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Congress must crack down on fat cat bureaucrats

January 4, 2010
Salem News

Members of Congress, President Barack Obama and officials in his administration have been strident in their condemnation of private-sector executives who, in their opinion, make too much money. "Fat cats" should not be living high off the hog while so many Americans are suffering from the recession, say lawmakers and the president.

What about government, the size and cost to taxpayers - which has exploded during the recession? Apparently that doesn't concern anyone in Washington.

During the past 18 months, while the ranks of the unemployed were increasing steadily, pay for high-ranking government officials has skyrocketed. According to an investigation by USA Today, the number of federal employees with salaries of $100,000 or more jumped to 19 percent of total federal employment - up from 14 percent -during the past 18 months.

According to the newspaper, there were 1,868 federal employees being paid $150,000 or more in December 2007. By last June the number had jumped to 10,100. Also according to USA Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation had just one employee being paid $170,000 or more when the recession started. Now, the number taking home those fat paychecks is 1,690.

That is outrageous - and unacceptable. If Congress does not crack down on proliferation in bureaucratic fat cats, voters should find lawmakers who will do so.

And, by the way, this is the government that claims it can provide health care more economically than the private sector.



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