A Screwy Notion Of Shared Sacrifice

Tax the what? You might remember this item from last year. In September, the very libertarian CATO Institute released a study that found federal workers earn an average salary of $71,206 vs. $40,331 for private sector employees. When benefits are included the numbers are more striking; federal salary with benefits increases to $119,982 vs. $59,909 for the private sector employee. The findings didn't get much attention until USA TODAY reported similar results in December.

This Time magazine article from last month decries the budget crisis at the state level. While the USA TODAY story and CATO study refer only to federal workers, might there be a connection? Austerity measures for government employees are virtually non-existent, with one teachers' union recently rejecting a 2% salary increase on the grounds it was too small. Know of anything similar happening in the private sector? When the president refers to 'shared sacrifice' and derisively to 'tax cuts for the rich' to whom is he referring? Unions are now, by far, the majority owners of the nation's auto industry. The AFL-CIO had an Enron-sized corruption scandal earlier this decade that went completely unnoticed and stemmed from insider trading in its union-owned insurance firm.

Pay inequality, accounting scandals, insider trading; weren't policies put in place to prevent this sort of stuff from happening? I'm sure a reform package is in the works to address this injustice. I won't hold my breath.

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