While Coloradans were preparing to bid adieu to 2012, President Barack Obama quietly issued an executive order giving all federal employees a 0.5% raise across the board. While outrage could be heard far and wide across the internet, we wondered how this raise compared to the annual per-capita income in Colorado. Below is a chart showing the median salary for Colorado personal income (per-capita) over the past three years. Unfortunately, 2012 income data will not be available until later this year.
Not surprisingly, federal employees (the salaries of whom Coloradans pay taxes to support) were paid significantly more than the average Coloradan. Neither number includes total benefit package, which in the case of the workers employed by the federal government is substantial.
If you think the disparity might be unfair, wait until you read the following statistics. Of course, keep in mind that the following stats are for government workers, who don’t actually produce anything, but instead, drain from the capital available for small businesses.
- According to USAToday, federal workers are 13 times more likely to die of natural causes than to be laid off from their federal post. (With numbers like those in the chart above, who could blame them for sticking around?)
- The percentage of federal workers earning six-figures leaped from 12% in 2006 to a whopping 22% in 2011. (Also USAToday)
- According to Census Bureau figures and Bloomberg, federal employees and lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose (aka Silicon Valley) as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area. Somehow we doubt that our nation’s capital is delivering the same level of innovation that Silicon Valley offers.
It used to be that one sought government employment because the benefits were so dependable, and the lower salary wouldn’t matter. Now, the benefits are higher and the salaries are outsized. Much of the outrage stems from the idea that the federal government doesn’t have a track record of success.
But, the naysayers must have forgotten the federal employees’ unions’ biggest accomplishment of the year – re-electing Barack Obama. Naysayers may have forgotten, but President Obama’s paid holidays and mandatory pay raise for federal workers show that he hasn’t.