The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Department of Transportation Has 1,690 Employees Making More Than $170K/Year?


Private-sector employees are fools, it seems:

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months – and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted . . .

Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

This is how I concluded yesterday’s piece:

Private-sector employees could be forgiven for thinking that state and local government is a racket. In the private sector, you can do your job well, for a well-established company like Circuit City, KB Toys, Lehman Brothers, Saturn, or Gourmet magazine, and suddenly find yourself without a job for one of many reasons: changing consumer habits, a dramatic drop in revenue, new competition, reckless management decisions, or just bad luck. State and local legislators face possible job loss once every two years at most, and gerrymandering and the benefits of incumbency ensure its rarity. And when the governing classes want more money, they just demand it from those they govern.

I was wrong; the federal government looks like a racket, too.

The average federal worker’s salary is now 76 percent higher than the average private-sector salary.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mitt Romney , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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