My father has asked this question at family gatherings, at talks over coffee and cake, at wedding receptions and at all manner of business meetings where the conversation wandered. People of the political "right" are stunned by its simplicity, and understand near immediately his point. People of the political "left" are simply stunned. They stare at my father as if he was missing his nose; a sense of incredulity and sheer hatred. Then they dismiss him, telling him he is ridiculous.
They never have an answer for the question; that if a society is either being paid by government or taking of government services, and no one is creating the wealth that is required to run those services, then that society is doomed (they can't pay the electric bill in the second week!)
What is truly ridiculous is the federal government engaging the conversation that their employees are more deserving than private sector employees. What is ridiculous is the leftist mind-set that government can satisfy the needs of man by giving man all of their needs, and the willful ignorance of those who believe in government supremacy; that through government all is possible, and that government jobs create value.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government employs over 2 million people, and is the largest employer in the US. Though mass retirement was expected before the economic downturn, the majority of government workers are holding on to their jobs, with the quit rate falling 29% since 2007. As reported, "Workers are 13 times more likely to die of natural causes than get laid off from the federal government." The amount of people making over $100,000 per year has advanced from 12% in 2006 to 22% in 2011.
Margaret Thatcher famously quipped that Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money. Said another way, it works until you have to pay the electric bill. Which is, to say, it doesn't.