RUSH: Here’s this USA Today story: ‘Federal Workers Earning Double Their Private Counterparts.’ Now, we’ve heard all of this before. This is really nothing new. But the real news is that despite ‘the worst economy since the Great Depression,’ government employees continue to make out like bandits. In fact, exactly like bandits. Oh, and, folks, this is funny. I have to tell you. By the way, JetBlue is nonunion. Did you know this? Not that it matters. Snerdley told me during the break that he is being inundated today with angry liberals who are just fuming mad. They are lacing him with obscenities, shouting through the phone. ‘Do you want to go on the air?’ ‘No!’ They don’t want to go on the air. They just want Snerdley to tell me what a rotten SOB and so forth I am. Now, we’re all trying to figure out what happened in the first half hour to tick ’em off. ‘Cause there’s really nothing new in the first half hour.
I mean, the fact that Obama is purposely destroying the economy? We said that before. The fact that federal workers earn much more than private sector workers and don’t produce anything and that their pay could be cut and we wouldn’t have to lose a single job? That might have been the one to make them mad. But they’re fuming. (laughing) Maybe they just missed me. (laughing) It could well be! It could well be. I mean, if you need a daily dose of hate and you miss the daily dose, that could explain it. What else was there? The JetBlue story. Da-da-da-da. Firemen, cops, private sector. We haven’t even gotten to Michelle (My Belle)’s vacation and the media excuses for that — and, by the way, I’m being blamed for the media take or the anti-vacation take of Michelle (My Belle)’s vacation. I, El Rushbo. That’s coming up.
But here’s the USA Today story: ‘At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds. Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.’ The average compensation 2009, federal civilian, meaning non-uniform military, is $123,049.’ Of that $81,000 is salary, $41,000 is benefits. Benefits are health care, pension, whatever the hell else the benefits are. In the private sector, the amount is $61,000: $50,000 of it in salary and 10,000 in benefits.
‘Even state and local government workers’ average is basically 70,000 versus 61 in the private sector. Fifty-three thousand of the 70 is salary, $17,000 is benefits. So people working at all levels of government — state and local and federal — are earning much more than the average employee in the private sector, both salary and benefits and growing. Two-hundred-and-fifty thousand new federal employees since Obama has been immaculated. ‘Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill…’ Get this, now. The Public employee union leaders say: Of course we make far more money than these stiffs in the private sector because we have an ‘increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years.’
Okay, go ask any TSA employee. You go ask any of them. They want us to believe that the reason for all the high pay in government is because of the skill level and the education necessary. Now, Obama ‘ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees. For the rest of the two-million-person federal workforce, Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in 2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.’ Oh, this is very courageous. Obama is taking a tough stand. Only 1.4% across-the-board wage increases for the two million plus federal workers! In the meantime: ‘The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, fell to its lowest level since December 3rd, 2009. At 70.0, consumer confidence is down four points from Friday and Saturday, and down nine points from its level a week ago.
‘Only 8% of adults nationwide rate that the US economy’s good or excellent.’ Now, with all of this news keep in mind that the Democrats are coming back and spending all this money because this is how they’re going to run-for reelection. They’re going to blame Bush. They’re going to say that all of this misery that you’re experiencing is because of George W. Bush. It would be even worse had it not been for Obama. Dick Morris points out that the way the Democrats are campaigning is they’re being told to just ‘ignore their successes.’ (snorts) If you can imagine. ‘Don’t campaign on health care. Don’t campaign on any of your legislative achievements. Don’t brag.’ That’s the message that’s going out from on high to Democrats: ‘Don’t brag. Don’t brag. Instead, attack Republicans personally. Tie them to Bush, that they love ‘tax cuts for the rich,” the same old stuff from the same old playbook. But it’s fascinating! ‘Avoid bragging. Do not brag about your achievements,’ which is a testament to the fact that the people issuing the orders understand there aren’t any achievements. They understand that there’s nothing worth bragging about. They understand that most Americans want no part of their agenda. And so they are being advised to not discuss it, to not brag. That’s hilarious.
RUSH: Hurlburt Field, Florida. This is Bill. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thank you. Mega combat shadow dittos from Hurlburt Field. How you doing?
RUSH: Good. Very good.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, I agree with you on most things, but the two issues that really aggravated me — especially this weekend after watching Beck on Stossel Business — was this idea that federal employees don’t produce anything? Now, I hope I’m not taking you out of context on that but the two things that set me off was the ‘not producing,’ and when you say that, you create the image of someone who’s overpaid, underworked, sitting around smoking cigarettes, not doing anything. You know, what exactly do you mean by ‘federal workers don’t produce anything’?
RUSH: What I mean is, the gross domestic product of the country. You have to calculate government’s part of it, and the larger the share of it, the worse it is. Can you name me a product, can you name me a service, can you name me the innovation, can you name for me any invention — can you name for me any thing, tangible, that you like, that you own, that you want to buy — that the United States government has invented, manufactured, and sold?
CALLER: Okay, from the military… The first thing that pops in mind is all the developments at NASA but a lot of those are things we see later on.
RUSH: No, we exempt the —
CALLER: From my perspective — unfortunately, I’m military — weapons development. We got a lot of really smart people developing a lot of stuff and are working a lot of hours to do it and from my perspective as an aircrew member, the plane I flew last night —
RUSH: No, no, no. No, no, no. The US military doesn’t do diddly-squat but pay for it. Private sector companies make the bombs, make the ammunition, and they design them.
CALLER: We develop all that. All that stuff is developed by all these task squadrons and all these DOD engineers and these — you know, who are blue suiters and civilians. They’re the ones who are doing all this work. They may go ahead and give stuff to some of the contractors who will later on take it to their company, but when you’re sitting there saying we don’t produce anything? You know, as far as assembly line or whatever, yeah, we don’t have — the DOD doesn’t have — factories to make stuff but a lot of the work, a lot of the innovations, a lot of the things we give the private sector to develop, one —
RUSH: That’s the point. That’s the point. There isn’t… If what you were saying is true, the economy would be growing left and right. The economy would be growing through the roof, and it’s not.
CALLER: But, Rush, you’re saying —
RUSH: By the way, the military by definition was exempted from this survey. Uniformed military.
CALLER: The blue suiters but a lot of people you’re talking about… I work with a lot of civilians. I’m in a headquarters, and I’ll tell you: If we didn’t have our civilians there, all that work… I’ve already had nine additional duties in addition to the two primaries I got, and the civilian employees, they’re our continuity, and without them we would be hosed. Like Gates is getting ready to close down Joint Forces Command — I found that out today — and guess what? That work ain’t going to go away. And then he’s targeting other higher headquarters in different places for civilian cuts and looking at contractors first, who in a lot of ways will be locked out.
RUSH: Right. Okay. Wait a minute. Are you talking about Obama?
CALLER: Uh, Gates. I’m talking Gates. Secretary Gates came out. It’s on Defense Weekly.
RUSH: Okay, that’s the administration. Look at what they’re replacing these people with.
CALLER: When they close down Joint Forces Command, they’re gonna eliminate a lot of civilian billets. Now, contractors first and then maybe the GS or the government employees may be shifted different places.
RUSH: Point is, on a net aggregate basis we’re not looking federal jobs. We’re producing them, we’re gaining a net 250,000 new federal jobs. All these changes that you’re talking about, the federal workforce is continuing to grow. What do you make? What do you make where you work?
CALLER: I’m active duty military so I bring home about 40,000.
RUSH: No, no, no. What product do you make? What does the Joint Forces Command make?
CALLER: I work the Joint Forces Command, I’m headquartered AFSOC [Air Force Special Operations Command].
CALLER: Joint Forces Command, they work programs.
RUSH: No, no. I want to know what weapon do you…? What gun, what bomb, what bomb, what weapon do you create? What do you do make?
CALLER: As far as the military in general? Ummm…
RUSH: No, you’re saying that all these workers that you’re talking about creates something. I want to know what it is.
CALLER: They do research. A lot of people do research and development.
CALLER: They do the research and development —
RUSH: I think that says it.
RUSH: Look, folks, it’s no more complicated than this: I don’t care what you do if you work for government. I don’t care what you do and where you do it. You don’t get paid until somebody in the private sector works, produces something, performs a service, and is taxed for doing it. Nobody in government gets paid. ‘But, Rush! But, Rush! What about the defense budget?’ Well, yeah. Obama’s cutting the defense budget. Gates today, the defense secretary, has announced Defense Department budget cuts, as Democrats always do. It’s the only place they cut. Really cut. Defense department cuts. ‘Yeah, Rush, but what about all the planes and what about all the weapons?’ They’re still manufactured at some plant that’s not owned by the government, and the money to make those planes was produced by people in the private sector.
It was then taxed, went to Washington, and then spent or given away or bonused or whatever by people who live in Washington. There’s not one product the government makes. There’s not one service the government performs. Well, I take it back: DMV, passports. But look what you have to go through to get anything done. The bottom line is none of those people get paid without somebody in the private sector going to work and being taxed. It’s just that simple. And when there are more and more people who are being paid on the taxes of other people, and the government’s share of the private sector is growing, it ain’t good — and that is what’s happening now. This is not a cut, by the way. We’re not trying to ridicule or impugn individual people. I’m talking about the people in charge of the structure who are in favor of declining growth in the private sector — managing it, happy about it – while they exercise the growth and celebrate the growth of the public sector. It’s just dollars and cents, plain and simple.
RUSH: A lot of people — including I, El Rushbo, your host — are talking about the Michelle or ‘Moochelle’ Obama vacation. The real scandal today, though, is not the Moochelle vacation. The real scandal is the vacation that we are paying for for the unions with this $26 billion bailout that Congress has come back to Washington to deal with. To me, it is inexcusable that a 25-year-old carpenter, plumber, electrician, baker, mechanic, accountant, or any other person working for a private sector company and their children — and their children’s children now — should have to pay for the 20- to 30-year vacation retirement of a city, state, or federal employee, which is what this bill is about. This bill is a payback to unions to keep their vacations, their pensions, their retirement, their health care. Keep that intact, while everybody else is losing theirs.
Their companies are gonna off-load their health care. You’re going to have to go to a state, to the federal government to get medical insurance before all is said and done, and that’s all this latest $26 billion bailout amounts to is guaranteeing Obama’s public sector union constituents their 20-year vacations, which is another way of discussing their retirement pension. That’s what’s being bailed out today: A 20-year vacation or retirement pension for public sector union people. Now, I know that there are probably a lot of you in this audience who are upset with me when I have said that government doesn’t make anything, that federal workers don’t produce anything. And I know you probably want to try to talk to me about how, ‘Oh, yes, they do,’ and how proud you are of what you do at the federal government.
I’m just going to say, ‘Government does not create wealth. It redistributes wealth, and mostly destroys it.’ Government does not create wealth. Whoever you are in the public sector, you don’t have a thing until somebody is taxed. That’s how you get paid, from the president on down. A lot of people are calling Snerdley. They’re military people, a lot of defense workers and that sort of thing. You know, the one avowed constitutional purposes of the federal government is the defense and protection of the country. So no animus is aimed there. You in this audience know full well of this program’s devotion to the US military, mine personally as well as all the people involved in the EIB Network, and there’s no intent here to impugn. We’re talking philosophically about all of this.
No case can be made today for what’s happening. We still have unspent Porkulus money. We don’t have to print $26 billion we don’t have. We don’t have to borrow $26 billion we don’t have. It’s a payoff to the NEA. This is a payoff to teachers. This is a payoff to teachers unions so that they don’t lose their pensions. Now, who do you think pays school teachers, public school teachers? Who pays them? It’s people who work every day in the private sector whose taxes pay for them. ‘But, Rush, I work at a public sector, and I pay taxes.’ I know you do. You pay income taxes, too, but it is the taxes of private sector workers that pay your salary in the first place from which taxes are then deducted — and as USA Today documents today in their own survey, the average compensation including benefits of a federal worker is $121,000 a year.
The average in the private sector including benefits is 60. So the average government employee, federal, earns twice what the person paying him earns. State and local, public employees: $70,000 a year. Average. Private sector average: $60,000 a year. So, the combined federal, state, and city workers are being paid by private sector people. And there are fewer and fewer private sector people working. Therefore, there are fewer and fewer tax dollars being collected, and we’re going into greater and greater and greater debt because of this, because government doesn’t produce anything. There’s nothing tangible produced. Some towns in California, public sector workers were making $800,000 a year until the taxpayers found out about it. In a little town called Bell, California, $800,000 a year for the mayor, or the city manager or what have you.
Until the public found out about it — and even when that happened, the people making the $800,000 a year tried to make excuses for it and to justify it. I have here in my formally nicotine-stained fingers a story from the LA Daily News. (shuffling paper) It’s right here: ‘As promised earlier this week, Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel on Friday posted the salaries of nearly all city workers by job category on the Internet. The move was prompted by public outrage over the exorbitant salaries paid to former city officials in Bell, where the city manager earned $787,637 and the police chief made $457,000. News of the high salaries has sparked a growing interest among taxpayers to see what their own city employees earn. ‘The public’s trust has been broken as a result of the scandal in Bell,’ Greuel said.
”This is an important step to provide greater transparency.’ The list does not include workers at the Department of Water and Power or the Community Redevelopment Agency because Greuel does not issue those paychecks. Greuel urged those departments to post their salaries’ on their own. Salaries: ‘$295,000 Andrea S. Ordin, county counsel. $281,183 Lee Baca, sheriff. $281,036 P. Michael Freeman, fire. $276,980 John A. Clarke, Superior Court exec. Clerk. $276,912 Lakshmanan Satyavageswaran, coroner. $247,149 Darline Robles, school superintendent. $230,000 Gail Farber, public works.’ These are LA public employees. They are making far more than people in the private sector who are paying them. You could cut these salaries to average what people in the private sector make doing the same thing. You wouldn’t have to fire anybody. You wouldn’t have to get rid of any cops, firemen, teachers, or anybody else, and look at how much money you would save.
So the next time… Let’s throw Bell back into this equation: 787,000 for the city manager and 400-some-odd thousand to the police chief in Bell, California. The population is 30,000 people. So the next time, folks, somebody brings up how expensive it is to keep somebody in prison and we’re going to have to let people out of prison ’cause it’s just too expensive to keep ’em in prison, remind them of the price of keeping bureaucrats on the job and keep this list in mind when you hear local governments claim that they have to fire ‘teachers and firemen’ because they can’t afford them. Well, they could afford the coroner and the school superintendent at 276 grand and 247 grand. ‘Rush, I thought you liked people making money!’ Oh, folks, I’m not opposed to wealth whatsoever. I’m not opposed to people earning it and getting paid what they earn. But when the people paying you end up making one-fourth what you make, it’s unsustainable. It can’t be sustained. The math doesn’t work. Forget the morality. Forget the propriety. The mathematics alone doesn’t work out.
RUSH: Now, as I just mentioned here, staying on the subject of public employee pay, be it federal, state, or local. It’s one thing here to talk about the salaries, but this $26 billion payout, this is to pay their vacations, their retirement. The thing is, most of these people are gonna earn between 70 and 90% of their salaries during their entire retirement. Nobody does that. We have a bunch of employees here at the EIB Network. We’re not gonna pay them when they retire. If they’re not covered, it’s up to them. No, Snerdley, you are not covered. You are not going to be making 80 to 90% of what you make when you retire until you die. That’s right. Snerdley doesn’t expect to. There’s not one person working at the EIB Network who expects to make 70 to 80 to 90% of what their salary was after they quit working until they die. That’s what this $26 billion is for. It’s to fund the retirement pensions of teachers. It’s not about saving jobs. It’s about protecting Democrats’ votes. It’s another slush fund. So it’s one thing to talk about the average salary made by a federal worker, state worker, city worker compared to somebody in the private sector. It’s another thing entirely to start comparing pensions. And some of these people get health care paid for the rest of their lives after they retire. (interruption) What, Dawn? Dawn says we all will now with Obamacare. Yeah. You wait and see what the quality of it is.
The bottom line is this is not sustainable. When the people paying this earn 25 to 50% of what these people are being paid, and then the people who are paying it have kids and grandkids they’re going to be paying for the retirement suspensions and of these people. Look, this is one of the reasons the government owns General Motors. General Motors couldn’t pay up. They couldn’t fulfill the contractual obligations. They signed the deal, they made the contractual deal, but the money isn’t there. They had to off-load it, the government owns it. I told you that the world was waiting on Ben Bernanke. Bernanke has announced what he’s going to do. They’re gonna buy up government debt. Exactly what everybody suspected they’re going to do, they’re going to try to flood the credit markets with money to keep it alive. It’s essentially printing money. They are going to buy in a bunch of worthless mortgages, gonna buy some more of those, and the Federal Reserve is gonna buy up Treasury bills. This is an attempt to keep — the Fed funds rate is essentially zero anyway — but it’s an effort to keep interest rates down, gonna say that they’re fighting inflation here. What’s really happening is a deflationary cycle is being created in all of this.
So a lot of people were hoping that at least Bernanke would have the guts to split off. I had some people actually tell me they thought that would happen, that Bernanke would not want his name to go down in flames, in the mud with Obama’s. I said, ‘Are you kidding? You think Ben Bernanke is gonna come out today and actually advocate the Bush tax cuts be extended? That ain’t going to happen.’ There was no way it was going to happen. So they’re gonna buy up some more mortgage debt, worthless mortgages and some T-bills, the Federal Reserve is, and you watch, the markets, ‘Oh, wow, this is wonderful!’ because the credit market’s going to be flooded with cash now from the Federal Reserve. Where’s the Fed getting the money? They’re printing it. We don’t have it. So the day of reckoning keeps being kicked down the road is what’s happening here.
Terry in Winchester, Virginia, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush!
CALLER: On behalf of my Rush Babies, you are awesome. And I am awesome ’cause I’ve listened to you since college and we’re still going strong.
RUSH: Thank you very much. Appreciate that.
CALLER: That is so cool. Anyway, I do realize that you differentiate between government employees and DOD and, you know, because there definitely is a ladder of usefulness there. And my husband, who is a civilian, works for the DOD, he’s attached to the Navy. Now, his work does not produce a product that you can handle, that you can sell. However, the work that he produces, it’s a valuable asset. He verifies, he looks at intel, he creates protection, and for safety for the boots on the ground, and then of course long range safety for us.
RUSH: Yeah. And guess what’s being cut today? The defense budget’s being cut.
CALLER: My husband and I, we’ve been talking about this because we did see it coming, and there is like, okay, maybe it’s just like all the top-heavy people because they are so inefficient and so top-heavy.
RUSH: Terry, nobody is complaining about national security and the people involved in it.
CALLER: Yes. I know that.
RUSH: The only complaint we have is that the leaders of the country don’t seem to care enough about it.
CALLER: Yes, and that is frustrating. That is frustrating. But fortunately for people like my husband, people he works with, our friends, you know what? We really don’t need a pat on the back from Barack Obama. You know. What they do —
RUSH: Right, because you can’t trust it’s a pat on the back.
CALLER: Yeah, please don’t walk behind me. (laughing.) Thank you so much for hearing me and thank you so much for loving the military.
RUSH: I’m glad you called, Terry. I appreciate that, and since we’re thanking each other, I want to thank you for understanding what I’m talking about here, not having a knee-jerk generalization type reaction to it. I really appreciate it.
CALLER: I think the thing is it’s like a semantics thing where, you know, my husband doesn’t necessarily have a product per se, but he definitely —
CALLER: — his work does —
RUSH: Well, look, even in this USA Today survey, uniformed military personnel are exempted from the comparison because that’s constitutionally required. That’s not dog catching. That’s not truant officer stuff. I don’t even think we have truant officers anymore. We have teachers that make sure the kids are in school one day a month to get the federal money for that month, regardless what they’re learning. So thanks very much. I appreciate it.