” With the election only weeks away, pundits are visualizing how a Republican-controlled Senate would impact future policy decisions. Today’s Washington Post highlights the supposed plight of federal workers under a Republican Congress.
The piece discusses House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal:
Under the Ryan budget, the contribution of most federal employees toward their retirement plan would increase by 5.5 percentage points with no increase in benefits — effectively a pay cut. Ryan emphasizes a “defined-contribution system” that centers on employee payments to their retirement program instead of the current system, which includes pensions from the U.S. government. He estimated his plan would save the government $125 billion over 10 years.
That $125 billion in savings, however, would come from the pockets of federal employees.
The piece continues in a similar vein discussing Republican-supported legislation that would make it easier for federal employees to be disciplined, fired, and restricted in their conference expenditures–all reasonable proposals. It cites federal employee union officials on the difficulties these policies would place on federal workers.
But the piece fails to mention the elephant in the room: federal employees are compensated more generously than their private-sector counterparts.
Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average wage for a federal civilian employee in 2013 was $81,076, compared to the average wage of $55,424 for private-sector employees. “