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October 19th, 2010
05:58 PM ET

Americans' negative view of federal workers justified?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

At a time when millions of Americans are disgusted with the federal government, a new poll shows low marks and negativity toward civil servants.

The Washington Post survey finds 52 percent of those polled say the 1.9 million federal workers are overpaid for what they do.

Seventy-five percent say federal workers are paid more and get better benefits than those working outside the government, according to the survey.

Thirty-six percent think they're less qualified than private-sector workers.

And half say that federal employees don't work as hard as those at private companies.

The poll also shows a deep divide along party lines when it comes to the views of the federal work force, with Republicans being more negative.

Republican candidates are latching onto this sentiment. On the campaign trail, they're using civil servants as examples of what's wrong with government - too big, too invasive and too much in debt. They vow to freeze pay raises and furlough federal workers if they win control of Congress.

Federal unions and Democrats describe criticism of "faceless bureaucrats" as scapegoating.

The government says it's hard to compare salaries in the private and public sectors because many jobs outside government are in low-paying industries while government workers are typically more skilled.

The good news for government workers is that of people who have interacted with a federal worker, the survey found. Three in four say the experience was a good one. Also, the survey shows younger Americans are more likely to give positive reviews.

Here’s my question to you: Is Americans' negative view of federal workers justified?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ron in Miami writes:
Jack, Federal workers are just people, trying to get through the day and get the paycheck at the end of the week. The fact is a lot of people are upset with the way things are going in their own lives and are blaming the government and the workers that the government employs.

David in Cleveland, Ohio writes:
I worked for the U.S. Postal Service years ago, and I found the level of effort appalling then. I have not seen it get much better. Outsourcing many government jobs to private companies that have to bid for the work on a competitive basis will help significantly keep levels of service high and move us away from the tenure nature of government employees.

Sara in Reston, Virginia writes:
My husband is a highly-skilled, dedicated federal employee working 12-hour days on a regular basis, and severely underpaid compared to his private sector counterparts. But he believes in public service, having served 20 years in the military before this job. I'm sure you can imagine how it makes me feel to see Republicans heaping scorn on federal workers.

Matthew writes:
The life of a federal worker in no way compares to that of a worker in the private sector. I grew up in the D.C. area and saw firsthand how different things were for them... With private sector wages now stagnated, the federal workers enjoy all the bells and whistles an over-bureaucratized government has to offer while those less fortunate have to duke it out on their own.

Russ in Pennsylvania writes:
Of course. All public unions should be disbanded and their jobs privatized. Look at Europe: How long will it take for people to realize that the special benefits and pensions are not capable of being supported by a declining middle class? Government has declared war on the middle class.

N. writes:
Hard to tell. They're not asked to do more with less, as in the private sector. Also, they've basically got tenure, so they're not generally in jeopardy of termination. Let's find out by cutting 10% of them, tomorrow.


Filed under: Taxes • United States • US Federal Government • US Government
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Edward Galgay

    Jack,

    I do not believe it is. My data my be a little dated, I was a federal employee from 1975 – 1984. After 1984 I entered the private market place where I was not capped on pay or constrained by other necessary federal employment restraints. My training in the federal government both in technical and people skills served me well during my career which includes partnership in a top 10 strategy consulting firm, CIO of a world class fashion design house and owning my own LLC.
    The people who trained and mentored me were as competent as anyone I have met in private industry but who in my opinion, traded career limits with having a more predictable work environment. Federal employees were maligned when I joined them in 1975 as they are today, which is not a pleasant message to receive. As with many things today, people make bold comments with really little or no personal experience or facts to back up their statements. Too bad, I'd rather we were a country of people that could respect each other enough at least to talk with facts, or ask questions to find out the facts.
    Thanks for asking the question, maybe it could lead to a fruitful discussion with facts.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  2. Margaret

    Why is it that the CEOs of private corporations are supposed to be paid like kings and everyone else is supposed to be a mere pauper? My father and many other like him, were soldiers, sailors, and airmen before they were federal workers. They were pilots, air traffic controllers, weather forecasters, electronics technicians, etc. They were hired to do important work for the government because they have skills! Government work is honorable, should be done well, and paid reasonably. Stop scapegoating federal and state workers to take the attention off of the greed of private corporations. I have had enough of this nonsense.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  3. jd roberts

    I think the lower grade you are the most work youdo so that leaves lots of leasure time for grade 11 and above. I do think

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  4. tom lobenstein

    Yes they are. I am a retired federal employee and I sadly must say the most civil servants are concerned about annual ratings, pay, job security,health insurance, and retirement above job performance. Supervisors and OPM (Office of Personnel Management) rules and policy put the emphasis on the above factors over performance.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  5. Glen Wilson

    I think the federal, state and local governments have many good workers. I also know that the civil servant rules allow ineffective employees to stay employed. In addition, higher- achieving employee's are not rewarded for their stronger performance.

    The private pension systems that are in place for government workers are part of the problem. Long tenured employees cannot afford to leave their job and can become underperforming employees. More experienced workers from the private sector cannot afford to become government employees later in their careers because of the private pension system. This prevents government agencies from hiring the best talent.

    The private pension allowance should be eliminated for all new hired employees. Have them join the social security system that the rest of the company must join. Allow 401 k matching programs to be put in place for the employees that are not covered by the private pensions. This will lead to a more equitable system and will provide a higher quality hiring pool for government agencies.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  6. OR Chapin

    Absolutely! They are overpaid. I work side-by-side with many of the GS civil servants (I'm military). Have you ever called the VA for assistance. 100% goat rope! On the flip-side, many military members are overpaid too. I don't know too many high-school graduates who can get the pay & benefits a newly enlisted member gets – complete with annual pay raises, 30-days vacation, federal holidays, promotion pay raises, extra pay for having dependents, free health care, etc. . . but we do have to accept there will be periods away from our families and in harm's way on occasion.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  7. Bobbie

    As an ex government employee, I can say unequivocably, that everyone of the government workers I worked with (approx 200 ) wouldn't last a week in the private sector. And the bosses were the worst! On any level you want...DMV, IRS, etc. Pick one that couldn't be run better by an average private businessman.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  8. Bill

    I am sure there are plenty of quality workers that work in the public sector. The problem is not with the individual, it is with the exorbitant pay and pension packages that outpace the private sector. At this point you have to ask yourself if the government has overstepped it's bounds and sold out the future via high deficit and the need for increased taxation to pay for a bloated federal workforce. This fight is not about the worker.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  9. Intune

    Well Duh! So Democrats polled have a higher opinion of federal government workers than Republicans polled. What do you expect since federal workers ARE mostly Democrats. They are talking about themselves so, of course they have a higher opinion.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  10. William

    After working in DoD for 28 years, I've observed that that 5% of Government workers do 95% of the work and 95% of civil service employees don't pull their load. 2 hour lunch breaks and unmanned offices are normal.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  11. Ed Walston

    The negative view is not justified. I've worked both public and private sector and people are people. The top 10% work over and above, the middle 80% work hard enough to get the job done, and the bottom 10% are problematic in any organization, public or private.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  12. Captain Obvious

    A freeze of Federal hiring would cripple this country. Much of the federal workforce is aging and close to retirement. New workers are needed now to learn from their predecessors before it's too late. If that can't be done there would be a huge loss of knowledge. Furthermore, fewer federal workers would increase the defecit. The government has many responsibilities they are legally obligated to provide. Without federal workers these reponsibilities have to be carried out by private contractors which cost much more. Not wanting to spend money isn't going to make tons of nuclear waste grow wings and fly away.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  13. Jonathan Brown

    Hi Jack,

    Government work has been changing during the past 25 years and evolving away from lower skilled clerical work and towards higher skilled professional work that necessitates a four year degree or higher.

    In the same 25 years, starting with Reagan's supporters, professional positions that require education beyond high school have been consistently outsourced from this country because it was deemed to be "pro-business."

    I think the problem will be solved when the conservatives have all of us, whether or not we have a college education, unemployed and eating cheetos at 3:00 in the morning.

    -Jonathan Brown in Albany, NY

    October 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  14. Matt W

    As an intern physician and the son of two federal employees, I know who to thank for my work ethic. My parents truly believe in the good stewardship of our public lands and waterways, something that benefits all Americans. Not too long before President Reagan and his "trough", President Kennedy asked what we could do for our country. There are many ways to serve.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  15. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    That survey says that 25 % of all transactions with federal workers is not positive. I'd say that justifies a poor reputation. I'd be out of business with employees like that.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  16. Gus

    Federal workers, Wall Street execs... all the same.
    The federal workers spend too much time in somebody's pocket and trying to campaign for another term.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  17. Al

    Hey,
    I am a Gov't Worker, and I woke from my nap to write this...it wont be long, as I am still on the dole, and want to get some more sleep before I have to go home.

    But, I must say, we, like all other industries, come from society.....we work as told, and for the most part do a good job. Also, remember, the problems we face didnt stem from our incompetence....it came from those making a heck of a lot more than us, with much greater credentials....

    Damn, I didnt want to break a sweat.....

    October 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  18. Buddy Milo

    Federal workers epitomize the Feds' short sightedness. Their inefficiency isn't their fault. There aren't any profit and loss zones in a bureaucracy, only budgets full of (our) spending money. DC's attitude is if it's happening then it must be right and if I get reelected then everything is justified.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  19. Kathleen

    I've been a Federal employee for over a quarter of a century and I have earned every dollar that I've been paid. As for the benefits they aren't as great as many people think. For instance, the health insurance companies raise their rates every year (we can choose plans from Nov. to Dec.) it is a nightmare; the cost keep rising and the standard of care is decreasing. We're paying more and getting less.

    If the republicans are intent on destroying the Federal workforce then
    that is reason enough for me and every other federal employee not to vote for them.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  20. Dan

    My perception is that federal employees (with the obvious exception of those in the military) are risk-averse. They seek security at the expense of compensation, career advancement, and challenging work environment. That's a fair trade, and as a taxpayer, those are the people I want working for the government. But when I hear of the ridiculous salaries, double-dipping pensions, and cushy jobs that many (not all) federal employees now have, I realize that they have it all – there is no trade-off.

    We can debate about the role of the government and whether it has overstepped its boundaries, but we should all agree that the government should be accountable to accomplish its mission efficiently when taxpayer dollars are at stake.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Absolutely NOT! I bust my butttt in my govt. job. I make a lot less than many of my friends that work in a similar position. However; Federal Job security has made "we the govt. employees" targets of bitterness.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  22. Steve

    Jack, being in the military requires working with federally employed civilians on base. We in the military usually despise them. No oversight. They make there own TERRIBLE hours. They dont care about job quality. Worst of all its almost impossible for them to get fired, and they know it.

    Steve in Guam

    October 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  23. Peter

    This negative view is 100% justified. But, not because there is anything inherently wrong with Government employees in general. The problem with most Goverment employment is that it is not under the same competitive pressures, or performance and hard work requirements as for those working in the private sector. For most Government employees, pushing paper is most of what the work requires. The private sector tries to minimize the number of hours that employees spend on paperwork. Such work is considered unproductive, and adds to Expenses on a company's Income Statement. Such costs are something to be minimized, if the company is to remain competitive... and then there is the whole notion of Federal Government Unions, early retirement benefits ... what a mess!

    Peter,
    NJ

    October 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  24. Knoxville

    Jack, Ronald Reagan won the 1980 election by telling people that the government could not be relied on, and he then proceeded to make it so. Over the past 30 years, under mostly Republican rule, our government has become more callous (see: regulation policies and hurricane Katrina.) Government wages have gone from below the rate of the private sector to way above. The one constant that I can see is that peple still have a negative view of federal workers, only now it seems justified.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  25. Joel Robbins

    Deus ex machina is not a viable economic or social policy. If you use it to try to solve a country’s problems, you make the citizens beggars, if you use it with your children, you will likely be raising their children and still paying off their credit cards when they are in their forties. Please vote and vote responsibly. Syracuse, IN

    October 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  26. nick

    Many are overpaid for what they do.

    Many are paid more and get better benefits than those working doing same skill in private sector

    Some don't work as hard as those at private companies since they know firing is so hard to do.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  27. Tony

    In most cases it's not the workers that are the problem. It's the system. Big cumbersome, inefficient and bloated systems will stifle creativity, enthusiasm and competiveness among the workers. Couple that with the lack of accountability due to stovepipe organizations and union forces and you get a very "bad" business model. When busineses in the private sector get this way – they either regenerate themselves or go out of business.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  28. Debora Hargis Florida

    I do not believe it is justified. It is common to hear of government workers leaving because they can earn higher salaries in the private sector. But, you do not have workers leaving the private sector for government jobs for a pay increase.
    Unless, of course, the worker in question is running for political office because they were kicked out of the private sector with a golden parachute.
    I've dealt with the IRS over back taxes and found them to be quite helpful and accommodating. And, this is an agency that has not enjoyed a good reputation. My experience is that the poor reputation was unfounded.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  29. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Jack, I think it depends on the job description. Military and intelligence get some of the best and brightest from our schools, so I would say it is unjustified. If you are talking about Political appointees or electd positions, I think we are getting ripped off. If you are talkign about the hundreds of fiefdoms created for political cronies then I think we are getting totally jobbed. Do you know any accounting majors in college who listed the IRS as their first preference for employment?

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  30. Michael

    My father is a retired federal civil servant, my family has a large number of retired civil servants. They're certainly not less qualified than the people who did similar work in the private sector, which would include my mother who did almost the same things my father did for many years. They might have better benefits, but they busted their butts to get them just like everyone else.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  31. Denise, Fullerton, CA

    Our negative view may not be justified. We are angry with the over compensation of government workers and the pensions we are going to be stuck with as taxpayers and that is fueling the discord. In my city, the municipal city manager gets 1 day off for every week worked which they accumulate for years. At his previous city job he cashed out for 524K in holiday/vacation/sick leave/personal leave. Where else in the world would you be able to get away with something like this? This is a devious way to jack up compensation. It is hidden in a benefit package so finding out the true compensation of federal/state/county/city employees is almost impossible. Mind you, the average salary of a city manager in CA is over 200K. Tell me where else you would get that kind of deal for 524K in accumulated time off. YES we are negative about government employees because we feel we are being shaken down and taken advantage of.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  32. Bob

    Are there "loafers" on the federal payroll? Sure. They're everywhere, and like the private sector (maybe even there at CNN?) we try to weed them out...just takes longer, real hard to do. On the other hand, I know of dozens who are working so hard they can never use up their vacation time, are traveling so much to required meetings they have frequent flyer and frequent stayer points out the wazoo, and look so worn out because they have so much work to do they are truly risking their mental and physical health. Just don't hear much about those folks because they're not controversial.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  33. Hap Philadelphia, Pa

    It's scapgoating plain and simple. Federal employees have no control over their situation whatsoever. Can't strike, and have no binding arbitration. We are at the mercy of elected officials who use us as scapgoats and that applies to both parties.
    I pay 35% of my health premium, have a 401K, and no disabilty insurance. My job is somewhat secure, I make a good, but not great salary, and can retire at 56 with 30 years, but that's unrealistic financially (and I'm near the top of the pay scale). We don't decide anything, we execute the policies of the United States, at your pleasure, subjected to this type of garbage by elected officials as campaign fodder. We are a skilled workforce and cannot be compared to the general population. Reputable studies show we are underpaid especially in high cost areas. We have our warts, but to generalize is completly unfair, overall I can assure you it's a good value.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  34. Koob

    Not all of us are overpaid and lazy. I am in the Bureau of Prisons and we have a tough job that most people don't want. Lots of people don't even think of the Federal Prison System workers and the dangerous job we take on every day.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  35. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    In the state of Tennessee there are not many jobs that pay well and have nice benefits. TVA hires workers, trains them, and pays them well. Nice holidays, nice retirement, and plenty of sick and vacation days. It's hard to get on at one of these plants. You need to know someone on the inside pulling for you. No negative view of the workers, just negative views of how you can become a worker in one of the best jobs in the state. It's politics as usual even in the hiring process.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  36. peggy grady koenig

    How much is the lady sitting on a seat in the elevator in Congress paid for pushing a button for our representatives? How much are the ones paid who deliver ice and ice water each day to our representatives? I could go on but why do so. These are great examples of jobs that a 5th grader could easily do and they are nonessential jobs. Congress' reply.... it's always been done and it provides jobs. Please................. Gray Court SC

    October 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  37. Jo

    ..no way the opinion is not justified. Most govt. jobs are in high COLA areas. The pay is not comparable to the whole nation. Most people in corporations get much higher cost of living increases. The govt worker was in the 2+% range last year for increases. I don't think the answer is decreasing jobs or lowering wages in this economy. Why add more pay cuts and lay offs to the already sad state of the nation. It just does not make sense to say wait they are making a middle class wage..lets cut their jobs and put more unemployed on the street???Just crazy! Lets look at the large corporations again and the CEO's making millions. Sounds like everyone pointing fingers trying to win the game of politics and not thinking about the regular US worker.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  38. Charly in Del Mar

    I guess what sticks in the private sector's throat is that we see our salaries, retirement funds and buying power going south while the government workers are "secure". I've got friends who retired at 50 with 75% or better of their salary, only to go back and "double dip". When are these workers going to realize that we are not their personal bank. They need to revamp the entire government employee welfare system, get them to pay social security and have their investments tank in a retirement account like the rest of us.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  39. Donald in CA

    No, at least those jobs are not being sent to foreign countries. Government jobs are some of the best in the country, no layoffs, good benefits, all those government holidays off and more. The only people complaining is those folks who dont have a government job.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  40. Ron Richards

    Only on Capital Hill!!!!!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  41. Robert

    Unfortunately, in some agencies, the phrase, "rises to the level the their incompetence" is the rule rather than the exception.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  42. Rosemary Andeson

    I think federal workers do a good job under frequently adverse circumstances. I do not think the public's view of federal employees is justified.
    It has gotten to the point that Americans blame everyone for the country's ills and take very little personal responsibility or interest in what is happening.
    Regardless of the complaints by Americans I doubt tht anyone is ready to give up the things that the government does for them. I don't think most people want everything and do not have a clue as who is paying for it.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Dawn Robbins

    Jack, No, they are not that bad. Like any large organization, the quality of the employees ranges from highly competetent and efficient to "not the sharpest tack in the box". Managers have their hands full to weed out the best and get rid of the rest.

    This is simply an example of Republicans trying to blame some other nameless faceless group – along with gay people, hispanics, muslims and anybody else they can target. This allows the less intelligent and less introspective people to blame their troubles on someone else and never take responsibility for their own problems. Then Republicans never have to offer any real solutions. They can just blame blame blame...

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  44. Matt, FL

    Is it justified? for Politicians YES but for regular workers? NO. The workers are one class. Public and Private. We have but one goal and that is Social Justice.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  45. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    No! I don't think it is justified. Federal employees, as a group, are just like other workers. To those who complain of benefits etc it should be remembered that the workers did not write the rules or establish the work
    orders. We as individuals chose the employers we work for, maybe their choices were improper.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  46. Jim

    As a 26 year veteran of the Coast Guard (retired), I worked with many civilians at our headquarters during two tours in DC. Many of these people were some of the most dedicated people I have ever known. A lot of them could have easily made more money in the private sector with their skill sets. For whatever reason they stayed on with the Federal Gov't. The idea that federal employees are dumb is well, dumb.

    That said, we had some of the worst slackers you could imagine also. The problem is that "the system" protects the slackers as well as rewarding the high flyers. Pretty good, huh?

    Is the negative view justified – yes and no. Sadly, most organizations are judged by the lowest (see police where 99+% of cops are great people doing a tough job that get judged by the less than 1% that are dirtbags) which isn't always fair, but then again who said life was fair?

    October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  47. Kiana

    Some part of the breakdown of America has stopped many civil servants from working and competing with their knowledge and skills and education levels. It should be investigated, as to who is stopping the American public from competing and working. I know that I am not popular. Look at a recent news headline from Boston. They discharged over 100 Emergency healthcare employees because of false certifications and licenses. These people were employed at patients' expense.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  48. Daniel Oliver

    Yes. Of course it's justified. Anyone who says otherwise is either a government worker or somebody who has never been to the DMV.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  49. Jim - Anchorage

    In many cases it is, their benefits far outweigh the private sector, especially vacation and sick leave, with several paid holidays on top of that, I dont see how they get anything accomplished!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  50. Ken in NC

    No Jack because other Americans could have applied for those same jobs. Their view is negative because they are jealous.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  51. Timothy

    No and who funds these surveys? That might provide some insight...

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Ralph

    Yes, Gvmt employees, on average, are grossly overpaid when all factors relative to private sector job factors are considered. Their tenure will pass as as future changes in the USA federal system will reveal as the electorate speaks.

    Ralph from Wesley Chapel, FL

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Dan in Ohio

    As a Federal worker, I think the negative opinions are justified. However, the rest of the story is that all of the BS and silly rules and regulations which must be followed prohibit many of us who want to take our service to a higher level from doing so.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  54. Rich from Florida

    Jack,
    I've worked with civil servants for over 30 years-in my opinion, 'YES' it's justified. I believe 'Fact Check' would prove that they are paid more, produce less and have far more benefits
    Jack, I really want to work for the Civil Service!!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  55. Scotty B

    Jack, it's not that civil servants are overpaid. It's private company employees who are underpaid.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  56. Richard

    I have more respect for federal workers than federal politicians who receive money from lobbiests. Will Rogers "Never vote for the same person twice."

    October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  57. Chris Hobgood

    Most people who comment on federal workers do not know what these people do. I spent many years as a pastor to federal workers and they are, by and large, hard working, talented, committed and not overpaid employees. More private employees would do well to pay attention to the work federal employees do. Every few years someone(s) run against federal workers. Thet's unfair and unjust.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  58. JD

    Recent reports have indicated that Federal workers are paid twice what those in the civilian workforce make. Add to that the very rich benefits, they are indeed the royalty of the workforce. If you have ever looked at data concerning the firing of inept Federal workers, you will find the figures staggering. The firing of a Federal worker, for cause, is just about impossible. They are just moved along. There is another Federal worker scam where after taking retirement, they are hired back to perform the same duties as contract employees. Talk about the "double dip". Add to the the fact that somehow Federal employees are very often relatives. Nepotism as its worst. The Federal employee Unions have too much infuence on how we are governed.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  59. D.S.

    Jack,

    Federal workers are not overpaid. If I was a libertarian, I'd jump on this question and scream, "Hell, yes, they are overpaid."

    The people who think this are jealous because they're underpaid..

    October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  60. Len Konwinski

    Wages of federal workers are a very small portion of the federal budget. I'm guessing less than 3%. Our tax dollars are spent on primarily on transfer payments (social security, welfare, etc,), contracts with business for supplies and services, and servicing the national debt. If you took wages and benefits for civil servants out of the budget entirely we would still be running a deficit budget.

    Having said that, federal workers are by and large highly trained and commited to their careers.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  61. Robert Walker

    This has been a known fact for years,I am surprised it is just getting the attention it so well deserves.
    Front Royal, Virginia

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  62. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    Jack – I spent 30 years in an international Federal Government position and consistently sought to manage offices overseas (and Washington assignments) as though our mission and responsibilities needed to be judged on efficiency and responsiveness to the U.S. taxpayer and the businesses we serviced. I think the disconnect between one aspect of the survey and the character of those with real interaction with USG employees speaks for itself.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  63. Harvey

    I work on a government location as a contractor and everything you say is absolutely correct. Most government workers are under skilled, overpaid, and do not work as hard as industry. That is why they need contractors/consultants. It is a good gig working for the government e.g. telework, RDO, holidays. etc.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  64. Jo Ann

    No, it is not justified. Federal employees are scapegoated for carrying out the policies enacted by politicians. When people don't like a rule (for example, they don't qualify for benefits, or they object to the tax policy), they blame the bureaucrat.

    Federal workers do receive good benefits, but their pay is generally inferior to private sector emplyees with similar education and skills.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  65. Carol

    Both of my parents were civil servants in the Navy Department, my father being mid-level and my mom being a clerk. Both came home with their tongues hanging out from the hectic pace of their offices. The right wing's expected and nothing-new MISCONCEPTION is totally wrong.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  66. mark

    We are the most envied nation on Earth yet we have turned into a nation of whiners. We whine about federal workers,politicians,TV shows,slow fast food. You name it and we whine about it. Enough already. Look around you at the squalor much of the world lives in and thank goodness you live in the USA. Stop whining and be thankful for what you got.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  67. Rodney

    Absolutely not. It's scapegoating. Many times, people use the government job to get experience, then leave for private employment where they get a much better deal.

    And, no, I am not a government employee.

    Rodney

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  68. Rose Lesniewski

    Federal workers are paid too much. First of all they are rude, take their time to help you and are ill informed. They would not make it out in the private sector, because they would have to treat people with respect.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  69. Betty

    Of course it is justified. When I called Social Security to ask for help, I was refused because – and this is a quote 'no, that would be too much work. It is set up to be easy on us.' I suggest the Social Security offices be the first to start cutting worthless, lazy employees. Not only are they worthless, they are stupid for telling that to a citizen who pays their salary.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  70. phyllis schwarz

    Whenever I have been in a Federal Agency the workers look like they are waiting for their next coffeebreak and only work at one pace no matter how backlogged things are getting. In the private sector there are lazy workers but much less than the government workers because their jobs aren't secure so they try harder and have a better work ethic.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  71. doug

    I was in the service at a base with more gs workers than active military and i can tell you first hand that 1/2 the gs workers we dealt with were some of the laziest people i ever seen. We called government service a zero sum job. 1/2 were positive workers the other 1/2 were negative workers. a + and – cancel each other out.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  72. lynn

    Federal workers have had a long history of not being responsive to consumers and their concerns. I have had long wait times and disconnections when trying to straighten out social security questions for my parent. In addition, the fact that federal workers have better salaries, pensions and health benefits is not just a myth, but a reality.
    It is not because they are more highly skilled. Comparable jobs in the private sector are often 25 to 30 percent less in salary. Many in the private sector therefore justifiably resent this.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  73. vince goshi

    No, not based on my experience dealing with the Social Security Administration earlier this year. I retired this past April and had to set up all my Social Security and Medicare programs. I found the social security personnel very knowledgable, highly efficient, and very well trained. My social security and medicare benefits were put in place with no problems.This experience was a lot more pleasant than dealings I've had with customer support at commercial businesses, many of whom have outsourced this aspect overseas. While I was employed, I worked with military people and government civilians, who also are federal employees. These people are very well trained and are experts in what they do. So, no, the negative view of federal employees is not justified in my view.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  74. Denise

    Just like with so many things, there is a difference between the "global" view and the "personal" view. People may say they dislike government employees, but then will say they like their mailman or the Federal smokejumper who saved their houses or the ranger who gave the tour of the National Park, just like they say they hate government spending, but want their Social Security checks to be on time!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  75. RCHGA

    I am a federal civil service worker with over 21 years in and I will admit that there are some of us who should be fired; but I would go on to say having worked almost 12 years in private industry, there are people there too that just as bad or worse. And don't tell me that's not true. I worked in the next cubicle beside them! The majority,...the majority of federal workers I've worked with are very skilled, well educated, hard working, conscientious and take pride in what they do. The major reason for the average Joe and Jane being displeased with government workers is from people who just don't like the US government for whatever reason. I agree with the "pole" that Jack referred too, but you have to keep in mind that there are very,...very few blue collar workers in federal service. I myself am a Registered Professional Engineer. I've seen both Democratic and Republican administrations reduce the ranks of non-degreed and non-skilled civil servants. It's like when a fight breaks out in a bar in an old western town. Everybody is shooting, throwing punches, and hitting each other over the head with a whiskey bottle. The piano player is ordered,.."keep playing". The piano player yells out,..."don't shoot me, I'm just playing the piano"!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Susan

    I think the VA workers are working extremely hard in the federal government. I hate when people automatically discount federal employees. I work a lot harder than many state workers I know and also much harder than many private workers as well. Please get off the back of the federal worker!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  77. Don Dahlin

    ABSOLUTELY! In the past I've worked as a support contractor with Fed. workers and I found many of them to be less qualified, unable or unwilling to make decisions and just generally inferior. the sad part is they have a job for life unless they murder someone or are charged with embexxlement. What a job! Billions could be saved by cutting back the Federal workforce and nothing would be lost.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  78. Jerry G

    Why blame the workers. Everyone strives to make as much money as they can in their job. Sounds like these people are disgruntled federal worker wannabees.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Shane

    Jacksonville, FL

    Jack,

    As a federal worker, I can say with confidence that Americans' negative view is justified but misplaced. It isn't the worker that's to blame, but the system. I've seen absurd amounts of money wasted and bureaucratic redtape created in my nine years of service. Something's gotta give here, and I hope it will be soon. Certainly, the answer is not to do away with the branches of gov't that provide much-needed services to the American's that need them the most.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  80. James Ross

    Jack we will do well to remember that our troops who are in Iraq and Afghanistan are also federal workers.We can't omit those lazy over paid folks also! Laying around by the camp fires laughing and joking throwing the occasional grenade.Lazy bums!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  81. Jim D.

    Whenever I hear anything about Civil Service employees, I immediately think of the US Military. I just left civil service after 14 years and it was the worst experience of my life. Working for incompetent military just seems to breed further incompetence. Case at hand, some upper ranking nurses were given several positions because they failed at their former position. These positions were filled by GS employees, which led further to incompetence to the fullest. So much for life at Naval Hospital San Diego.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Annie, Atlanta

    No. We’re a country of over 350 million people. What would we do without the federal government to keep such a vast nation up and running? It would be chaos. Besides, I would give my right arm for a government job right now.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Winkzilla

    The government does some things well, and something’s not so well. But then, private enterprise does some things well, and something’s not so well. One you can vote to change. The other you have to put up with marketing. In the end, it is all about people.

    Nevertheless, imagine a private-like police force, like the one Joe Miller of Alaska had. That only those who can afford can have their private power and handcuff anyone they want.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  84. John

    Jack, I'm an engineer in a large publically traded manufacturing company. I've gotten great information from sources and publications of the federal government. People can complain all they want, but there are certainly very smart, very beneficial people in the federal government who's output helps our economy. And I can tell you those nations competing with us would love to get these people's skills and output.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  85. skinz

    Most trades and labor employees of the federal goverment have trained and put out good hard cash to learn a trade. I work for TVA and if I had sit on my ass hoping for a goverment job I would still be unemployed.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Wendell Ferguson

    Well, Jack if the republicans gain majority of the house or senate, God forbids, I would love to see them take a furlough day or two; but really they wont care, they’ve got all that money stuffed away in home safes from big business!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  87. James

    When you see anyone lazy wearing a uniform they are a Government employee. Fat cops, worthless metermaids, postal service employees, and those Gov. tools telling you it's ok to go on a green light at every intersection in every major city, you name it... All are counting out there 20 years to get a huge pension and great health care at the expense of the same taxpayers they abused and neglected during their time as urchins. Military and Firemen are the exceptions.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  88. kathleen chisholm

    No, it is not!
    All workers deserve to be paid a living wage!

    Instead of begrudging federal employees their salary and benefits the public should demand more from their employers!

    I find it very hard to believe that most employers cannot afford to pay a liveable wage.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  89. KMP

    As the proud daughter of two hardworking federal employees, I would certainly disagree with the statement that federal workers, in general, are overpaid, lazy, etc. In the Washington area, where my parents still work and where I grew up, my folks were paid conspicuously less than the parents of my friends, most of whom worked in the private sector. Even now, as they approach the top of the GS ladder, they are paid less than many of their peers with commensurate experience in private industry.

    The problem is less with the employees, as people, and more with the inefficient structure of government bureaucracies, which are so often too slow to correct poor employee performance and reward employee success. Let's not forget, when we discuss federal workers, that they are PEOPLE who are more often than not just trying to provide for themselves and their families, and not trying to gain the system on the backs of taxpayers.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  90. Nancy Harris

    Goverment workers are PEOPLE, just like people in any other organization–some good, and some not so good. It is no surprise that Republicans are more negative about this question. I think they are more negative and fearful about everything.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  91. Brenda

    The issue that I have is being a retireed military woman it is hard to even get a job working for the Federal Government.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  92. Scotty B

    Jack, just another method to demonize the government so the Tea Party can dismantle it.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  93. Bill from IL

    No, as a federal employee for 10 years, I watched my health benefits premiums skyrocket like everyone else. Our pay is base locality and is parallel with our civilian counterparts. I want someone to tell me I'm not working for my pay. Due to the war and fellow employees being mobilized, I sometimes do three peoples jobs for the same pay. Someone needs to get their facts straight.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  94. mommagoose

    Yes, anyone who has been to the local DMV or Post Office would agree!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  95. Elmer Seiler

    What we should do is lower the federal worker pay , elected officials included just like in the private sector. Next give them the health care that the private sector has along with all the deductables and co-pays. Then do away with pensions, like the private sector has been doing for the last few years.. After all that, start cutting back all personal in all departments of the federal goverment and send there jobs overseas. When November 2nd comes around. vote everyone that in office out and put someone new in. Then maybe some of these crooks will get the the message. Oh by the way lets do away with their entitlements..Free health care, loaded pension and stealing from Americas hard working people. Social Security and Medicare is not an entitlement. American people have paid alot of money into these programs, only to be stolen by the federal goverment. Trillions of dollars that is owned to these middle and lower class people. Give this money back and leave Social Security and Medicare alone. If all the elected officials had to live by the rules and received the benifits that comes with being middle to lower class. THINGS WOULD CHANGE.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  96. John Rogers

    As a small business person we had a problem with the way a Federal procurement agency handled our bid. When we asked how much they paid the winning bidder they refused to answer telling me to "file a Freedom of Information Act request, but it would be expensive". My complaints to the Inspector General went unanswered. I'd say they forgot who they work for and its not their money they are spending!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  97. AJ

    Absolutely not. My mother was a federal worker for 30 years and retired with a salary of $24K/year. Most of the people who worked with her were similarly, poorly compensated, and rarely advanced. People in the private sector make out like bandits, often starting at no less than $40, and garnering raises all along the way, as if they are automatically entitled to them. However, I can't vouch for the qualifications of workers in any sector, since it seems that, as always, "It's not what you know; It's who you know" ... ["and how you use them"]. : (

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  98. jim

    Are Government employees overpaid today. Fifty years ago a Private in the Army started out at $78 a month, today he makes $1990. Are Americans willing to restart the Draft so they can reduce the starting rate .

    October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  99. Connie Florida

    Jack, I was raised in and lived in a suburb of Washington DC for 50 years. The people we associated with worked in every type of DC government job possible. From The VA to Geological Survery Dept. to the Dept of Mapping and on and on. Everyong was living in a modest middle class neighborhood and everyone worked hard all day. There was no feeling that our pay and pensions were out of line with the rest of the people who didn't work for the government.. We were not at all distinguishable from the rest of workers in the area.
    As an aside however, my father worked for a private company and he made much more than most of the others who where not in a high grade government job. Inequity exists in all types of jobs.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  100. James

    Notice all the Federal Employees responding to this while they are getting paid by the taxpayer and not doing their job. All should be fired for surfing the net instead of working.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  101. Danielle

    Aren’t congressmen, senators, governors etc..federal employees? They work hard…at getting reelected and pleasing their corporate overlords and not much else, so CUT THEIR excessive salaries, perks, guaranteed pensions etc... They work for US, not the other way around, WE should decide how much they get paid. Plus, their approval rating is 23%, maybe they should get 23 % of their pay.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  102. Drew

    If federal workers are so overpaid and under qualified why aren't those more qualified workers in the private sector banging down the door to get a federal job? Because it's simply not true. Private sector jobs of equal responsibility pay more and provide better benefits. Yes, many people believe that federal workers are overpaid. Some politicians (and wannabe pols) have been echoing that point without backing it up with facts. Believing something doesn't make it true. The world's not flat.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  103. Kevin Johnson

    The government workers should be compensated in line with their civilian counterparts.
    30 year retirements is legacy at best, 30 plus paid days off, life time health care with little to no cost to the employee on our dime?
    This correction is long overdue.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  104. Bill Giles

    Jack, after 20 years in the army, I worked an additional 15 years as an army civilian. In my 35 collective years as a government worker, I saw my share of slackers. But, after that I worked in private industry, and it was no different..
    In my line of work, computers, we were mostly all dedicated and hard workers, getting the job done and done well. I am proud of my time working for the government, and would do it again, and would certainly be happy to work with any of the several groups of people I worked with.
    Bill, Acworth GA

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  105. Don Fisher

    Absolutely NOT. I am a retired federal civil servant, and worked both in the private and public sectors of our society. The civil servants I worked with worked as hard as anyone I experienced in the private sector. Sure, there is a small percentage that give federal employees a bad name. But by far, the vast majority are hard working, and like myself, worked many hours above our required "40 per week" with absolutely no extra compensation whatsoever. Our goal was to serve the public at the highest standard possible.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  106. Charley

    NO, IT IS NOT! As with any proffesion there will be a few bad apples that ruin it for the rest of the group. The vast majority of federal workers are hard working, patriotic, loyal and extremely giving of their time and money. Both democrats and republicans are looking for a poster child for run away spending and have put their cross hairs on federal employees....

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  107. Randy - Fort Wayne, IN

    spending 6 hours at the VA in the waiting room? you tell me? You bet they are overpaid

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  108. Kimberlyn

    I know that times are hard and jobs are scarce but to feel that a person get too good of benefits etc etc is just wrong.

    YES not what you know versus "Who you know" to get a Fed / gov job does happen too much, But, there are many positions where you must test into those jobs AND how many of our SERVICE MEN & WOMEN have those jobs.

    IF THEY don't deserve those higher paying jobs with some perks who does? When did YOU ( those complaining ) fight for their country freedom last

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  109. Pat

    Jack,
    My husband passed away last year and everything I have tried to do with insurance companies, cable companies, brokerage companies, utility companies, you know, the PRIVATE sector, I have had to do multiple times. These were not complicated transactions, but simple straight forward tasks that they should encounter everyday.

    Compared to these companies, every transaction I have had with governmental agencies has been handled efficiently. The people complaining just to be complaining about "big" government should spend more time learning their own jobs before they speak ill of others.

    Pat
    Fairfax, Va.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  110. N McCloud

    I think like any other work element in this country that there are hard workers and lazy workers. The Federal Government is no different on this issue. I will say that if you research this, you will find that the majority of work performed in the Federal Government is being contracted out to private companies. I worked 29 years before I retired from the Federal Government. I can honestly say that in those 29 years, I worked my butt off for this country. Many days I spent anywhere from 1-2 hrs extra of my own time without compensation to get projects within deadlines. I did this because I loved my job and I loved my country. In those 29 years, over 5 separate agencies, I can only recall a half dozen lazy Federal employees. That is a pretty good record I think. I did; however, see many jobs disappear or realigned for private contractors. I believe the majority of Federal workers are dedicated and work hard in their positions; the positions that have remained a true Federal billet that is.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  111. Maltheus

    In the real world everyone is force to make do with less, while at the same time, being forced to pay more to subsidize the federal workers who screwed up the economy in the first place. Is it any wonder that they aren't looked upon favorably?

    For me it goes a little further. I am ethically opposed to drawing a salary from tax revenues, despite the plethora of government jobs around here. I don't think I have the right to take money from people at gunpoint and put it into my pocket. I'm old fashioned like that. So when I see all this "stimulus" funding taken from me and given to those parasites who don't share my ethics and don't contribute to the economy, I am obviously going to be even more angry about it.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  112. Tatiana

    Let me be the first to say THANK GOD someone saw the light. The postal employees in Miami, FL not only are overly paid they play dominoes for hours beyond their break. I can say this because I use to work for the postal system as a casual, and I saw a lot.
    The next time u go to a post office and see a clerk behind the window (yes clerk work behind the windows, and mail handlers work at the warehouses)think, that person is getting paid $25 -$35 or more per hour walking slow, and talking while u are waiting, and just think those at the warehouses make even more, and they get to sue the federal gov, because of the union if a casual does their job, while they are playing dominoes beyond their break, because they have nothing to do. THAT IS NOT FAIR and for everyone who sues should be FIRED ! ! ! (THEY ALL NEED TO BE DRUG TESTED ASAP)

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  113. Vic Bockstadter

    Jack,

    I am 67 and I sometimes have thought how much easier my life would be had I went into government work 45 years ago. Security, guaranteed raises, great retirement and many holidays.

    Vic PAris, AR

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  114. Pam

    Recently had the experience of trying to reach a Regulatory Specialist at the FL Dept of Business and Professional Regulation to respond to her correspondence. After four letters, two faxes, and many phone calls (where the phone often rang more than ten times before someone answered), I finally copied letters to the Secretary of her Division and her Director before she deigned to answer my queries. In private business, she'd have been disciplined or fired. There's a reason why most people would rather go to hell than the DMV.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  115. Yvonne Tracy

    Finding fault with people you don't know is the lazy route to solving problems. Most government employees citizens interact with are not particularly responsive to making citizens "feel good". They often seem to "get in our way" rather than making the road smoother. But the government employees people actually see are a very small percentage of the employees who work so hard, usually for much smaller wages than they would earn for comparable work in the private sector.

    Our citizenry no longer values critical thinking as it is much easier to repeat soundbites, and many people seem to think that saying something often makes it true.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  116. Phillip

    It's a joke that you generalize all federal employees in this light.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  117. Jim

    The only reason they are viewed this way is because of the constant, droning, negative view by Republicans- who- by coincidence- are government workers. There are lazy, overpaid people in the private sector too. Do we hear Rush and Sean harp on them all day?? No- because many Americans have the absolutely ridiculous view that corporations can do no wrong and government can do no right. Say the word "government" and many of the self-proclaimed moral, Christian, Republican Americans would just about punch you in the face. I just always keep in mind that corporations are out to screw me out of as much money as possible, and most government workers (excluding politicians) do not have that as a motivation.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  118. Daniel

    Federal workers are paid very well and have decent benefits. My wife has been with them for 42 years and she has experienced first hand that newer employees do not have the same work ethic that many experienced employees have. She works for SSA. They have been given more and more responsibilities especially in the area of Medicare and Supplemental Security Income and do not receive additional compensation, The economy has added to their workload. More people are filing for benefits, especially disability. The Agency has expanded it's electronic filing process via the Internet and this has also contributed to an increased workload. Management seems to be lacking in most offices. There are fewer "BEST QUALIFIED" employees to fill the growing number of "qualified" employees retiring,

    October 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  119. Marguerite

    From Seattle:

    Having a parent who was a federal employee for over 40 years and knowing the quality of the work that she and her staff did for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, I believe the negative view of these professionals is very unfair an d inaccurate.

    However, on the other hand, when you look at the political appointees and elected officials from both parties, I would agree that we should view a good number of these folks negatively. They often times have no knowledge about the departments they lead and some of their decisions are terrible and their performance leaves a lot to be desired.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  120. John in East Syracuse, New York

    Jack, I have had positive and negative interaxtions with both both public sector workers and private sector workers. If I had to guess, I'd say that overall, my experience with governement employees has, overall, been happier. But here's something to chew on. It is a common reaction for people to respond to a bad episode with a government worker or agency vy saying, "Well that's just how it is in the public sector." If the same thing happens in the private sector, nobody says, "Well that's just free enterprise." In these instamces, blame is appropriately placed on individual actors.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  121. C. Ross

    Hi Jack,

    I am Canadian and I thought your poll numbers reflected what Canadians feel about their civil servants. I have a dear friend who refers to our government employees as "civil serpents". Seems to me Americans could also use this term......

    October 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  122. anthony, Attalla Al.

    Federal workers are not the problem, but that's all we here about.
    It's Federal management that is the problem. The bad workers that everyone sees are the products of incompetent management. Of course, these managers have to answer to clueless political appointees.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  123. Ray in L.A.

    My father was a highly educated, highly respected civil servant for his entire career. He was committed to this country and whatever mission the people deemed important enough to undertake. It sickens me to see his hard work mocked by the very people whose vision he gladly strived to make reality. Have they no decency?

    October 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  124. Kamikaze

    The reason why people are disgusted with civil servants is because they expect the same butt kissing they get walking into Sears. Companies have babied US citizens with all that "the customer is always right" BS that they completely and utterly expect it walking into a government agency. I never apologize to a citizen even when it's the government's fault. Call me old fashion or maybe it's because I'm a veteran but a citizen shouldn't expect anything from their country except what they can give. Have a nice day.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  125. Allen from Illinois

    I was a soldier for 21 years; my wife was a soldier for 20 years. We were heroes while in uniform, yet the minute we leave the military and work for a local, state, or Federal government agency, we are suddenly the enemy. Anti-tax groups, the Tea Party and the GOP tell voters we are evil, lazy, over paid middle class workers. Yet we busted our butts to get an education and to be the best at what we do! Our goal was to continue to serve our community faithfully; instead we are vilified by the very right wing politicians and conservatives voters who praised us just a few short years ago. What gives? I guess they have forgotten that the phrase “appreciation for service” extends beyond the end of our enlistments. As military veterans we are appalled at the criticism and we will remember that at the ballot box…

    October 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  126. Victor A. Smith

    As a retired federal HR Director much work needs to be done to really definitively answer such questions as are Feds overpaid or under-qualified, etc. My current position would be there are pockets,(some huge ones) , of all cases from overpaid to underpaid but for the most part they just don't work as hard because of frustration, limited accountability and powerless supervisors.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  127. Jeff

    They have no incentive to be productive. The promotions and pay grades are based too heavily on seniority, and workers can often only be fired in cases of insubordination or illegal activity. Combine that with arduous legislation and bureaucracy, throw in some job protectionism, and call it our tax dollars at "work".

    October 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  128. Antoine

    Jack, this is nonsense. It's all scapegoating. Of course fed employees are paid more and have better benefits! The government has the ethical, moral, and rational responsibillity of paying workers a LIVABLE wage and taking care of them, not like the private sector who thinks the MINIMUM wage is a financial burden and healthcare is an outrage. Besides, working for the private sector, everyone can supposedly "rise to the top" (on paper, anyway). As far as benefits go, the federal government wanted to give these things to everyone- it was called the public option...

    October 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  129. Jeani

    I witness first hand some government workers sleeping, golfing, drunk and being irresponsible on the clock, not to mention obviously and completely mentally ill (poor hygiene, unable to carry on a rational conversation). Supervisors promote these employees rather than hassle with termination. Contractors are afraid to speak up because their job "goes away".

    Furthermore, the employees who work hard get rewarded with "other duties as assisgned" leading to burnout. Fix the root cause and get rid of the non-performers right away – send a message that corporate America has had for a long time – work or you don't have a job – end of story.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  130. Mike in Texas

    Government is notoriously inefficient because they don't know how to budget. Private companies spend only what they have to spend or they go out of business. Government knows it can spend what it doesn't have or can just raise taxes.

    That attitude extends through much of the Government work force. Not much incentive to go the extra mile, do a good job, etc.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  131. Brandon

    Of course it's justified. Government agencies nation wide spend/hire for the sole purpose of draining their budget so they can receive the same or more the next fiscal year.

    The concept of "spend it or lose it" is a major contributing problem.

    -Brandon in Alaska

    October 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  132. Bob G

    Oh there is more waste in government than anywhere else. I served 20 years in the Air Force and 20 years as a civilian government employee. To many people sitting around waiting for something to do. With the work habit I leard while with DOD I could not survive in a non-government company, I could not produce. In the DOD there is to much waste trying to make the commanders look good with no production. Yeap a big waste, more than you would ever know. The civilian work force in government is about protecting it self. Want to cut the budget, get rid of half the government work force and you will save and increase produtivity. Very little accountability and to much protectiveisum. SERIOUS no control and I retired very happy, no bone to pick just speaking the truth.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  133. Blaine

    I work for the IRS and like any company, we have our share of "lazy" employees, but for the most part, our workers genuinely care about their job and helping the taxpayers. I think the stigma of the federal worker derives from elected officials in DC, which is unfortunate. The people that I work with are average Americans. The only difference is, they wear the moniker of the Federal worker.
    When a person calls or meets an IRS representative they don't realize that they calling into a mine field of policy and procedure. The bureaucrats have created a mess that will only be fixed if completely dismantled and rebuilt. Most government employee's, at least from an IRS point of view, are poorly trained, and given very minimal time (1 hour a week) to review and study updated policies and procedures. Clearly not enough time. And they are trying to take that hour away from us! Like a factory, they want production over quality. And because of this mentality from the leaders in Washington, federal employees take the hit and we are just following orders. IRS employees, for the most part, are set up to fail.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  134. Kimberlyn

    I know that times are hard and jobs are scarce but to feel that a person gets too good of benefits etc etc is just wrong.

    YES - "What you know" versus "Who you know" to get a Fed / gov job does happen too much, But, there are many positions where you must test into those jobs AND how many of our SERVICE MEN & WOMEN have those jobs.

    IF THEY don't deserve those higher paying jobs with some perks who does? When did YOU ( those complaining ) fight for their country / freedom last
    Kimberlyn L
    Louisville KY

    October 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  135. Linda Van Camp

    As a retired Federal worker of 32 yrs, I can say we are no different than the people who slack off at other jobs. I served our veterans as a Registered Nurse and sometimes spent 12-14 hours a day at my VA. we work for the pay we received and besides that we were told we had to be 5% behind the pay wages of other hospitals. We have better insurance than most but that is the only benefit. We are held to a very high standard JACHO, as is all hospitals. Come walk a mile in any of our shoes, from nursing, food service, doctors, maintenance and social workers. We all work hard to support our veterans. I am insulted to think I worked 32 yrs to be called an over paid slacker......

    October 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  136. Ann

    Any job that is 'secure' and doesn't promote performance in the work place can lead to inefficient workers. Add to that the fact some of these jobs are given as favors in return for political support, to unqualified people.. There are also unsupportable pensions and medical insurance benefits owed for many years after many of these people retire. How can you feel positive about a system that is so flawed.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  137. James Ingram

    Goverment employees have a tendency to display an overwhelming arrogance towards the public that they could never get away with in the private sector. They exude the "you can't touch me " attitude in their dealings with us "common folks"

    October 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  138. Kyle

    As a federal employee, unfortunately I'd have to say absolutely. I see it first hand. I was previously a federal contractor and noticed that we as contractors carried the bulk of the workload while federal employees barely did any. Partly to blame is the knowledge that it takes more than an act of Congress to get rid of a federal employee (in fact Congress recently ordered dismantled some pay-per-performance programs). Add that to the sense of entitlement that expects a cost of living increase each year and a grade/step increase just for showing up, then you have an overpaid, under-performing employee. The view is definitely justified.

    By the way, as a fairly new federal employee, I try hard not to become what I have criticized for so long. I'd like to think of myself as one of the good ones. :0)

    October 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  139. Julio Llerena

    Federal Employees are underpaid compared to some employees in the private sector, there are thousands of employees with graduate degrees in finance, business, accounting and other fields working for the federal goverment earning a lot less that peers in the private industry, Politicians from the Republican party are absolutely out of their minds.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  140. Ranger Roy

    I took an 80% cut in pay to come to work for the National Park Service 30 years ago. I don't know anybody who came to work for the NPS for the money or benefits. Most of us love what we do and continue doing it even though we could make a lot more money working in the private sector.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  141. avery hasty

    The entire government has got entirely to big and complex,too many divisions overlaping each other,too many assistants to the assistants. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing so there is a lot of duplication.What ever happened to elected by the people for the peopleElectorial votes count more than the people,so the people can be outvoted.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  142. Brian in MD

    I'm a CPA in the DC metro area. If you ever had the unfortunate circumstance where you had to speak with a DC Department of Taxation rep (all of them) or the IRS rep I spoke with today, you would wonder if these people had at least a GED. Many of my friends are govt. contractors and share the same general opinion that many of these Federal workers are borederline retarded. It is no wonder Obama sends his children to private schools in DC/Bethesda.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  143. Jeannette

    I am a federal worker myself. It took me a long time to get the job I have now but with hard work and dedication I have the position I have now. I had no body pullin for me on the inside. I would say, I 'm just go-getter and a hard worker. Its sad to see people critize someone like me and try to take away what I have worked for. I believe that Federal workers are hard workers and deserve the pay that they receive.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  144. Evie

    Federal Workers pay taxes too, we're good old Americans. I work for the IRS in Austin. The day that crazy guy flew his plane into the IRS I wondered, why me, why us? What did we ever do to that guy, he owned a plane and a big house, and he still wasn't happy. I think the complainers should grow up. My son served two tours in Iraq. Most government workers aren't rich, we just choose to serve.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  145. Johnson

    The gate guard is always the bad guy. The stories one could tell about how we protect public funds would set you hair on fire. Everyone and I mean everyone wants public money. People think it's free. Well..It aint ! The only thing between your cash and those many outstreached palms is the Civlian Worker. Maybe citizens would be happier if we just opened the vault once a week and said "come and get it !!"

    October 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  146. Jeff, East Haddam, CT

    Yes. I am convinced that if the federal government were put in charge of the Saharan Desert, that eventually we would have a shortage of sand.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  147. Ryan

    Having worked directly or indirectly for govt for 17 years as a contractor and employee for the Air Force, Army, and Navy I have seen much. 1 of 5 gov employees work hard their whole careers, 3 of 5 work hard for half, and then that lone slacker gets by the whole way. That 1 person by the way is way underpaid is most likely to have a heart attack by age 50 and will not enjoy his retirement. The rest, well most will be reading this article at work.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  148. Jason in Indiana

    It's not justified in most cases. I'm a civil servant at the local level. I've been on both sides of the public vs. private debate. I think, if the Fed is like any other "business", the negativity becomes more justified as you move toward the two ends of the income spectrum. At the low-end, motivation is often a factor. At the high-end, greed and power are often to blame....Niether of which look good in the publics' eye, when it makes the evening news (no offense, Jack).

    October 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  149. Ronald Holst

    Jack That depends On what they Do for The Government If they wear suits and ride to work in black SUVs and work in a big white building that has a dome on it . I would Say you can bet your Senator or congressman on that , that they are over paid !!

    That Is the Problem Jack Get the money out of Elections and then they will have to work for the people that put them in office . The GOP loves to use the term pay for performance But who pays there tab to get and satay IN THERE Job.

    RON HOLST SAN ANTONIO , TX.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  150. David

    I know many federal workers and have found most to be intelligent, thoughtful and hard working. This includes scientists at NASA and Agriculture; also scientists at FDA and NIH, computer security experts at State and NSA. Yes, this highly educated workforce is the "faceless bureaucrats" everybody criticizes. Leson-before you criticize federal employees, get to know one and what they do.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  151. jeane

    No it is not. Working people wake up. Keep agreeing with these jerks that won't be satisfied until $0.40 per hr is the normal American wage. Not too long ago it was the auto worker. And then to say they don't work hard. Keep it up–you will be next.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  152. Kay Reese

    Seems like a lot of people are confusing federal employees and Politicians. Politicians are the ones that get paid to sit on their hands and they receive excellent health care coverage. Federal employees are really no better off than the rest of us schmucks out here trying to make ends meet. They go to work to earn their paycheck just like everyone else. They face lay-offs and cut-backs too. There are plenty of crooked federal workers I am sure, but isn't there corruption and greed in the private sector as well?

    Belleville, IL

    October 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  153. CJJ

    Hey Jack, it always fascinates me as to who is polled. How many of those folks polled know a federal worker or what job a federal worker holds? Federal workers are some of the most dedicated, professional and patriotic people in the country. They don't work for the government to get rich, they work for the government, yes, for one, the benefits are good and job security (isn't that what everyone wants from their job?). They work for the government because it's a feeling they are contributing to the common goal to promote and protect national security of this great country! Many of these so-called overpaid federal workers are also foreign service personnel working in our diplomatic missions overseas. They get very little recognition compared to military personnel for the jobs they do unless one of our diplomatic missions are bombed. To those who claim federal workers are overpaid, why have government employees either resign or when they retire, look to work for a contractor (many of which perform government related jobs) because the pay is so much better than working directly for the government? Know your facts people.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  154. Moose on the Loose

    As with most problems, they start at the top and work their way down. The U.S. Postal Service is a prime example. The corruption and abuse at the top of this organization is unbelievable and it filters down to the lower echelons in unflattering ways.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  155. James Ingram St Louis

    If goverment employees treated the public with RESPECT we would have a better oppinion of them.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  156. Vijay

    According to CNN's own Lou Dobbs, federal workers make nearly twice as much as their private sector counterparts when salary, benefits and pensions are considered. So by that measure, either federal workers are dramatically overpaid, private sector workers are dramatically underpaid, or Pareto efficiency breaks down horribly for some reason. I'll take a guess and say it's the first option.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  157. Kevin of SD CA

    Americans' negative view of federal workers justified?

    You bet Americans' negative view of federal workers is justified!

    Government unions have completely destroyed our schools in favor of Prisons that molly coddle thieves, rapist, and murderers for the benefit of Lawyers, Judges, Drug Companies, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and a Department of Corrections that reaps ignorance, criminality, mental illness for job security as they destroy the public school system with liberalism. This is at the core of the mind control. The rest of the waste and entitlements is all just icing on the cake for a government completely laced with criminals posing as men and woman of integrity.

    Try posting all government accounting on the internet in real time/read only format so that we can all see how shameless government employs really are!

    We are passed due a real overhaul of all levels of government .

    October 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  158. Keith Patterson

    They're jealous ! Gov'ment workers can enjoy a nice guaranteed pension, healthy, vision and dental benefits for life for ourselvs AND our spouses ! Our TSP savings plans can have 100's of thousands of dollars saved. We can have contractors looking us up after we retire (my case) for returning to work as a contractor at 66 years old. We have it made ! But, where was this poll in the late 90's when lots of folks were making 6 or 7 figures and we were just getting by on barely $100K ?? Yes, NOW they're jealous !

    Keith
    Longmont, Colorado

    October 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  159. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    As a species as long as we continue to live our lives fueled by a negative energy, then everything will be negative and ego based.

    It is when we can live with a compassion, a higher level of consciousness, and gratitude for who we really are, we will begin to raise ourselves to a positive life form.

    Good for the federal employees, there is no need to drag them down to the sour level of those polled, instead why don't we try and raise everyone up.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  160. Tom in Philadelphia

    Jack,

    Like anything else there are good and bad employees in the federal government.

    What makes the Federal Government different - and infamous - is that it is nearly impossible to get rid of a "bad" governement employee. Talk to supervisors in the federal (or even state) government. Firing a bad or even an atrocious work is extremely difficult.

    This is bad in of itself, but this phenomenon is then excaberated by the "one apple ruins the bunch" phenomenon. Put yourself in a government employee's situation. Your coworker is always late, does substandard work, leaves early, and always calls in sick. How are you going to react seeing that he/she is "getting away" with all of this?

    Many government workers say "I'll never be like that" (God bless them) but many more say "If you can't beat them join them." Can you blame them? Why work hard if people around you aren't?

    Hence. incompetent government employees and hence the poor reputation that the Federal Government deserves. (The situation is nearly identical for public school teachers).

    Want to fix federal government (at least governement employees) liberalize firing/termination laws. That will clean up the Fed's repuation real quickly.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  161. Werner

    It's a problem. Gov't workers are making way too much for the low quality work they do. In my experience, they are more of an impediment to getting real nuts and bolts work done and tend to slow things down just when reaching a stride in the industry that I work in. Poor decision making and complete lack of accountability is the norm.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  162. David

    Yes, I think the negative views are justified. I work for a government contractor and therefore have dealings with government bureaucrats (both state and federal) all the time, in a wide variety of different lanes. I have found them to be, in general, difficult to work with, unresponsive, and often times blatantly incompetent. There are some good ones out there, but the vast majority have been a nightmare to work with.

    Government bureaucracy (again, both state and federal) is incredibly bloated and under-skilled, and are a persistent drain on our budget and economy. Unfortunately, they are so entrenched and it is so difficult to either cut them or fire them, that the problem is most likely never going to be improved. Sorry to be such a bummer .....

    October 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  163. janie bailey

    The problem with the employees is the nature of government work: always spend your entire budget if you don't want it cut next year; hence, no innovation, no economizing, no reason to do a better, more efficient job! This is why government always grows!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  164. Maria

    I am disgusted with anyone who mentions that all federal workers are lazy, incompetent, under qualified, etc and want to cut our benefits and implement a furlough. I would like to see how this country would function without the federal government open for business.Therefore, I would recommend a furlough during every national disaster, when someone calls the feds on illegal immigrants, the month before taxes are due, the beginning of the month when social security checks are issued, etc. Let's see how that changes public opinion!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  165. james mcelman,CO

    You betcha, Americans are negative at the size and scope of government. Imagine if the private sector had the opportunity to compete for jobs delegated to city ,state, and employees. I live in a town where the city manager makes $150,000 plus benefits and $85,000 for the city administrator. The higher up in government the more ridiculous the benefits. It is common practice for most federal/state/city employees to use federal/state/city vehicles for there personal gain, there is a sense of entitlement by government employees that is growing more absurd. As for the speed and efficiency of federal government just take a trip to your local DMV.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  166. Chris

    Being a private contractor with the government for two years has opened my eyes to how things work.

    A few people do most of the work, a few do none of the work, and the rest just drift along working only when forced to.

    The 50 feds I work with are overpaid relative to the private sector or even to government funded organizations. Contractors are not a viable answer as I am paid half as much for the same work but the other half of the pay goes to the company I contract from.

    Overpaid, overpampered, and extreme job security.
    Nice work if you can get it.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  167. S.Jones

    I do not feel that the view of Federal Employees is justified. I am a former, recently retired government employee. The view that cival workers have ridiculous salaries, double-dipping pensions, and cushy jobs is rediculous. Most federal workers are over worked and underpaid when comparing their positions to the private sector. The benefits aren't as good as everyone thinks. I was actually forced into disability retirement because of being over worked and highly stressed. I worked in a law office where the attorneys saw a comparably lower salary for the severely high work load they faced. As another person mentioned a majority of federal positions require a four year college degree. The comparable private sector professional position most likely pays a higher salary. Federal Workers work very hard and are paid less than the private sector.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  168. Dan

    I am a federal employee. My job is to review defense contracts for reasonableness of what they are charging for and in the five years I have done this, I have saved the government literally millions of dollars. Compared to this, my pay and benefits are chump change. The majority of what everyone in my agency (DCMA) does is oversight of defense contracts. If it weren't for us, the governmet would be paying $500 for a hammer. I do not know about everywhere else, but me and my coworkers earn our pay. I think the repubs who want to slash and burn us are trying to get rid of that oversight so their cronies can take the tax payer to the cleaners like it was the 1950s again.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  169. Ken

    As a retired Federal employee, it irks me when I hear..."close enough for government work". In many cases it is the Congressional requirements that make our job tough. Bills passed without fund to implement. Implementation schedules that defy any reasonable expectation of successful completion (the VA Nurse Bill of 1991). Constant irate letters from the House and Senate demanding immediate response to an apparent inequity of a constituent that is probably one the workers who just do not want to work, or follow the rules. The Federal payroll is bloated, yes, but bloated to handle the multitude of irresponsible bills passed by Congress with a demand to write the policy now and apply retroactively. Oh, and neither Federal employees or retirees saw an increase in pay for 2010, nor will they see one for 2011.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  170. Luci

    It depends on what ones you are talking about. I am a Christian and cannot hate people but it is hard not to the Republican tea party. They are so full of lies, hate and hautiness.
    I don't understand why you are bringing all of this stuff up now and not two years ago when Bush was in office. That was much worse than now. Let's be fair. You have been leaning to the right too much.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  171. Dan from Seattle

    It is not the workers that is the issue. It is the government system that is not very conducive to performance incentives. Do your time, don't make waves, know the right people and you can retire comfortably. I came from the private sector to government sector for a brief period and I was astounded as what passed for acceptable performance. When I tried to be agressive and make changes I was branded as someone who was not on the team. I also found that the bureaucracy was so intrenched and so archaic that making changes was almost impossible thus you just give in and accept the status quo. I worked with individuals that would not have lasted one day in the private sector that thrived in the government one because they were very good at working the system.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  172. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    Labor Unions and public workers are treated like step-children in this country, especially by Republicans. If Republicans had it their way the entire public workforce would be privatised for profit and labor unions would be put out of business.

    Greed is ao rampant in the Republican Party they are appalled if a worker, public or private, gets paid a decent wage with benenfits.

    In Canada and Europe public workers are held with a high degree of respect and labor unions are co-equal partners with business and government.

    This is because those governments practice Democratic Socialism. Both of our major political partners are corporate We are now fascist where there is corporate governmemnt partnership.

    The only way we can change is a second revolution, hopefully peaceful..

    October 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  173. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Personally, I would hate to have to walk for hours every day, in scorching sun, thunderstorms, blizzards, attacking dogs, as a mail carrier.

    Compelled by their strong sense of duty, they are determined that the mail MUST go through, even to those Republicans who think that they aren't working hard enough, who don't deserve to get any mail. (The Republicans who don't appreciate anything, the ones who only know how to complain & criticize, & were probably dozing on their comfy couches when they were phoned about those who work hard.

    From their perspective, how would they know what working is like? Instead of giving mail carriers their thanks, & lavish Christmas presents, I'd bet my life that they are lousy tippers, too.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  174. Burrill McCoy

    I reject your comment outright. I am a retired federal emplyoee. I am a registered professional engineer with a MBA. I worked over 31 years in facilitiy and environmental engineering. The engineers I worked with were very professional and worked long hours to provide the best service possible. I had many private contractors working along side goverment staff and can assure anybody that there was not difference in the qualithy of work performed. The media has created a sterotype of most fedeal workers as lazy and not qualified. This is not a real evaluation of most of the federal staff I worked with for over 30 years. Our payscale was constantly 25-30% below what a professional engineer earned for the same work. Shame on you.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  175. Sherry A Kelly

    I once thought federal workers had unfairly high salaries and extravagant benefits. Then I took a very elderly man to apply for SSI benefits. He had been a sharecropper, was illiterate, didn't know his birth date, had no documentation, and had always been paid in cash. The intake worker was so very kind and patient, and was willing to stay with him and do anything necessary to assure he received his due. "Do you have a family Bible? Are there medical records? Who's land have you farmed all these years? Who are your closest relatives?" He was accorded the time, respect and human dignity that every citizen deserves. That office was crowded with desks so close together there was no privacy, the furniture and rugs tattered. It took three visits, by my client received his benefits and I now grant federal workers the respect they deserve.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  176. Scotty B

    Jack,

    Even the laziest, least qualified employee, regardless of employer, will always saw he is worth every penny he/she is paid.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  177. jeane

    Worker unions are poo-poo to some. But never a word about corporate unions--you know Roundtables, Foundations, US Chamber of Commerce, Think tanks, etc ... all groups with clout representing business interests.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  178. mike sey

    Of course not ; Especially if compared against the hard-working example of private sector bank workers sloughing off their responsibilities to check mortgages and foreclosure notices or the high priced CEO's and other geniuses who brought the U.S.
    Mike, Ottawa

    October 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  179. Jim Campbell

    Overpaid for work production and job preformance. Yes... Especially if their our Congress and Senate.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  180. Burbank from CA

    All I know is that we have to pay taxes so they can have paid holidays we don't get for ourselves, Columbus Day is a good example. What's wrong with this picture? That's discrimination big-time!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  181. jim bennett

    the perfect solution: declare 4-day work week for civil service workers with four days pay only, no overtime allowed, Workers are free to work 12 hours or on Friday, but no pay for the extra time. The governoring factor is the pronounced standard, "If you cant do your work in four days, we will find someon who can." They call it DOWNSIZING.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm |