Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Currently a number of Republicans are offering proposals and amendments to cut the Federal deficit. Hopefully they will proceed in a logical and rational fashion instead of the typical ill thought out reactionary method whereby they treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

Let’s examine one of their most likely targets, the Federal employee. Federal employees make a politically tempting target. They are frequently bashed as incompetent and overpaid. But are they really overpaid and are they really incompetent? The fact say no to both

A woefully deficient study by James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation concludes Federal Employees are grossly overpaid – yet the study is flawed so badly as to be useless. For example, it purports to take numerous variables in effect but conveniently ignores the most salient variable – company size. Company size easily explains about 10-15 percent of total salary. He also takes extreme (i.e. worst case) examples and passes them as the norm. Using his logic, people would be in extreme danger of death from drinking water. The average person may not know there have been several deaths from drinking excessive amounts of water (excessive intake of water flushes out critical water soluble vitamins and minerals). And people can drown in less than a quarter of a cup of water (by inhaling it through their nose).

Now how often do you read about deaths from excessive water intake or drowning in small quantities of water? Sure they happen but they are extremely rare – about as rare as the ridiculous examples Sherk provides. If you are interested in personally evaluating whether or not Federal employees are overpaid I invite you to read my prior column on this matter. In fact, you can research this matter easily using the same method I did. It only takes a couple of hours – but is highly enlightening. Simply search Federal jobs in a certain area then compare the salaries to equivalent salaries for private sector employees with same experience using The results do not match those of the Heritage Foundation.

Keep in mind that the Federal employee is constrained by the woefully inane laws Congress passes. They are then further constrained by ridiculous interpretations of these laws. They are required (mandated) to use arcane, antiquated budgeting systems that respond at the speed of glaciers melting to changes. Worse, the budgeting process is complex and difficult to understand.

So if Congress is truly serious about cutting the budget they should (continue reading here)

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