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When times get tough, as in the current recession, businesses are forced to cut back. They halt expansion plans, reign in expenses, and lay off workers. We've seen a lot of that in the last couple years, as over 7 million people have lost their jobs. Individuals also cut back on expenses.
However, there is one group of people who have done quite well during the "worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," as President Obama would say. That group of people is the government itself. Far from cutting back, the government has been expanding and handing out big raises during these harsh times. The rich government bureaucrats are getting richer. As USA Today reports:
The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.
Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.
In 18 months, the number of federal employees making over $100K has increased 46%. The number making over $150K has more than doubled. There ain't no recession in the federal government, baby. Just caviar wishes and champagne dreams. While private sector employment dropped by 6.3% during the recession, employment in the federal government increased by 9.8%, and federal government employees saw their overall salaries increased by 6.6%.
That's because the government is looking out for YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. Big Brother loves you (or at least Big Brother loves your money). No wonder over 90% of President Obama's cabinet appointments have no private sector business experience. Who needs it ? They are doing just fine living off the forced largesse of the rest of us. They are the elites, you see. We are nothing but the great unwashed masses living in flyover country.
Here's a little ditty from the USA Today story about one particular government bureaucracy, the Transportation Department:
When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.
How about that for profiting from the recession ?
At least one grumpy Republican has a problem with federal workers living high off the hog with our money while we struggle to make ends meet. Go figure. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said, “There’s no way to justify this to the American people. It’s ridiculous.” C'mon now, Jason, don't be such a buzzkill. Besides, you represent "the failed policies of the past." Haven't you ever heard of Marie Antoinette ? Let them eat cake. Our fearless government leaders know, as Mel Brooks would say, 'it's good to be the King,' and it's pretty good to be All The King's Men too (hmmm. That phrase sounds familiar).
And as P.T. Barnum would say, 'there's a sucker born every minute.' That's you, America. You're the marks. BOHICA, and God bless. Just keep telling yourself it's Change You Can Believe In. That's the ticket.