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Could this help our nation's deficit?

there's a persuasive counter-argument going around in conservative circles these days: You can start cutting government spending without cutting anyone's services or subsidies or monthly checks. Just bring the pay of federal workers into line with pay in the private sector.

A recent Heritage Foundation study found the average federal worker (excluding the uniformed military) makes $78,901 a year in wages and salary versus $50,111 for the average private sector worker. When you count generous health and pension benefits, the average total compensation of federal workers comes to $111,015 a year versus $60,078 in the private sector.

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grlygrlz2

Asked by grlygrlz2 at 6:47 PM on Aug. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
Answers (33)
  • In recent years, that disparity has been fueled by an explosion of federal generosity on the high end of the pay scale. For example, USA Today recently reported that in December 2007, a total of 1,868 civilian workers in the Defense Department earned $150,000 or more; by June 2009, the number was 10,100. In late '07, the paper says, just one employee at the Transportation Department earned more than $170,000. Less than two years later, 1,690 workers earned that much.

    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 6:49 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • its a start..but why do they always want to start at the bottom, rather than the top (congress, anyone?) ?
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 6:49 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • Sounds like it would cut our deficit by a lot. It will never pass of course. There would be hell to pay when it comes to the unions.

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 6:50 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • In the Senate, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn has introduced amendments to the war supplemental spending bill that would freeze federal pay for a year. In the House, Republicans found a pay-freeze proposal was extremely popular with participants in the YouCut program, which asks the public for input on how to cut spending. When GOP leaders asked for a recorded vote on the measure, majority Democrats promptly shot it down.

    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 6:52 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • I do not know if that is true or not. I had always heard that the private sector folks tend to make higher salaries, BUT there are far fewer of them as opposed to a much larger government work force. Therefore, while the private sector employee might earn more up front, they have to work harder and more years to earn that dollar amount. Now in terms of RETIREMENT-there's where the difference is apparent

    Sisteract

    Answer by Sisteract at 6:53 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • Quinn~like it would cut our deficit by a lot. It will never pass of course. There would be hell to pay when it comes to the unions


    From the Op ed~"Heritage scholar James Sherk estimates that ending the disparity could save the taxpayers $47 billion a year. (A study by the American Enterprise Institute put the figure at $40 billion.) That won't get close to balancing the budget, but add up 10 years of that and the government will save significant money.:

    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 6:53 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • I don't agree with the numbers - federal workers pay is on average lower than the private sector, one of the perks of working for the government was pension and job security. Now, those incentives are being trimmed back or cut. Why mess with worker's pay, why not concentrate on the hidden dollars that go to special interests and such?
    tasches

    Answer by tasches at 6:54 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • $47 isn't chump change. I will take whatever we can get.

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 6:55 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • Then too....how about cutting the spending (billions of dollars..)that funds the two unecessary wars we are fighting and bring home all our Military men and women, I like that idea really well.
    gertie41

    Answer by gertie41 at 6:56 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • How about cutting the spending (billions of dollars..)that funds the two unecessary wars we are fighting and bring home all our Military men and women, I like that idea really well.


    Umm, I am looking at realistic approaches here, gertie.... If it was as simple and just 'stop funding the wars and bringing home the troops', don't you think Obama would have done that? If he could do that safely while ensuring the safety of troops there during transition~ it would make Obama hero... But the reality, that isn't a possibility..  So, let's look at why areas like the Dept of transportation went from one employee making $170,000 to over 1690 employees...

    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 7:03 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

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