Washington Post survey to feds: You make too much


Attention feds, if you have read the Washington Post recently, a new poll there delivers a message in the form of a survey. Stop making so much money and working less hard.

I know, I know. The survey results are here if you want to see.


The survey of 1,002 adults found 52 percent think federal employees are “overpaid for the work they do” while 33 percent think they are paid the right amount, and 9 percent think they are underpaid.

According to the Washington Post poll, 49 percent said feds work less hard than peers in the private sector, with 39 percent saying equally hard working and 7 percent say harder working.

It gets weirder from there though.

Would they recommend a federal career to a relative or close friend just graduating school?

A 57 percent majority said yes, with 33 percent saying no.

Only 35 percent of respondents said they have had contact with a federal employee, but out of those, 73 percent rated the fed’s job performance “very well” or “somewhat well.” Only 26 percent gave ratings of “not so well” or “not well at all.”

So what do all of you guys think? Is there a disconnect here or is there more to the story?

Is there an angle the Washington Post should have taken, or something left out?


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  1. There are a multitude of disconnects here…people are taking their cues from politicos and newsies, who love to make feds the scapegoat for things.

    People also fail to take into effect the fact that yes, indeed, you will generally make more with a degree in a professional job than you will in low-paying service sector jobs…and the government doesn’t really have those. Then you get into the issue of *Washington* average pay, and the fact that said figure includes a skewing from contractors and lobbyists (who make more than feds), and from the fact that DC is where management is. If you took every CEO and corporate VP in the entire country and put them in one city you’d have a pay average WAY higher than even DC…so looking at the private-sector counterparts of who is in DC, we’re actually QUITE a bargain.

    As for the benefits part of the equation, the answer is actually pretty easy: Over the last 30 years or so, private sector benefits packages have been drastically gutted from what used to be provided. People are angry, but they’re focusing their anger on the wrong thing. If they think that federal workers currently receive better benefits than the private sector (although, quite frankly, federal benefits have *also* declined the last 30 years, just not as drastically), they shouldn’t be advocating for feds to receive less–they should be asking themselves why doesn’t the private sector receive MORE, like they used to, and why do only senior VP’s and CEO’s get good insurance and retirement packages these days?

    Finally, as to the work ethic…again, people are listening to scapegoating on the part of the news and the politicians, and also on the part of anyone who’s had even one bad experience with a fed, painting us all in broad brush strokes because they just see a bunch of faceless bureaucrats, an easy target that they figure must all be the same. Are there lazy feds? Sure there are. But you could say that about ANY “industry”. There are lazy doctors, lazy lawyers, lazy CEO’s, lazy corporate rank-and-file…should we assume that all of their colleagues are lazy, too? Of course not. From what I’ve seen at least, us feds–on *average*–actually work *harder* than the private sector.

    My colleagues and I rarely leave work while the sun is still up…and every contractor is gone by 5:00. For once, I’d love to see THAT sort of story reported. But I doubt we ever will. We (feds) make an easy target as few people know the real story and its hard for us to properly defend ourselves (we don’t have the same sort of automatic PR and defenders among the public that our colleagues in uniform have, or the massive PR/lobbying engines that contractors do). And politicians, reporters, and an angry public love an easy target.

  2. Phicrappazappa on

    EXCELLENT Eleiana!
    As a further note from my perspective… the elites have figured out the political theory of class warfare. The private middle-class sector is being screwed into the ground by the elites and complicit media and their never-ending assault on labor unions. Don’t question or even look at those that are making the rules; or providing the shaft. Never, ever question your masters. Instead, you should focus on your peers that have united in their struggle against basic slavery and servitude. They are in a position far better than you. You should hate them and the institutions that they expouse. They are the greedy ones. They are the corrupt ones. You know they don’t have to really work for their earnings. Anyone can do that job – especially you (for their pay, of course). C’mon folks, tear those people down to size… your masters need their bonuses. Let them eat government cheese.

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