The editor’s opinion from Marketplace, Northeast Wisconsin’s business magazine. (Obligatory disclaimer: Most hyperlinks go to outside sites, and we’re not responsible for their content. And like fresh watermelon, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, tomatoes and sweet corn, hyperlinks can go bad after a while.)

July 30, 2008

Your tax dollars at work

The National Taxpayers Union notes that the National Treasury Employees Union began a campaign, "Federal Employees, They Work for U.S.," which is "aimed at dispelling negative stereotypes and increasing the visibility of government work."

Perhaps the NTEU is referring to the negative stereotype of government employees being overpaid? The Cato Institute determined that federal employees were paid, on average, $100,178 in wages and benefits in 2004, vs. $51,876 for private-sector workers. The NTU also notes that one in 5,000 nondefense federal employees is fired for poor performance each year.

As the NTU puts it, the campaign "doesn’t reflect the reality that federal workers are paid extremely well to do the jobs they almost can’t lose. ... Since we pay them via taxes, they should get back to work and do their jobs efficiently, excellently, and with gratitude to the American taxpayer."

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