Government salaries soar in bad times

Examiner Editorial
Washington Examiner
December 14, 2009

Something President Obama said during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo about making foreign policy is equally applicable at home, namely, that the world must be dealt with as it is, not as we might wish it to be. This was highlighted by a USA Today investigative report published last week that found “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.” In other words, bad times for the rest of us are good times for the federal establishment.

This recession has been such a boom time for the tax-supported bureaucracy that “federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.” USA Today was especially struck by the fact that there was only one career federal worker making an annual salary of $170,000 or more at the U.S. Department of Transportation when the current recession began. Today, 18 months later, there are more than 1,600 career employees making that much at Transportation. We can only hope that none of those additional 1,600-plus high-paid workers was responsible for the $2 billion Cash for Clunkers debacle run by the Transportation Department.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey points out something else that has occurred as the ranks of six-digit career government workers in Washington surged: “It’s not as if they’ve been asked to do more with less, either. In the first six months of the year, the federal government was adding 10,000 jobs per month, and over the recession had grown the ranks of bureaucrats by 9.8 percent. The private sector, during that same period, shed 7.3 million jobs.”

The article continues at the Washington Examiner.

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