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Take for example lawyers, one of the groups holding professional degrees. To get a job with a US Attorney's office or the Department of Justice or a job as a judge with the federal government requires many, many years of quality legal experience. Yet, the CBO study, which notes the already low relative pay of the feds fails to take that into account. Take that fact into account, and the disparity between the better paid private sector lawyers of comparable experience and the federal lawyers is even more glaring. Why? Because the CBO study looks at the entire profession, including lawyers right our of law school in the private sector who of course have lower pay. No such lawyers on the federal side of the groups I mentioned.
Again, townhall paints with an incredibly broad brush. Some of your opinion piece writers could pass for congressmen with their "one size fits all" comments. Look, once again you have to draw the distinction between highly educated feds and other feds. Highly educated feds, according to the nonpartisan CBO, is dramatically underpaid. By that, I mean the ones holding doctorate and professional degrees. Everyone else in the federal government is paid more on average. See: http://www.motherjones.com/files/images/blog_federal_private_comp_cbo.jpg The pay inequity between level PhD level feds (and those with professional degrees) and their far more highly paid private sector counterparts is appalling.
Your solution does not make sense. The government needs to be smaller and work smarter. That means it has to retain its top people ... the one's with advanced degrees who manage hundreds of millions of dollars and have similar major responsibilities. Your one size fits all solution would make the federal government less responsive to the people than it is already and more inefficient. You sometimes have to spend money to make money (and, to save it). Do you want a bunch of dolts trying major lawsuits for the government, operating on our veterans and deciding cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars as judges? The people in those positions are not the ones overpaid; they are very much underpaid relative to the private sector.
Another fact: while low level workers were receiving generous raises usually exceeding 3% from the years 2002 to 2010, during all those years capped out federal workers with professional and doctorate degrees received pay adjustments less than the inflation rate. Since 2010 the latter group has had its pay frozen like all other federal workers. Is it any wonder the government doesn't function well? What organization under the sun would with that type of pay policy? Is that how Mr. Issas would run his business? No way ... that's a guaranteed recipe for failure. Our politicians have become so ideological they have lost all common sense.
Ooops .. here is the CBO study: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42921
Here is the CBO study I was referencing. Clearly, the problem is that Congress is not smart enough to deal with this issue other that with a broad brush. It only knows how to implement "one size fits all" solutions. For years, less educated federal employees get better raises and fairer treatment than the most educated federal workers. Then the freeze come and they lump in the capped out most educated people in the government --- the ones who can do things to actually help the government save money and costs -- and what is Congress' solution? Lump everyone together and punish the top people.
Let me reiterate, those with the highest education levels are paid dramatically less according to Congress' own study. The problem is even worst than what their studies show. Consider for example experienced federal prosecutors who are capped out. These are people who should not even be compared to all lawyers, but rather, should be compared to only those with 15 + years experience and scores of trials involving complex litigation. These lawyers are paid a third of less of what their private sector counterparts get paid. Do we really want our government's most important trials handled by bonehead lawyers? Same with surgeon specialists who work for the government. They're not paid near as much the private sector.
Here is where Mr. Glass' comments miss the mark: what he does not understand is that the pay of federal workers is stratified. The lower the level of education, the better paid the federal worker relative to the private sector. He conveniently cites a source that show that the workers with masters degree or above receive a slight federal pay premium. The CBO recently did a study. He should read that source. It would show that yes, federal employees with masters degree alone do receive a federal pay premium over and above the private sector. However, it you go the next highest level of education, that is, those with doctorate degrees or professional degrees, are paid dramatically less than their private sector counterparts.
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