Tens of thousands of federal employees earn more money than any U.S. governor, according to a new report that reveals some eye-popping stats on government spending for the federal workforce.
The 40-page report, titled “Mapping the Swamp” and released by government watchdog group OpenTheBooks, focused on the “size, scope and power” of the federal government -- and found salary spending for high-paid employees on the rise.
“The number of highly compensated federal employees is growing,” the report said, describing six-figure salaries as increasingly common.
According to the report, the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more increased by 165 percent between fiscal 2010 and 2016. Federal employees making $150,000 or more grew by 60 percent, with the number making more than $100,000 increasing by 37 percent in the same time period.
The group put its figures in context by comparing these plush payment packages with those of America's governors.
“Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors,” the report said.
Currently, the top gubernatorial earners are Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who makes $190,823; Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who makes $187,500; and California Gov. Jerry Brown, who makes $182,971. The lowest-paid governor is Maine Gov. Paul LePage, making just $70,000, according to numbers from Ballotpedia.
According to the "Mapping the Swamp" report, a total of 406,960 federal employees made six-figure incomes in fiscal 2016 – that’s roughly one in five federal employees.
“There is a new ‘minimum wage’ for federal bureaucrats – at 78 departments and independent agencies, the average employee made $100,000 or more,” OpenTheBooks said in a statement.
In fiscal 2016, the United States Postal Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs employed more than half of federal employees. USPS employed 32 percent of all disclosed federal employees, totaling 621,523 people on the payroll; and the VA employed the second-most employees with 372,614.
The analysis is incomplete, however, as there are a number of federal employees who have not disclosed their salaries.
“We found small and large agencies across the federal government gaming the system for personal gain – and it’s expensive for the taxpayer,” OpenTheBooks.com CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski said in a statement. “Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we’re still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts. It’s time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices.”
The report said the federal government pays its disclosed workforce $1 million per minute and more than a half-billion dollars per day.
Federal employees also are given considerable paid-time-off. According to the report, on average, federal employees are given 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days per year.
“If each employee used 13 sick days and took 20 vacation days in addition to the 10 federal holidays, it would cost taxpayers an estimated $22.6 billion annually,” the report said.