About a year ago, USA Today reported that federal workers are earning twice what their private sector counterparts take in:
At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.
So, given that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sought a Sense of the Senate resolution on Shared Sacrifice (which, Ed Morrissey reports, fell “to defeat on a procedural vote“), how about asking federal workers who draw their salary from taxpayer funds to share in the sacrifice?
I mean, if a private company suffers a revenue shortfall, it often cuts costs by reducing the salaries of its employees. Our federal government has such a shortfall and federal workers have been seeing pay and benefit increases even as the company, er, government, operates in deficit.
So, here’s a suggestion. According to Wikipedia (citing 2005 census figures), the median gross income of all persons working full time is $39.509. We’ll take $42,500, a number a little higher than that (to be generous to our government employees), as our baseline.
We wouldn’t ask federal employees to sacrifice any of that $42,500, but every dime they earn over that and less than $85,000 (twice $42,500) will be cut by 10%, every dime over $85,000 and less than $170,000 (twice $85,000) will be cut by 20% and everything over $170,000 will be cut by 30%.
If Suzie who works for the Department of Transportation, currently drawing a salary of $40,000, won’t see any cut in her salary, but Joe down the hall who takes home $43,000, will receive a salary cut of $50 (10% of 500 (the amount of his salary over $42,500), far less than 1% of his salary. But, his supervisor Jo-Anna who brings in $60,000 will see a $1,750 cut.
Harvey now earning $105,000 would face a salary cut of $8,250 (10% of 42,500 = $4,250) + (20% of $20,000 = $4,000).
Harry Reid would sacrifice $28,270 of his current salary is $193,400, (10% of 42,500 = $4,250) + (20% of $85,000 = $17,000) + (30% of 23,400 = $7,020).
So, since Mr. Reid is so eager for rich people who don’t live on the largess of Uncle Sam to share in the sacrifice, I’m sure he’d eagerly share in that sacrifice himself.
Oh, and, one more thing. Even Mr. Reid who would see the largest cut, would only see a reduction of 14.6% in his salary, not the approximately 50% required to ensure equality with private sector employees.