Number of Federal Workers Earning Over $150,000 Doubles Under Obama
The number of federal employees raking in over $150,000 a year has multiplied tenfold in the past half decade and doubled since Barack Obama became president, according to a USA Today analysis.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who will oversee a panel addressing federal pay levels, suggests that federal workers consider an immediate pay freeze along with a 10 percent salary reduction.
"It's stunning when you see what's happened to federal compensation," Chaffetz says. "Every metric shows we're heading in the wrong direction."
Fiscally conservative lawmakers are already concerned with the president's plan to offer a universal 1.4 percent pay raise to over 2.1 million federal workers. Despite the opposition, National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley calls the increase a "modest amount" that " should be implemented" considering the discrepancy between federal salaries and the private sector.
Those who defend the pay levels point to the significant number of doctors -- working in veteran's hospitals, prisons and elsewhere -- earning these high wages. Many of the higher-salaried workers are also veteran staff, working for the federal government upwards of 15 to 20 years.
Various reports show just how complex and seemingly mangled the federal pay system is. James Sherk, a researcher with conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation, believes the federal compensation system needs to be fixed.
"On average, the government is paying a typical employee 30 to 40 percent more in total benefits -- both wages and salaries -- than a similarly educated and skilled private-sector [worker] would receive," Sherk told NPR. "But ... there are, in fact, some federal employees who are getting underpaid because the federal pay system doesn't reward experience or hard work -- it's basically entirely seniority based."
Read more at USA Today.
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