Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

State and local governments have been hard hit by the current depression. What to do?


But where?

Well, legislatures could simply repeal all increases and programs starting with the most recent, going back month by month, year by year to nix spending until total spending dips below current revenue. Legislatures around the country should go into sessions of repeal.

Or they could target endemic over-spending. According to a January Cato Institute Tax & Budget Bulletin, one area of over-spending in need of tackling is “Employee Compensation in State and Local Governments.”

According to the bulletin’s author, Chris Edwards, there are several distinct indicators that demonstrate that government workers are generally overpaid.

Comparisons of compensation between state and local workers and private sector workers show a 1.45 ratio, with government workers garnering nearly half again as much as private sector workers.

The percentage of government employees to receive benefit packages over salary is also significantly higher than private sector laborers.

Further, Edwards notes, “data show that the average quit rate in the state and local workforce is just one-third the rate in the private sector. This suggests that state and local pay is higher than needed to attract qualified workers.”

So, rational employers — that is, the citizenry — would start there, first by freezing wages and new hires, then by decreasing benefits and reining in profligate promises in retirement packages.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Joel says:

    There is ONE THING WRONG with this. The ax will fall on the low/lower paid employees-usually those who contribute the most. I suggets, rather, CUT THE SALARY AND BENEFITS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE and other governing bodies, (many of whom have lucrative other jobs and/or businesses), their staff size, and the executive branch, and its staff size—as a start. Then, go through all of the agencies, bureaus, etc., and see which are needed.

    An example- FL. legislatators are often attorneys (I am sure the same is true elsewhere) and use their positions to help their clients-and themselves. Let them do it on less. And, where I live- about 6 years ago,the city built a nice plaza-unneeded, but nice. Now, with library hours cut due to budget constraints, the city has torn up the plaza-to build a new one, in its place, on the same spot; makes sense, right?

    Again, where I live- a closed up (going on 4 or so years) garage/repair shop. A man wanted to buy it to store/garage (not repair) his vehicles (in the tree and lawn business). Refused -had to be hotel/motel ( a few within blocks), retail (with numerous empty stores abounding) or offices ( same as retail). His business would NOT ADD TO TRAFFIC, and have minimal impact-vehicles arrive in the eveving, leave in morning; as opposed to retail-cars in and out-no go, say the wizards of waste.

  2. Bob Giacomazza says:

    This is definitely not true here in Texas. I worked for the State of Texas for 20 years, retiring 1 1/2 years ago. State agencies were plagued by inability to fill positions requiring college degrees. Pay was traditionally about 2/3 of what the private sector paid. The turnover rate was also a great problem.

  3. voxoreason says:

    Every time we hear about huge deficits that require a tightening of belts, it seems the gov’t ALWAYS starts with police, teachers, and hospitals. This skirts way too closely to extortion on a huge scale: pay more taxes… or else.

    In the not too distant past, Obama himself has said that Medicare had $500 billion (or million? hard to keep up now that they’ve thrown “trillion” into the mix) worth of fraud and abuse… but the Congress would have to send him a bill to sign in order to deal with said fraud and abuse.

    Why not simply: 1 – 2 – 3 – CUT? Why wouldn’t such cutting pay for itself?

    Obama seems to have given fraud and waste his personal stamp of approval… or he wouldn’t put pre-conditions on its removal.

  4. Rubicon says:

    And now we all know exactly why Obama & the unions want ObamaCare. It means thousands more federal employees. Unionized federal employees I might add!
    The unions know there benefits & wages from government are sacrosanct. Such are never repealed or reduced or cut back. Never.
    With all those new union dues paying federal employees, the unions will garner even more power & wealth to make even more demands of taxpayers. And hey, look at it this way for those employees. They too pay taxes, BUT, they get back a substantial amount or percentage of whatever is deducted from their paychecks. Its like paying yourself in a way!
    Only by allowing the public to demand & follow through with a total reduction in state & federal employment levels, plus a reduction in benefits paid & allowances granted to those state & federal employees, will the public ever regain control of those government budgets.
    Unions will fight toot & nail since they know in the private sector their demands can be cut back or a company can go broke.
    But in the public sector, a local, state & even federal operation is ALWAYS bailed out.
    Taxpayers always end up footing the bill.
    You think its bad now?! Wait until all of those excessively lucrative federal pensions hit the fan. There is no way the government at any level can meet those obligations. Its far too much money going out versus the small amounts coming in. Raising taxes might save the day, but two problems come up. One is you break the backs of average taxpayers & the other is, you cannot tax someone if they have no income since they have no job!
    This means Obama & the Democrat socialists can finally go to it & attack the wealthy by actually confiscating their wealth rather than just taxing their incomes.
    Once the socialists start taking away accumulated wealth from bank accounts & stocks, then we will have the real recession or more accurately, the depression that it appears Democrats are anxious to happen. Perhaps the one world types think if they can bankrupt America they can gain functional control of America as the base for their one world government?
    Who knows?

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