Public sector: An anchor as we sink

February 16, 2010 05:38


America is awash in deficit spending. President Obama and his allies in Congress are flooding the economy with funny money, but the average American isn’t seeing a dime.

In fact, the average American can barely hold on to his job. In the midst of an outpouring of federal dollars intended to spark job creation, unemployment remains stubbornly stuck at almost 10 percent, with underemployment much higher.

So where is this river of federal money going? The Obama administration’s $787 billion “stimulus” dollars seem, in good measure, to have disappeared into a black hole.

But in the midst of our jobless misery, one group of workers is truly getting “stimulated.”

That’s government employees. The federal government has added almost 9,000 jobs a month, and the federal payroll has spiked a whopping 10.5 percent, since the current recession began in December 2007, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And guess what? Federal employees are also earning higher wages and benefits than private sector workers do. The average federal worker now earns $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector, according to an analysis by USA Today. “Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months,” the paper reports — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.


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