People who live in Denver or Kansas City or Minneapolis, or some other city where people actually do something other than take federally approved improvement classes to raise their federal pay grade, might have some inkling of how entitled our Washington, DC federal workers behave, but I’m telling you—you still have no idea.
I live just outside of DC, and for all the dysfunction we see exhibited by the famous people in the District on the news, the corruption and abuse of the taxpayer at the hands of the immense federal bureaucracy in the shadows is at least as bad. It’s probably even worse. The most incumbent party machine congressman is more accountable than the federal workforce, which has absolutely no check on it and grows and grows with each year.
Word is, 2012 is the worst holiday shopping season since 2008, yet for Washington, DC there is no recession. The malls here are filled to the brim with shoppers. With 3 of the 5 wealthiest counties in the US surrounding the capital, that’s not surprising.
The money that flows into the DC suburbs is guaranteed by the government. It always comes. No one gets fired. Everyone gets a nice fat pension at retirement. —All funded by you folks in Amarillo, Memphis, and Walla Walla, who likely don’t have any of these luxuries.
If you have any friends in the Washington DC area ask them if they’ve ever heard of incompetent workers (at an agency) not being fired but instead told to sit at a desk somewhere and read a book or surf the internet until retirement. Everyone in Washington has a version of this story. The reason? It happens all the time.
Again, the federal worker’s relaxing afternoon is paid for by you, the American taxpayer.
And, it’s not like these folks are paid a pittance for their supremely stable employment. There is a good chance, in fact, that these workers are paid more than you. On average federal employee total compensation runs over $120,000.
It used to be that one traded the steady employment of government work for a lower paycheck than was typical in the private sector. This is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for a long time.
And yet, with the off chance that something might, possibly, but probably won’t affect the federal workforce with the fiscal cliff looming, the beltway bandits are up in arms. Witness this oped in the local section of the Washington Post.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), in a telephone news conference last week organized by the 31-member Federal-Postal Coalition and in an interview Monday, spoke against legislation approved months ago that would effectively cut the pay of federal workers by making them pay more for their retirement benefits.
In May, the House, which is to say House Republicans, voted for a bill that would save the government $83 billion by requiring employees to pay an additional 5 percent of salary toward their annuities. No Democrats voted for that bill and 16 Republicans also opposed it.
“It amounts to a 5 percent pay cut,” Van Hollen said.
How many of you have seen a 5% cut in pay over the past 4 years? How many of you wish that it had only been 5%? But like I said there is no recession here, and why should federal workers feel any pain at all during an economic depression? That sort of thing is strictly for those out in the hinterlands.
This is one of the reasons why when people talk to me about the need for more taxes to fund the government I say that they are completely and totally wrong. We have plenty of fat to cut. Why take more money out of the productive sector to fund the non-productive sector?