Michael Snyder, Contributor
Once upon a time, working for the federal government was considered to be a sacrifice and it often involved a significant reduction in pay. Millions of Americans felt that serving their country and making a difference more than made up for the reduced wages that they would receive. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today, the federal government is the place to go if you want a cushy, high-paying job with tons of benefits. It is incredibly hard to be fired from a federal job, and if you stick around long enough you will be guaranteed a huge pension for the rest of your life.
Nobody is saying that we should shut the government down. All societies need government. However, the cold, hard truth is that our bloated federal government has gotten wildly out of control.
We desperately need to change course, because our federal government has become a deeply corrupt monster that just keeps getting larger and larger no matter which political party is in control.
The following are 16 sickening facts that show how members of Congress and federal workers are living the high life at your expense….
#1 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.
#3 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.
#4 In 2010, the federal government spent $33,387 on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators.
#5 In 2010, U.S. Senators pulled $72,370 out of the “Senate Restaurant Fund”.
#6 In 2010, U.S. Senators took $166,673 out of something called the “Senate Gift Shop Revolving Fund”.
#7 In 2010, an average of $4,005,900 of U.S. taxpayer money was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per Senator.
#8 Cooks working for the Bureau of Prisons make an average of $66,225 a year.
#9 During 2010, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.
#10 During 2010, compensation for federal employees came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.
#11 According to the Heritage Foundation, federal workers on average make 30 to 40 percent more money than their counterparts in the private sector.
#12 The U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more back in 2005. When Barack Obama became president, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more. By June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.
#13 If you are a federal worker, you are 13 times more likely to die of natural causes than you are to get laid off by the federal government.
#14 Insider trading is 100% legal for members of Congress, and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.
#15 At this point, more than half of those “serving the American people” in Congress are millionaires.
#16 Nearly 15,000 retired federal workers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually. The list includes such names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.
As I have written about previously, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and a whole host of statistics show that the middle class in America is in a deep state of decline.
Median household income has declined by 8.1 percent since the year 2000, and 14 million more Americans have been added to the food stamp rolls since Barack Obama became president.
It is not right for members of Congress and federal employees to be living the high life while the rest of the country is experiencing tremendous economic pain.
What makes all of this even worse is that the U.S. national debt has now reached the 16 trillion dollar level.
If we could pay for all of this wild government spending that would be one thing, but the truth is that the U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
We cannot afford this kind of spending.
We need to totally change the culture in Washington.
We need a government that is lean and efficient and that is full of people that have a passion for serving the public.
So do you think that we will ever get there?
Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….
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This article first appeared here at the The Truth. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.