Sen.-Elect Rand Paul, Incoming Republicans Target Federal Employees

Incoming Republicans go after federal employees' wages.

ByABC News
November 10, 2010, 5:44 PM

November 11, 2010 — -- Some just-elected Republicans are going after federal employees, or at least their wages.

Among them is GOP Sen.-Elect Rand Paul, who wants to reduce federal wages by 10 percent. And his views happen to be in line with those of the Federal Debt Commission, which said Wednesday that the federal workforce should be cut by 10 percent and federal government salaries frozen across the board.

Paul made his case on ABC's "This Week," arguing that such drastic measures would be justified because, by his calculations, the average government employee earns a six-figure salary.

"The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year," Paul of Kentucky said. "The average private employee makes $60,000 a year. Let's get them more in line, and let's find savings. Let's hire no new federal workers."

But the average government employee earns nowhere near $120,000 per year.

"The median salary is $65,000," said Jennifer Dorsey of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, full-time federal employees earned, on average, $73,765 in 2009; federal civil servants earned $81,258.

"If you look at federal employment, civilian employment, a large faction of those are postal workers, who clearly aren't making $120,000 a year," said Al Lee, director of analysis at, a compensation data company. "If you take those out, over half the remaining work in the Department of Defense as civilian employees, and even with those ... you can't get the $120,000."

Federal employees earn a median salary of $61,574, according to

Indeed, several workers in Washington, D.C., said they believe federal employees are underpaid.

"I do know people in the federal government, and they've indicated over the years in their office [there have been] layoffs, so they end up doing more work than one person's work, but paid the same amount," resident George Katz said. "I really think it's unfair to pick on federal workers."