This is why you can’t have nice things.

The 2 millionish (disclosed!) underworked, overpaid federal employees would thank you for all the nice things they can buy, but – well, face it. You don’t thank an ATM machine, and that’s all you are.

Open the Books


1. The federal government pays its disclosed workforce $1 million per minute, $66 million per hour, and $524 million per day. In FY2016, the federal government disclosed 1.97 million employees at a cash compensation cost of $136.3 billion.

2. Over a six-year period (FY2010-2016), the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more has increased by 165 percent; those making $150,000 or more has grown by 60 percent; and those making more than $100,000 has increased by 37 percent.

3. On average, federal employees are given 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days per year. If each employee used 13 sick days and took 20 vacation days in addition to the 10 federal holidays, it would cost taxpayers an estimated $22.6 billion annually.

4. In FY2016, a total 406,960 employees made six-figure incomes – that’s roughly one in five disclosed federal employees. Furthermore, 29,852 federal employees out-earned each of the 50 state governors receiving more than $190,823.

5. At 78 out of the 122 independent agencies and departments we studied, the average employee compensation exceeded $100,000 in FY2016.

6. With 326 employees at a total cash compensation of $28.8 million, we found a federal agency in San Francisco – Presidio Trust – paid out three of the top four federal bonuses including the largest in the federal government in FY2016. The biggest bonus went to an HR Manager in charge of payroll for $141,525.

7. Together, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employ more than half of the disclosed federal workforce. As the largest civilian employer within the federal government, the USPS employed 32 percent of all disclosed federal employees, totaling 621,523 people on payroll in FY2016. The VA employed the second most employees with 372,614 or 19 percent of the disclosed federal workforce.

8. Only one-third of the 35,000 lawyers in the federal workforce work at the Department of Justice. The entire staff of federal lawyers earned $4.8 billion in FY2016.

9. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employed 3,498 police officers at a total cost of $172 million in FY2016. When asked about corresponding crime statistics, the VA was unable to provide any information on the number of crimes or incidents.

10. There are an additional 2 million undisclosed employees at the Department of Defense and in the active military. Their estimated cash compensation value, combined with $1 billion in undisclosed bonuses and $125 billion in hidden pension data, amounts to roughly $221 billion in undisclosed federal cash compensation per year.

It used to be a polite fiction that people went into government work out of a desire to do good. I’ve never met one of those people, but I am old enough to remember when a person might rationally go for a government job because it was secure even though you’d never make much money. Glad to see that’s been corrected and now it’s the perfect sinecure: Secure and overpaid. I’m sure the gravy train will just go on forever, so nothing could possibly go wrong.


About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to This is why you can’t have nice things.

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    Oh yes… and then think that pretty much the same thing goes on in every state, county, city and wide spot in the road. Used to be we’d shake our head and say that the difference was that only the feds could “print” their own money. Not sure that’s at all true these days. Printing their own money is just another way to say loading more and more “debt” on all of us, without our consent.

    But, one way or another, eventually, they WILL run out of other people’s money. Or patience… or both.

  2. Ben says:

    “Printing their own money is just another way to say loading more and more “debt” on all of us, without our consent.” As I believe I’ve said before, deficit spending and inflation (two sides of the same coin) are simply a silent tax on your future earnings and on everything you own. And now our saviors in Washington have decreed that we should have the biggest deficit of all time!

  3. Unclezip says:

    And they get all pissy when I refer to them as “tax feeders”. I just call ’em as I see ’em.

  4. joe tentpeg says:

    Almost 4K cops for the VA.


    Guess they need ’em to keep these ‘workers’ from getting their azzes kicked for broken promises.

To the stake with the heretic!