The real ‘two Americas’: government and the governed

The public sector sees a totally different America than the rest of us do.

That’s true in the broadest sense: Two-thirds of the political class believe the country is moving in the right direction, while 84 percent of other Americans think we’re headed the wrong way, according to a Rasmussen Reports opinion poll earlier this month.

But the divide between government and the governed goes deeper than these momentary feelings. It shows up in our paychecks as well.

Last week USA Today reported that the average federal civilian employee earns twice as much in salary and benefits as the average private-sector worker. These federal workers are paid 61 percent more than the rest of us and receive almost four times as much in retirement and other benefits.

President Barack Obama has proposed an across-the-board pay raise of 1.4 percent next year for these 2 million workers, at a cost of $2.2 billion. The USA Today story noted that this would be the smallest federal pay hike in a decade.

To those whose pay has been frozen for a while now, a raise of “only” 1.4 percent doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice.

But hey, don’t blame the feds for feeling like they’re getting shortchanged this year: Even adjusted for inflation, their pay has climbed almost 37 percent since 2000, or four times faster than wages for the rest of us.

Despite Obama’s new, ahem, restraint on salaries, it doesn’t look as if this gap will get narrower anytime soon.

On Thursday, I searched the federal government’s employment website, USAJobs.gov, for openings in metro Atlanta.

A search for jobs in my ZIP code turned up 169 listings from the North Carolina border to the Florida line, even though the search was supposed to be within a 20-mile radius (that’s close enough for government work, I guess).

A dozen jobs listed no salary figure. Of the other 157, a staggering 110 were for more than the average wage in their county, according to the latest federal data. Add the greater value of public benefits, and 144 of the 157 were above average.

And these are just minimums — each of the 157 listings had a pay scale based on factors like experience, and I’ve cited the bottom of these ranges. But for 92 of the jobs, the scale topped out above $100,000.

Some openings were for jobs like epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control, which you’d expect to pay better than the average job in DeKalb County. But there were also jobs like the one paying up to $85,000 a year for a maintenance mechanic supervisor in Calhoun, where the average annual wage is less than $35,000.

No wonder the political/bureaucratic class thinks we have it so good.

And no wonder the political/bureaucratic class thinks the answer to problems ranging from health care to Wall Street is to hire more bureaucrats and give more power to politicians. From their vantage point, the world works pretty well.

But when you’re one of the millions of Americans who earns half as much as a federal bureaucrat simply because your employer has to answer to market conditions and his doesn’t, things aren’t so rosy.

Ditto if you’re one of the millions more who pays for his salary regardless of whether he provides you with a service — much less whether you think that service is valuable.

The political class likes to talk about whether we can countenance a new age of austerity. What its members don’t realize is that, for many of the rest of us, it’s already here.

290 comments Add your comment

TaxPayer

August 13th, 2010
7:19 pm

I remember talk from many years back about how, in order to get a higher quality of government employees, the government needed to start offering pays and benefits that were more in line with those offered in the private sector. Sounds like the shoe is on the other foot now. So. What to do. Bring private sector pay and benefits in line with government or vice versa.

josef nix

August 13th, 2010
7:23 pm

Question
Do you propose that federal salaries be related to the per capita income in the area in which the bureaucrat is posted?

@@

August 13th, 2010
7:36 pm

To me, one of the most incriminating things Shirley Sherrod said in the recently released video was that government workers never lose their jobs….or something to that effect.

I recall the time when I worked for my local Board of Commissioners…I was hauled before the Civil Service Board three times–not because of anything I did wrong…it was a personal grudge. The Chairman’s EXECUTIVE secretary didn’t think I, (the administrative secretary) was doing HER job well enough. Never mind that my workload was twice what hers was…she expected me to do her job as well. She made twice the salary I made.

It was just a matter of waiting her out. She was fired for assault with a deadly weapon.

A real nut job, she…EXECUTIVE material.

Bruno

August 13th, 2010
8:01 pm

josef and @@–Music night over at the Tucker blog. Everyone is invited!

josef nix

August 13th, 2010
8:10 pm

Bruno
Thanks…but you know me and her!

@@

August 13th, 2010
8:19 pm

Music night over at the Tucker blog.

Cynthia doesn’t allow links. More trouble than it’s worth. Besides…

Hillbilly’s AWOL.

@@

August 13th, 2010
8:27 pm

Plus….Cynthia’s is Mrs. Godzilla’s terrain. She and I don’t get along too well.

Bad blood.

j$

August 13th, 2010
8:28 pm

I don’t get it.

Why not just drop down a floor at bookman’s if you want to have a music night (or continue to sling crap) instead of ct’s where you can’t even post a link?

Bruno

August 13th, 2010
8:35 pm

“instead of ct’s where you can’t even post a link?”

No problem with the links, guys:

www. youtube. com/watch?v=Gm1ibHUyJjA&feature=related

P.S. to josef–Cynthia’s out on the town tonight, just the boys hanging out now.

stands for decibels

August 13th, 2010
8:36 pm

They don’t compare US percentages to international counterparts, which make the numbers fairly worthless.

@@

August 13th, 2010
8:38 pm

JayNot:

You so smart!

RW-(the original)

August 13th, 2010
8:46 pm

Why not just drop down a floor at bookman’s if you want to have a music night

j$,

That just makes too much sense but it is funny to see them complaining about links over there. Apparently it takes links but you have to code them yourself since somebody put one up. The Kagen floor at Jay B’s is wide open and ready for business if they ever figure it out.

Sandra

August 13th, 2010
8:48 pm

There has always been a disconnect between the government and the people it governs and I don’t see it getting better any time soon. I don’t even know if there is anything that can be done as it seems to be a virus that infects all the political parties all over the world as soon as someone enters politics as a career.

As for the huge difference in salary and perks between public and private workers, That also seems to be a world wide disease. Here in the UK it seems like even if there is a hint that people will lose jobs in the public sector there are threats of strikes. While people in the private sector have been losing jobs for a while.

BTW, if people only blog on topics that are there ” to get your knickers in a twist” (sorry if I am being rude) then articles like this fall by the wayside.

RW-(the original)

August 13th, 2010
8:48 pm

So Edwards actually had a point about this two America thing. He just couldn’t figure out where and who they were. He had lots of those troubles where he couldn’t figure out what to do where and with whom.

Grand Forks

August 13th, 2010
8:50 pm

“Plus….Cynthia’s is Mrs. Godzilla’s terrain. She and I don’t get along too well.”

LOL! I forgot about the nursing home resident. She’s about as relevant as a Ford Pinto. Old, ugly and blows up if you look at it the wrong way.

Grand Forks

August 13th, 2010
8:50 pm

“So Edwards actually had a point about this two America thing.”

Whatever happened to that ambulance chaser?

Grand Forks

August 13th, 2010
8:51 pm

“Everyone is invited!”

Everyone is invited…..as long as you’re not white.

josef nix

August 13th, 2010
8:56 pm

RW
Great idea! Going there…! Thanks! :-)

RW-(the original)

August 13th, 2010
9:03 pm

josef,

Thanks, but the credit goes to Shady j$.

@@

August 13th, 2010
9:08 pm

President Obama tonight endorsed building an Islamic community center and mosque a few blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York City, saying that “Muslims have the right to practice their religion” just like anyone else.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/08/obama-endorses-the-idea-of-a-mosque-near-ground-zero/1

Obama must have a political death wish.

It’s not like his efforts to bridge the divide have been well received by Muslims in the Middle East.

stranger in a strange land

August 13th, 2010
9:12 pm

Sandra @ 8:48
There has always been a disconnect between the government and the people it governs – at it is large and growing larger. The virus that infects all the political parties all over the world: POWER. Once they have, it’s difficult to take it away – especially when they can take your money and property by force – at the end of a gun if need be.

I wouldn’t worry about anyone getting “their knickers in a twist” – it’s not rude. On the other hand, if something was said to cause someone to get their “panties in a wad” – that could be rude.

Bill

August 13th, 2010
9:35 pm

What is the point of this opinion piece? Kyle..nothing personal, but you seem like a wet behind the ears little boy w/ a journalism degree w/ absolutely NO life experience at all. You’re only audience is the “only good muslim is a dead muslim” crowd.

David S

August 13th, 2010
9:36 pm

Kyle, I think that its time you adopted the terms “private-voluntary productive sector” and “forced non-productive sector” for that is truly the difference. One is fully paid for through voluntary exchange of goods and services for money and the other is fully financed through the forced extraction of involuntarily taken taxes. One produces goods and services while the other produces nothing (but lots of death and destruction, unemployment and dislocation, debt and suffering).

Yes, of course thanks to government intervention, forced purchases like Obamacare, car insurance, and the like, not all of the supposed private voluntary sector is truly private or voluntary, but you get the picture.

Political Mongrel

August 13th, 2010
9:47 pm

It’s always struck me as interesting that so many people seem to think the private sector does such a great job at what it’s hired to do. They seem to forget that a huge number of companies go under every hear. They seem to forget that the owners of many companies take the money and run, leaving nothing but wreckage and shattered employees and their families in their wake. That many companies are terrible at the services that they provide, and dumping one to hire another may take years and does not guarantee improvement. You’re often safer with government handling certain jobs than private companies who do a half-a$$ed job or who took on more than they could handle. Privatization has often brought disastrous results, something that’s conveniently ignored by its proponents.

get out much?

August 13th, 2010
10:13 pm

Well, Kyle, I looked up your $85,000 maintenance mechanic supervisor job:

Job Title: Surface Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor
Department: Department Of The Army
Agency: National Guard Units
Job Announcement Number: T-10-125 (369897)

SALARY RANGE:
$35.08 – $40.88 /hour
OPEN PERIOD:
Monday, July 26, 2010 to Tuesday, August 24, 2010
SERIES & GRADE:
WS-5801-10
POSITION INFORMATION:
Full Time Indefinite
PROMOTION POTENTIAL:
10
DUTY LOCATIONS:
01 vacancies – Calhoun, GA
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED:
Open only to current on-board, full-time GA ARNG DOL Officer or Warrant Officer technicians.

So are you now picking on the military?

Here is the link for the rest of you: http://jobview.usajobs.gov/GetJob.aspx?JobID=89605023&JobTitle=Surface+Maintenance+Mechanic+Supervisor&q=maintenance+mechanic&where=30096&x=103&y=15&brd=3876&vw=b&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&pg=1&rad=50&rad_units=miles&re=0&AVSDM=2010-08-13+10%3a42%3a00

vuduchld

August 13th, 2010
11:39 pm

Tell you what Kyle Wingnut, why don’t you work for free? I mean you’re a conservafraud idealist right? Go the AJC and tell then that you are willing to work for no salary or benefits. Me, I have no problem with what govmint workers make. I worked for the IRS in Atlanta for a year and it certainly wasn’t for the salary you posted. I worked in the private sector most of my career and I can tell you that I was definitely under paid. Living in Atlanta was feast for famine for me, some jobs paid well, others dIdn’t. I presently work for a company that is paying me my worth and I’m happy. Conservatives like you think that people should work for free, enriching you. Nope, if I work, I want to get paid for what I’m worth, time for freeloaders like you to understand that basic concept. If you think that you can get by on the cheap, fine,, just don’t go running to Uncle Sam for a bailout!!

Don't forget

August 14th, 2010
12:48 am

Let me get this straight Kyle. For the past 30 years CEO pay has exploded, we have the greatest income disparity since the 1920’s, the top 25 hedge fund managers made a total of 25.3 BILLION dollars last year and something like 50% of all the increase in income over the past 10 years has gone to the top 1% of Americans. Wake up! It’s not the money you see the government taking from your check we should be upset about, it’s the money that we never even see in the American paycheck because corporations seek out the modern day equivalent of slave labor around the world. Heck, 80 cents an hour is probably cheaper than slavery since there’s no food or shelter they have to provide. And to top it all off, China devalues its currency just to make sure the American worker can’t possibly compete. Do you really think that a 1.4% increase for federal workers is what is wrong here?

jt

August 14th, 2010
4:34 am

EVERY Federal employee should be paid minimum wage. (that would still be too much considering that we really don’t need any).

That goes for all US House and Senate members too.

Parasites.

Ayn Rant

August 14th, 2010
6:37 am

Just goes to show how bad the private economic sector really is!

Besides causing economic meltdowns and disastrous industrial accidents and spills, private industry and finance can’t compete with European and Asian enterprises in the domestic and world marketplaces, can’t provide full employment for those Americans willing and able to work, and can’t even provide the tax revenue needed to support our privileged public sector.

Don’t blame government for the mess! Blame overpaid, under-performing business executives who prefer to market goods made in China rather than to manufacture products in the US. Blame the wealthy class who gamble American capital on derivatives and hedge funds rather than invest in American industry and commerce. Blame huge, monopolistic corporations that buy-up, merge with, or destroy potential competitors.

The several million Americans employed by federal, state, and local governments have steady, good-paying jobs, good health insurance that is not subject to frivolous cancellation or lifetime benefit limits, and good retirement benefits. Don’t you wish we all had that?

The public sector sets the standard for what we should expect from the private sector.

Yeesh

August 14th, 2010
7:52 am

The several million Americans employed by federal, state, and local governments have steady, good-paying jobs, good health insurance that is not subject to frivolous cancellation or lifetime benefit limits, and good retirement benefits. Don’t you wish we all had that?

One word. Greece!

What the government giveth, the government can taketh away.

ditto

August 14th, 2010
8:09 am

What a ditto head.

Tall

August 14th, 2010
8:10 am

Ayn Rant: You’re a genius. Go on and on and on………

Eric

August 14th, 2010
8:26 am

I agree federal payer is higher across the board. But just try to get one of those jobs–you’ll see how difficult to get through the application process and wait week after week. Then one day, an e-mail arrives saying you didn’t get the job. You’re already at a disadvantage, since veterans (nothing against you per se) receive a 10-point preferential. Good luck!

RPM

August 14th, 2010
8:57 am

We have two political parties in this country–those who pay taxes and those who get paid by taxes.

DannyX

August 14th, 2010
9:00 am

From today’s AJC.com…

“…the UGA Athletic Board approved a five-year contract that will start McGarity at $420,000 per year with $20,000 raises each subsequent year. He’ll also get a $125,000 longevity bonus if he completes the contract.”

Don’t you just love socialism!

Uncle Billy

August 14th, 2010
9:07 am

Rasmussen is a notoriously right wing polling organization. Whom did they poll, teachers? Police? Fire Department employees? Kyle does not like to look behind the headlines if the headlines suit him. People in various positions tend to look at things in ways related to the position they hold. It has always been this way.–We could have no taxes and no public employees. Would things be better? We would have the war of everyone against everyone. Sounds nice.

S Lee

August 14th, 2010
9:08 am

Some very simple math is in order here. With the government employee count expanding and government salaries and benefits outpacing the private sector, where is the revenue to offset these costs? Tax revenue is DOWN. Provate businesses are down. Private personal income is down. Entitlements are UP (99 weeks for unemployment???).

Obama has repeatedly claim that Bush drove the car into the ditch, and left it there. Indeed, Bush created more problems than he solved. BUT… This Administration is driving the bus over the cliff, full speed, with you and me on board.

jconservative

August 14th, 2010
9:10 am

The Republicans controlled the White House 20 of the last 30 years.

The Democrats controlled the House 18 of the past 30 years.

The Republicans controlled the Senate 16 of the past 30 years.

Bi-partisanship is alive and well in the USA.

If you are unhappy with your Federal government for the past 30 years, as Wingfield appears to be, you now know who to blame, the Republicans and the Democrats.

Yet Wingfield writes like the Republicans are the Saviors if they could only gain control in Washington. Whereas Goodman and Tucker write like the Democrats could be the Saviors if the Republicans would only get out of the way.

Here is another way to look at the numbers of who controls Washington.
The Incumbents controlled the House and the Senate 30 of the past 30 years. Incumbents controlled the White House 12 of the past 30 years.

You, the American voter, have exactly the government you have voted into office.

I do not understand why everyone is complaining. This is what happens when you elect Incumbents. Surely everyone knows that!

mike-usn-ret

August 14th, 2010
9:19 am

I love reading the rant of progressives in here. Their answer to this probmem? The government is wonderful. Capitalist pigs are terrible. These people don’t think the explosion of government jobs with its guarentee of almost no layoffs or pay losses is wonderful. We have 10s of millions of government workers in all levels of government, federal, state and local. These people are in fact parisites. For every government worker, you need at least 10 public sector workers to pay for them and the current numbers don’t work. The democrats in the last 18 months have in all likleyhood increased the number of government employees by and least 10s of thousands with the creation of this new healthcare entitlement and the other expansion of government legislation they’ve rammed down or throats. We are fast reaching the point where all who are not governement workers will in fact be serfs who’s only function is to provide the money necessary to keep the lumbering giant of governement alive. The progressives in here whine about the “rich”. The sucessful people who actully create things and in the process create wealth and jobs. Sorry but these aren’t the problem today. Giant beauracratic government is todays problem and it most likley will only be solved at the point of a gun. History shows this is most likley inevitabe. Governement only knows how to do one thing well and that’s grow and sieze power. Why would anyone think ours is any different

Ayn Rand's second cousin, twice removed

August 14th, 2010
9:20 am

Another really sad aspect of what government taketh while failing to giveth can be seen at the local level — county government. Based on my own personal observations, we could easily cut 50% of the county employees and not experience any impact with regards to services (of value) rendered. Why? Because at least half of local government is associated with property appraisals, tax collections, human resources, etc. The few things that we truly need government to provide end up getting the least amount possible to just barely appease the tax paying populace. The police force is bare bones unless it resorts to the unscrupulous tactic of speed trap revenue. The fire service in many smaller counties is all but non-existent. They just show up at fires to primarily contain some of the blaze, not to actually salvage some portion of the engulfed property. Road service at the local level is the biggest of all jokes. Subdivisions in many cases are responsible for their own roads and if you don’t live in a subdivision, you’re pretty much on your own unless you befriend someone in local government and scratch their back in return for pothole repair. And I don’t even want to have to think about the mentality of the local elected ones. Needless to say, they do not reflect well on the local educational system but that is a story all in itself. The bottom line — if we did get rid of some local governments, the only thing many of us would “miss” would likely be the annual property tax payment.

So, how do improve upon what we currently have? Here in Georgia,a good start would be to eliminate at least half of the counties and then centralize and automate the system for property taxation and work from there. For example, turn all local road responsibilities over to the state and let them contract out the work to local companies. Same for building inspectors… Of course, nothing like this will ever happen simply because the people in the local governments are more concerned about maintaining dominion over their turn and protecting their own. This isn’t about the needs of the many. It’s about the wants of the few.

DannyX

August 14th, 2010
9:41 am

You want government jobs???? Here’s your government job! Join the military.

1,400,000 on active duty;

833,000 reserves, many of them full time.

1,600,000 Americans work in companies that supply the military.

Defense Sec Gates is trying to find ways to reduce the defense budget by $100 billion over the next 5 years. Republican lawmakers are furious. Not because the budget cuts will make us less safe. They are furious that there would be job losses and economic downsizing in the districts they represent.

jconservative is right on the money. To imply that one party is more responsible than the other for the mess we are in is absurd.

BMD

August 14th, 2010
9:56 am

DannyX & JConservative want everyone to vote third party so they can slip in the backdoor while the lights are dem’d.

JADEN

August 14th, 2010
9:57 am

what up Josef Nix— got barred from Bookman? I was ….

JADEN

August 14th, 2010
9:58 am

How’s the ’sig’ other………
Josef you are interesting.

Conservatism needs some intellect

August 14th, 2010
9:59 am

This writer could have spared all the ink and paper which was wasted on this silly piece of anti-government propaganda. Private companies and firms include minimum wage and low income workers such as the millions working in fast food chains, landscaping and gardening, which have no counterparts in the government. The two should not be compared with respect to income differential from the very outset given they are about, in most cases, entirely different jobs and one sector is so much larger and more diverse in occupations than the other. Government workers are in general better educated than the norm with virtually all being at least high school graduates and with a higher percentage of college degree holders than on average in the private sector. The author leaves this out because of either his conservative bias or intellectual laziness or incompetence.

And noticeably absent from the picture, again because it didn’t fit his political views, is any mention of the overpaid, overcompensated, and overly protected CEOs. Does he recall the Bank of America president laying off workers while he remodeled his office to the tune of $1.2 million including $87,000 for a rug? And did this guy do a good job? No, the stock value of the Bank of America fell 80% during his tenure and then the government had to step in and bail out the private sector. He then walked away with a cool $130 million in money and benefits. And what happened to those workers he laid off? They found themselves on unemployment. And this is a common story in America whose businesses pay their executives far more than any country in the world, hundreds of times as much money as their average workers. CEOs are insulated from the sometimes terrible consequences of their decisions never finding themselves on the street or collecting unemployment and their workers pay for those bad decisions with the loss of their livelihoods. Not to mention that as companies do better the management rather than the workers reaps most of those benefits and the higher up the ladder the more the wealth is distributed upward.

Does the author look at the health care system which is a for profit business in the private sector and a large one? Of course not, because that would also count against his thesis. The United States is the only country in the world with a for profit private insurance companies financing most of the health care. However, what were they legally allowed to do prior to the “socialist” health care reform? Deny anyone who was poor or had a low income which meant that they had to go without health insurance or if they were really poor go on Medicaid. They selected the healthy patients and excluded the others, decided what to approve of and pay for based on profit, not the needs of the patients, capped their coverage at levels they chose, and practiced “recission” or the dropping of people when it looked as if they would cost too much to provide care for, often by finding a remote, unrelated preexisting condition. And when the real health care bills mount in old age turn that unprofitable group over to Medicare. Doesn’t this look like a system intended to benefit the private sector at the expense of the health of most citizens? The government provides good health insurance packages for its employees. That is a good thing not a bad thing and policy reforms should continue so that all citizens in the private sector are adequately covered as they are in all other prosperous societies.

I would suggest that this author look a little deeper into the CDC as he will find world class scientists with multiple advanced degrees who could make far more $100,000 working hard for the benefit of the public health. Instead of taking their MD, MPH, and other degrees into the private sector and pulling down over a quarter a million a year they work in medical research for far less money because they care about the public good. But he was too interested in trying to find an overpaid janitor than to look at the function and overall staffing of the CDC and what they accomplish with the budget they have.

The author might also have taken a look at the salaries of those teaching in public colleges and universities at each level from adjunct to full professor and he would see that outside engineering, law, and medicine they are adequate at best, abysmal at worse, relative to the educational requirements of the profession and that they receive, on the whole, much less than their counterparts in private universities and colleges.

Another area, quite substantial, which he left un-examined, was the huge defense contracts given to private business and the huge salaries that go with them especially for those designing weaponry. The military industrial complex as Eisenhower famously warned us against cobbles up over 30% of our tax dollars to support a massive defense industry and over 700 military bases in over 130 countries which is not necessary for our national security. And while I am on the subject of military spending the privatization of what was formerly done by the military has yielded astronomical salaries for private contractors sometimes doing similar jobs to those in the military for four times the salary. Medical technicians without a BS degree could pull down over $120,000 for eleven months in a protected sector of Iraq without being taxed when their counterparts in the Army being exposed to real danger in the field would make less than $40,000. Both are paid for out of tax dollars with one working in the “private sector” and the other for the government since the military, as people sometimes forget, is a part of the “public sector.”

The problem of social injustice in the United States and that is what it is when people find themselves working harder every year, making less money, and subject to layoff at the drop of a hat while the rich get richer in the private sector and the share of wealth collectively produced goes more and more into their hands is not the fault of government workers. It is the result of many factors such as global competition, bad public policy instituted by politicians who serve business interests, poor labor law which affords little protection of workers in comparison with their counterparts in other Western countries, and a tax policy which has enriched the top 1% even more for the last eight years. And what is very sad is the fact that the victims of these global forces and unjust policies are the ones who buy into the right wing propaganda of this writer, Limbaugh, Fox television’s screaming heads, and the GOP in general.

One of the reasons I discontinued my subscription to the AJC some years ago, apart from the general decline of coverage and quality of the newspaper, is the concession made to its conservative readers by employing third rate intellects such as this person and the use of “independent” writers such as the loathsome Mary Graybar. This newspaper is providing a forum by Ann Coulter wannabees in the later case and the print equivalent of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck in the case of this “journalist.” No service is done to the public by continuing the dumbing down and debasement of political discourse we find in the circus barkers of talk radio and Fox television and the demagogues of the GOP such Broun who is a disgrace to Congress.

However, this piece did serve one minor purpose in that I will use it in my logic class this semester and allow my students to apply the reasoning skills they acquire in that course to yet another “editorial” which was not fit to publish.

shorty

August 14th, 2010
10:03 am

After the election of 2000, I was absolutely certain that the Republicans would reduce government spending which would in turn make it possible to reduce taxes. Instead they reduced taxes and increased spending, raising the debt.

In the 2008 election, I voted for the Libertarian candidates for president and senate. It was sad to see how many voters continued to vote for Rebublicans and Democrats who will spend us ever deeper into debt.

Disgusted

August 14th, 2010
10:05 am

I take Kyle’s figures about government vs. private sector pay with a large block of salt. The`federal government doesn’t have McDonald’s or Burger King workers. It hires largely specialists who command higher salaries.

And forget this bunk about the “growth” of government jobs. The American taxpayer has just been through the biggest scam in American history, one in which private employees hired by big Republican campaign contributors were placed in government jobs at 25% higher cost to the taxpayer. They formed up to 45% of the work force at agencies like CDC. All that’s happening now is a replacement of these “contractors” with lower-paid civil service workers. That’s the “growth.” You see, these contractors didn’t count as workers, so naturally people like Clinton and Bush could talk about how they have “reduced” the growth of the federal work force.

You want a pay scam? You’ve just been through a huge one. Check out the truth of what I’ve asserted and then come back with your rants about the growth of the federal work force and how much more government workers earn.

Del

August 14th, 2010
10:13 am

Obama should write a book entitled The Audacity of Arrogance. Here he is acting as the country’s leader in his role as President, while completely ignoring the will of most Americans. The latest in a string of insults to the American people is his public fawning over Islam. He’s correct when he says that Muslims should have the same right to worship as any other religion. He’s also correct when he says that it should include building a Mosque in lower Manhattan. He’s wrong when he fails to pay attention to the victim families of 09-11 as well as a strong majority of the American people who take issue with building a huge Islamic center near ground zero. If he truly was a President representing this country he would publicly say that while he recognizes this Muslim groups right to both build the center and worship freely, he would recommend that they heed the feelings of those who lost loved ones and fellow citizens through a horrific act carried out in the name of Islam on 09-11 and build their center further away from ground zero. Additionally, he insults Americans by allowing taxpayer dollars to be used in sending Feisal Abdul Rauf the Imam at the center of this controversy on a trip to Middle Eastern countries “representing the United States”. Imam Rauf is not a moderate Muslim. He’s said that America was also partially responsible for 09-11 and he refuses to condemn terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hazbolla . What in the world goes on in this presidents head.

Garor Joe

August 14th, 2010
10:24 am

Kyle,
If you think things are bad now, wait until the Republicans take over once again. They will continue the work they began under Reagan, and the Bushes of destroying the middle class, enriching a small, narrow wealthy class. All of their work aided by a self-destructive, Fox brain-washed bigoted underclass.

Grand Forks

August 14th, 2010
10:24 am

Like I said, Obama is a muslim.

Obama defends Ground Zero mosque

President Barack Obama on Friday endorsed a controversial plan to build a mosque and Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan, despite the strong objections of conservatives, the ADL and those who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41060.html#ixzz0wag2kWoo