Restoring the Sacred

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Paul Ryan's "Path To Prosperity" Excerpts

One of the controversial parts of Congressman Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal, aptly called "The Path to Prosperity," addresses the burgeoning federal bureaucracy (especially burgeoning since Barack Obama became president).

This will not find much support among federal employees or the unions purporting to represent them, but it should get the attention of those tax payers who, although their futures are not as bright, continue to pay the salaries and exorbitant pensions of those federal employees.

Here's the section dealing with the topic (emphasis added):

Slowing the bureaucracy’s explosive growth

The federal government has added 155,000 new workers since the President took office. It is no coincidence that private-sector employment continues to recover only sluggishly while the government grows at breakneck speeds. To fuel the public sector’s growth, Washington must either tax the private sector or issue debt (i.e. impose a deferred tax upon the private sector).

The federal government’s responsibilities are dependent on a strong federal workforce. Federal workers deserve to be compensated for their important work, but pay levels, pay increases and benefit packages need to be reformed to be in line with the private sector.

Salaries for federal workers continue to outpace pay for their private-sector counterparts. Average wages in the federal civilian workforce ($74,311 in 2010) far eclipse the $49,777 median wages in private industry. When generous benefit packages are included, the advantages enjoyed by government workers are even more pronounced. The roughly 2 million federal civilian workers received average compensation packages of $101,628 in 2010, far in excess of their private-sector counterparts. Immune from the effects of the recession, federal workers have received regular salary bumps and cost-of-living-adjustments, regardless of productivity or economic realities.

The reforms called for in this budget aim to slow the federal government’s unsustainable growth, and reflect the growing frustration of workers across the country at the different set of rules enjoyed by government employees. It reduces the public-sector bureaucracy, not through layoffs, but via a gradual, sensible attrition policy, permitting the federal government to hire only one new employee for every three federal workers who retire. By 2014, this reform would result in a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce.

Additionally, it freezes federal pay through 2015. And it reduces taxpayers’ disproportionate share of the financing for the Federal Employee Pension Plan by requiring federal employees to pay for half of the defined benefit they receive at retirement, an increase from their current contribution of 0.8 percent of payroll. This proposal takes its cue directly from the Fiscal Commission.14 When combined, these proposals will save taxpayers approximately $375 billion over ten years.

Bookmark and Share