Government workers make as much as 40 percent more than their private sector counterparts, according to a new study.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) compared the compensation of government workers to those in the private sector and found that the former were on par or better paid in every state, averaged across sectors, despite identical occupations.
Texas has the largest differential, paying government workers 40 percent more than what workers in the private sector would make.
“Hard working Americans who are struggling to pay their bills, find a job, or set aside enough money for retirement are being forced to pay for extravagant state employee compensation,” Thomas A. Schatz, president of CAGW, said during a press conference Thursday.
“These employees are supposed to be public servants, not a privileged class,” he added.
When including wages and benefits including health care and pensions, state governments pay on average 6.2 percent more per hour. California pays the highest weighted averaged hourly wages.
San Jose councilman Pete Constant said his city has suffered from budget problems for the last ten years. Despite lowering public employee salaries for jobs such as police officers, state employee pensions are unaffected, because they are based on the highest paid yearly salary.
He said the city has had to cut down significantly on police officers, forced to make the trade-off between paying the pensions of retired policemen and hiring new ones to fight crime.
Camden, New Jersey, considered “the most dangerous city in the U.S.” was forced to lay off 270 police officers when faced with similar budgetary constraints
The unfunded liability of public pensions is estimated between $1 to $3 trillion nation wide, according to CAGW’s study.
Looming pension worries have driven cities across the country to file for bankruptcy, with many more considering this drastic step. Seven states are facing bankruptcy, including California, New York, Texas and New Jersey.
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