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Darrell Issa Inadvertently Points Out That Federal Worker Pay Has Been Cut

Republican Representative Darrell Issa has been making a big deal lately over the notion that federal worker pay has supposedly been rising from 2010 to 2012. His “infographic”:

Darrell Issa Writes About Rising Government Salaries that are Actually Being Cut

I have no idea whether Issa’s claim is actually true, because he does not cite any source. However, even if this claim is true in the sense of nominal dollars, it represents an effective pay cut, not a pay increase. Given the average federal worker pay in 2012 and the rising cost of living from 2010 to 2012, the inflation-adjusted change in average annual federal worker pay would be a cut of $563.

Even if Issa’s numbers are accurate, from 2010 to 2012, when we take into account the cost of living federal workers are being compensated slightly less for their work, not more. Issa left this bit out of his angry blue infographic.

7 thoughts on “Darrell Issa Inadvertently Points Out That Federal Worker Pay Has Been Cut”

  1. Dove says:

    In another context Issa and the rest will argue that keeping private pay low is a great way to create jobs.

  2. Tom says:

    yeah, and now they’re going after home-schooling too

    1. Dave says:

      Eric Holder’s message to the Romeike family: Time to find a more civilized country. Chile anyone?

  3. Dave says:

    According to USA Today the difference is more like 11%, which would make the chart spread seem very inflated. Employee benefits generally add about 30% to an employee’s total pay which would account for some of the difference, gov retirement, health insurance, savings plans being more available to their ee’s than private sector people. I think even if Issa’s chart needs re-working his point is still valid, as economists like to say, “all other things being equal.” I’m not sure of your point, since even if both gov and private sector pay were rigidly tied to cost of living, the spread would still remain.

  4. Bill says:

    Interesting that the BIG red circle and the teeny red circle in Issa’s graphic bear no relationship to the relative scale of the two numbers you might think they represent.

    1. Dave says:

      Good call, Bill.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      Bill, I thought that perhaps the diameter of the circles might at least be proportional to the ratio of the two numbers listed (instead of appropriately using area to compare), but nope, not even the diameters are proportional. Darrell Issa’s infographic is entirely a misinfographic.

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