For years, the accepted wisdom was that working for the government wasn't all that lucrative.
At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
The American public is catching on, with a vengence. Having read countless stories about increased hiring and higher wages and benefits for government workers, what Washsington calls "a pushback" has set in. Fully two-thirds polled by Rasmussen Reports want federal workers' salaries reduced by 10 percent over the next decade.
In addition to believing that government workers are paid more, voters overwhelmingly believe those on the public payroll have more job security but don't work as hard as their counterparts in the private sector.
The federal government currently employs approximately 2.1 million people, including 1.4 million civilian employees. During 2010, the number of federal employees grew to the highest level ever, and the president is requesting a 1.4% pay raise for the federal workforce in 2011. A very slight reduction in the number of federal employees is expected in 2011 as the Census process winds down.
All you federal paper shufflers and nosy enforcers, the Tea Party is coming for you.