For all the exploitive class-warfare diatribe spewed and bandied about by Marxist union bosses and Democrat neo-Coms about the so-called “one percent,” you and your tax dollars are funding a class of people far more dangerous to the U.S. economy than Millburn Pennybags: Government workers.
Assuming most people know about the $16 trillion (and counting) in national debt, if you look a little deeper at the U.S. Debt Clock, you’d see (off to the right) that there are more than 4.3 million federal employees and additional 14.9 million state and local employees–or more than 19.3 million total government employees.
These government employees enjoy pay and benefits that, most likely, you and your children will never see–yet, you are paying for it.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on employee compensation.
The good news is that the average private sector employee earned $30.80 per hour worked in September 2012. [That’s total compensation–wages and benefits.] The bad news is that the average state and local government employee cost taxpayers an average of $41.56 per hour worked [again, in total compensation] in September 2012.
In other words, state and local government employees averaged $10.76 more per hour than their private sector counterparts.
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a federal government employee (including the Post Office) was $70,100 per year. For all private sector workers, that number was $43,980. That is, federal government employees are paid 59.4 percent more in salary than their private sector counterparts.
This differential does not include the higher costs of benefits to federal employees that one Congressional Budget Office study recently pegged as being 44.7 percent greater. That same CBO study which attempted to control for factors including educational attainment and regional variations concluded that the wage differential (excluding benefits) between federal employees and private sector workers was 14.7 percent.
Given that the federal government currently spends approximately $200 billion on its civilian employees, eliminating this wage gap would result in significant cost savings to the American taxpayer. Even without adjusting benefit costs (which itself could provide significant cost savings), simply eliminating the wage disparity could provide $300 billion in deficit reduction over the next ten years – all without eliminating a single federal program. [Emphasis added.]
While no one likes to talk about the paring back of wages or benefits, the fact of the matter is, government workers are paid more than the taxpayers who pay their salaries and when taxpayers are working between 30% and 50% of the year to fund the government, there is something perversely inappropriate and immoral with the government model.
In addition, while America is more than $16 trillion in debt, we also have nearly $122 trillion in unfunded liabilities, which no one seems to be focusing on.
Right now, every American taxpayer is liable for more than $1 million in unfunded liabilities.
Washington politicians can tax the 1% all they want. It won’t fix what’s wrong with America because something’s going to have to get drastically cut–fast.
One of the more practical solutions would be to bring public-sector workers in line with the private sector.
The problem is, of course, unions and the hissy fits they throw.
Union bosses have a strangle hold on America and there is no sign they will be letting taxpayers loose unless and until the country declares bankruptcy.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
Cross-posted at RedState.com
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