Mapping The Swamp – A Study of the Administrative State

Mapping The Swamp – A Study of the Administrative State by Michael Krieger – Liberty Blitzkrieg

Back in December, fiscal transparency organization Open the Books published a massive study of federal government spending which contains a wealth of information and some very disturbing statistics.

Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and Founder of the organization, highlighted some of their key findings in an important Forbes article.

Key excerpts are republished below:

Today’s federal bureaucrats are paid $1.1 million a minute, $66 million an hour, and over $524 million a day – and that’s just the cash compensation cost. Taxpayers also pay for lucrative perks like weeks of paid time-off, performance bonuses and padded retirement pensions.

Using our interactive mapping tool, quickly review the 2 million federal employee salaries and bonuses by ZIP code across America. Just click a pin and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map. See your local piece of the swamp: how much are the federal employees in your backyard earning? Which agency employs them, and what is their job title?

Here are a few of our key findings:

    1. $136 Billion in Cash Compensation – The federal government disclosed 1.97 million employees across 122 independent agencies and departments. In FY2016, these 2 million workers received $136 billion in compensation. If we could factor in another 2 million undisclosed employees – at the Department of Defense and on active military and other agencies – the cost would be much higher.
    2. $22.6 Billion in Time Off and Benefits – After just three years of public service, federal employees receive ten federal holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days per year. That is eight and a half weeks of paid time off (43 days per year). That benefit costs taxpayers an estimated $22.6 billion annually.
    3. $1.5 Billion to Bonuses – The federal government awarded 330,713 bonuses for $351 million (FY2016). However, the federal union agreement bars the disclosure of the $1.1 billion in performance bonuses. So, who received how much? It’s time to open the books on the billion-dollar performance bonuses. The largest federal bonus last year ($141,525) didn’t go to a rocket scientist or a doctor researching a cancer cure; it went to Bart Ferrell, a Human Resources Manager in charge of processing payroll at the Presidio Trust. Ferrell’s total pay last year exceeded $300,000.

 

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Michael Krieger

As far as my academic and professional background, I attended college at Duke University where I earned a double major in Economics and Spanish. After completing my studies in 2000, I took a job at Lehman Brothers where I worked with the Oil analyst in the Equity Research Department. In 2005, I joined Sanford C. Bernstein where I served as the Commodities Analyst on the trading floor. About halfway through my time there, I started to branch out and write opinions on bigger picture “macro” topics that no one else at the firm was covering. These opinion pieces were extremely popular throughout the global investment community, and I traveled extensively providing advice to some of the largest mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds in the world. I loved my job, but as time passed I started to educate myself about how the monetary and financial system functions and what I discovered disgusted me. I no longer felt satisfied working within the industry, and I resigned in January 2010. At that point, I started a family investment office and continued to write macro pieces on economic, social and geopolitical topics. That summer, I drove cross country for six weeks and ultimately decided to leave the crowded streets of Manhattan for the open spaces of Boulder, Colorado, where I currently reside.