Browsing: Cato Institute

TSA director on security patdowns: Like it or lump it

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The Transportation Security Administration is digging in its heels over the new patdown procedures for airline passengers who don’t want to go through revealing — and possibly radiation-exposing — scans. But the agency is losing the battle for public opinion — fast. And the American Federation of Government Employees — one of two major unions vying to represent TSA — is worried the backlash could come down hard on screeners. There’s already been a few physical altercations between screeners and angry passengers, including an incident where a traveler in Indianapolis punched a screener. “TSA must do a better job explaining…

'Compassionate' talk at Heritage Foundation

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The Heritage Foundation today hosted a panel discussion on the public-private pay gap that didn’t really touch on a whole lot that hasn’t already been hashed out over the last several months. But it did yield this interesting exchange in response to a reporter’s question about the Obama administration’s claims that stimulus dollars saved state and local government jobs: Chris Edwards, Cato Institute: ‘What’s wrong with layoffs of state and local government workers? … Recessions create a sort of weeding out in the private sector, where companies lay off the least efficient workers, and then they’re ready to grow again…

Cato: Federal employment is 'parasitism' on private sector

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I’ve had the nagging feeling lately that this never-ending debate over federal salaries is, deep down, really just a Rorschach test for how someone feels about the government. And the Cato Institute’s latest blog on the subject has some interesting comments that lend credence to my theory. Cato budget analyst Tad DeHaven on Tuesday fired back at OPM Director John Berry’s recent assertions that Cato and other federal critics are playing fast and loose with the facts to support their political viewpoints. DeHaven goes over some familiar points — federal perks and benefits are much more generous than in the…

Overpaid feds?

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Cato’s Chris Edwards thinks federal employees are overpaid (h/t Alyssa Rosenberg at GovExec’s blog): In 2008, the average wage for 1.9 million federal civilian workers was $79,197, which compared to an average $49,935 for the nation’s 108 million private sector workers (measured in full-time equivalents). The figure shows that the federal pay advantage (the gap between the lines) is steadily increasing. This is a pretty useless comparison. 66 percent of federal employees are in higher-paid “management, business, and financial” or “professional” jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only about 36 percent of private sector employees are in those…