Green Room

Bureaucratic Welfare

posted at 4:16 pm on December 15, 2009 by

Conservatives bemoan the welfare state (Americans who collect aid through government programs), and liberals decry corporate welfare (“fat cats” who benefit from tax breaks and federal bailouts). But there’s a new strain of welfare afflicting America these days — bureaucratic welfare.

It comes in two forms. The first, reported last week, is higher salaries for federal workers:

The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.

The second manifestation of bureaucratic welfare, reported yesterday (via Instapundit), is tax scofflaws who hide in plain sight, working for Uncle Sam but refusing to give him their due share of the salaries he pays:

At a time when the White House is projecting the largest deficit in the nation’s history, Uncle Sam is trying to recover billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from its own employees.

Federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes they failed to pay in 2008. According to Internal Revenue Service documents, 276,300 federal employees and retirees owe $3,042,200,000.

So to recap: We taxpayers are footing a much larger bill to pay the salaries of people whose job is to tax, spend and regulate us into economic ruin. But they aren’t paying their share of the taxes that will be needed to fund the Big Government they are building.

It’s time for the tea partiers to start screaming about bureaucratic welfare.

UPDATE (also via Instapundit): The problem exists in a third form, this time at the local level. The Washington Examiner reported yesterday: “The economy has been in the dumps for years, but the good times keep on rolling for some favored D.C. employees. City officials have doled out nearly $15 million in bonuses and awards since Mayor Adrian Fenty took office in January 2007.”

[Cross-posted at The Enlightened Redneck]

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