since President Barack Obama took office – and offering… http://bit.ly/f5YjpI [...]

Jan

November 29th, 2010
7:32 am

There are no longer federally employed janitors for most government facilities. There haven’t been for about 15 years. Thanks to Fred Grandy’s efforts, the janitorial staff was redistributed (govt speak for retraining employees for other jobs) and Goodwill Industries now provides those services. Then same thing has happened with building maintenance (where most of the retrained janitorial staff went), program support staff, and admin support. So the lower paying GS jobs and wage grade jobs have disappeared or are disappearing. This artificially raises the “average salary”. But you don’t even seem to be aware of these facts. Sloppy research on your part.

Laurie

November 29th, 2010
7:38 am

wow. I hope the Republicans do address this issue. Although, I have my doubts.

Patriot

November 29th, 2010
7:44 am

Every penny earned must first be stolen from the productive sector so there is no justification. There is not a single task provided by the federal state or local governments that could not be provided better and more inexpensively by the private sector and that includes defense.

Time to roll the government back to at least the limits of the constitution as a start. We can work on more once that is achieved. As most people have said, don’t look for the Republicans to do this. It will take Libertarians to achieve such positive outcomes.

Road Scholar

November 29th, 2010
8:23 am

SmittyATL: If workers worked 15-24 years, do you think that they had promotions and higher managerial or other responsibilities? if they are in the same job, I agree with you. if they were promoted, this doesn’t indicate increased responsibilities!

VietVet

November 29th, 2010
8:26 am

I’m not going to spend all of my morning on this, I’m a small business owner, but I’ll do one more round. PolitiFact checked Scott Brown’s claim that federal workers were overpaid in February of 2010 and they found that in comparable private and public jobs, the public sector employees are paid on average 26 percent less than private sector counterparts. They called Brown’s assertion false. Maybe the 25% increase in fed salaries was trying to close that gap.

My concern is that between 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of the total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent. In that time period the top one percent’s income went from 9% to 24% of the nation’s income. The working and middle class is being ground down by trickle down economics and tax cuts for the rich. Why do Republicans say $150,000 is outrageous for government doctors and lawyers, while also claiming people making north of $250,000 are too poor to pay the tax rate they paid in Reagan’s day?

And please point out where I defended Obama or said “Bush did it too.” My “defense” was the fact checks I did. Calling this partisan politics is just stating the obvious. But I am glad to hear you’re not trying to defend Bush, and in fact, would love to see some of the outraged posts you made while Bush and the Republicans turned the government surplus they inherited from Clinton into the biggest deficit of modern times.

97degreeyogurt

November 29th, 2010
8:50 am

@ Patriot–Define “better”.

“Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.” – George Bernard Shaw

The above quote rings even truer when it is self anointed, as in your case.

Road Scholar

November 29th, 2010
8:52 am

VietVet: Good posts. What type of business do you have?

Eric

November 29th, 2010
9:20 am

I’d sure like to know how these people got their federal jobs. I have above average job qualifications. I’ve applied to many federal job openings over the past 2-3 years – enduring their arduous online forms, questionnaires, essays, verifications, rating scales, follow up, etc.). Twice I was selected for a “second” round toward the final job, but didn’t make the cut. Who in the world are the people getting hired then? Federal jobs are incredibly hard to get, and I never could find information on the “Obama jobs” that were supposedly created. So this hiring issue conflicts with the salary information reported here. Don’t understand it.

Common Sense isn't very Common

November 29th, 2010
9:24 am

Interesting to note that a lot of the IT functions of government are let on a contract basis CDC,etc.

These contract companies are then allowed to use H-1b contractors to fulfill the work requirement cheaply.

This work can easily be done by the existing workforce (US citizens) who have been unemployed because of this ridiculous visa program.

The H-1b visa holders supposedly pay taxes (who knows how many deductions they claim) and some of these contracts are even given to Indian owned companies (Ohio – TATA).

The salaries need to come into line with the private sector, but until they start comparing equal jobs and experience we will not know how they match up.

jconservative

November 29th, 2010
9:30 am

“…unless Democrats and Republicans can agree in the current lame-duck session to extend Bush tax cuts…”

How we gonna pay for the tax cuts? Or, to re-phrase the question, if you cut revenue where will you cut a like amount of spending?

You know, we started cutting taxes in 1981. We started refusing to cut spending in 1981. The result is the $13.8 trillion National Debt.

Will we continue to do the same thing over and over and continue to expect a different result?

clay

November 29th, 2010
9:54 am

@JKL…So, you think the average 12 year old can do my job of making sure thousands of airplanes in and out of ATL arrive and depart safely and efficiently? I am a 19 year verteran of this profession you see as “pork barrel” spending by our government, however, I dare say a 12 year old of the “nintendo generation” or you could do what I or thousands of my colleagues do on a daily basis. Unless you have first hand knowledge of what we do or what it takes to do it I suggest you keep your comments respectful. Furthermore, If you were the one doing this job, you would be the one “you” would be getting rid of…try walking a mile in those shoes.

Trapped in a Red state

November 29th, 2010
10:03 am

Do not make the mistake of assuming Federal and state employees are paid the same. The Ga state employees make less than all other states. The average state worker makes around $25,000 per year with no annual raises built in. Before the hiring freeze due to the recession, The state could not fill vacant position across the board due to these low salaries. I just heard on this morning news that the State Patrol was down 168 positions out of a 700 man force and that’s not because of any hiring freeze. The feds make way more than they deserve.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 29th, 2010
10:05 am

There is an obvious cure – abolish all taxpayer funding for non-military agencies. Let them sink or swim in the real market. SEC, FTC, FBI, FDA, OSHA, EPA, FHLMC, FNMA, FHA. If they provide a product with a market, pay them appropriately, even millions per year. But no taxpayer funds for elephant stampede insurance.

VietVet

November 29th, 2010
10:12 am

Thanks, Road Scholar, I’ve also enjoyed your comments here and other places on the AJC site. I make exhibits and videos for museums, which is why I’m so rigorous about research. Nothing hurts my business and pride more than someone pointing out an error in my work.

MarkV

November 29th, 2010
10:13 am

It is interesting how Bob Barr mixes reasonable columns with hogwash. This column is in the latter variety, the numbers cited indiscriminately without a moment of thought. To compare “ average federal government employee (who) now earns $123,000 annually; double that of their counterparts in the private sector” is totally misleading and even deceiving, because the comparison is not one of “counterparts,” just of average employees. How many burger-flippers or garbage collectors does the federal government employ?. Even comparing real “counterparts,” people with similar titles, is misleading. For instance, government scientists generally are “cream of the crop,” as compared with both excellent as well as mediocre and substandard scientists in the general scientific population.

Trapped in a Red state

November 29th, 2010
10:15 am

BTW,
A former co-worker got a job with the FBI. It took 9 months and $80,000 to pass the background check (They use retired FBI agents for these investigations). He resigned, then a year later applied with ATF, who is also a Homeland Security agency. They did another 6 month $80,000 background check. Unbelievable waste of $$$. He did not get the ATF job because he exceeded the age limit by the time the 2rd background check was completed… true story.

SmittyATL

November 29th, 2010
10:18 am

jconservative: “paying for a tax cut” is backwards thinking. That presupposes that the money belongs to the government in the first place. It doesn’t. The federal government is bloated, and has taken on a slew of functions that oversteps the authority granted by the Constitution. The federal government should be concentrating on defense, national security, and public goods such as infrastructure — not on retirement planning, medical insurance, and home ownership. Unfortunately, this is a one-way street; once the public becomes accustomed to suckling the government teat, it is painful to wean. But, as evidenced by the $14 trillion national debt, wean we must.

The government has more than enough revenue to cover its Constitutional obligations. We do not have a revenue issue; we have a spending issue.

midtownguy

November 29th, 2010
10:24 am

I am one of those “government employees” and will admit that I am fairly compensated for what I do. I do want to make one very important clarification. Those making $150,000 or more (and I am certainly not one) are almost all political appointees or members of what is called the Senior Executive Service rather than the regular employees who are paid on the GS-1 through GS-14 pay scales. They also do not have to compete for those jobs through the regular government hiring process.

So my suggestion is to leave the GS pay scales alone and go after the Senior Executive Service (who in addition to those salaries get five digit “performance bonuses”.

Big Jim

November 29th, 2010
10:44 am

Great idea! What if we allow only rich people to be excluded from paying taxes. That way,Rush Fatbaugh will be happy. Or will he?
All rich,established politicians will like this plan as well. They won’t be paying into a “tyrannous” governments’ system. The same big,bad
government that employs John Boehner,Joe Tater Wilson, etc.

I have an even better idea, all politicians that agree with the TeaBaggers and hardline republicans should find other employment. No need working for such a bad company!

charlie

November 29th, 2010
10:48 am

Reduce the number of direct federal employees by 5 percent per year for 10 years, Reduce the number of contract employees by 10 percent per year for 10 years. The would reduce the numbers to 60 percent, and 35 percent of current employment respectively.

James

November 29th, 2010
11:00 am

This is irresponsible “journalism” at best, a known lie with a political agenda at worst. In what sector, other than this government, do we use the phrase “including benefits”? Yes, government emplyess have medical, dental, TSP (sort of like 401K), and leave benefits. It is very fuzzy math to put a hard number on those. How about we stick with salary, which is more of an apples-apples comparison?

To say that the average salary of a government employee outpaces that of the average private sector employee is also very simplistic, and again, a misuse of statistics. Are you talking skilled or unskilled labor? Do you bundle the aveerage salaries by locality, or are you compatring a government chemist’s salary in New York with that of a civilian chemist’s in Tuscon, Arizona? Basic research skills are needed here.

I know that in my sector and locality, the civilian workforce (typicall government contractors) make 10-25% more than government employees. I recently left the private sector to join the government as a GS 13. I took a $60,000 pay cut to do that. I am talking cold hard cash, not this “pay and benefits” garbage. You see, in the private sector, they still gave me benefits. I had several reasons, and as a GS 13, nobody need throw me a charity benefit, but my point is that all these “studies” and “facts” are usually run by people who have no idea about the industry. Sadly, the public takes these bombastic pieces as researched fact. This clearly was not researched, nor well thought out.

It’s interesteing that congress and Mr. Carr, has decided that it is the government civilian pay that is our problem, not the reckless spending on things such as self-serving earmarks (for the sole purpose of re-election).

SmittyATL

November 29th, 2010
11:01 am

Big Jim: no one should be excluded from paying taxes. I certainly am not rich; but I cannot justify seizing even more from the “rich” just because they have more than I do. As of 2007 (according to CBO statistics reported by the American Enterprise Institute), the top 10% of earners brought in 44% of revenue, and paid 68% in taxes. (If you have more recent data that tells a different story, please share.) I think a good argument could be made that there are too many loopholes, so some rich folks legally avoid a lot of taxes. That’s because lawmakers decided to use the tax code to create incentives for certain behavior, rather than simply to collect revenue; the tax code has become incredibly complex.

We should simplify the tax code, and set rates that optimize revenue in an equitable manner. That doesn’t necessarily mean jacking up rates, which could retard economic activity and thus reduce tax revenues. (Unfortunately, it’s necessary to optimize revenues because of our huge debt.)

Meanwhile, we need to drastically reduce government spending. Once the debt is paid off, we can reduce taxes even further, to the point where revenues cover only our spending on necessities such as defense, national security, and public goods such as infrastructure.

This course would omit government spending on many current programs — some of which support worth objectives but could be better (and more equitably) served via private investment and charity.

carlosgvv

November 29th, 2010
11:11 am

Government waste, inefficency and fraud cost us taxpayers billions of dollars each year. If we cut the number of Federal and State Government jobs by one third this would save more than enough money for all our other urgent needs. I have talked to people who formerly worked for the State and Government. They told me stories about people spending most of their time on personal phone calls, lenghty breaks and many people doing a job one or two could do. Is anyone really supprised by this?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

November 29th, 2010
11:12 am

Fascist plutocracy, through its paid minions in Congress, must maintain “civil servants” as a further buffer caste to protect it from the once sovereign People. How else should they expect to contain outrage against their treasonous faction, yet to be brought to justice for financing Hitler, killing Kennedy and King to send us to Vietnam, cheating into office a draft-dodging closet-queen to commit 9/11 to send us after non-existent WMD’s to maintain the Rockefeller-client Saudis, PNAC’s corrupt group of false Jews in the State of Israel, to restart the Afghan heroin trade, while stealing Our Nation’s wealth?

make up your minds

November 29th, 2010
11:18 am

Create Jobs, oh no but wait, not government jobs….fix the unemployment rate but cut back on government jobs….fix the deficit but don’t raise taxes on income above $250K…people are truly conflicted and don’t even realize the doublespeak that comes out of their mouths, it’s sickening

SmittyATL

November 29th, 2010
11:32 am

Create an environment in which businesses hire more workers. Set a tax rate that enables economic growth, thereby increasing the taxable base. Limit federal government to the roles defined by the Constitution, thereby reducing spending and reducing the deficit. I don’t feel conflicted at all.

Nicole

November 29th, 2010
11:42 am

True, the average salary of government workers is probably $123,000, but I’ll tell you right now that the majority don’t make even close to that amount. If you take out those in the government who are making a hell of a lot more than that and are skewing the mean, then you’re probably going to be looking at a number much less than that for the average salary of a government employee.

My father has worked for the IRS for 30+ years and has only now hit the $100,000 mark. He’ll never reach $123,000 in his lifetime and his private sector counterpart job has always been about twice of what he’s making right now.

VietVet posted typical government jobs that are the top earners skewing the mean for government salary; all of which are top earners in their respective private sectors as well. They’d probably be making more working private sector than in the government anyways!

So sure, we’ve seen an increase in salary for government workers over the last few years, but they’re still, on average, making far less than their private sector counterparts.

Shep

November 29th, 2010
11:46 am

Good point Viet Vet

Why do Republicans say $150,000 is outrageous for government doctors and lawyers, while also claiming people making north of $250,000 are too poor to pay the tax rate they paid in Reagan’s day?

A classic example of the hypocrisy of all these republican arguments for granting/extending tax cuts to the top elite wealthy in this country while pretending to be concerned about the average family. Just a bunch of hog wash as they are only interested in serving their big corporate business and wall street masters.

Unpainted Huffhines

November 29th, 2010
11:47 am

Yeah Bob, the Bush tax cuts have worked wonders. Show me one shred of evidence that corporations use tax cuts to create jobs with decent living wages and benefits. Just one! Airlines? nope, Banks? nope; Computer manufacturing? nope…. However, tax cuts have resulted in a large uptick in low-wage retail sales jobs and jobs that only pay full commission. People in the public sector, to my knowledge, have a cap on their wages. Private sector does not. Additionally, no mention by you of a disparity in wages among private sector employees. In the private sector, the gap is far, far wider.

If government is run like a business all bureaucratic functions will be outsourced to places like China. Your “income-security” envy is very unlibertarian. If you don’t want a job as a bureaucrat, then work in the private sector! If businesses didn’t waste so much money on advertising, marketing, lobbying efforts, and bonuses to executives who downsize, outsource, and slash stock values, then maybe they could pay higher wages. Until then, stop blaming business’ failure on government. Wal*Mart is doing just fine, go work for them as a greeter.

[...] View original post here: Federal workforce grows fatter and richer | The Barr Code [...]

SmittyATL

November 29th, 2010
12:13 pm

Unpainted: you’re acting as if a tax cut is some type of federal grant, and that “recipients” owe something to the government. In fact, the upper 10% earns 44% of revenues and pays 68% of taxes. (Again, I invite anyone with more recent statistics to share.) Is that not enough? How much more should the government take from that top 10%? I am not in the upper 10%, but I just can’t see how it’s fair to ask them to foot even more of the bill, when instead we should be looking for ways to cut spending.

For those who are well-to-do and want to fund even more federal programs, have at it! Or, you might consider investing in businesses that will hire more workers, or donating to charities that help the less fortunate. I believe that you have earned your money, and should have the choice of how to put it to work.

Scout

November 29th, 2010
12:13 pm

AND YOU SIR USED TO BE ONE. I’M SURE YOU LIKED YOUR SALARY THEN AND PROBABLY THOUGHT YOU WERE UNDERPAID AS U.S. ATTORNEY.

nelson

November 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

It just came on the news, President Obama is freezing federal salaries for the next two years, saving 5 billion dollars. I knew he could do it.

That means the custodians at the White House will have to get by on $37.00 an hour. I would not mind that job, vacuming the Oval Office, look ing out the window and seeing all the tourists looking through the wrought iron fence. Or beign down in the gym mopping up the blood after a basketball game. The moral of the story is ” you are either on the outside looking in or on the inside looking out”.
The custodian is an insider, maybe not privy to the secrets that are encrypted by U.S. diplomats, but still, an insider.

All in all, making it to the top out side of the federal government is still the American ideal. Making it to the top in private enterprise will always be the goal.

A little known fact today, federal employees can use their federal health insurance plan to buy coverage for their cat or dog. Same sex partners are still prohited from purchasing insurance for their partner. The reason being to preserve the sanctity of the more traditional unions.

Cekker

November 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

Looks like Obama agrees with Bob.

‘Citing deficit, Obama to freeze federal worker pay’ — AJC: 11:52am

http://www.ajc.com/business/citing-deficit-obama-to-757713.html

Rockerbabe

November 29th, 2010
12:25 pm

“Republicans are planning to make a stand on this, as promised in their “Pledge to America.” They propose to kill an across-the-board pay increase and the addition of another 125,000 federal workers in the next fiscal year; they also are at least starting to explore ways to trim back the number of existing government jobs”

Does that include the recent high raises that a good number of congressional staffers just received? Does that include the elected members of Congress, who routinely give themselves raises that the average worker in private industry receive?

You seem to think that $150,000 dollars is a lot – not if one has a master’s degree or a PhD or an MD or a JD. A large percentage of folks who work in the federal government, have professional degrees and licenses that would allow them to earn more than $150,000/year if working in private industry.

That also includes all the lawyers and judges in the Justice Dept, commissioned officers, especially in command ranks and any number of MD who work in the various agencies, such as NIH, VAMC, military MD, public health services, etc. Cutting their salaries just puts these programs in jeopardy – but, then again, you Repugs do not care. And, not everything in the private sector is just hunky-dorry. I fail to see the benefit of slashing salaries and benefits and making the average worker anywhere poorer, when the rich do not suffer the same treatment. After all, our current recession had more to do with greedy bankers, financiers and real estate mogels than the average citizen, yet you seem hellbent on make the 97% of us below the rich, to pay for their mistakes. Shame on you.

make up your minds

November 29th, 2010
12:32 pm

@ SMITHYATL Create an environment in which businesses hire more workers.

You mean versus sending them out of the country? As you typed that Corpate America is seeing record profits (missed that bulletin?) but alas they are not hiring due to “uncertainy” Yeah yeah right…..

DawgDad

November 29th, 2010
12:54 pm

Headline: The Freeze is On.

About time. Notable comments by the AFGE union chief, indicative of why unionization of government employees should be prohibited.

A two-year freeze on Federal salaries may just seal Obama’s fate in 2012. I’ll give credit where it’s due; regardless of the motives this action is a step in the right direction.

DawgDad

November 29th, 2010
12:59 pm

Rockerbabe: Using your own figures, the typical 2-worker household with at least one $150,000 Federal employee would likely be part of the 3%, not the 97%.

Unpainted Huffhines

November 29th, 2010
12:59 pm

Smitty. the upper 10% controls 90% of the money and their cases take up 90% of our federal and municipal courts work. Their tax should be in proportion to their use of the commons. Last year, for example, Boeing spent $2 billion to settle fraud claims. They should be hanged, drawn and quartered. What does it take to prove to you that the wealthy hoard money for themselves?

DawgDad

November 29th, 2010
1:04 pm

Boeing is a PERSON???? I never knew.