Higher worker pay sign of government problem

Published 1:27 pm Monday, March 8, 2010

What’s wrong with this picture?

A USA Today survey has found that federal workers in eight outof 10 professions are paid more than their counterparts doing thesame jobs in the private sector.

The analysis based on 2008 data indicated an average federalworker salary of $67,691 a year compared to an average annual payof $60,046 for private sector workers doing comparable jobs. Add ina 4-1 fringe benefit advantage – $40,785 a year versus $9,882 ayear – in favor of federal workers and the disparity is even morestaggering.

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The idea is not to begrudge someone compensation for the workthey do.

But what must be remembered is that government activitiescontribute nothing to growing the economy. Seeminglyever-increasing government employee rolls, combined with the factthat many are now paid more than their private-sector counterparts,only create additional drain and strain on the economy.

The reason is that revenue to pay the government workers mustcome from money generated by private-sector activities, be theybusiness ventures, investments or commercial developments.Government cannot give unless it first takes, usually in the formof taxes or fees for various services.

Requiring businesses, citizens and other taxpaying entities topay more to support government growth is paving the road to ruin.Eventually, the revenue is depleted, the growth unsustainable andthe overall economy demolished.

That destination will not be reached simply because federalworkers are paid more than those in the private sector who do thesame job. But the mindset that allows it to happen and fosters itscontinued existence is validation of one of former President RonaldReagan’s most famous quotes, “Government is not the solution to ourproblem, government is the problem.”