We all know that government in this country has gotten way too big in recent years. Several things came to light this week in the wake of all the budget/shutdown crap flying around that really hit home on this subject:
22 million Americans work for government. The official population of the United States on April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538. That is an overall total, - men, women, and children of all ages. That means that one out of every 14 people in this country works for some form of government. It means that one out of every 8.4 people of working age in the United States works for some form of government.
(Disclaimer - these numbers are quoted as including civilian members of the DoD, but not including actual members of the military.)
The ONLY job sector that has shown growth since Obama has taken office is the Federal Government, which I understand has added approximately 250,000 people to its payroll since he ascended to his throne.
Everyone of these 22 million people draws a salary. They all get benefits - medical and insurance coverage (that exceeds what the vast majority of non-government workes get), retirements plans (which have all but disappeared in the private sector), and job security that has no rival in our society. Every bit of this is paid for by taxpayers.
Now, I acknowledge that these people pay taxes too. So, in essence, they are paying for themselves. Doesn't make it any easier to swallow for the rest of us.
In the hours leading up to the possible shutdown, Federal agencies are going through the motions of starting the shutdown. Folks who are deemed to not be essential will be furloghed. Now, that I find VERY OFFENSIVE. If we have people in the government who are not essential (and we have a great deal of them!) WHY THE HELL ARE THEY IN THE GOVERNMENT? WHY THE HELL ARE WE PAYING FOR THEM? I will agree that the definition of essential is subjective, and I would categorize quite a few more folks as essential in normal government operation than under a shutdown, but still ...
We have too many people in our government. We are spending too much money on those people. If you take the reported average salary of a federal government employee and apply it to those 22 million folks, the taxpayers of this country are outlaying somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.2 TRILLION dollars per year just on those salaries.
Many government employees are members of unions. As we have seen, any attempt to have government employees share some of the burden to rescue the financial disaster Obama has led us into results in immediate war with those unions. Apparently, one of the great perks of working for the government is that you are supposedly immune from what the rest of the country's citizens are suffering through.
There are a lot of generalizations in these statements - I acknowldege this. I have friends and relatives who are working for or have worked for government. I can't take a single brush stroke and categorize all of those 22 million folks. However, the issue is so large and so crippling for our country that it has to be recognized and addressed.