Letters to the Editor

Underpaid federal worker pays fair share of benefits

A recent letter writer reflects the findings of a report emanating from the Cato Institute, an institute heavily funded by the Koch brothers, the multibillionaire industrialists who are intent on government deregulation and privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

The fact is that federal employees are underpaid by 21 percent compared with their private-industry counterparts. For example, a federal sector accountant and auditor earns $74,871, while his private sector counterpart earns $100,152. A federal engineer earns $90,180, while his counterpart earns $111,794.

Before his resignation as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag disputed such Cato Institute findings, saying comparisons are misleading if they do not take into consideration the difference in higher education and experience, categories in which federal employees exceed that of private industry. Cato analyst Tad DeHaven was forced to admit this in a recent Federal News Radio broadcast. Bah. Why disregard such facts when trying to prove an ideological claim.

Contrary to letter writers' understandings, federal employees under the Civil Service Retirement System continue to contribute 7 percent of their wages to their retirement fund, do not receive Social Security, pay into Medicare and contribute one-third to their health care premium. Keep believing "government is the enemy," that is until you need a friend.

Paul RussoBluffton