I just read ‘Are Most Federal Workers Overpaid? CBO Says Yes By firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Weissmann)’ and have to reiterate what I say in my title. I am so disappointed. I posted the following comment on the Yahoo site and sent a comment to the Editor.
First, the Atlantic should be ashamed for even offering this as journalism. This article does nothing but incite anger unnecessarily. It does not provide enough information or insight into the actual report to allow the readers to understand that politicians are not even included in the report. This is clearly obvious by the masses of comments about firing congress I see posted.
This report, which incidentally I think was a waste of tax payer money, tells us that on the low end of the scale employees with less education are paid more when working for the Government than those working in the Private Sector. Conversely, the more education you have the more money you make in the Private Sector vs working for the Government. That is all this graph shows.
The sad comment to all of this is that people are calling for the Government to fire people, which is exactly what we don’t need at this point in an economic recovery, unless it is the politicians that made this mess.
What we need is reform, yes reform, that requires the Private Sector to pay a living wage, including to those with less education. Additionally we need education reform so we can educate EVERYONE.
We are rapidly headed toward the entire US looking like George W. Bush & Rick Perry‘s Texas: a ton of under-educated people working extremely low paying jobs barely able to survive; having to turn to public assistance in order to put food on the table while their so called leader brags that he has the highest job creation rate in the nation. Then he goes about cutting those very programs and gives tax breaks to the richest who do not need it.
All in all, a poor piece of reporting. I urge you to go read the report for yourself, the link is in the piece – it is only 28 pages if you are truly interested in the data. You will glean far more information than from reading this.
First of all, that “more money” is not a lot of money being made on the low end of the scale as far as the less educated employees are concerned. The overall salaries for these jobs, looking at the graph, appears to be under $25k for people with no college education. Next to that is the sad wage of the Private Sector employee which is even less. Follow along on the graph and you will see that the average wage of persons in the U.S. that are lucky enough to have a 4 year Bachelors degree is under $40k per year and those with Masters Degrees are at $40k or barely above in both the Government and Private Sector jobs – they are virtually the same pay-wise. The next big disparity comes along when you get to the Professional Degree or Doctorate. A Government Employee who has Professional Degree or Doctorate makes under $50k according to the graph and the Private Sector employee is over $60k.
So, what it comes down to is the CBO is saying that the lowest paid persons in their organizations are being paid too much. Their pay rates are barely a living wage, yet, it is too much and they want to cut it. It is shameful for anyone in the U.S. to begrudge a person who was not lucky enough to get a college education the little bit of extra money they may be able to make in one job vs. another. This is disgusting. So, why would they say this? Who stands to gain? Who does the CBO report to? None other than the Speaker of the House. Yep, John Boehner. That jerk.
I don’t know about any one else, but I am sick of these pointless inflammatory pieces that are trying to skew opinion of the Government waste, especially because of the election. Considering the steaming pile of dung that Obama received when he took office I am pleasantly surprised with what he has accomplished, even with the obstruction the GOP has been guilty of. (I sure hope everyone is taking notes on how they have pretty much told the rest of us where we can go because they are going to do what the money people tell them to do regardless of the consequences to the people or the planet).
So, reading the report you will see that the Department of Defense employs approximately 35% (they said more than one third, I did the math) of the Government civilian workforce (program administrator, information technology worker, and program analyst); the only way to reduce that cost is to get out of the business of war. Not a popular plan as far as the GOP goes. Also, not something Obama is doing. He is raising military spending to the tune of $6 billion a year, every year. It seems a bit much to me, but that is a discussion for another day.
Remaining civilians employed by the Government are at the Department of Veterans Affairs, who employ 14% of the persons counted. Of those half were medical professionals and the majority were nurses, not doctors.
There is also the Department of Homeland Security employing 8% where about a quarter are everyone’s favorite…..TSA.
The remaining 43% of federal employees work for the other departments and agencies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. In these areas the most common occupations are in I.T., and criminal investigations.
My question is where is the editor that should have looked at this and said WTF? Have we really lowered our standards so much that anything submitted to a reputable magazine, regardless of being newsworthy or informative will be published? I hope not, we need real reporters who can offer an unbiased, factual, overview of the item or issue they are reporting on. Please join me in sending an email to the editor expressing your disappointment in this article, they have a form on their website that allows you to send a note to the editor and that link is http://www.theatlantic.com/contact/.
I also urge you to contact you elected representatives and comment on this report, it is a sad commentary on the use of tax payers dollars to try to skew public opinion in the favor of hidden political interests. Speaker Boehner should be ashamed that he is once again trying to take money away from those who make the least. What a despicable man.
Remember it is up to us to make a difference!
- Federal Worker Pay: How Much is Too Much? (theatlantic.com)