Bureaucrats Earn How Much?

The average federal worker in 78 government agencies makes about $100,000 per year.

Lewis Morris · Jan. 3, 2018

We’ve all heard the jokes about government jobs and the general lack of efficiency in the federal bureaucracy. Yet in some important ways, the size and scope of the federal government workforce is nothing to crack wise about.

A recent study by, a nonprofit watchdog group, found that taxpayers pay over $1 million a minute to cover the two-million-person federal workforce. Including pay and benefits, that comes out to around $136 billion a year.

Yes, we have a large federal workforce, so perhaps the numbers aren’t surprising. But working for the government also has significant perks, according to the study, which breaks down salaries by agency and states. The average federal worker in 78 government agencies makes about $100,000 per year. After three years, they get 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days and 20 paid vacation days.

Moreover, the report says, “Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors.” That’s astounding.

Also, the study does not take into account the Department of Defense or the men and women on active military duty. Of the agencies and departments that were examined, the Postal Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs were the largest employers, accounting for 32% and 19%, respectively, of all federal workers.

Over 400,000 federal employees take home six-figure incomes. Over the last decade, the number of federal workers making over $200,000 a year increased by 165%. There is even a heart surgeon on the VA payroll who makes more than the president.

It’s worth noting that many federal employees are hardworking people who take their jobs seriously and only aim to do patriotic service. Unfortunately, that isn’t true for enough of them.

Public-sector unions have exercised a great deal of power to drive up the wages and benefits for federal workers. And there is a high level of graft and waste that takes place in the federal bureaucracy. This is doubly troubling because it’s this very bureaucracy that manages the government and pretty much all our daily interactions with it.

These bureaucrats often have more influence over us than our elected representatives. Congress makes laws and the president enforces them, as the Constitution dictates, but it is the bureaucracy that handles everything on a day-to-day basis. The growth of the federal government and the waste that takes place within it has reached epic proportions.

What makes the situation even worse is the gaggle of Leftists who populate many of these government agencies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a perfect example of how the inmates are running the asylum. Upset by President Donald Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney to head the agency, CFPB personnel now flout transparency rules and engage in other tactics meant to sabotage the agency’s workings.

This sort of behavior, which goes on across the federal bureaucracy, is an affront to the American people. Taxpayers deserve to get their money’s worth from federal agencies, but many of the people who work for these agencies act as if they are doing us a favor. With this sort of behavior, it’s no surprise that people don’t trust or even respect the federal government.

If Trump is serious about draining the swamp, then he needs to pursue measures that call for more accountability and transparency within the federal bureaucracy. It will mean a battle with the public-sector unions that will likely get ugly, but it’s a battle that needs to be waged.

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