If today was your first day in America and you weren’t familiar with the everyday ins-and-outs of our government, you’d think that Federal Employees were the worst things to happen to this country since Janet Jackson’s nipple popped out at the 2004 Super Bowl forcing a nation of Christian men to act like they DIDN’T like seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple.
To be honest, most folks know very little about the civilian work force of the federal government, as should be the case. Federal employees are like the offensive line of a football team, you know they’re doing their job when you DON’T hear much about them. Most of the time, federal employees leave the highlights to the top-level executives (Pres, VP, Sec of State and so on…), the military, and the other two branches. The rest of us put our noses down, do our jobs, and go on living our lives– just like all of you. We’re your friends, families, and neighbors. Our jobs are just like yours; we go to work in the morning, put up with our bosses and irritating co-workers, and leave in the evening. All for the purpose of collecting a pay check to pay bills, buy alcohol, and fund Obama’s Negro Socialist Army and their war on Christianity. The difference between public sector employees and federal employees: each individual federal employee has to carry the load of the entire federal government. Case in point, a handful of GSA agents get out of hand and the next thing you know the president of the United States doesn’t know how to lead and the entire government is wasting YOUR tax dollars.
Republican’s love to blame federal employees for the downfall of the economy, and Democrats– the party who’s supposed to fight for federal employees – have failed in their job of defending them. The truth is,while there is room for efficiencies – as with any organization – Federal employees suffer from GROSS misrepresentation by the right and equally as reprehensible under-representation by the left.
The right wing, including Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney, have all but advocated for a complete gutting of the federal government. The congressional hijacker, Grover Norquist,said, “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Republican candidate Rick Perry wanted to cut three agencies from the government: Education, Commerce, and Energy. What, you didn’t think Perry could count to three either?
They continue to put out misinformation like the salary of federal employees or make double the salary of those in the private sector, neither of which are true. In actually, the CBO – which compared the characteristics of public and private employees – found that the pay is close, overall. They concluded that those with advanced degrees are underpaid by more than 20% compared with employees with similar “characteristics” in the private sector. Those with only college degrees have pay on par with their private-sector counterparts; those with less than a college degree, the lowest-paid federal employees, are overpaid by about 20% in addition to a better benefits package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics – which compares the actual jobs done in both the private and public sector – shows that private sector employees make more than 20% than their public sector counter parts. In addition, federal compensation makes up less than 1% of the entire federal budget. In fact, the largest part of the federal budget goes right back – wait for it – to the private sector. Many private sector companies contract with the federal government. Many to build weapons, planes, engines, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard of many of them: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton,Stark Industries, and OSCORP.
The contracts don’t end there, computers, land grants for buildings, blue collar jobs, equipment and technology, all supplied by the private sector. At the end of the day, over 70% of the taxes you pay goes either to the private sector or to programs or services used by all of us.
But the right wing assault doesn’t end there. NOW state and local government workers are under attack. This week, Romney went after President Obama saying, “he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
But see, this is where the disconnect is. When did government employees give up their nationality? I’ve been with the government for going on 10 years and I don’t remember them asking me. I mean come on, we there a test or something? Where we given options? If I’m not“American people” can I still call myself African American? Would your opinion change if I showed my birth certificate?
Seriously,did you EVER think a time would come when firefighters, police officers, and teachers would be under attack? I mean sure, my 5th grade English teacher was MEEEAAAAANNNN, but this is just taking it too far. Especially like this. Right now they’re hitting Obama over the head for the unemployment rate being 8.1%, yet they fail to mention that one of the major contributing factors to the high unemployment rate is due to the erosion of government jobs, especially at the State and local levels. Which is shocking, because Republicans rarely fail to mention things… (and don’t start with the lower “participation rate” if you aren’t willing to state that retirement, disability, and school enrollment all WENT UP, which contribute in some part to a lower participation rate)
While a gaffe, President Obama said the “private sector was doing fine.” What he meant was that, since his policies have been in place, the country private sector has added 4.3 million jobs while losing over 600,000 in the public sector. The Wall Street Journal – you know, that bastion of liberal brainwashing journalism – said, “The unemployment rate would be far lower if it hadn’t been for those cuts: If there were as many people working in government as there were in December 2008, theunemployment rate in April would have been 7.1%, not 8.1%."
So that’s our choice: austerity measures – like Europe attempted – to cut the government to the bones, cut taxes to the rich and hope it all trickles down, or, ask the richest of us to pay a little more and hire firefighters, police, teachers and those that will help service the public. Are we going to remove more from the public sector so we can ask less from the top wage earners? Is that where we are?
Do we continue to blame our economic woes on government employees, or to we acknowledge that they are like everyone else working day in and day out trying to make a living. This doesn't even get into the public sector's higher rate of employment for women, people of color, and those with disabilities - makes you wonder, is the right wing's attack on government JUST an attack on government?