Here's where the real pay dirt is. In the last five years, the number of federal employees making $150,000 or more per year increased tenfold, according to an investigation by USA Today. Those high wages increased by twofold under the Obama administration. "The biggest pay hikes have gone to employees who have been with the government for 15 to 24 years," the paper reports. "Since 2005, average salaries for this group climbed 25% compared with a 9% inflation rate." Here's how the blogs are reacting:

In times past, young Americans would head to major manufacturing cities like Detroit, Cleveland -- Time was published there from 1925 to 1927, for Pete's sake -- and Chicago, because that's where the well-paying jobs were. Not any more. Now the nation's capital, where manufacturing is limited to position papers, policy options, and reports, is the place to go for good jobs.

This will only encourage the Chris Christie Republicans... Congressional Republicans have definitely noticed what has been going on in New Jersey and would love to  trim federal payrolls. Indeed, within their “Pledge to America” is this proposal: “We will impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees and ensure the public sector no longer grows at the expense of the private sector.” As it is, half of federal workers are due to retire in the next five years, by some estimates. Not replacing all of them is an option, I suppose.

This would be problematic even if the country had experienced boom times over the last five years, and especially over the last two.  But that has obviously not been the case — or at least not the case inside of the Beltway bubble.  Given the tough labor market for workers over that period, the government should have been in a better position to negotiate wages to decrease the cost of its workforce, which gets paid by the sweat of the taxpayers’ collective brow.  Instead, they have become profligate with our money.

  • Congress Is Pushing Back, notes Tom Kavanagh at Politics Daily:
Some lawmakers plan to challenge the president's plan to give a 1.4 percent across-the-board pay raise to 2.1 million federal workers. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who will head the panel overseeing federal pay, says he wants a pay freeze and prefers a 10 percent cut.