Fund on ‘Out of Line’ Salaries at the Department of Energy

by Andrew Johnson

National Review columnist John Fund went on Fox News this morning to discuss how Department of Energy has been bending the rules to pay contractors inordinately high salaries. At one program in Tennessee, ten contractors were paid a total of $3.45 million, more than 80 percent higher than the market rate, and the head of a DOE lab in New Mexico makes $1.3 million per year. In 2007, the department’s inspector general found five such examples of exorbitant compensation and ordered that they be halted, but they were quickly reinstated; as Fund put it, “you can’t end this program.” He suggested that layoffs and furloughs for federal employees caused by the sequester could be minimized if these “out of line” salaries were reined in for the department’s 100,000 consultants.

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