Rand Paul in 2010: "The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year," Paul said. "The average private employee makes $60,000 a year."
Politifact cries foul saying that it's comparing apples and oranges. I've got some other issues with both of them. The census puts the average MEDIAN FAMILY income for 2011 @ $51,374
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a federal statistics-gathering agency, federal worker compensation in 2009 averaged $123,049, which was double the private-sector average of $61,051. That's a gap of almost $62,000 -- and is pretty close to what Paul said on This Week.
Next they say - wait a second:
That said, there's still a gap between federal and private-sector pay if you strip out the portion that's in the form of benefits. BEA found that federal civilian employees earned $81,258 in salary, compared to $50,464 for private-sector workers. That cuts the federal pay advantage almost exactly in half, to nearly $31,000.
Cool - I wouldn't mind and extra $31,000 a year - You? So, now that's closer to what I'd think might match the Census data. It's still not clear if their talking Mean or Median averages (or some other weighted average).
Then they go on to complain that, well government folks tend to have Degrees and such - the don't mention the fact that most of those degrees would get them a job flipping burgers at minimum wage - but what ever.
So the fairer way to compare pay is by an apples-to-apples comparison of equivalent jobs. A widely referenced study by USA Today attempted to do this.
The newspaper found that "overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available." Doing this calculation reduces the federal pay lead over the private sector even further, to $7,645.
Great, so even after all the - but waits, Government jobs still pay better, and have had more growth than private sector - then there's the MUCH better benefits, oh yeah and the JOB SECURITY. - All of which comes out of the TAXES paid by the Private Sector Salaries.
But wait you say - Government employee's pay taxes too. Yeah they do - they pay them with TAX MONEY taken from the Private Sector - so at best it's a discount on their salary costs. They also do NOTHING to help GDP.
So WHY do they have UNIONS? What the hell - when did the government EVER have unfair labor practices? What possible excuse do these people have for needing a Union? Oh, right - because the Union takes their money - which comes from our taxes, to support Democrats, so they can have a Bigger Government and take More Taxes.
What I see here is a Conflict of Interest - on a HUGE scale.
Solution - If your income is derived from taxes - you don't get to vote. You don't get to contribute to campaigns. That should solve the conflict of interest problem.