Possibly the largest benefit to federal employees is completely absent from the study: the airtight security of a federal job. Every year, only 1 in 5,000 federal non-defense employees is let go for poor performance. (And yet somehow, I manage to run into most of the poor performers!) Apparently, the lazy and incompetent only work for private companies.
Reaction was swift from the protected class. Colleen M. Kelley, President of the National Treasury Employees Union and a member of the Federal Salary Council, addressed the issue in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. Unfortunately, after reading her commentary three times, I have yet to discern a meaningful and coherent argument.
Our elected representatives in Washington – except, of course, President Obama and his Democratic buddies – have started to confront this issue. The House has introduced 14 bills (and 11 by the Senate) addressing issues related to federal employment. This includes aspects of their compensation packages along with the huge increase in the number of government employees hired under the Obama Administration. Naturally, there’s little hope that Senator Harry Reid will allow a floor vote on any of these bills as part of his year-long commitment to accomplish nothing in Congress.
Still, our employees are feeling put upon. At a recent labor conference, the same Ms. Kelley said: “Every time we turn around, this Congress is proposing to reach into your pockets to pay for yet another fiscal problem.” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has chosen to align himself with the federal employees instead of the hard-working taxpayers of his state. Speaking after the same conference, Brown asserted that federal employees didn’t cause the government’s financial problems, and therefore shouldn’t have to pay to fix them. Mr. Brown will certainly be receiving a ton of money from these unions. Hopefully, Josh Mandel, who clearly understands that overpaying 95% of the federal workforce adds significantly to our financial mess, will defeat him in the fall.
It will take a new President to solve the problem of an entitled federal worker class. There are far too many of them, they callously don’t pay their taxes in significant numbers, and they’re now proven to be grossly overpaid. And yet, they feel aggrieved. What is wrong with this picture?