conspiracies

Federal Government Now Paying Lots of People $150,000 For Some Reason

Where the hell did we get this old image? Gawker? Fishbowl DC?While the U.S. economy continues to suck, unemployment holds at a very high level, and employers are cutting salaries and benefits at every turn, one important employer is actually paying 11 times more people $150,000-a-year salaries than it did five years ago. And that employer is the federal government. Good for them! Hey, if your company is making record profits like the federal government is, you really should reward your employees. Still, federal employees are said to earn less than private-sector workers in similar jobs. But that’s not stopping Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz from deciding that all federal employees need an across-the-board pay cut right now.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who will head the panel overseeing federal pay, says he wants a pay freeze and prefers a 10% pay cut. “It’s stunning when you see what’s happened to federal compensation,” he says. “Every metric shows we’re heading in the wrong direction.”

The wrong direction to what? What is the right direction, an entire bureaucracy of unpaid interns? That may work just as well as what we currently have, actually.

President Obama, on the other hand, is seeking a 1.4% across-the-board pay raise to federal workers this year for some reason.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Good for them, we guess? Chaffetz needs to shut up with this pay cut talk. Pretty soon, with this whole private-enterprise unemployment thing, Chinese-funded-debt-backed federal jobs will be the only jobs in this country, except for a few multinational corporate CEO jobs. And we will need those government jobs to provide all the salary we can get. [USA Today]

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Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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134 comments

  1. ManchuCandidate

    I dunno. Maybe Congress needs a cut in pay… and in office perks… starting with Chaffetz. After all, why should the US America taxpayer subsidize half intelligent assholes throwing feces when the taxpayer can throw it themselves?

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Actually in this time of zero inflation and serious budget problems, I'm OK with a federal pay freeze. I know I'm going to have to duck when I say this, but most Federal employees with a few years under their belts make a lot more than I do.

      You want to talk pay cuts? Fine, then it has to start with Congress. Gotta lead, y'know? Maybe it'll save a little money and just let those over entitled wheezebags go shop their services in the private sector if they want to.

      Don't let the door hit you on the ass.

  2. NorthStarSpanx

    Jesus Christ. I used to roll pennies to pay my phone bill when I worked on the Hill.

    My first job paid $16,500. My second job paid $21,000 which went all the way up to $27,000 with additional duties.

    I wanna work for Big Brother again!

  3. PublicLuxury

    Too bad Jason isn't focusing on some of the problems unique to Utah.. He could watch TLC and learn all about polygamy in is state and how these "wives" support the family via welfare fraud… Since only the man is LEGALLY married to one of his wives the rest are Sealed in the Temple. When the Attorney's General is asked about polygamy in the state, "We know it is happening but do not step in unless the children are in danger."

    Perhaps taking a whack at some of the more bizarre behavior in Utah rather than hassling poor government working slobs. Is he going to cut his salary too? also?

    1. SorosBot

      Considering that most of the "wives" are children when they get married having the children in danger is not exactly uncommon among those cultists.

  4. x111e7thst

    Let's start by cutting the salaries of members of the armed forces that are currently in Afghanistan. There is a lot of evidence showing that money is just wasted on people who will end up minus some of their limbs or with PTSD.

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      …or better yet start with the many thousands of 'contractors'/ mercenaries STILL on the Dept. of War payroll, especilly the Blackwater/ Halliburton douchebags!

  5. Frost/Nixon/Robocop

    Does this include the military as well? Oh no, I forgot, thats the part of the federal government that doesn't count as the federal government.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Yeah. The Republklans made sure that everyone knows that they intend to cut 100 billion dollars of discretionary NON_DEFENSE spending as soon as they take over Congress. But they refuse to say what they consider discretionary NON-DEFENSE spending.

  6. ttommyunger

    I am old enough to remember when Civil Servants were genuinely regarded highly as persons who sacrificed the monetary rewards of the private sector in favor of actually providing a necessary and important service to the Citizenry as a whole. I am not bullshitting or snarking here

        1. Fare la Volpe

          No offense meant. I'm young enough to not trust anyone over 30: anything pre-Reagan is prehistoric to me.

          1. ttommyunger

            No offense taken, I am both delighted and amazed to have lasted this long. Happy Wonketeering! I enjoy your posts.

  7. SorosBot

    Yep, give all the employees of the country's biggest employer pay cuts while the economy is already in the shitter; that certainly won't lead to further in consumer spending and fuck the economy even further. Great idea.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Those employees will quit suckling the government teet and go get jobs in the private sector that are created by more tax cuts.

  8. Worthly Wokette Skum

    paying 11 times more people $150,000-a-year salaries than it did five years ago

    Government doesn't get it. They should be paying people with $150,000-a-year salaries five years ago 11 times more – like in the private sector.

  9. johnnyzhivago

    I'd just move the whole federal government to India and outsource it. Hire Haliburton to run Congress (or do they run it already?). Sell off the Supreme Court to NBC and make it a game show. Rent the D.C. to Disney as a theme park (Magical Capital City).

  10. SorosBot

    Congressman, do you know who are Federal employees? Every member of our military. Why do you hate the troops?

    1. mumbly_joe

      And actually, the single highest-paid federal employee, at least until recently, was an Army man, funfact.

      Although I think Navy may have overtaken him, as is often the case, honestly.

  11. Giveusabob

    I was always curious what would happen when you reported negative income on your 1040, and evidently this is the result.

    Good to know, come April 15th.

  12. PublicLuxury

    Isn't $150,000. the line item budget for Post It Notes? Maybe Jason needs the extra money, amazingly enough $150,000., for a brand spankin' new recreation vehicle.

  13. ttommyunger

    And while I'm in Geezer Mode, may I add that I can remember the 50's when Elvis and Ol Blue Eyes were being taxed at 90%. they didn't complain and more importantly, they didn't miss any meals, yet today's super rich (and those in their pockets, yes, I mean you, Repugs) squeal like stuck pigs when the very concept of them paying a point or two more than 30-some per cent.

    1. Fare la Volpe

      Elvis even had enough left over to dress in gold lycra and die from overeating. Rich people never had it so good.

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Oh, it's only the dumb rich people who have to pay that — that's income tax. The smart bastards get all their money from dividends, which — besides affording one the comfort of not having to have an actual job — are taxed at 15%.

    3. mumbly_joe

      I remember how George Harrison wrote a whiny song about that once, and yet the Beatles still managed to have enough cash to try literally every drug under the sun, so they were probably not hurting all that much.

      Still, it is, perhaps, missed on many folks who cite "Taxman" for its conservative message, that George wa'n't 'zactly talking about the top marginal tax rate going from 34% to 36%, actually. And that it's a colossally whiny song. Also.

      1. ttommyunger

        Well, they were Brits, after all. They used to whine about us when we were there pulling their fat out of the fire: “The only thing wrong with Americans is that they are oversexed, overpaid and over here.”

  14. Sepatown!

    Now seems to be as good a time as any for considering letting Texas just opt out of everything. Of course, they really need to take the rest of the South and Glenn Beck with them. West Texistan is born!

    1. Chet Kincaid

      Yeah, everybody likes to say that on Wonkette, but think it through: there would have to be gigantic Berlin airlifts for every African-American populated city, blue county and college town in the South. There are a lot of people up here who are not going to leave their folks in a New Confederacy down there. Hell, they might even take up some Second Amendment solutions to fuck up the Neanderthals.

  15. real_dc_native

    You must be nearly as old as I am. I think there were still WWII temporary offices on The Mall when that was true.

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        wow, you ARE old, I'd never have guessed by your 'spunky' commentations…hang in there 'ol timer! :)

  16. PublicLuxury

    The cost of living in DC is pretty high. This is why so many congressmen live in that house church, you know the religious ones, Promise Keepers, like John Ensign and former governor Mark Sanford…

  17. natoslug

    I dunno, my company gave 10% pay cuts across the board earlier this year, and I learned to cope. Actually, after selling off that second kid, I've been able to switch back to top-shelf vodka.

  18. Sgt_Biyatch

    Ah yes, just what we need: an even less motivated federal bureaucracy. Let's demonize the federal workforce, because they're the ones responsible for this economic mess, not irresponsible tax cuts, or wars, or massive deregulation. Or olds living way past their appointment with the Carousel. While I'm all for belt tightening, this pay cut proposal smells of political gamesmanship, which is, incidentally, a little like BO with a hint of dog breath.

  19. Barrelhse

    It looks as though the kid in the pic has discovered how valuable his asshole is to Republican Congressmen.
    MUCH better money than hawking "Grit."

  20. elviouslyqueer

    Cue irate Sarah Palin tweet (as soon as she cashes her latest $250K for a 15-minute queef at the Fapmaster's International Conflab and Clambake) in 3…2…

  21. SorosBot

    Well that's the way corporate America's responding for years now; except that they'll be angry about your assertion that $50,000,000 a year could be "too much" for a CEO, that's just the free market at work.

  22. horsedreamer_1

    I imagine most of those 150,000$/yr jobs are in Homeland Security & espionage. So, I have to ask: why does Jason Chaffetz hate the troops?

    1. BarryOPotter

      why does Jason Chaffetz hate the troops?

      Because when he walks into the room, they all say "You can leave now, asshole."

  23. HedonismBot

    Cut the fuck out of their salaries. It's okay. Like all the Tea.O.P.'s scapegoats, federal employees are not human.

  24. Refudiation

    Well, maybe the free market needs to get off its lazy ass and start paying its people better. Problem solved!

  25. slappypaddy

    i can vouch, it is true,
    though i not be quite so old as you.

    it happened in this very nation, during a time which now seems like a fast-receding memory of a shimmering dream.

    the sooooo fucked aspect, that is more recent and less dreamy. nor does it seems to be receding.

      1. slappypaddy

        doesn't matter. either way, we don't stop till we hit bottom, and we don't know where that is. the rocky valley, bestrewn with the bleached bones of our unburied dead? the main sewer line, the cloaca maxima that will carry us to the cesspool where we will rot in putrid darkness?

        i so need a drink, or a joint, or a valium, or a lobotomy right about now. or all four, and not in that order.

  26. chickensmack

    Sure, the salaries are expensive, but think of the diversity. With a gummit job, you can work at AIG, General Motors, or Goldman Sachs.

  27. OneYieldRegular

    As that ancient Daoist sage Lao "Alvin" Tzu once said, the journey of a thousand monies saved starts with a single Congressman named Jason Chaffetz giving up his salary.

  28. JustPixelz

    Assumes EVERY federal employee makes $150K and they all get a 10% pay cut, the savings will be $31B. That ain't nothin', and it's also less than a few weeks of that war in Iraq the Repubicans loved.

    I think tax brackets, standard deductions and congressional pay should be tied to multiples of the minimum wage. Want to move those high tax brackets up? Just raise the minimum wage.

    1. BarryOPotter

      Whoa, dude! You just blew Jason Chumnut's mind.

      I'm watching Jason walk down the hall way this very minute, mumbling to himself: "150,000 times eleventy million federal slobs is – carry the 6, add the 4 – Fuck y'all. Math iz hard."

  29. Ducksworthy

    Nukular Engineers doing safety inspections in Utah don't need no fancy degrees. A ordinary plumber can do it far cheaper. But wait didn't Joe the Plumber make over $250,000. I is confused now.

  30. SayItWithWookies

    I'm sorry you lost your dog — I know how it feels, having lost a cat a couple of years ago that I still miss. But then again, I'm a sentimental old bastard, though I try to hide it. Hell, there's a common garden spider in my backyard that's been there since August that I've been particularly worried about since it's getting cold. I know she's not long for this world, but I'm still going to be sad when she croaks. It's pathetic, I know, but that's life.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      One thing the conservatives have that makes them more powerful than we: a lack of compassion, especially toward other than pampered animals. Around here, if you can't eat an animal, then the hell with it.

  31. imissopus

    Some other elected official was yapping the other day about cutting 200,000 or 250,000 jobs out of the federal government. Which would also be a great thing to do in a time of record unemployment. The additional workload plus a pay freeze or even cut should do wonders for the morale of the remaining employees. I bet government will become even more efficient.

    Chaffetz / Inanimate Carbon Rod '12!

    1. BarryOPotter

      "The hard not-working-at-the-moment, salt of the earth people what done sent me to this Sodom & Gomorrah for my 4th term, sent me to this whore house of 'Merika to look out for their interests, not to get all egg-heady 'n logistical for 'em! Gubmint is too big! I know it it's true cuz I won!"

  32. Tundra Grifter

    So you can be a member of the US Military and make $24,000 per year, or you can take the training Uncle Sam paid for and become a military "contractor" and make $150,000?

    The T-Baggers seem dead set on having the Federal government operated by low-paid amateurs (term limits anyone?). In other words, let's run our government like a fast food outlet. Why can't high school dropouts audit our tax returns? And regulate Wall Street millionaires?

    Is this a wonderful country or what?

    WHAT?

    1. GOPCrusher

      A comedian (I don't remember which one at the time) had a line about the All-Volunteer Military. "Should we trust a military that is filled with people because McDonald's wasn't hiring?"

  33. Oblios_Cap

    Dammit! I work in a shitty state job and haven't had a cost of living adjustment in 5 years. And don't make $150,000.

    When is it going to trickle down to me?

    1. GOPCrusher

      I work in a private sector job and haven't had a raise in three years.
      The only trickle I feel is warm and smells like the boss had asparagus for supper last night.

  34. EdFlintstone

    Shouldn't they being getting a pay increase once all that money starts flowing in after the rich get their tax cuts????

  35. Not_So_Much

    What's the gig? I'll do it for $150k. Beats the shit out of trolling job sites for a craptastic entry-level job so I can be shat upon by someone 1/2 my age. Lying, cover-ups, congressional report obfuscation? Sign me the fuck up. I'll mismanage the shit out of some department somewhere to help my gubmint.

  36. elviouslyqueer

    Oh man, DBB, I'm really sorry. As the proud owner of a herd of pups (and cats), I know exactly how you feel. Would a post about Bristol Palin and a carton of mysteriously exploding tampons make you feel any better?

  37. lumpenprole

    A corporate prop took over the country with a line about the scariest words in the English language and now Big Brother is a drowned baby.

      1. lumpenprole

        Well, they drowned the welfare state. The security state and the corporate kingdoms never count because they make our freedomz.

        1. ttommyunger

          Gonna be a lot of pissed off Teabaggers when the shit finally rolls down the hill to the bottom, as it always does. You know those motherfuckers are armed to the teeth and they've proven they aren't too bright.

  38. spinozasgod

    I am going to guess we are talking about a lot of the new Department of Homeland Security employees, which is why we are looking at 2005 at the starting point…….you gotta pay people a lot of money to put up with listening to all of our irritating phone calls and reading our lame emails.

  39. bitchincamaro2

    True story. I was walking in midtown the other day and found a neat bundle of bills wrapped in a rubber band. Quickly, but casually, I scooped up the packet and put it in my pocket. Later, I eagerly peeled the bills one at a time until I counted nine, yes 9 single dollar bills. I was so disappointed, I gave half of them to the homeless guy in front of the drug store. He looked like that kid in the picture but with fewer teeth. I'm still not rich, bitches.

    1. Tundra Grifter

      A couple of times standing in line at the bank (back when I used to actually go into the bank) I would call out "Did anyone lose a bundle of cash with a rubber band around it?"

      When someone would say "Yes!" – and someone always did – I"d say "Great. I just found the rubber band."

  40. Native_of_SL_UT

    Interestingly enough, the highest paid public official in Utah is the head coach of the University of Utah Utes football team, Kyle Whittingham.
    I can't seem to find any references from the former BYU Cougar kicker, Jason Chaffetz complaining about this high salary.

    1. SorosBot

      Here I thought the Mormons were all into old men with (sometimes illegally) young women, not the cougars.

    2. TheMightyHaltor

      After the Utes' showing against TCU last week, you might be able to cram through a pay cut for Whittingham if you act quickly.

  41. Native_of_SL_UT

    Our program is actually failing badly. Our birthrate is the highest in the nation, so we are replenishing our dumbasses at an enormous rate.

  42. Ducksworthy

    I want to see Michele Bachman introduce a bill to slash farm subsidies. Also money for farming foster children.

  43. finallyhappy

    I never made close to $150,000-and now I am a retired Fed- making way, way less than $150,000. Let him startwith Congress- cutting their salaries and benefits- bet his cronies will love him even more then.

  44. donner_froh

    I wonder what language one would have to shout "economic collapse, ten percent unemployment, everyone is broke" for this fucker Chaffetz to understand it.

    English just ain't working with that boy.

  45. jim89048

    I worked in state gummint until they kicked me to the curb. CalTrans, to be precise. We were much loved during the winter when we kept highways open that otherwise would be closed, but in the summer when we fixed all the damage from last winter, the people couldn't run us over fast enough.

  46. BarackMyWorld

    Government work: the only sector of the market-based economy where paying people more to attract better employees is viewed as a negative.

  47. lulzmonger

    Grief sucks the big one.

    Have a sympathy-thumb, along with the same sage words of advice my Mom always gave me: "Keep your pecker up, kiddo."

  48. lulzmonger

    Big wage cuts in a weak economy – what could possibly go wnrog?

    GOP MENSA = can put pants on by self, no longer require assisted feeding.

  49. ShaveTheWhales

    You know, I don't even think the golden age of which you speak was that fucking long ago. (I am a spry 63, so you have a few more years of perspective, but those were all years where GSs got paid shit).

    Pretty much through the 90's, the salary levels of Civil Service people sucked compared to private industry. But after the Dot Bomb, the miracle of compounding worked in their favor — even a couple percent a year above the CPI compounds to a nice increase in a decade or so, especially when compared to freezes and layoffs.

    The Federal Civil Service — the one organization where you know the CEO doesn't make 400 times your salary.

    BTW, I agree we're fucked, but I don't think it's particularly due to the General Services pay scale.

  50. ShaveTheWhales

    That's another of those observations that is so fucking obvious, somebody actually has to point it out.

    Thank you, in a totally non-snark, thumb-up-your-orifice-of-choice way.

    <Hits head, listens to resounding empty gong sound>

  51. Dashboard_Jesus

    I hears ya, I'm 'only' 51 and trying to get used to eating hobo beans in my old age, cuz that looks like where we're headed…lucky for me I'm a vegetarian, and a Buddhist, so it's all just one transcendental ride, but it'd be nice if about half of this God forsaken country/ planet would wake the fuck up and become just a tiny bit more conscious! Bill HIcks said it best, it's just a ride… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0

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