Ed Feulner

There has been a much weaker effort at the federal level. Lawmakers did agree to suspend cost-of-living pay increases (but not raises for merit or promotions) for civilian workers in 2011 and this year. A proposal to extend this freeze through 2013, sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.), recently passed the House of Representatives.

“While private-sector workers face the squeeze and millions of families continue searching for work, the idea of asking that their hard-earned dollars go to fund a pay raise for government employees is just not right,” Duffy said.

He’s right. Yet the White House opposes even this small effort to restore a tiny bit of balance to a pay system that’s obviously out of whack. Why?

That’s not to say that all federal employees make more than their private-sector counterparts. In fact, some of the most skilled federal workers may actually be underpaid. Overall, though, there’s no denying the obvious: Compensation for government workers is too high -- and it’s completely unmoored from any kind of market-based reality.

It’s high time Congress ignored the tin-eared cries of those who would defend this indefensible status quo -- and brought federal compensation into line with market rates. That’s what the average American has to face. Why not federal workers?

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
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