Federal Workers Get $2500
Christmas Present - At Your Expense

WASHINGTON, DC -- Bad news for financially strapped holiday shoppers: You're going to buy a $2,500 "Christmas present" for every overpaid federal bureaucrat in the country -- whether you want to or not.
That's because President Clinton signed an executive order this week giving the nation's 1.8 million federal civil servants raises averaging 3.1%. U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn of Maryland gleefully called the pay hikes, which will cost taxpayers a total of $4.5 billion, "a perfect Christmas present."
Libertarians disagree.
"To the federal workers who will receive these huge raises, Bill Clinton may be Santa Claus. But to the ordinary Americans who have to pay them, he's a real Scrooge," said Steve Dasbach, national director of the Libertarian Party.
"He's taking money out of the pockets of hard-working parents to give his fellow federal workers a gift that keeps on giving all year long: Pay raises that average $2,500 each." Why do Libertarians oppose pay raises for federal workers?
* Federal workers are already overpaid. "According to a study by economist Wendell Cox, the wages and benefits of federal workers have risen five times as fast as private-sector workers since 1980,"Dasbach said. "The result? Cox found that these bureaucrats now earn 50% more than those of us paying their salaries. Raising federal pay even further would turn the holiday spirit on its head by taking from the needy -- and giving to the greedy."
* Many of their jobs are unnecessary and/or unconstitutional. "During the 1995 federal government shutdown, the government itself labeled as 'unessential' up to 99% of the employees in some bureaucracies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development," Dasbach recalled. "The fact is, the vast majority of the alphabet-soup agencies have no Constitutional authority to exist in the first place. So what could be more absurd than bestowing $2,500 raises on unessential employees performing unnecessary jobs at unconstitutional agencies?"
* The raises would be triple that of other Americans. "According to the U.S. Department of Labor, private-sector raises will average $846 next year, about a third of the $2,500 that federal workers are scheduled to receive."
* They make products nobody wants -- except them. "Whether private-sector workers are making computers, waiting tables, or sweeping floors, they're producing something that other Americans voluntarily pay for," Dasbach said. "But not government workers. Instead of offering things that you want, they force you to pay for things you really don't want, such as taxes, regulations, and destructive government programs."
* They already have guaranteed jobs. "Civil-service rules insulate the political class from many risks faced by ordinary Americans, such as arbitrary firings, or layoffs due to a changing economy," Dasbach pointed out. "Rewarding them with big raises as well is a prescription for endless government expansion." The $4.5 billion holiday "gift" illustrates another important difference between government workers and the rest of America, Dasbach said.
"Politicians and bureaucrats don't understand that meaningful gifts can only be purchased voluntarily, and with your own money -- not coercively, through the tax system. Leave it to Bill Clinton and his fellow government workers to pervert Christmas into another expensive government program."