Economic crisis? What crisis? Just ask a U.S. federal government employee.
According to Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute (tip of the hat: The Tax Lawyer's Blog), federales are living in the land of milk and honey.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its annual data on compensation levels by industry … . The data show that the pay advantage enjoyed by federal civilian workers over private-sector workers continues to expand.
The George W. Bush years were very lucrative for federal workers. In 2000, the average compensation (wages and benefits) of federal workers was 66 percent higher than the average compensation in the U.S. private sector. The new data show that average federal compensation is now more than double the average in the private sector.
The difference looks like this:
What is going on here? Members of Congress who have large numbers of federal workers in their districts relentlessly push for expanding federal worker compensation. Also, the Bush administration had little interest in fiscal restraint, and it usually got rolled by the federal unions. The result has been an increasingly overpaid elite of government workers, who are insulated from the economic reality of recessions and from the tough competitive climate of the private sector.
Now, I recall President for Life Obama banging on about spreading the wealth around. He wants the rich — any family earning more than $1 million a year — to pay a surtax to help finance his government annexation of the citizens' health.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (itself staffed by federales), "With more than 1.8 million civilian employees, the Federal Government, excluding the Postal Service is the Nation’s largest employer."
Pass the equality, please.
The average income differential between government workers and those in what remains of the private sphere is $60,073. Multiply that by 1.8 million and you're looking at $108,131,400,000. No more than a generous tip by Washington standards (in the news today is a prediction that the federal deficit will grow by another $9 trillion over the next decade), but it could pay for a few hip replacements and cornea transplants.
I know our federal workers, 99.44 percent Obama backers, would be happy to smoke a leaf or two from his book and donate their excess income to spread the wealth around.
But I don't recommend waiting to exhale until they do.