AMERICANS CATCH ON – AT 9:58 A.M. ET: Despite the indifference of the chic media, Americans are catching on to the fact that public employees, whose salaries they pay, are doing better than their equivalents in the private sector. From Andrew Malcolm at IBD:
You may have noticed some economic difficulties across the country in recent years among family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. One sector is doing quite nicely, however, under Barack Hussein Obama.
In the 1,420 days since he took the oath of office, the federal government has daily hired on average 101 new employees. Every day. Seven days a week. All 202 weeks. That makes 143,000 more federal workers than when Obama talked forever on that cold day in January of 2009.
Under Obama the total federal workforce has surpassed two million for the first time since the first Clinton term, now sitting about the 2.2 ,million level.
Now comes a new poll revealing that Americans know what's going on. A majority of Americans believes government workers make more money than private sector workers, according to the new Rasmussen Reports poll. Sixty-one percent of private sector workers believe that.
Surprisingly, Republicans, independents and Democrats are united in agreement that government employees have it better than private sector workers although, predictably, Dems are slightly less sure.
"The federal workforce has become an elite island of secure and high-paid workers, separated from the ocean of average American workers competing in the global economy," according to a report this year by the Cato Institute.
That report found the average civilian federal government worker collected just under $84,000 a year in taxpayer money, about $32,000 more than the average private sector worker. That's a total federal worker package of about $236 billion a year.
In his public outbursts during the alleged fiscal cliff negotiations, Obama has suggested that talks over federal spending cuts come later after his immediate favored tax increases.
Obama has frozen the inflated federal salaries into next spring, while the Republican platform in this fall's campaign called for a 10% reduction in the federal labor force through attrition. The re-elected Obama seems unlikely to go along with that idea.
COMMENT: Now, we're not against public employees here. We need a certain number, and many do a fine job. President Kennedy made it a point to salute public employees who did outstanding work.
But the federal government is bloated. Even worse, some state governments are extremely bloated, with excess numbers and inflated salaries. Public-employee unions have developed great power. Their numbers in some states are large enough to swing state elections. And they often help elect the very people with whom they negotiate at contract time.
Scott Walker has taken action in Wisconsin to stabilize the public sector, with dramatic benefits for the state. He almost got thrown out of office for his efforts.
The public is now aware of what has happened. Whether the public is concerned enough to demand action is another story entirely.
December 10, 2012