During one holiday dinner, as the family was gathered around the dinner table, she said in a fit of enthusiasm, "I don't know why everyone doesn't work for the government!"
It was quiet around that table for a moment, then my co-worker replied, "We do, for about the first five months of every year."
I saw one of the headlines on the front page of USAToday this morning this story:
Federal pay ahead of private industryBut wait! That's not all!
Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.
Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.
These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.(My emphasis. And Congress wants to tax "Cadillac" health plans?)
This bit of news certainly explains this chart from last year:
Government: Pitchforks, torches, tar, feathers, rail. Some assembly required.