Thursday, August 30, 2012

16 Facts That Show How Members Of Congress And Federal Workers Are Living The High Life At Your Expense

image source
Michael Snyder, Contributor
Activist Post

Once upon a time, working for the federal government was considered to be a sacrifice and it often involved a significant reduction in pay. Millions of Americans felt that serving their country and making a difference more than made up for the reduced wages that they would receive. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today, the federal government is the place to go if you want a cushy, high-paying job with tons of benefits. It is incredibly hard to be fired from a federal job, and if you stick around long enough you will be guaranteed a huge pension for the rest of your life.

The laziness at some federal agencies is absolutely legendary. Trust me, I used to work in Washington D.C. and I have seen the mindset firsthand. Some federal buildings are absolute ghost towns at 5:01 PM. Hordes of federal workers are just putting in their time, collecting their fat paychecks and counting down the days until retirement. 

And members of Congress are some of the worst offenders when it comes to milking the American people. Yes, members of Congress have fat salaries and enormous pensions, but it is the host of "funds" and "expense accounts" that they have access to where the worst abuse takes place. For example, did you know that more than $33,000 was spent in 2010 on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators? That comes to more than $300 per Senator. The truth is that most members of Congress and most federal employees don't really care that other Americans are absolutely breaking their backs to pay the taxes that fund this system. Most of them enjoy milking the American people and most of them have absolutely no intention of changing the system that has been so incredibly good to them.

There is a reason why the median household income is higher in the Washington D.C. area than anywhere else in the nation. The U.S. government is the goose that just keeps laying golden eggs. Over the past 40 years there has been an incredible economic boom in the areas of Virginia and Maryland bordering our capital. But it is not because those areas have added value to our economy. Rather, it is because the federal government has been sucking the lifeblood out of the rest of the country and has been showering it on millions of parasites that are living the high life at our expense.

Nobody is saying that we should shut the government down. All societies need government. However, the cold, hard truth is that our bloated federal government has gotten wildly out of control.

We desperately need to change course, because our federal government has become a deeply corrupt monster that just keeps getting larger and larger no matter which political party is in control.

The following are 16 sickening facts that show how members of Congress and federal workers are living the high life at your expense....

#1 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.

#2 In 2006, only 12 percent of all federal workers made $100,000 or more per year. Now, approximately 22 percent of all federal workers do.

#3 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.

#4 In 2010, the federal government spent $33,387 on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators.

#5 In 2010, U.S. Senators pulled $72,370 out of the "Senate Restaurant Fund".

#6 In 2010, U.S. Senators took $166,673 out of something called the "Senate Gift Shop Revolving Fund".

#7 In 2010, an average of $4,005,900 of U.S. taxpayer money was spent on "personal" and "office" expenses per Senator.

#8 Cooks working for the Bureau of Prisons make an average of $66,225 a year.

#9 During 2010, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.

#10 During 2010, compensation for federal employees came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.

#11 According to the Heritage Foundation, federal workers on average make 30 to 40 percent more money than their counterparts in the private sector.

#12 The U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more back in 2005. When Barack Obama became president, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more. By June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.

#13 If you are a federal worker, you are 13 times more likely to die of natural causes than you are to get laid off by the federal government.

#14 Insider trading is 100% legal for members of Congress, and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

#15 At this point, more than half of those "serving the American people" in Congress are millionaires.

#16 Nearly 15,000 retired federal workers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually. The list includes such names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the nation is deeply suffering.

As I have written about previously, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and a whole host of statistics show that the middle class in America is in a deep state of decline.

Median household income has declined by 8.1 percent since the year 2000, and 14 million more Americans have been added to the food stamp rolls since Barack Obama became president.

It is not right for members of Congress and federal employees to be living the high life while the rest of the country is experiencing tremendous economic pain.

What makes all of this even worse is that the U.S. national debt has now reached the 16 trillion dollar level.

If we could pay for all of this wild government spending that would be one thing, but the truth is that the U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

We cannot afford this kind of spending.

We need to totally change the culture in Washington.

We need a government that is lean and efficient and that is full of people that have a passion for serving the public.

So do you think that we will ever get there?

Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below....

You can support this information by voting on Reddit HERE

This article first appeared here at the The Truth.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.


starviego said...

Sad to say the same abuses are at the state and local level. Here in San Diego I recently read an article in the local paper on the retirements of two officers in the police department. They will each receive 90% of full salary pensions for the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Our government is organized crime.

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourselves. I work in NM which is being touted as the next best thing to Mississipi and Texas for being the next Right to Work State. Give us a break, aside from State Directors and Department Heads I see NO employees pulling in $100,000 salaries. Most are working at the median USA income level. Most will be lucky to see their pensions much less see COLA's at 3% (proposal is to reduce it to 2% and wait 7 years after retiring for it to kick in. San Diego which I visit is an anomoly. Most likely starviego and others did not bother to ever get involved in local politics and never went to a single city council meeting. New Mexico would never stand for that type of abuse except for it's corporate CEO's who bring in retired, 80-90% of full salary pensions and assorted other bennies.

Anonymous said...

none deserve a fing pension at all -- San Diego is Bankrupt to the bone thanks to all the triple dippers in san diego and those triple dippers are corrupt as hell how do you think they got they triple retirement - called back scratching

Anonymous said...

I'm a government employee making less than 40k/yr. I'm surrounded by slugs and neer-do-wells. They don't demand performance, they only ask that we try.

I hate this job, but I need it.

egavacs said...

.................and since The Social Security Trust was dumped into 'General Revenue', everything the Govt, spends money on is drawn from it, including discretionary spending of ALL Federal employees, since they're paid from General Revenue.
There are references to this status at my website: one of which is:
by Allen W. Smith, Phd

Anonymous said...

Greedy Republicans don't pay taxes & Democrats pay themselves higher wages. Damn, we can't win. It's proof that government is all a bunch of crooks.

Anonymous said...

Austerity measures for Government. Freeze all accounts then remove one testicle or eye from each member found guilty of abusing the system.

Richard said...

John McCain has takes in A SS check, medical disability from the military, 175,000 pay check and his wife in a multimillionair. BTW the three people are retired from congress.

Anonymous said...

As one of the >$100,000 salaried feds about which you are complaining, I say thank you for your contribution.

Mayor of New York City said...

Government largesse has always been a problem.But to paint the picture that by paying federal workers a decent living salary with benefits has contributed to our 16 trillion dollar debt is truly criminal. $66,000 for a prison chef may seem as overkill to some(mostly Republicans),but realize that most professional chefs in the private sector can make double that figure.
Our massive debt is a result of decades of excessive military spending combined with tremendous pay-outs of corporate welfare(the Tarp bailouts,farm subsidies,etc).
This Heritage Foundation based report belongs in the pages of the Washington Post, or similar right wing rags and not on Activist Post.

Anonymous said...

Proofreaders for the night shift/day shift at the Government Printing Office made $36/$33 per hour, respectively, back in 2007. I know because I left my mainstream commercial printing job to go to work there back then. The things I saw and experienced while there for a short 9 months would blow your mind--people sleeping at their desks, finger fucking and masturbating each other under the desks in remote corners of the work rooms, porn on the computers, personal invasions of privacy in the lavatories, threats and coercion from career employees and Union officials if any of this is questioned or exposed. Needless to say I was run out of there on a rail 3 months before my supposed 1-year probationary period was over--which was quickly changed in the Union's Bylaws from 90 days to 1 year for the express purpose of getting me out of there.

Anonymous said...

In response to the New Mexico comment above. It's NM that is the anomoly. San Diego is typical for CA and a multitude of other locations throughout the country. Having close experience to the governmental process in NM for over 30 years I can assure you that corruption is as rife here as anywhere else. It just doesn't pass down to most state and local employees as you posit. And yes PERA is a basket case due to corruption once again. If there is one good thing that NM has had in the governmental arena it was Gary Johnson. A man of conviction who took on these issues and made a serious positive difference.

Anonymous said...

Mayor of New York City said, "$66,000 for a prison chef may seem as overkill to some(mostly Republicans),but realize that most professional chefs in the private sector can make double that figure."

The difference is that professional chefs know how to cook.

SummerRain said...

Americans need to take a stand against federal tyranny. It only took a 1 cent tea tax to start the American Revolution & yet we tolerate so much criminal activity from our govt. Need to read this gret book out & it will definitely change your mind.

Anonymous said...

I used to work for the US government in one of those $100,000 a year jobs -- As an electronic engineer. It was not an easy job and the stress levels were ridiculous. When I retired, I was replaced by two people. Yes, there were people who "had it made". I was NOT one of them. However if reforms were to come (read as reductions in salary) guess who would have been reformed. By the way, $100,000 in family income is right about middle of the middle class -- almost all working Americans are being underpaid! I share the articles feelings about our politicians in Washington, however, the cost of living in Washington is so high that you need $100K just to barely make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

I used to think like you when I did not work for the Federal government over 40 years ago. As a 62 year old mechanical engineer with 38 years of Federal work experience, I am barely making it to make ends meet as a single income family with two children. I have not retired because I could not live on my retirement income alone. We have two cars that are over 20 years old and have not had a new car since 1990. We live from pay check to pay check. We do not drink, infrequently vacation, buy our clothes from used stores, and prayerfully spend our money to make wise decisions on money management. My industrious Christian/german work ethic is no different now than when I was living at home with a very industrious father who was a very successful business man. Your words are not all true and in fact fanatical and misleading when you think all Federal workers are in the same mold. It makes me suspicious of you and question your integrity as a writer and make it obvious that your thoughts are very shallow and have selfish motives.

Anonymous said...

Leave the gulag.....
Instead of howling about the inequalities... take what you have, liquidate it ... take the CASH and head south.

The South and Central American countries are on their way UP in terms of growth and economics and there is tremendous opportunity niches that can be filled with not too much money

... and they still have Republics instead of democracies where 3 wolves and one sheep are deciding what to have for dinner.

Leave and renounce... the numbers of people that are doing just that are increasing exponentially.

Anonymous said...

To Mayor Of New York City post: you are a moron! Prisons don't employee "chefs", so don't try to justify $66,000/yr for 'slop cooks'.

Anonymous said...

Fire them all. Thieves, we need to fire all public sector union employees

Mayor of New York City said...

#8 Cooks working for the Bureau of Prisons make an average of $66,225 a year.

There's only one moron here and that's you anonymous if you would have read the article it's one of the 'facts' used by the author

Post a Comment