Friday, March 25, 2011

Want A Job Playing On Facebook All Day? Plus Sending Our Dollars Up In Space (Or Not)

Well, I have just the position for you then. And get this - it is with the federal government! Not only do you make a good salary - $115,000 a year, but you get all those awesome federal benefits, too! Woohoo!

Yes, it is true. This is but one of the many, many jobs currently available courtesy of the Federal Government. I guess it wasn't enough that Obama doubled the number of people making $150,000 or more since his ascension in Washington. Nope, now you can get a job with the Department of the Interior, and run their Facebook page. This article highlights some of the positions available - on your dime, of course,
Uncle Sam Shelling Out Big Bucks For Government Jobs, GOP Says Time To Out:
If you’re one of the millions of Americans still looking for a job, the federal government is hiring, and (especially for the unemployed) the pay is excellent. While private sector job growth creeps along at a snail’s pace, the roster of available federal jobs is booming.

The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs needs someone to run the Facebook page for the Dept. of the Interior and they’ll pay up to $115,000 a year. Over at the Dept. of Defense, they’ll drop nearly 50k a year for a new mail room clerk, plus the glorious benefits that comes with government work.

In Washington, D.C., there are more than 1,000 openings this month alone. These include a “student internship” program at the Federal Housing Finance Agency that pays the equivalent of $48,304 a year; a $155,000-a-year gig at the Peace Corps to ensure the agency is complying with Equal Opportunity Employment standards; and a similar job at the Dept. of Transportation that promises nearly $180,000 a year.

Wow. I gotta say, when I was doing internships, I never got anywhere CLOSE to $50,000 a year. One of those internships was a full-time residency which involved spending the night at the trauma hospital in which I worked once a week, after working a full day, and then having class the next morning. Nope, it was NOWHERE near $50k, I can tell you, even though each of us put in a lot of time there.

I guess this is what happens when the Democratic Congress decided not to pass a budget last year, and has been stalling on getting one passed this year, too: thousands of jobs with some mighty decent pay and benefits. Surely, some of these positions will have to be cut, right? Well, some folks think so:
[snip] Republican policymakers looking for more ways to slash government spending think Uncle Sam is being mighty too loose when it comes to how he doles out the cash to his employees, and if the GOP has its way, the $115,000 taxpayer-funded Twitter gurus at the Dept. of the Interior could become a thing of the past.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which held a subcommittee hearing earlier this month to address federal pay rates, is gearing up for even more action, with plans to release a study comparing public worker salaries to similar jobs in the private sector. According to Committee Chair Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the goal is to show the rest of the country just how good federal workers really have it.

“It’s abundantly clear that many federal employees are being paid significantly more than their counterparts outside government service,” committee spokesman Ali Ahmad told The Daily Caller. “The committee is working to more fully expose the compensation divide by developing comparisons that don’t just look at salary but also the expensive benefits and job security federal employees have that is rarely found in the private sector.”

Well, that's an understatement, isn't it? I would say the federal employees make out like bandits comparatively speaking. Check this out:
[snip] Federal employees raked in an average of $101,628 in total compensation in 2010, which includes health care and other benefits, according to the Office of Personnel Management. That’s far more than the average private-sector worker, although simple side-by-side comparisons don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Many federal jobs require highly-skilled workers, while the data on the private sector lumps in more low-waged jobs that aren’t present in the public sector and bring down the average.


Issa’s committee wouldn’t be the first to compare federal pay with the private industry. An investigative report from USA Today last year found that “in more than eight out of 10 occupations” federal employees “earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers” and that doesn’t include the government’s generous package of benefits.

President Obama in November proposed a two-year pay freeze for nearly two million federal workers, but that would still allow them to collect bonuses and receive automatic pay raises when they move up the ladder on the General Schedule system.[snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

I cannot help but think of the theme song from Cybill Shepherd's sitcom, "Cybill," "Nice work if you can get it, if you can get it, won't you tell me how?" Ahem.

I bet many of us would like to receive bonuses, or even "automatic pay raises" in our jobs. Especially when there is a "freeze" on pay. See, to me, when I hear that phrase, I think there will be NO automatic pay raises, or bonuses, etc., etc. Then again, I don't work for the government, thus utilizing that kind of "logic." So there you go.

And if you want to take a look at some of the benefits available to federal employees, click here. Hey, might as well search for one of the positions above, while you are at it.
And if you get it, or any others listed, do tell!

While I am at it, talking about government expense, that is, since the US government is the largest employer in the US. Um, what happened to wanting smaller government? I guess that was so 1990s...

Anywho - how about this little expenditure? That would be NASA being compelled to spend over $1 million a DAY on a program that is now defunct, the Constellation. It has been defunct since last year, which means a quarter of a billion dollars has already been spent since then. And there is more being shelled out while Congress keeps kicking the Budget Can down the road.

I can't say it any better than this:
[snip] Industry and congressional sources attributed the failure to the fact that the amount of money involved simply wasn't enough to attract the attention of congressional leaders.

"Maybe $1 million a day isn't a big deal when you have a $1.6 trillion [federal] deficit," said Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-partisan budgetary watchdog. But, he added, that's "not the kind of decision any normal organization would make." [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Yeah, I'm thinking that kind of cash adds up pretty quickly. But the bottom line is, when the vast majority of American citizens are having to watch our money more and more carefully, as gasoline prices go up, thus raising food and utility costs as well, and our elected officials cannot take better care of the money we are sending to Washington, whether it is through programs like this, or the number of positions available in DC, it makes me just a little cranky.

How about you?