All in a Day’s (Government) Work

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Via theJuly/August issue of Cato Policy Report, three stories that appeared on the same day, in the same newspaper:

Critics in Congress also have questioned Amtrak’s management, asking, for example, how an employee with a $21,000 salary earned $149,000 in over- time last fiscal year.
Washington Post, May 15, 2011

The federal government’s largest housing construction program for the poor has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on stalled or abandoned projects and routinely failed to crack down on derelict developers or the local housing agencies that funded them. —Washington Post, May 15, 2011

The main thing learned in the hearings so far is that [D.C. mayor Vincent] Gray showed bad judgment in allowing [three close aides] to guide so much of the hiring for patronage jobs just below the cabinet rank. Although all three advisers were longtime personnel executives, they blundered repeatedly by overpaying people, doing inadequate vetting and hiring children of officials.
—Robert McCartney, Washington Post, May 15, 2011

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12 Responses to “All in a Day’s (Government) Work”

  1. #1 |  IrishMike | 

    So is three articles criticizing government waste appearing on the same day in a mainstream newspaper is a moral victory? I’m guessing the publisher begrudgingly allows one/day – this is really going to piss him off.

  2. #2 |  M. Steve | 

    Radley, you just don’t get it. If only we got the *right people* in office, these things wouldn’t be an issue. The government is us! If it’s unresponsive or corrupt, we only have ourselves to blame!

    /sarcasm

  3. #3 |  IrishMike | 

    Whoops – 2nd “is” should not be there in my post. Who did that?

  4. #4 |  MacK | 

    What is that overtime rate?
    Let us say it was double regular pay.

    $21,000 per year for 40hrs per week x 2 per hours overtime after 40hrs per week x 40hrs per week over time per year = 80 total hrs per week = $42,000 extra per year (This is a lot of work).

    $21,000 per year for 40hrs per week x 2 per hours overtime after 40hrs per week x 80hrs per week over time per year = 120 total hrs per week = $84,000 extra per year (This is a near death sentence amount of work).

    $21,000 per year for 40hrs per week x 2 per hours overtime after 40hrs per week x 120hrs per week over time per year = 160 total hrs per week = $126,000 extra per year (This is an impossible amount of work 24/7 = 168 hours per week).

    Let us say it was quadruple regular pay.

    $21,000 per year for 40hrs per week x 4 per hours overtime after 40hrs per week x 70hrs per week over time per year = 110 total hrs per week = $147,000 extra per year (This is a still near death sentence amount of work).

    I would guess that most people can handle 60 hrs a week and still function. If he/she did the 20 hours a week overtime to equal that $149,000 they would get about 7.1 times regular pay for overtime rate.

  5. #5 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The Bi-Partisan Debt Committee will get all this ironed out.

  6. #6 |  Griffin3 | 

    Take Labor Day monday off, and give a Tuesday nutpunch. Greeeeaaaat ….

  7. #7 |  Jason | 

    Is that a government day or a private day?

  8. #8 |  croaker | 

    @4 Also keep in mind that there may be hazard or special pay involved. Exposure to hazardous substances could mean a negotiated bump in rate. Working on an active rail line right-of-way could also mean a negotiated bump in rate. Requirements to wear protective gear (respirators or SCBA), likewise. Exposure to caisson pressure, ditto. And we haven’t even gotten into mandatory call-backs (4 hours minimum even if cancelled en route to job site) and on-call status (usually half-pay for the duration of the time you’re on call, 4 hours minimum previously mentioned even if it takes five minutes over the phone to fix the issue).

    Aren’t union contracts fun?

    Without further information, like seeing this guy’s actual pay slip, there’s no way to tell.

  9. #9 |  CyniCAl | 

    If only we had the right people in government ….

    Crickets.

  10. #10 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Croaker – So, normal people shouldn’t get hazard pay, paid for false alarms involving (often) considerable travel or on-call pay? Nice.

  11. #11 |  croaker | 

    @10 Where the fuck did you dredge that conclusion from my post?

  12. #12 |  buzz | 

    croaker. Union reader.

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