This USA Today story has the kind of numbers that stick with people:

Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist in both government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available. These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Me: It’s the benefits that really stand out. There have been more and more stories out there about the fat union benefits of government workers, both federal and state. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been railing on this issue since he was elected last year. Here is a bit from a recent speech that got lots of play in the blogosphere:

Our citizens are already the most overtaxed in America. U.S. mayors hear it all the time. You know that the public appetite for ever-increasing taxes has reached an end. So when we freeze $475 million in school aid, I am hearing the reverberations from school boards saying now you are just going to force us to raise taxes. Well there is a 4 percent cap in place as you all know, yet school boards continue to give out raises which exceed that cap, just on salary. Not to mention the fact that most of them get no contribution towards the spiraling increase in health care benefits.

There is also this from USA Today:

The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession. At the beginning of the downturn, the Transportation Department had one person making $170,000 or more a year; now it has 1,690 making that.

And this from the LA Weekly:

In the past decade, Los Angeles Unified School District officials spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district’s 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance