Money Now for Wall Street, Federal Emplyees get Raises, the Rest of Us get Nothing

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Do They Know its a Recession?

When many people need money now, a report by USA Today about federal salaries shows a huge increase in the number of federal employees making over 6 figures. The numbers make it seem as if these workers are far from feeling the effects of the recession.

Employees that used to make $ 100,000 or more got an increase between 14 and 19 percent, and that’s before bonuses or overtime. That’s an awful lot of money for those that already are well off – and at a time when more people are hurting than ever.

And the Rich Get Well, You Know the Rest

The number of civilian employees in the Defense Department earning $ 150,000 salaries increased from 1,868 at the end of 2007 to 10,100 in June of the current year. This sort of thing is nothing short of infuriating when millions are out of work, struggling to make ends meet, and especially when the president had promised more jobs all around. A lot of people would love to be working, but can’t find even a basic job.

Conversely, federal hires have been increasing over the last few months. In the last 18 months, the Transportation Department has bumped 1,689 people to over $ 170,000 – compared to only ONE person earning that before now.

Is this where it Ends?

Perhaps this would be easier to stomach if this were the extent of it. The truth is that the entire federal government is raising salaries, which is asinine considering we have a record deficit and debt. Six-figure salaries are becoming increasingly common in these areas. Meanwhile in the rest of the country we desperately need money now.

How Do They Explain it?

According to Jessica Klement, the government affairs director for the Federal Managers Association, these employees work in industries that require greater amounts of training or skills, and are working for less then their private sector counterparts. The USA Today reports that Klement said these workers, according to Klement, made 26 percent less than counterparts in the private sector.

Does their Story Hold Water?

USA Today also looked at federal employee salary stats from the Office of Personnel Management (except workers in Congress, Postal Service, the White House, the military, and at “intelligence” agencies – their track record justifies quotes). From the study they found that the average private sector salary was $ 41,331 and the average federal employee is making $ 71,206.

Shocking, but True

For the majority of Americans who really need money now, this is going to be some tough news to hear. The last administration approved raises of 3 percent in January of 2008, and 3.9 percent in January 2009 for federal employees. The President has recommended to decrease this to 2 percent for first quarter of 2010, which might sound high, but that’s the lowest increase since 1975. These hikes,among other raises and some modified pay systems, have contributed to these amazing salary increases.

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