Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

CBO Offers Its Two Cents on Federal Pay

CBO Offers Its Two Cents on Federal Pay

Federal workers overall get just 2 percent higher wages than private-sector employees holding similar jobs, but they receive 16 percent more in total compensation because of generous benefits.
There are, however, great differences in wages and benefits depending on education levels; less-educated federal workers receive higher wages and benefits compared with private-sector employees, while those with advanced degrees are paid less.
That’s the conclusion of a new Congressional Budget Office report that dispels misinformation spread by both sides in a long-running debate over federal pay.

Top 20 White House Raises

Q: Is a chart claiming to show the “top 20 raises” to White House staffers accurate?
A: It’s misleading. The salary increases for 19 of the 21 employees listed resulted from promotions. Average pay for White House staff actually declined.

Bachmann’s Waterloo

Rep. Michele Bachmann officially joined the presidential campaign trail, but made a flurry of false and misleading claims along the way. The Minnesota Republican appeared on two …

Crossroads & Unions

Crossroads GPS greatly exaggerates the earnings of unionized government workers in a new TV ad attacking unions and Democrats, including President Obama.
The ad claims that government workers who belong to unions are paid “42 percent more than non-union workers.”  But the very study cited by the ad says the gap is only 10 percent, once geographic differences are accounted for.

The 60-second spot was launched March 9 and is set to run nationally on CNN,

Federal Pay, Tax Cuts and Jane Fonda

In episode 39 of our podcast, we look at misleading statements about the pay of federal workers versus private sector workers. Plus, we debunk a talking point about the Bush tax cuts and tell you the story of an old (and now reincarnated) chain e-mail about Jane Fonda.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Are Federal Workers Overpaid?  Dec. 1
Tax Cuts and Americans: It’s Complicated  Nov. 20
Blame Jane Falsehoods  Nov.