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Bonuses for Top 1% Bureaucrats?

Thursday May 23rd, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:13am PDT   •  

Did you know that the top-level bureaucrats who are doing the most to increase the negative impact of federal government spending cuts to the American people are in line to get big bonuses this year?

Lindsay Wise of the McClatchy News Service reports:

An elite group of federal employees is set to receive cash bonuses despite this year’s automatic budget cuts, according to a report that a Senate subcommittee issued Friday.

The report revealed that members of the government’s highly paid Senior Executive Service _ who make up less than 1 percent of the federal workforce _ had received more than $340 million in bonuses from 2008 through 2011. The bonuses came on top of annual salaries that ranged from $119,000 to $179,000.

Doing some back of the envelope math, the Senior Executive Service’s bonus program for high-level federal bureaucrats pays out approximately $113 million in bonuses each year. With 2.15 million civilian employees on its regular payroll, the one percent (21,500) that are employed as part of the Senior Executive Service have been collecting bonuses of roughly $5,271 per high-level federal bureaucrat per year.

Now consider the context in which they are collecting that bonus this year. Since the federal budget sequester took effect at the end of March 2013, we’ve observed federal government bureaucrats in the Senior Executive Service pretty much doing everything they can to make ordinary Americans pay the price for reducing federal spending by such a small percentage (the sequester budget cuts total $85 billion, or 2.2% out of projected federal spending total of $3,803 billion for the current year.) Here, faced with having to trim their spending, top-level bureaucrats at various federal government agencies have:

Now, what all of these things have in common is that each is aimed at hurting large numbers of the American public. What they also have in common is that not a single dollar of a federal government’s Senior Executive Service’s bonus program for would appear to have been considered to be included in these budget cuts.

Here’s an easy solution for this situation. By eliminating the $113 million in bonuses to be paid out to the 21,500 member Senior Executive Service of the U.S. federal government this year, the federal government can recover 1.3% of the total of $85 billion that would otherwise have been cut elsewhere as part of the budget sequester, such as the spending that these same individuals were intending to cut for the express purpose of increasing the amount of inconvience in the lives of 313 million Americans.

Unless the top 1% of federal bureaucrats have a good reason why they would refuse to minimize the impact of such a minor federal government spending cut to ordinary Americans.

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May 2013