Are US federal government workers overpaid? (Yes, says the CBO)

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    Jan 31, 2012 3:58 AM GMT
    This to me seemed obvious but there are apparently those here who persistently believe they couldn't ever be paid enough. This however at least gives some significant clues as to how to start reducing the deficit (along with reduced military spending and entitlements) - but why stop at 16%? Civil service is supposed to be more honorable than its alternatives according to many in the civil service, so perhaps not only should numbers be reduced, but that everyone should sacrifice instead of calling for greater taxes.

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12696

    Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees varied according to workers' education level.
    • Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.
    • Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor's degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.
    • Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.

    Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.

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    Jan 31, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    Please explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:29 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidPlease explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.


    I sincerely hope that the US remains a leader in the world. I don't comment exclusively on US government matters - if you'd take your head out of your ass long enough you'd realize that there's a danger that the US goes the same direction as Europe. Of course, some of you hope that this is the case meanwhile their crumbling social infrastructure as many of their member states teeter towards bankruptcy.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:30 AM GMT
    You might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:34 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Art_Deco saidPlease explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.


    I sincerely hope that the US remains a leader in the world. I don't comment exclusively on US government matters - if you'd take your head out of your ass long enough you'd realize that there's a danger that the US goes the same direction as Europe. Of course, some of you hope that this is the case meanwhile their crumbling social infrastructure as many of their member states teeter towards bankruptcy.


    There is no danger of the US following Europe's direction.

    Chicken_Little-570x405.jpg
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:38 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Art_Deco saidPlease explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.


    I sincerely hope that the US remains a leader in the world. I don't comment exclusively on US government matters - if you'd take your head out of your ass long enough you'd realize that there's a danger that the US goes the same direction as Europe. Of course, some of you hope that this is the case meanwhile their crumbling social infrastructure as many of their member states teeter towards bankruptcy.


    There is no danger of the US following Europe's direction.

    Chicken_Little-570x405.jpg


    Lol - says the guy who has little to no understanding of how credit agencies are lagging indicators.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:46 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Art_Deco saidPlease explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.


    I sincerely hope that the US remains a leader in the world. I don't comment exclusively on US government matters - if you'd take your head out of your ass long enough you'd realize that there's a danger that the US goes the same direction as Europe. Of course, some of you hope that this is the case meanwhile their crumbling social infrastructure as many of their member states teeter towards bankruptcy.


    There is no danger of the US following Europe's direction.

    Lol - says the guy who has little to no understanding of how credit agencies are lagging indicators.


    Nope. I'm the guy who knows that credit agency ratings aren't worth the bandwidth it takes to send them.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:49 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Art_Deco saidPlease explain how this could be of the least interest to a Canadian? What compels you to exclusively comment on US government matters? Is there nothing in the Canadian government to grab your attention? Your motives are difficult to understand.


    I sincerely hope that the US remains a leader in the world. I don't comment exclusively on US government matters - if you'd take your head out of your ass long enough you'd realize that there's a danger that the US goes the same direction as Europe. Of course, some of you hope that this is the case meanwhile their crumbling social infrastructure as many of their member states teeter towards bankruptcy.


    There is no danger of the US following Europe's direction.

    Lol - says the guy who has little to no understanding of how credit agencies are lagging indicators.


    Nope. I'm the guy who knows that credit agency ratings aren't worth the bandwidth it takes to send them.


    That would be what lagging indicator means.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.


    "Overpaid" is a value judgment that you're putting on it.

    They are not overpaid. Private sector workers are underpaid, particularly those without college since their inflation adjusted pay hasn't risen in 30 years. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.


    "Overpaid" is a value judgment that you're putting on it.

    They are not overpaid. Private sector workers are underpaid, particularly those without college since their inflation adjusted pay hasn't risen in 30 years. icon_rolleyes.gif


    It's no wonder you haven't been able to hack it in the private sector with your sense of worth. Pay is based on relative productivity - your refusal to believe otherwise flies in the face of economics and reality.
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:22 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.


    "Overpaid" is a value judgment that you're putting on it.

    They are not overpaid. Private sector workers are underpaid, particularly those without college since their inflation adjusted pay hasn't risen in 30 years. icon_rolleyes.gif


    It's no wonder you haven't been able to hack it in the private sector with your sense of worth. Pay is based on relative productivity - your refusal to believe otherwise flies in the face of economics and reality.


    LOL. How have I not been able to hack it in the private sector? I work in the private sector! I just don't work in the for-profit sector by choice. Primarily because I'm not motivated by money. Not every is, despite your particularly personality disorder.

    And if you truly believe that John Paulson's relative productivity warranted him earning $4 billion in 2009, you're so far gone into fairy tale Ayn Rand land, you better pack your bags for Galt's Gulch.

    But if I were you, I'd set it up in Canada because at least then you'll have free healthcare. icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 31, 2012 5:40 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.


    "Overpaid" is a value judgment that you're putting on it.

    They are not overpaid. Private sector workers are underpaid, particularly those without college since their inflation adjusted pay hasn't risen in 30 years. icon_rolleyes.gif


    It's no wonder you haven't been able to hack it in the private sector with your sense of worth. Pay is based on relative productivity - your refusal to believe otherwise flies in the face of economics and reality.


    LOL. How have I not been able to hack it in the private sector? I work in the private sector! I just don't work in the for-profit sector by choice. Primarily because I'm not motivated by money. Not every is, despite your particularly personality disorder.

    And if you truly believe that John Paulson's relative productivity warranted him earning $4 billion in 2009, you're so far gone into fairy tale Ayn Rand land, you better pack your bags for Galt's Gulch.

    But if I were you, I'd set it up in Canada because at least then you'll have free healthcare. icon_lol.gif


    Sure Christian - you keep telling yourself that - that the private sector only serves those who are motivated by money. It's this basic lack of economic comprehension that makes a lot of your posts a bit laughable.

    As for John Paulson's specific productivity? Sure - because it was a function of his assets and the risk he took - he could have easily have lost it all as well. You are familiar with this little idea of risk and return?
  • KissTheSky

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    Jan 31, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidThis to me seemed obvious but there are apparently those here who persistently believe they couldn't ever be paid enough. This however at least gives some significant clues as to how to start reducing the deficit (along with reduced military spending and entitlements) - but why stop at 16%? Civil service is supposed to be more honorable than its alternatives according to many in the civil service, so perhaps not only should numbers be reduced, but that everyone should sacrifice instead of calling for greater taxes.

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12696

    Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees varied according to workers' education level.
    • Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.
    • Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor's degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.
    • Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.

    Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.



    From the information you reference is this little nugget:
    "Overall, the federal government paid 2 percent more in total wages than it would have if average wages had been comparable with those in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers."

    The 16% difference in total compensation you mention includes benefits. The main reason that disparity is so much higher is that so many people in the private sector get essentially no benefits at all. No medical insurance, no sick pay, no nothing. (But at least the 1% is getting filthy rich off their employees' efforts, and that's the important thing, right?)
    The Federal Government providing health benefits and sick pay to its employers is the right thing to do -- we should be bringing the rest of the workforce up, not the Federal employees down.

    Here in our country, the majority of our citizens still wants a society that works for everyone -- not just the top 1%. I respectfully suggest that conservative idealogues from other countries who want to bring us down should mind their own damn business.


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    Jan 31, 2012 6:43 AM GMT
    I wanna be overpaid! icon_mad.gif
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    Jan 31, 2012 8:52 AM GMT
    Overpaid and apparently tax evaders -

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/01/over-279000-federal.html

    Over 279,000 Federal Workers Owe $3.4 Billion in Back Taxes

    Over 279,000 federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.4 billion in back income taxes in 2010 (up from $3.3 billion in 2009, $3.0 billion in 2008, and $2.7 billion in 2007).
    The cabinet departments with the largest percentages of employee/retiree tax deadbeats are:
    Housing & Urban Development: 3.89%
    Education: 3.88%
    Army: 3.83%
    Veterans Affairs: 3.78%
    Commerce: 3.54%
    Health & Human Services: 3.51%
    Defense: 3.19%
    Air Force: 3.11%
    Navy: 3.05%
    State: 2.94%

    Other departments and agencies:
    U.S. Office of Government Ethics: 6.49%
    Federal Reserve Board: 4.86%
    U.S. House of Representatives: 4.24%
    U.S. Senate: 3.08%
    SEC: 2.50%
    U.S. Tax Court: 2.25%
    Treasury Department: 0.96% (the lowest delinquency rate among cabinet departments)
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    Jan 31, 2012 2:15 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYou might want to change your title for this thread - as it's a lie.

    No where does the CBO say federal workers are overpaid.


    Yeah except where they point out that federal workers are paid significantly more than their private sector counterparts.


    "Overpaid" is a value judgment that you're putting on it.

    They are not overpaid. Private sector workers are underpaid, particularly those without college since their inflation adjusted pay hasn't risen in 30 years. icon_rolleyes.gif


    It's no wonder you haven't been able to hack it in the private sector with your sense of worth. Pay is based on relative productivity - your refusal to believe otherwise flies in the face of economics and reality.


    LOL. How have I not been able to hack it in the private sector? I work in the private sector! I just don't work in the for-profit sector by choice. Primarily because I'm not motivated by money. Not every is, despite your particularly personality disorder.

    And if you truly believe that John Paulson's relative productivity warranted him earning $4 billion in 2009, you're so far gone into fairy tale Ayn Rand land, you better pack your bags for Galt's Gulch.

    But if I were you, I'd set it up in Canada because at least then you'll have free healthcare. icon_lol.gif


    Sure Christian - you keep telling yourself that - that the private sector only serves those who are motivated by money. It's this basic lack of economic comprehension that makes a lot of your posts a bit laughable.

    As for John Paulson's specific productivity? Sure - because it was a function of his assets and the risk he took - he could have easily have lost it all as well. You are familiar with this little idea of risk and return?


    Another pathetic straw man argument from riddler. I didn't say the "private sector only serves those who are motivated by money". I said I didn't work in the for-profit sector because I'm not motivated by money.

    As for John Paulson, he worked with Goldman Sachs to design the investments he bet against (while simultaneously betting against the American economy), so there was never any risk.

    Back to your fantasy land.
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    Jan 31, 2012 2:15 PM GMT
    KissTheSky said
    Here in our country, the majority of our citizens still wants a society that works for everyone -- not just the top 1%. I respectfully suggest that conservative idealogues from other countries who want to bring us down should mind their own damn business.




    +1!
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    Jan 31, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Here's something riddler is NOT telling you about.
    Canada:

    Accenture was hired in Ontario to upgrade the welfare system.


    A published report in early 2000 (by the Auditor General) indicated that Accenture was charging an average of $257 per hour for work that had previously been done by ministry staff at $51 an hour.


    icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidThere is no danger of the US following Europe's direction.

    Only if people like riddler, me, and others are able to persuade more folks to reject your ideology as a total failure.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidAnother pathetic straw man argument from riddler. I didn't say the "private sector only serves those who are motivated by money". I said I didn't work in the for-profit sector because I'm not motivated by money.

    As for John Paulson, he worked with Goldman Sachs to design the investments he bet against (while simultaneously betting against the American economy), so there was never any risk.

    Back to your fantasy land.


    Er - because of the assets he amassed, he did negotiate contracts to bet against subprime mortgages - if that's designed - then that's practically any contract out there that required modification given that there was a counterparty to the risk. He could have easily lost it all had the economy continued to grow. It's sort of laughable that you attempt to wrap yourself now in the American flag by somehow suggesting it was wrong to bet against the American economy when it was built on a foundation of social engineering gone bad in the attempt to encourage home ownership for the poor (and for all).

    As for strawman? Seems it landed just right.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:37 PM GMT
    How nice, betting against the US economy, which means those betting against it have a vested interest in seeing it fail.

    *imagines what such people would do to make sure it fails so they can collect on their bet*
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:44 PM GMT
    meninlove said How nice, betting against the US economy, which means those betting against it have a vested interest in seeing it fail.

    *imagines what such people would do to make sure it fails so they can collect on their bet*


    Yeah so you're saying that the bubble was caused by people who ultimately wanted to push the US into its financial crisis? It has nothing to do with overvalued property? Seriously?

    It's posts like this that make it difficult to take you seriously on anything related to finance despite your claimed expertise as an assistant manager at some branch.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:47 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidAnother pathetic straw man argument from riddler. I didn't say the "private sector only serves those who are motivated by money". I said I didn't work in the for-profit sector because I'm not motivated by money.

    As for John Paulson, he worked with Goldman Sachs to design the investments he bet against (while simultaneously betting against the American economy), so there was never any risk.

    Back to your fantasy land.


    Er - because of the assets he amassed, he did negotiate contracts to bet against subprime mortgages - if that's designed - then that's practically any contract out there that required modification given that there was a counterparty to the risk. He could have easily lost it all had the economy continued to grow. It's sort of laughable that you attempt to wrap yourself now in the American flag by somehow suggesting it was wrong to bet against the American economy when it was built on a foundation of social engineering gone bad in the attempt to encourage home ownership for the poor (and for all).

    As for strawman? Seems it landed just right.


    It wasn't the contracts he helped design. It was the actual pools of securities which were designed to fail. He then bet against those securities.
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    Jan 31, 2012 4:49 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidAnother pathetic straw man argument from riddler. I didn't say the "private sector only serves those who are motivated by money". I said I didn't work in the for-profit sector because I'm not motivated by money.

    As for John Paulson, he worked with Goldman Sachs to design the investments he bet against (while simultaneously betting against the American economy), so there was never any risk.

    Back to your fantasy land.


    Er - because of the assets he amassed, he did negotiate contracts to bet against subprime mortgages - if that's designed - then that's practically any contract out there that required modification given that there was a counterparty to the risk. He could have easily lost it all had the economy continued to grow. It's sort of laughable that you attempt to wrap yourself now in the American flag by somehow suggesting it was wrong to bet against the American economy when it was built on a foundation of social engineering gone bad in the attempt to encourage home ownership for the poor (and for all).

    As for strawman? Seems it landed just right.


    It wasn't the contracts he helped design. It was the actual pools of securities which were designed to fail. He then bet against those securities.


    How do you think they got in there? There was also just as much a possibility that they could have been dragged out - that you refuse to recognize that there was any risk involved speaks to your lack of understanding of how these instruments worked.