Free Markets, Free People

America’s New Salary Elite?

And it was once considered “service” – now, the federal government, using your tax dollars, is increasing top salaries to government workers:

The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.

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.

Bonuses? For what – trillion dollar deficits? Broken procurement systems? Aren’t those the arguments we heard used to deny Wall Street their bonuses? Well, in terms of waste, fraud and abuse Wall Street can’t touch the fed. But we’re paying bonuses and 6 figure salaries?

The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech. The primary cause: substantial pay raises and new salary rules.

The problem? The law of unintended consequences coupled with stupid pay rules and the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing all combined to see unseemly pay raises the rule in the midst of 7.3 million job losses – a true, “do as I say not as I do” moment. That’s right – it’s up the the rest of you to “sacrifice” – not the fed.


13 Responses to America’s New Salary Elite?

  • Four letter explain this.  NSPS.  This system was designed to be a performance based pay system to replace the GS- wage scale in order to reward better performance and be able to punish slackers.  The system was widely abused and has been disbanded.  Unfortunately though they cannot just take that pay away from the employees now that they are getting paid that. 

    • How about these four letters:  SEIU

      • Actually AFGE represents most of the government employee union type.  They are almost as bad as the SEIU though.  I was a memeber for a brief 7 month period, 7 months too long now that I look at it.  They were no help to me when I has some issues but they gladly took my dues every month!

  • Hey!  Those are all JOBS SAVED!

  • I’m wondering how many delayed purchases by penny-watching consumers it took to pay for that additional compensation to federal workers — and how many delayed purchases it will take in the future. That right there is one of the roots of a slow recovery. It stimulates nothing but the ire of taxpayers.

    With these people in charge, it’s just one outrage on top of another. And that’s after a half century or more of previously compounded outrages.

    This is what happens when bureaucracy is annoited as essential on the back of compulsory taxation. It always expands, always deems itself unexpendable, always privileges itself with greater compensation. And the Congress is its handmaiden, to boot.

    And it’s not just the federal government.

  • We are going to have so much damn debt and inflation after this bunch of jackels is done, Weimar Germany will be like a picnic.

  • You might want to be careful here. Your tone suggests that you think that government workers are uniformly in the Progressive camp.

    • Actually it has absolutely nothing to do with the ideology of government workers.

      • Alter that a bit, please:
        “ideology of government” /= ” ideology of individual government”
        Nevertheless, there is an incentive on the part of any government employee no matter how personally conservative to grow government up until the point they see the tar and feathers.  That will have an effect.

        • Just as conservatives have alibied the welfare state for a few generations, it’s amazing how many “conservatives” can make excuses for their government jobs (outside police and courts).

  • “Your tone suggests that you think that government workers are uniformly in the Progressive camp.”
    You are what you get paid for…
    Heat.  Kitchen.

  • Blame Bush. The increase in government salaries is the result of “near-record growth in the size of government” during his watch.