That was in 2009. The numbers have undoubtedly gotten much worse since.
That same year there were 383,000 federal civilian workers with six figure salaries. Multiply that and you get all the debt that Hugo Chavez dumped on Venezuela being dumped out in a single year on American taxpayers.
The number of Federal civilian employees is only slightly higher than in Chavez’s utopian Socialist paradise, but average Federal employee salary clocks in at a mean $75,000. The closest private sector match to working for Uncle Sam, in a non-military position, is working for Microsoft.
Federal civilian employee wages and benefits run around $200 billion. The end of the pay freeze that wasn’t really a pay freeze alone added $763,125,000 to the Federal budget. Or to put it another way, the cost of the Federal workforce in a single year is more than double Venezuela’s entire national debt.
During Nixon’s first year in office, $200 billion would have covered the entire Federal budget. Now it’s just the paychecks. In the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees welfare and food stamps, among other things, 1,461 of HHS’ 64,750 employees earn over $155,000.
While the Obama Administration fires marines, it hires more civilian employees. One hundred and one new Federal employees have been hired every day of Obama’s first term in office. In 1962, there were more American military personnel than Federal civilian employees. The number of military personnel has dropped sharply, but the number of civilian employees is higher now than it was then. And their salaries have become much higher.
But the civilian employees are only part of the picture. The massive deficit spending has turned Washington D.C. into a treasure trove of government grants and stimulus plans on the favor train. The national debt grew by six trillion dollars in one term of Obama adding $50,521 in debt per household. That money was used to buy favors and support across the country.
While Obama ran on a platform of taking care of the poor, he was raiding the social safety net to buy support from a coalition of billionaires that paid him back with bundled contributions and SuperPACs. Green Energy tycoons got rich on loans and grants, while the middle class imploded. Billions in taxpayer money was traded for millions and hundreds of thousands in contributions in one of the dirtiest deals to take place outside an actual banana republic.
Like Chavez, Obama presides over a poorer country whose poor are convinced that he is the only thing standing between them and absolute poverty. Deficit spending and high debt has destroyed any potential for GDP growth leaving America looking like an oversized version of Venezuela.
The new America is not a booming economy, but a political power structure built on unsustainable spending. Like Chavez, Obama has created an impossible trap that leaves half the country dependent on him and leaves his opponents with no alternative but to propose some form of austerity. It is an economic kamikaze maneuver that invariably ends with economic or political destruction.
Obama, like Chavez, has made economic recovery structurally impossible, perpetuating poverty in order to profit politically from the national state of misery. Chavez died before the consequences of his economic policies caught up with Venezuela. Like Chavez, Obama won a contentious election, but he has no easy escape from the economic destruction coming up on the road ahead.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.