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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a study telling American’s if they want a raise they should go work for the federal government, because federal workers are compensated much better than those in the private sector.  The CBO did an apples to apples comparison of federal and private sector employee salaries and benefits from 2005-2010.  The compared workers who were similar in the following characteristics:

  • Level of education
  • Years of work experience a
  • Occupation
  • Employer’s size,
  • Geographic location (region of the country and urban or rural location)
  • Demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, immigration status, and citizenship).

… and what they found was staggering.


  • Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned about 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.
  • Workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree earned roughly the same hourly wages, on average, in both the federal government and the private sector.
  • Federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned about 23 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts. Overall  Federal civilian employees receive 2 percent more in cash wages than private-sector employees.

 But its the benefits that make the difference:

  • Average benefits for federal workers with no more than a high school diploma were 72 percent higher than for their private-sector counterparts.
  • Average benefits for federal workers whose education ended in a bachelor’s degree were 46 percent higher than for similar workers in the private sector.
  • Workers with a professional degree or doctorate received roughly the same level of average benefits in both sectors.
  • Overall Federal civilian employees enjoy a 48 percent advantage over their private-sector counterparts.

Put it all together and the total package of the average federal employee is 16% better than their private sector equivalent.

Making matters worse, according to the Huffington Post, President Obama has built in a pay raise for federal employees in his 2013 budget.

An Obama administration official says the White House is proposing a 0.5 percent raise for civilian federal employees in its 2013 budget.

If Congress approves the measure, it would mark the first pay increase for federal workers since the two-year freeze President Barack Obama ordered in 2010.  

The expanding federal bureaucracy combined with the difference in compensation is creating something that our Constitution was written to prevent, a ruling class.

This is not something that Obama created, but it is a trend that he as accelerated. It’s also not a problem which he will be willing to fix. A large federal bureaucracy controlling your lives is a goal of a progressive administration. And shouldn’t the “controllers” make more than the “controllees?” It certainly doesn’t hurt that our well paid “controllers” are part of federal unions who own a big piece of this President.

This CBO Study is just one more example of how the size of the federal government is getting out of hand, and why we must elect candidates who  have the guts to reverse that trend.

If you wish to read the entire CBO report click here

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